Book Corner 2021.60

by Harriet Hargrave

I’m not a quilter, in any sense; but I’m wildly interested in textile production.

Who knew? “Prior to the invention of air conditioning & humidity control, only the New Bedford & Providence, Rhode Island, locations had the proper humidity conditions for cotton yarn spinning.” I did have a sense of this, having this year read a whole book about air conditioning; but I didn’t know matters were this precise.

Who knew? “Greige goods (pronounced ‘gray goods’) are unfinished fabrics in their raw state.” Muslin is, often, essentially, greige good. I love the term; I love the thought of those simple raw fabrics – and I love the pictures, lots of pictures in the book of factories and machines and fabric being processed.

Processed, processed, processed! They do SO much to cotton fabric, it’s a wonder how humanity comes up with these things. Singeing! Sizing! Desizing! Bleaching! Mercerizing! Not to mention the dyeing. Oh, the dyeing!

This is mainly a book geared towards choosing better materials for quilting, and was vaguely interesting on its own terms; but obviously I was in it for the big picture, as I usually am.

Side note on the big picture. I received Oliver Burkeman e-newsletter today, and the theme is redefining interruption. Zen teaching: nothing obstructs the activity of anything else.

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