OT word of the day - Page 10

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Re: OT word of the day


The closest english pronunciation would be 'mummy'
It is abreviated mm

The measure used to describe the weight of silk.
Originally Japanese in origin and defined in traditional Japanese
measures, for more practical purposes it may be considered to be the
weight in pounds of a one hundred yard length at 45 inches wide of a
given fabric.
Aother, and perhaps easier, way to look at it is an 8mm silk is
approximately equal to one ounce per square yard.  

Silks in excess of 40-50mm are seldom available from retailers, though
gauzes as light as 2-3mm are fairly easily found.  Most garment silks
are in the range of 8-20mm.  Heavy silks for example, brocades, noil,
and raw silks, generally are between 30mm and 45mm.

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Merino wool
Botany wool

The most commercially important wool.  Originally from Spain, now New
Zealand and Australia produce most of the global supply.
It is an exceptional quality, fine, soft wool.  The finest grades are
usually the wool used in blends with cashmere, silk, alpaca, and
It is stronger in the many characteristics(1)(2) that make wool an
excellent clothing choice and, so far as I know, is the only
"non-scratchy" sheeps wool.

(1)  Why does that phrase make me feel like Yoda?

(2)  Absorbs water vapor readily (think sweat), repels rain, breathes
well, does not absorb oders readily, has great drape, and washes
easily.  You just want to avoid temperature shock with the stuff, so
cold wash and rinse, and tumble or air dry.


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Needle lace

Needle lace is simply lace made with a needle and thread.
It is not made on a seperately created ground, nor does it incorporate
braids or ribbons.
It is generally done on a frame to which a high contrast piece of
parchment or other durable non-brittle paper, or sometimes trash
cloth, has been fixed, the pattern for the lace having already been
drawn on the paper.  The pattern outlines are then couched onto the
paper, sometimes using varying thicknesses or numbers of strands of
thread.  When this has been completed, fill and decorative stitches
are added, mostly staying above the paper, and the couched threads are
covered with other stitches.  When the section is completed, the
couching stitches on the wrong side of the paper are snipped releasing
the work.
Alcenon and Venetian Laces are the best known of this type.




Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
How truly exquisite.
Thanks so much Nightmist.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Best Regards
pat on the hill

Re: OT word of the day

Shoddy and Mungo

Shoddy is in essence recycled wool.
Rags are shredded, respun, and rewoven, and the resultant fabric is
Shoddy.  The quality of shoddy would of course vary with the quality
of the rags used to make it.  If good quality soft spun rags are used
it may well turn out to be of a better quality some lesser new

And yep this is where the term shoddy as used a a descriptive meaning
poor quality comes from.

Mungo is the lowest quality shoddy. Generally from hard spun rags, it
is sometimes of such low quality when the proscessing is finished that
it must be felted to make a usable fabric.

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Those were two of my favourite words when I was a kid (I used to read
the dictionary for fun, mind).  Turned out that the shirts we were
issued with when doing army cadet training at school (this was in New
Zealand in the 60s) were made of mungo or shoddy.  They were some of
the scratchiest, ickiest things I've ever had to wear.  Eventually
I flatly refused to do it any more on principle (PM Holyoake took
NZ tokenistically into the Vietnam War, and I supported the Viet Cong)
but we damn well should have had grounds for objection for being
forced to dress in sandpaper.

==== j a c k  at  c a m p i n . m e . u k  ===  <http://www.campin.me.uk ====
Jack Campin, 11 Third St, Newtongrange EH22 4PU, Scotland == mob 07800 739 557
CD-ROMs and free stuff:  Scottish music, food intolerance, and Mac logic fonts

Re: OT word of the day
Alginic acid
Sodium alginate

Alginate is an extract of various seaweeds.
It has a ton of uses.  In textiles it has been spun into water soluble
threads, used as a soluble foundation for embroideries, used as a
size, included in starches, and used as a thickener in both dye
painting and textile printing.
By far printing is the largest use of alginates in the textile
Most soluble threads and sheets available in retail are PVA
(polyvinyl-alcohol), which has better storage qualities.


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
NightMist wrote:
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OT note: Alginates are also used in dental impression material - you
know the yucky pink or blue stuff you bite into for getting crowns etc
just the right size and shape.  Can't think of a textile link to tie in
with that though.


Re: OT word of the day
On Wed, 01 Apr 2009 14:24:57 +0100, Lizzy Taylor

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So far as casting they have to use it for dental impressions because
it is one of the few things that will work well that you can safely
put in your mouth.  It is also used to make life castings (making
various impressions of people parts, hands, feet, bellies, faces,
etc.), though I prefer moulage for that for assorted reasons.

It is used as a thickener a LOT. Start reading lables and you will
find it and/or methocell (hydroxymethylcellulose) in tons and tons of
things, from food to cosmetics to washing up liquids and more.

You find this stuff in almost everything.


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Spot Tack

Making a knot of sorts.

By machine set stitch length to zero (or your machine's equivilant)
and go backwards and forwards over the same small spot a couple of

By hand just take a couple of stitches over the same few threads and
tie as for a quilt, then wrap the thread through the stitches and pass
the needle through the wrapping as for a french knot.  Generally you
want to pass the needle back through the sides of wrap before cutting
closely, but that is a matter of choice.

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Pineapple fiber  
Pina (the spanish N with the curvey)

Made from pineapple leaves, the fiber is removed by scraping the
leaves by hand.
In commercial textiles it is often combined with silk or synthetics.
The resultant fabric has the look and much of the durability of linen,
but is softer, more lusterous, and easier care.
The fabric originated in the Philappines, though some small trade in
it has developed in other pineapple growing countries, notably Brazil.

An article and some pictures of modern garments made of this fabric is


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day

You could consider this an early faux fur.

It is a heavy coating weight woolen fabric, that has been milled and
napped.  The nap is cut evenly and laid in a single direction, similar
to the process for some velvets.
It is lusterous, and quite intentionally made to look like beaver fur
so much as is possible.


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day

Though the word has come down in time from what was once a "canopy of
state", nowdays it mostly refers to beds.
A baldachin bed is one in which the canopy is permanent, a structural
part of the bed.  It may be full or half, or sometimes smaller than
half.  It is somewhat fashionable both now and through history to
drape the half or smaller versions to match or compliment the other
bed dressings.
Some versions of the full size are quilted on the visable faces with
leather or luxury fabrics.

I've noticed that when advertising companies wish to make a modern bed
with a canopy, especially when accompanied by curtain rails, sound
pretentious they call it a "baldachin bed".

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
combed cotton

Cotton that is gone over with fine brushes after carding to remove
more impurities, brittle fibers, and short fibers. This reduces the
total volume of the carded cotton by as much as 15-20%, but what
remains are the longer more durable fibers.
Fabrics and yarns made of combed cotton are usually softer and more
durable than those made from single carded cotton.  


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day


To pleat, ruffle, or gather fabric into a specific form.
Sometimes it is purely ornamental, sometimes it is an integral part of
sizing the item.

The term is frequently incorrectly applied to any multiple pleating,
gathering, ruffling, gauging, or smocking, all of which are unique in

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day

A light weight, lusterous, fabric with a cotton warp and cashmere or
wool weft.
Sturdier than it looks, it resists wrinkling, yet presses and shapes
well, has very excellent drape, and it actually seems to resist
Consigned to use mostly as lining fabric for some years, it is
enjoying a surge of popularity in garment making.  An excellent choice
for "activewear", summer clothes, and numerous other applications.


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day

Originally a cotton warp crossed with horsehair in a variety of
colours and designs. Labour-intensive work as each horsehair had to be
placed in the cloth by hand.
Now the horsehair is usually replaced by nylon, or sometimes another
Indeed often crinolines are available made entirely of synthetics or
any assortment of blends.
They may be a solid, mesh, or net weave, and are stiff.
Often tulle is refered to as crinoline and used for the same purposes.

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day


The first commercially successful synthetic fiber.

It is a wholely manufactured fiber, a synthetic long chain polymer.

The first use it saw was in toothbrushes, though a whole host of
applications followed primarily due to world war II.

The initial marketing of nylon fabrics was as a synthetic silk. When
WWII caused a scarcity of silk, which had previously been the only
fiber used for items like parachutes, nylon came into its own.
It also caused something of a revolution in women's hosiery.  Prior to
nylon stockings were usually cotton, wool, or silk.  The first nylon
stockings in the US went on sale in 1940.  They were only available
briefly though, for as soon as the US entered the war all nylon was
diverted to the war effort.

In the 1950's, manufacturers discovered that if they made the nylon
fibers crimped, the resultant fabric would be elastic in character.
This added a whole new dimension to the uses for nylon.

Nylon burns poorly, but does melt. The weak flame it produces is
usually extinguished when the melted portion drops off the fabric.
The fibers are smooth, nonabsorbant, and dry quickly.
It is the strongest and most lightweight fiber in common use.
It is somewhat dirt resistant, and easy to clean, though it will
eventually pill.  It is not affected by most common household
chemicals, though chlorine bleach should be avoided.  It does wash
well with sodium perborate bleach (laundry borax).

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Laundry Borax

This useful stuff is a common additive to laundry detergents, and is
also sold as a stand alone laundry additive.
In addition to laundry, it has many uses around the house, from
general cleaning and deoderizing to repeling cockroaches and other

It is one of the "greenest" hosehold chemicals, having a low toxicity
and a minimal impact on the enviroment.  The same chemical in laundry
borax is often used in plant fertilizers.  Useful to know since
foundation plantings in particular can suffer from a deficiency of
boron.  In fact when last years soil test indicated that my garden was
low on boron I just sprayed it with laundry borax in solution, about 1
tablespoon to 100 square feet is plenty.

Laundry borax is one of the few commonly available chemicals that can
stop or reduce the action of chlorine bleach.
It also enhances the action of standard soaps and detergents by acting
as a water softener.
It has it's own bleaching action as well, both oxygenating and to a
lesser degree non-oxygenating.  
Since borax also acts as a corrosion inhibiter on metals it may help
prolong the life of washers.  My great gramma used it when she washed
the silver after polishing it because she said it helped keep it
shiney longer.  YMMV


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Yes, I have used this for years. I like the old fashioned look of the
20 mule team box. Didn't know about the other uses with plants and as
a repellent. thanks for this info ;)

[growing up my mom used this also, and until a certain age I was
certain my grandpa had been the model for the drawing on the front of
the box - he was a teamster in the old horse-and-wagon definition]

Ginger in CA
On Apr 14, 2:11=A0am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (NightMist) wrote:
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