Crowding of positions must now be guarded against, to prevent the spinning of double cocoons (doupions) by two worms spinning together and so interlacing their threads that they can only be reeled for a coarser and inferior thread.
(5) Raw silk skeins are often re-reeled; and in this process part has to be discarded: this being known to the trade as gum-waste.
Part of him reeled at the turn of events that found him sitting with a man who had never before acknowledged him.
These ends being secured, the cocoons are transferred to a basin or tray containing water heated to from 140° to 150° F., in which they float while the silk is being reeled off.
When a large number of cocoons are to be combined into one strand they may be reeled from the tray in four sets, which are first crossed in pairs, then combined into two, and those two then crossed and afterwards combined into a single strand.
This increased production of medium silk, and the growing demand for fine sorts, induced many of the cocoon-growers in the Levant to sell their cocoons to Europeans, who reeled them in Italian fashion under the name of " Patent Brutia," thus producing a very fine valuable silk.
In 1857 commenced the exportation of Japan silk, which became so fierce a competitor with Bengal silk as gradually to displace it in favour; and the native silk reeled in Bengal has almost ceased to be made, only the best European filatures, produced under the supervision of skilled Europeans, now coming forward.
Up to the year 1860 the bulk of the silks from the East was shipped to London, but subsequently, owing to the importance of continental demands, a large portion of the supplies has been unshipped at Genoa and Marseilles (especially the finer reeled silks from Japan and Canton), which are sold in the Milan and Lyons markets.
As the outer flossy threads and the inner vests are not reelable, it is difficult to estimate the total length of thread produced by the silkworm, but the portion reeled varies in length and thickness, according to the condition and robustness of the cocoon, in some breeds giving a result as low as Soo metres, and in others 900 to 1200 metres.
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.
From these bobbins the silk is reeled into hanks of definite length for the market.
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.
Here we must distinguish between the reeled silk and the spun or waste silk manufactures.
Next follows the operation of cleaning, in which the silk is simply reeled from one bobbin to another, but on its way it passes through a slit which is sufficiently wide to pass the filament but stops the motion when a thick lump or nib is presented.