The number of looms increased from 87,190 in 1890 to 154,600 in 1900.
A permanent memorial of it remains in the famous Order of the Golden Fleece, which was instituted by the duke at Bruges in 1430 on the occasion of his marriage with Isabel of Portugal, a descendant of John of Gaunt, and was so named from the English wool, the raw material used in the Flemish looms, for which Bruges was the chief mart.
Handlooms and small spinTextiles ning establishments have, in the silk industry, given place to large establishments with steam looms. The production of raw silk at least tripled itself between 1875 and 1900, and the value of the silks woven in Italy, estimated in 1890 to be 2,200,000, is now, on account of the development of the export trade calculated to be almost 4,000,000.
The exports of Aube consist of timber, cereals, agricultural products, hosiery, wine, dressed pork, &c.; its imports include wool and raw cotton, coal and machinery, especially looms. The department is served by the Eastern railway, of which the main line to Belfort crosses it.
In 1890 General Maclean, the British consul-general, reported that there were 650 silk, 40 carpet and 320 shawl looms at work.
West Africa.-Cotton has long been grown in the various countries on the west coast of Africa, ginned by hand or by very primitive means, spun into yarn, and woven on simple looms into " country cloths "; these are often only a few inches wide, so that any large cloths have to be made by sewing the narrow strips together.
(Thousands of tons.) The number of looms increased steadily, but the output per loom showed partially a distinct decrease.
This is the material of which the far-famed and costly shawls are made, which at one time had such a demand that, it is stated, 16,000 looms were kept in constant work at Kashmir in their manufacture.
In the middle ages Malmesbury possessed a considerable cloth manufacture, and at the Dissolution the abbey was bought by a rich clothier and fitted with looms for weaving.
In order to form a relative idea of the importance of the various countries engaged in silk manufacture, a tabulation of the number of looms employed in each country would prove an inadequate guide, owing to the variations from time to time of the fabrics woven, as also to the difficulty in obtaining trustworthy statistics of the number in active operation.
Velvet is the special feature of the industry, about one-half of the looms being devoted to this textile, the remainder being devoted to union satins, pure broad silk goods and ribbons.
Apart from the large class of brocaded cloths made in Jacquard looms there are innumerable simpler kinds, including stripes and checks of various descriptions, such as Swiss, Cord, Satin, Doriah stripes, &c. Mercerized cloths are of many kinds, as the mercerizing process can be applied to almost anything.
In the textile industry for flax and hemp there were, in 1905, 276,000 fine spindles, 22,300 hand-looms and 17,600 power-looms in operation, and, in 1905, linen and jute materials were exported of an estimated value of over 2,000,000.
The largest single establishment is the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company, which has 2800 looms and about 1500 mill-hands.
Inquiries made under the auspices of the British Cotton Growing Association have led to the conclusion that Northern Nigeria offers the most promising field contained within the empire for the growth of cotton required to render Lancashire looms independent of foreign supplies.
The silk looms are chiefly at Mehallet el-Kubra, Cairo and Damietta.
The Bombay Presidency possessed 70% of the mills and much the same percentage of spindles and looms. The industry dates from 1851, when the first mill was started.
In Bombay new cotton mills were erected, and old ones extended, high-speed machinery was widely introduced, and 12,000 new looms were set up. Similarly the jute trade far surpassed all records.
The crop was a record one, but the demand far exceeded the supply, the cultivators reaped profits of eight millions more than the previous year, and 2000 new looms were set up in Calcutta.
There are upwards of 12,000 silk power-looms in operation, and the value of the annual output in this branch alone is estimated at £ 3, 000,000.
Japanese cotton yarns are imported to be woven into a strong cloth on Korean hand-looms. Beans and peas, rice, cowhides, and ginseng are the chief exports, apart from gold.
The expansion of the Indian power trade may be gathered from the following particulars of the number of looms and spindles from 1892 to 1906.
The Calcutta looms are engaged for the most part with a few varieties of the commoner classes of jute fabrics, but the success in this direction has been really remarkable.
Confucius's own ancestry is traced up, through the sovereigns of the previous dynasty of Shang, to Hwang-ti, whose figure looms out through the mists of fable in prehistoric times.
The looms of Suchow and the tea plantations of Ngan-hui, together with the rice of this "garden of China," for many years before treaty days, supplied the Shanghai junks with their richest freight.
In 1850 the number of spindles was 396,338 and of power looms 58; in 1905 the corresponding figures were 826,528 and 34,498.
The number of establishments in 1900 was 80, and in 1905, 127; the number of producing spindles in 1900 was 1,431,349, and in 1905, 2,864,092; and the number of looms in 1900, 42,663, and in 1905, 72,702.
The manufacture of cotton goods was the chief sub-division of the industry, employing 153,375 spindles, 3008 looms and 1787 knitting machines.
The carpet-looms at work now number several hundreds, while looms of silk and shawl number less than half what they did in 1890.
Elastic web weaving by power looms is carried on to a great extent, and the manufacture of lace and net curtains, gimp trimmings, braids and cords.
The Incas had made much progress in weaving, and specimens of their fabrics, both plain and coloured, are to be found in many museums. The Spanish introduced their own methods, and their primitive looms are still to be found among the Indians of the interior who weave the coarse material from which their own garments are made.
Modern looms for the manufacture of woollens were introduced in 1861 and of cotton goods in 1874.
Woollen and linen goods are manufactured, and there are ribbon looms and tanneries in the town, and large iron works in the neighbourhood.
Tapestry, as it is employed in Europe, was not thought of, nor indeed could the small hand-looms of the period be easily adapted to such work.
The prominence of the township as a manufacturing centre is due to Erastus Brigham Bigelow (1814-1879), one of the incorporators of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who devised power-looms for the weaving of a variety of figured fabrics, - coach-lace, counterpanes, ginghams, silkbrocatel, tapestry carpeting, ingrain and Brussels carpets, - and revolutionized their manufacture.
He bought wild lands, took stock in mining companies, desiccated egg companies, patent looms, photo-lithographic companies, gave away profusely, lent to plausible rascals, and was the ready prey of every new inventor who chanced to find him with money or with property that he could readily convert into money.
The cotton factories of 1905 were equipped with 22,021 looms having 678,058 spindles, and with 38 stamping machines, employed 30,162 operatives, and turned out 13,731,638 pieces of cloth.
But at the close of the 18th century there were 5000 persons at work ih the looms of the Liberties.
Spinning and weaving are carried on among the people as a household occupation, and fabrics are made of an exceptionally substantial character.It is not uncommon to see the natives busily twirling their rude spindles as they follow their troops of pack animals over rough mountain roads, and the yarn produced is woven into cloth in their own houses on rough Spanish looms of colonial patterns.
The silk manufactured in the looms of Su-chow is famous all over the empire.
Large quantities of the coco-nut fibre are woven in heavy looms, then cut up into various sizes, and finally bound round the edges by a kind of rope made from the same material.
Linen is manufactured chiefly in the mountains of Lusatia, where the looms are still to some extent found in the homes of the weavers.
Under Justinian a monopoly of the trade and manufacture was reserved to the emperor, and looms, worked by women, were set up within the imperial palace at Constantinople.
Some 73,000 looms are also represented.