Fibre to Fabric

Start music   Jan 11 2017 || 12:56 PM

Animal Fibres

  • Wool is obtained from the fleece (hair) of sheep or yak
  • Silk is obtained from cocoons of silk moth

 

Wool

 

How does wool keep animals warm?

  • Wool, being the ‘Hair’ of the animals, traps a lot of air
  • Air is a poor conductor of heat
  • So this trapped air keeps the animal from feeling cold

 

Animals that yield wool:

  • Sheep (most common), goat, yak and some other furry animals
  • Yak wool is common in Tibet and Ladakh
  • Angora wool is obtained from angora goats from the state of J&K
  • The under fur of Kashmiri goat is soft & its wool is woven into fine Pashmina shawls
  • Llama and Alpaca in South America also yields wool

 

Types of Sheep wool

  1. The coarse beard hair
  2. The fine soft under-hair close to the skin

The fine hair provide the fibres for making wool

 

Fibre to wool

Rearing of sheep

  • Sheep are herbivores and prefer grass and leaves
  • They are also fed with mixture of pulses, corn, jowar, oil cakes and minerals
  • In winter, sheep are kept indoors and fed on leaves, grain and dry fodder

 

Breeding of Sheep

  • Certain breeds of sheep have thick coat of hair on their body which yields good quality wool in large quantities
  • They are specially chosen to give birth to sheep which have only soft under-hair.
  • This process of selecting parents for obtaining special characters in their offspring is termed ‘selective breeding’.

 

Processing fibres into wool

Step 1 – Shearing

  • The fleece of the sheep along with a thin layer of skin is removed from its body
  • The hair is usually removed during the hot weather
  • The hair provides woollen fibres, they are processed to obtain woollen yearn

 

Step 2 – Scouring

  • The sheared skin with hair is thoroughly washed in tanks to remove grease, dust and dirt

 

Step 3 – Sorting

  • Hair of different textures are separated or sorted.

 

Step 4

  • The small fluffy fibres, called burrs, are picked out from the hair
  • The fibres are scoured again and dried. They are ready to be drawn into fibres

 

Step 5 – Dyeing

  • The natural fleece of sheep and goats is black, brown or white.
  • The fibres can be dyed in various colours in this stage

 

Step 6

  • The fibres are straightened, combed and rolled into yarn

 

Occupational hazard while rearing sheep

  • Sheep sometimes get infected by the bacterium, anthrax,
  • Anthrax causes a fatal blood disease called sorter’s disease
  • It is called sorter’s disease since the ‘sorter’ of different hair textures get infected during the ‘sorting stage’
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  • Silk 
    Sericulture – The practice of rearing of silkworms for obtaining silk
  • Life history of silk

  • Stage 1: Female silk moth lays eggs
  • Stage 2: Eggs hatch into larvae called silk worms/caterpillars
  • Stage 3: Silk worm grows in size and begins to develop into Pupa
    • It swings its head from side to side in the form of the figure of eight (8)
    • During this movement the caterpillar secretes fibre made of a protein
    • This fibre which hardens on exposure to air and becomes silk fibre
    • Soon the caterpillar completely covers itself by silk fibres and turns into pupa.
    • This covering is known as cocoon
    • Stage 4: The silk yarn (thread) is obtained from the cocoon of the silk moth
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    Different types of silk

    Difference between different types of silk is due to the different varieties of silk moth that yields silk fibres in different textures

     

    Mulberry silk

  • The most common silk (from mulberry moth)
  • Silk is soft, lustrous and elastic
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    Other types of silk

  • Tassar silk,
  • Eri silk,
  • Mooga silk
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    Cocoon to Silk

    Rearing of silkworms

  • A female silk moth lays hundreds of eggs at a time
  • The eggs are stored carefully on strips of cloth or paper and sold to silkworm farmers
  • Eggs are kept under suitable conditions of temperature and humidity
  • Eggs are then warmed to a suitable temperature for the larvae to hatch
  • This is done when mulberry trees bear a fresh crop of leaves
  • Larvae are kept in clean bamboo trays along with freshly chopped mulberry leaves
  • The silkworms eat day and night for 25-30 days and increase enormously in size
  • Then they stop eating & start spinning cocoons
  • Small racks or twigs may be provided in the trays to which cocoons get attached
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    Processing of Silk

  • The cocoons are kept under the sun or boiled or exposed to steam
  • The silk fibres separate out.
  • The process of taking out threads from the cocoon for use as silk is called reeling the silk