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Stuff was also used to describe other woven fabrics of fibres other than silk, especially once cotton became more common as a fabric in the late 18th century, so a mention of a garment made of stuff does not necessarily mean the item was made of wool, simply that if it was, it wasn’t woollen.Worsted wool fabric tends to be more expensive than the same weight and quality of woollen fabric, because the pasture land needed for worsted sheep varieties is in higher demand (in New Zealand, for example, it is far more financially beneficial for farmers to use pasture land for dairy cows than wool sheep), and because worsted fabrics require more processing.The one drawback, wear-wise, to some worsted fabrics is that they may go shiny at areas that receive a lot of wear, such as the seat of pants and skirts, as the parallel fibres are pressed more firmly together.Twill weaves are more likely to go shiny than plain weaves.The name carding comes from the Latin Once it is carded, the wool is spun, and then woven.After weaving, woolen cloth is sometimes subjected to the fulling process (also known as waulking or tucking), which cleans the fabric, making it thicker, and works the hairs of the wool together, creating a uniform, almost felted surface, without much visible weave.There is also a semi-worsted type of fabric, with yarns that are spun tightly, but not combed.This is a cheaper process, and is usually done with inferior wool to further cut costs.

Today, worsted fabrics are most likely to be seen in men’s suiting, and in trench coats and other outerwear.When woven into fabric, worsted fabric has a tighter, harder, shiny-er finish, and can make a finer, lighter weight fabric.Here are two different worsted wools, so you can see how slick and hard the finish is, with few wool hairs on the surface.These agents were initially urine (the Romans used it), which is full of ammonia, which softened and whitened the wool, and later fullers earth, clay with mineral elements which performed the same purpose of softening, whitening, and absorbing oil and dirt.Fullers earth is sometimes known as bleaching clay.

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