The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The hatter., pp. 56-57 ff.
THE HATTER. TIIE materials now generally used by hat-makers, are lamb's wool, rabbit's and hare's fur, beaver, seal-wool, camel's hair, monkey stuff, or neuter wool, goat's hair, or estridge silk and cotton. The best fur is from the backs of different animnals ; it decreases in value as it ap- proaches the belly. The skin of the heaver undergoes various operations; the first process is bowing, and the quantity that is bowed is called a batt. When the batt is sufficiently bowed it is ready for hard- ening, which is the first commencement of felting; then follows the operation of basoning, which is succeeded by a still more effectual continuation of the felt- ing, called working and soaking in a battery. Water is only used in the ope- ration of fashioning or blocking, after which it is pressed by the blunt edge of a copper implement, called a stamper. The last dressing is given by the appli- cation of moisture and heat, and the use of the brush and a hot iron. Thus softened the hat is drawn upon a block and the judg- ment of the workman is employed in further moistening, brushing, and ironing the hat in order to give and preserve the proper figure.
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