Floss (Paris, 1853).
It is only floss, injured and unreelable cocoons, the husks of reeled cocoons, and other waste from reeling, with certain wild silks, which are treated by the spun silk process, and the silk thereby produced loses much of the beauty, strength and brilliance which are characteristic of the manufactures from reeled silk.
Such cocoons as are selected for the production of graine, on the other hand, are collected, freed from the external floss, and preserved at a temperature of from 66° to 72° F., and after a lapse of from eleven to fifteen days the moths begin to make their appearance.
A girl with a small hand brush of twigs keeps stirring them in the water till the silk softens, and the outer loose fibres (floss) get entangled with the twigs and come off till the end of the main filament (maitre brin) is found.
About one-sixth of this weight is pure cocoon, and of that one-half is obtainable as reeled silk, the remainder consisting of surface floss or blaze and of hard gummy husk.
In this water the cocoons are kept stirring by small brushes rotated by mechanical means, and as the silk softens the brushes gradually rise out of the water, bringing entangled with them the loose floss, and thereby revealing the main filament of each cocoon.