[HNW] removing black crust from linen thread

SNSpies at aol.com SNSpies at aol.com
Tue Dec 14 08:44:46 PST 2010

Some of you may remember the question I posted in September concerning a  
market regulation from Fatimid Egypt that stated that weavers, upon receiving 
 the threads [from the spinners], first had to remove the blackish crust 
using a  pumice stone.  I have yet to find any contemporary explanation for 
what  this blackish crust was.  However, the following may give a clue.
>From the chapter on bleaching and scouring in "The Household Cyclopedia"  
(1881) (_www.mspong.org/cyclopedia/bleaching.html_ 
(http://www.mspong.org/cyclopedia/bleaching.html) ):
"To Bleach Cotton
The first operation consists in scouring it in a slightly alkaline  
solution; or what is better, by exposure to steam.  It is afterwards put  into a 
basket, and rinsed in running water.  The immersion of cotton in an  alkaline 
lye, however it may be rinsed, always leaves with it an earthy  deposit."

Nancy  Spies
Arelate Studio
_www.nancyspies.blogspot.com_ (http://nancyspies.blogspot.com/) 

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