A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 1.—Textile Workers

384.—Scourers (Woollen, Worsted, and Hosiery); Calenderers & Finishers

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backer, fustian backer ; back filler
attends machine which straightens back of fustian, after it has been stiffened with size and tallow, thereby raising fibres at back of material and softening it; passes material into machine and withdraws it as delivered.
batter (silk), batter-up, plush batter-up, silk plush batter-up
beats silk material with a stick, to raise pile; then combs it with a card wire.
beamer (wool finishing)
see winder-on.
beater, dry beater (wool finishing)
a miller q.v. who uses no liquid felting agents, such as oil, in milling process.
beetler, cloth beetler, beetling machine tenter
feeds, minds and takes cloth off, beetling machine, which beats cloth with a succession of wooden hammers while it is wound round an iron beam, thereby consolidating its fibres and giving softness and lustre to its surface.
binder (wool finishing)
as for blanket edger.
blanket edger
binds edges of blankets by hand, with a stitch known as blanket stitch.
blower (wool finishing) ; decatir machine minder, decatising machine minder
minds machine which subjects cloth to action of dry steam, to give it a permanent lustre; wraps doth round perforated copper rollers, and deal's away moisture as steam condenses on cloth.
boiler (genapping) ; yarn boiler
bleaches and softens yarn by placing it in a boiling scouring solution.
boiler (wool finishing)
winds doth on a perforated copper roller; covers it with a wrapper, and ties ends; puts whole into a cistern, where cloth is boiled by forcing steam or boiling water through it; cf. boiler (380).
boiler, yarn
see boiler (genapping).
boiler-out ; pan man
minds a kier, or vessel in which yarn is boiled out in preparation for dyeing; as for scourer q.v. except that boiling is done in plain water.
bowl end minder
stands between two scouring cisterns, or bowls; keeps a constant flow of wool between bowls, and prevents wool from jamming in rollers and rakes.
bowl feeder
spreads wool evenly upon a travelling lattice, which conveys it to scouring bowls or cisterns.
minds breaking or mellowing machine which removes hard and stiff condition imparted to cloth through over-calendering in finishing process; places roll of material in machine and feeds end between rollers and through to winding spindle; adjusts series of scrolls by means of hand wheel and worm gear.
breaker, fustian
minds an emerising (grinding) machine, with emery-covered rollers, which break up stiffening applied to fustian before it is cut; guides cloth over tension bars to emery-covered rollers, and regulates, with hand wheels, amount of grinding applied to material.
brusher, cloth. brusher, piece brusher, brushing machine minder
(i) (flannelette), see raiser;
(ii) (velvet and fustian) feeds and minds a treadling or brushing machine, which brushes up pile of fabric, to enhance its lustre, or in preparation for dyeing or finishing;
(iii) (other textiles) feeds and controls rollers and revolving brushes of brushing machine, which brushes and cleans cloth, and raises a nap thereon; cf. gigger, raiser.
calender assistant
assists calender man q.v. in passing cloth through calenders.
calender attendant, calenderer, calender man ; calender holder-through (Lancs)
minds calendering machine which presses cloth between heavy, heated rollers to give it a glaze or soft finish, or at intermediate stages of finishing operations, courages the cloth; adjusts rollers, passes cloth between them, and controls levers which regulate pressure on cloth.
calenderer, asbestos
as for calender attendant.
a calenderer q.v. minding a canroy calender, having two iron rollers through which cloth is passed to break down stiffness after starching.
a stentering machine minder q.v. who adjusts clamps to end of cloth passing through clamping machine.
cleaner, cloth
as for scourer.
cleaner (wool finishing), cleaner (woollen cloth)
as for scourer.
clipper, clipper-on, cloth clipper
fixes cloth to clips of tentering (or stentering) machine; cf. stenterer and tenterer.
clipper, cloth (finishing)
brushes up, by hand, warp or loop threads forming pile of brocade, clips by hand with a knife or feeds into clipping machine which is controlled by hand levers.
clip stenter, clip tenter
a stenterer q.v. who stretches or stenters, cloth in a machine in which edge of cloth is held in place by clips.
cloth worker
general term for any worker employed in any process in finishing of cloth as distinguished from yarn.
conditioner (cloth finishing)
see damper man.
a calender attendant q.v. in charge of type of calender machine known as couraging machine.
crabber ; cloth shrinker, potter, shrinker, steamer (woollen finishing), wool shrinker
tends crabbing machine, which passes cloth, at a suitable tension, through weighted rollers in a succession of troughs of water, each at a different temperature, where it is expanded or reduced to a specified width, and set or fixed thereat; or runs cloth on to a perforated steaming roller, into which he admits steam for same purpose.
see cuttler (woollen cloth).
crisper and folder
see cuttler (woollen cloth) .
cropper, cropper man, cropper worker, nap cropper, piece cropper, cropping machine attendant ; cloth cutter, cloth shearer, cutter, dresser (carpets), piece cutter, shearer
minds machine with revolving cylinder knives and brushes, which crop and level surface of material; ensures that knives are correctly adjusted, so that material is not gashed, or too much of nap or pile removed; adjusts tension rollers of machine.
cutter, cloth cutter
see cropper.
cutter (bleaching) ; lengthener
trims off sewn parts from ends of cloth previously sewn together; cuts cloth to required lengths, and marks length.
cutter, cloth (electric cables)
operates slitting machine, which slits cloth into ribbon widths for use in cable making; fits roll of cloth in machine, adjusts knives to gauge, feeds cloth between rollers and fastens edge ribbon end to winding on spindles; controls machine by levers.
cutter machine head ender
a head ender q.v. on a cropping machine.
cutter machine tail ender
a tail ender q.v. on a cropping machine.
cutter, piece
see cropper.
cuttler (warp dyeing)
attends to delivery or plaiting end of a warp splitting machine, keeping yarn in position by adjusting automatic guilders; assists splitter q.v. generally.
cuttler, wet
folds cloth, velvet, etc., by hand or machine, while it is still wet from scouring or other wet process.
cuttler (woollen cloth), piece cuttler, cuttling machine tenter, cloth cuttling machine minder ; cloth doubler, creaser, folder (cloth finishing), crisper and folder, piece folder
passes cloth through rigging and cuttling machine, which folds and trims it; sets machine to fold and trim cloth as required.
cylinderer, fustian
minds a machine used for drying fustian after it has been stiffened; feeds material over plates through rollers or duping cylinders to folding machine; controls temperature by means of steam cocks or hot air blowers.
(i) (hosiery finishing) damps hosiery by folding and leaving for several hours in wet cloths, or minds a machine which damps hosiery with wet steam, in preparation for pressing;
(ii) (other textile trades) see damper man.
damper man, damping machine man, damping machine minder ; conditioner (cloth finishing), damper (other textile trades), degger (dialect), piece lecher (dialect), sprayer (silk finishing), wetter
minds damping machine, which sprays cloth as it passes over rollers to moisten it in preparation for stretching, calendering, beetling, etc., or to soften it after starching; controls water supply and watches machine for proper working.
decatir or decatising machine minder
see blower (wool finishing).
degger (dialect)
see damper man.
dewer (wool)
minds brush dewing machine, which distributes from a special revolving brush a fine mist of water on cloth as it passes over a roller; maintains supply of water to trough and adjusts arrangement by which amount of water put into cloth can be regulated; also adjusts and watches cuttling or cloth folding motion if fitted to machine.
dollier, dollyer, dolly man
(i) see scourer;
(ii) (cloth dyeing) fixes mordants, by passing cloth through various solutions, in preparation for dyeing;
(iii) (yarn dyeing) feeds and minds stock, in which wet yarn is pounded and squeezed by large wooden hammers.
doubler, cloth
see cuttler (woollen cloth).
drawer (woollen cloth), cloth drawer
see tenterer.
dresser (carpets)
(i) minds a machine which coats backs, or warps, of carpets of poor quality with a glutinous material, to give them stiffness and substance; maintains supply of stiffening medium in box or trough; feeds carpet between rollers;
(ii) see cropper.
dresser, cloth ; piece dresser, singer
passes material through a singeing machine and regulates its passage over a series of gas jets or over a hot copper bar or plate; regulates heat, and controls pulleys and rollers or machine.
dresser, cord
corduroy dresser, as for dresser, doth.
dresser (not singeing)
see mangier, filling.
dresser, piece
see dresser, cloth.
dresser, warp (Bradford)
see splitter warp yarn; cf. warp dresser (367, 368, and 369).
dryer, cloth
drying machine minder, cloth drying machinist; a stentering machine minder q.v. working on a drying machine; adjusts valves of hot air blowing apparatus.
edge minder
a stentering machine minder q.v. who guides and watches edge of cloth to see that it is engaged by clips or pins; assists with fingers where necessary.
embosser ; glazer, glosser (silk, wool, etc.), lusterer (silk), schreinerer, schreinerman
minds a schreinering machine, a calender machine having grained rolls which give a lustre to face of cloth, and also, in textile printing trade, impart a pattern thereto; as for calender attendant.
facer (fustian finishing)
attends machine which, by means of brushes revolving in size trough, stiffens face, i.e. pile, of fustian as it passes through machine; keeps size trough replenished, guides fustian through machine ensuring even running and tension; cf. mangier (velvet and fustian), backer, felter, felt fuller, see miller.
fettler (finishing)
adjusts and does minor repairs to machines used in finishing.
filler, back
see backer.
filler (cloth)
see mangier, filling.
filler (flannelette)
runs flannelette through soap solution to dress it in preparation for raising.
filler, starch
see mangier, filling.
general term for operative engaged in any finishing process, e.g. singeing, raising, shearing, brushing, steaming, starching, calendering, impregnating, breaking down or softening, damping, mangling, embossing, stentering, doubling, measuring and plaiting, marking, pressing and packing; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., cloth or piece finisher, blanket finisher, brown cloth (linen) finisher, crape finisher, elastic hosiery finisher, fustian finisher, rug finisher, sateen finisher.
finisher, fustian
general term for any operative engaged in any process of finishing fustian, including backer, cylinderer, facer, percher, stiffener (fustian finishing) q.v.
finisher, silk
minds a calender machine which straightens and adds lustre to silk woven fabric; as for calender attendant.
finisher, velvet
minds a machine which straightens out velvet, and burnishes or polishes it; guides velvet between rollers; controls power drive by levers; cf. pegger.
finisher, white cloth (linen)
see starcher and bluer.
folder (cloth finishing), piece folder
see cuttler (woollen cloth).
fuller, cloth fuller
see miller.
gigger, gig driver, gig runner, gig tenter ; nap raiser, raiser, raising machine minder, raising machine tenter
minds a gig, a machine which cleans and raises a surface pile from body of cloth by means of rollers covered with wire brushes, or by means of teazles; feeds cloth repeatedly between rollers until cloth face is clean.
see embosser.
glosser (silk, wool, etc.)
see embosser.
grinder, plush grinder, silk plush grinder ; silk plush shearer
a cropper q.v. who crops surface of plush piece goods.
guider-in ; layer-in
guides or lays material in any of . the finishing, calendering or scouring machines; cf. back minder (finishing) (399).
head ender
stands at head, or delivery end of any machine, and sees that cloth issues evenly and in good condition therefrom.
holder-through, calendar, (Lancs term)
see calender attendant.
ironer (hosiery)
see shaper (hosiery).
jerry tenter
sets roll of cloth, received from loom to be shaved, on spindle and guides end through rollers and under shaving blades cf cylinder to rewinding cylinder; starts and stops machine by levers; adjusts bladed cylinder to shave off "whiskers" correctly- sometimes similarly levels fustian pile.
see guider-in.
lecker, piece (dialect)
see damper man.
legger (hosiery)
see shaper (hosiery).
see cutter (bleaching).
low side minder
see perpetual machine hand.
lusterer (silk)
see embosser.
mangle man (linen)
see mangler (linen).
mangler, mangle man ; mangle tenter
feeds and minds a mangling machine, of which there are many different types; processes similar to those of calender attendant q.v. except that rollers are not heated; often further distinguished according to material treated or according to type of machine used, e.g. Betty Dodd mangler, starch mangler, white mangler.
mangler, dye
minds a mangling machine through which cloth is passed after it has been dyed.
mangler, filling ; dresser (not singeing), filler (cloth), starcher, starch filler, starch mangler, stiffener, stiffening machine minder, stiffening mangler
passes cloth, or occasionally yarn, through a mangle, trough of which contains starch, or other solution for stiffening or otherwise finishing (filling or dressing) cloth or yarn.
mangler (linen) ; mangle man (linen)
feeds and minds a mangle in which linen cloth, wound on a roller, is pressed between two other heavy revolving rollers, which revolve alternately first in one direction and then in the other, to put a fine finish on cloth; regulates pressure on rollers.
mangler, starch; stiffening mangler
see mangler, filling.
mangler (velvet and fustian)
mangles velvet or fustian by passing it through rollers, see mangler (linen); also passes it over drying cylinders, in preparation for cutting.
mangler, water; water mangleman
mangles goods which have been treated with plain water, and not with starch, etc.
mangler, white
a mangler q.v. who minds a mangling machine through which cloth is passed before it is dyed.
miller, milner, millman, cloth miller, fulling miller, piece miller, piece milner, woollen miller ; cloth fuller, felter, felt fuller, fuller
feeds and operates milling machine, or milling stocks, which felt or consolidate wool fibres into a dense felty fabric; sees that material passes evenly through machine, reversing machine from time to time to ensure even felting; keeps material free from tangles; adds soap, oil, or other felting agents to cloth; regulates length and width of material, and weight per yard, by making necessary adjustments in machine; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. shoddy miller.
miller (flannel)
see stocker.
runs moleskin and uncut cords, e.g., Bedford cord, over surface of revolving coarse-grained emery roller, called a moieter roller, to remove black specks from surface of fabric, in preparation for dyeing.
moranding worker
attends gasheated stentering machine used for finishing velvet •/ as for stenterer; also regulates gas heating device.
Moser machine tenter, Moser machine minder
a gigger q.v. who feeds and operates a raising machine known as a Moser machine.
napper, nap setter
passes fabric, surface of which has been raised and cropped, through rollers of nap machine, and regulates machine in such manner as to produce required setting, e.g. in direction of warp or of weft, of nap or pile.
neutraliser, wool neutraliser
minds machine in which wool, after it has been scoured, is passed through a solution containing a small quantity of acid, to neutralise alkali in scouring solution; passes wool into machine and removes after it has passed through solution.
pan man
see boiler-out.
trims, by hand, ragged edges and waste pieces from cloth before it is made up; seldom full time occupation.
pegger, pegging machine minder, fustian pegger, fustian pegging machine tenter, velvet pegger, velvet pegging machine tenter
tends a pegging machine, which glazes surface of velvet or of fustian after it has been waxed by waxer q.v.; guides velvet between rollers, controlling power drive by levers; cf. velvet finisher.
percher (fustian finishing), fustian finisher percher
roughens or raises back of fustian and velvet in the grey state, with flat wire brush i.e. card, in preparation for stiffening or for cutting; cf. percher (379).
perpetual machine hand ; low side minder
a cropper q.v. who feeds and operates a nap cropping machine known as a perpetual machine.
Pettiwell minder
a jerry tenter q.v. working a Pettiwell machine.
see crabber.
presser (felt)
(i) minds rotary press which gives smooth surface to felt; maintains required temperature of pressing roller and cast iron dishes by regulating steam cocks or gas heating apparatus; feeds felt to rollers; adjusts pressure by means of rams;
(ii) presses felt to desired thickness in hydraulic press; sets gauges, places sheet of felt in press, operates press by means of valves, and removes felt when pressed.
presser, hosiery
see shaper (hosiery).
presser, hot; machine presser (cloth), stuff presser ; press setter, press worker, pressing machine minder
places cloth within sheets of special stiff press paper, and passes it into hot-pressing machine which gives finish to cloth; regulates temperature of hot plates or rollers.
pressing machine minder
see presser, hot.
press man (hydraulic, hosiery finishing)
feeds and operates hydraulic press to improve appearance of hosiery by flattening it; applies pressure by means of weighted hand screw.
press setter, press worker
see presser, hot.
exercises general supervision over progress of goods through various operations; ensures expeditious delivery of goods urgently required; keeps records of goods in process of finishing.
racker (cloth stretching)
see tenterer.
raiser, nap raiser, raising machine minder, raising machine tenter
see gigger; see also brusher; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. blanket raiser, flannelette raiser, flannelette raising machine tenter.
raiser (velvet and fustian)
either a percher q.v. or a treadler q.v., according as he raises back or pile, respectively of velvet and fustian.
see tenterer.
rigger, rigger-up
minds a rigging (longitudinal folding) machine; for processes, cf. cuttler (woollen). rigger and plaiter; minds a rigging and plaiting machine, which doubles cloth and folds it.
rigger and roller
minds a machine which rigs cloth, i.e. folds it longitudinally, and winds it on a board.
rippler, woollen
a gigger q.v. who minds a machine which raises nap of flannel in ridges or ripples.
roller, flannelette
a raiser or gigger q.v. who treats flannelette by passing it between rollers of raising machine.
roller lad, rolling man (finishing).
rolls material on to paper tubes or on to boards, on a power-driven machine; feeds material evenly into machine; sometimes rolls material, by hand, to hoards.
schreinerer, schreinerman
see embosser.
scourer ; dollier, dollyer, dolly man, wincer, wincher (dyer's) (occasional)
washes yarn or cloth by passing it through scouring (soap) solution, either by placing it on rollers which revolve on surface of suds or by passing it through suds in chain form, and thence to squeezing rollers, which partly dry it; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., cloth scourer, piece scourer, shoddy scourer, wool scourer (cloth); for W. of England synonyms, see washer (wool finishing).
scourer, melange ; washer-off (melanging)
a scourer q.v. who scours melanged (printed) yarn or tops.
shaper (hosiery) ; hosiery presser, ironer (hosiery), legger (hosiery)
places a shaped board inside hosiery, damps it, and presses it with a hot iron, or in a patent press.
shearer, cloth shearer
see cropper.
shearer, silk plush
see grinder.
shrinker, cloth shrinker, wool shrinker
see crabber.
see dresser, cloth.
a washer q.v. who sours, or washes, in an acid or souring solution, yarn after it has been dyed; cf. sourer (croft) (380).
splitter, delivery room splitter
(i) see splitter, cloth;
(ii) see splitter, warp yam.
splitter, cloth ; cloth trimmer, delivery room splitter, splitter
cuts up cloth lengths at places marked by measurer (943) q.v., either by hand or in a cloth-cutting machine.
splitter, warp yarn ; delivery room splitter, splitter, warp dresser (Bradford)
(i) divides yarn into lots, by hand;
(ii) (in machine work) counts off a number of threads and guides them to a dividing rail, and so to rollers, which send yarn forward in distinct groups.
sprayer (silk finishing)
see damper man.
starcher, starch filler
see mangler, filling.
starcher and bluer ; white cloth finisher (linen)
a mangler q.v. who starches and blues white linen.
steamer (woollen finishing)
see crabber ; cf. steamer (cotton dyeing or cotton printing) (381 and 383).
stenter (cotton), stenterer, stenterman, stentererman, stenter feeder, stenter minder, stenter driver, stentering machine minder ; cloth stretcher, sticker-in (Yorkshire), straightener, stretcher, stretching machine feeder, stretching machine minder (cotton)
feeds cloth into stentering machine, which stretches cloth by means of clips and endless chains, and keeps it thus stretched while it is being damped, or while it is being dried after dyeing or after starching; sets roll of cloth on unwinding spindle, threads end of cloth through tension rollers, over endless band of clips and pins and so to rewinding spindle; assists, by hand, engagement of edge of cloth by pins or clips; adjusts, by screws, position of pins or clips to determine width of cloth; sometimes also regulates passage of steam through drying pipes, or regulates temperature in hot-air drying chamber; cf. tenterer (wool).
stenter assistant, stenterer's assistant
stands at feeding or at delivery end of stentering machine, and guides cloth on to or off machine.
(i) (Lancashire) feeds mangles and similar machines;
(ii) (Yorkshire) see stenterer.
see mangler, filling.
stiffener (moleskin)
a backer or filling mangler q.v. who stiffens back of moleskin, a kind of fustian without ribs, with size and tallow, after it has been dyed and dried, and before it is stentered.
stiffening machine minder
see mangler, filling.
stocker ; miller (flannel)
a miller q.v. who minds a stocks machine, principally used in milling or felting flannel, which beats fabric with a series of hammers.
stover (delivery room)
(i) dries goods in a hot chamber (stove), where it is exposed to fumes of sulphur; and also packs them after stoving;
(ii) removes material from stove to "blue room," where it is put through water to remove fumes of sulphur.
see stenterer.
stretcher, cloth stretcher, stretching machine feeder, stretching machine minder
(i) (cotton ) see stenter;
(ii) (woollen) see tenterer.
stretcher assistant
stands at feeding or at delivery end of belt, pin, or clip stretcher, and guides cloth on to or off machine.
stretcher (belt)
a stretcher q.v. who stretches cloth by gripping it between revolving belts and pulleys.
striker, cloth
straightens nap of cloth on a gigging machine, after cloth has been dyed.
tail ender
guides and is responsible for tail end of cloth, i.e. that which enters machine last, in raising gigs, crabbing or cropping machines, and other similar machines.
tenter, cloth
see tenterer.
tenterer (wool), piece tenterer, tentering machine minder, woollen tenterer ; cloth drawer, cloth stretcher (woollen), cloth tenter, drawer (woollen cloth), racker (cloth stretching), ratcher, stretcher, stretching machine feeder, stretching machine minder (woollen)
feeds and minds tentering machine, in which woollen cloth or felt is stretched while wet or steamed, by clips, by diverging chains or by wooden frames and then dried under tension; regulates heat of steam pipes or gas jets which supply heat for drying; cf. stenterer (cotton).
tenter, mangle
see mangler.
traddle room man
see treadler.
treadler, treadle worker, velvet treadler ; traddle room man
guides fabric into a treadling or brushing machine, which automatically brushes up pile of fabric (velvet or fustian), in preparation for dyeing or finishing; adjusts or sets machine when necessary.
trimmer, cloth
see splitter, cloth.
trimmer (hosiery finishing)
prepares hosiery garments fojr finishing processes by trimming off long ends.
tucker (blankets)
a miller q.v. who treats blankets in a milling machine.
washer (wool finishing), washerman, washing machine man, washing machine minder, washer-off, washing-off machine mender
(W. of England terms), see scourer.
washer, felt
feeds and minds a washing machine, which passes felt through water, and then between mangle rollers.
watcher (silk finishing)
as for progresser.
feeds and minds a calender machine, which gives a special watered finish, or water mark, to silk cloth, by pressing two fabrics together, face to face, between heated rollers; cf. calender attendant.
waxer, velvet waxer
rubs wax into velvet or fustian by hand; or feeds and minds waxing machine, which coats pile, or face side, of velvet with beeswax, in preparation for glazing in pegging machine; keeps beeswax box supplied and heated to proper temperature.
wet boarder (hosiery)
places damped hosiery goods on boards, in readiness for patent press.
see damper man.
wetter-out (silk)
(i) runs cloth through soap solution when it has been unevenly stretched in stentering, in preparation for re-stentering; makes-up solution and guides cloth to rollers at both ends of immersion trough; sometimes then partially dries in hydro extractor, cf. hydro extractor (398);
(ii) damps, as above, piece goods, in preparation for dyeing; or washes off silk goods, after dyeing; cf. wetter-out (399) wincer, wincher (dyer's); (sometimes) see scourer; cf. wincer (wincher) (399) for usual use of terms.
winder-on (wool finishing) ; heavier (wool finishing)
tends and feeds a winding-on machine, which -winds cloth on to beams in preparation for crabbing or other finishing operations; guides cloth evenly through machine to beam.
a napper q.v. who specialises in producing a particular nap, known as witney nap, on blankets; in fine weather, raises nap out-of-doors, by hand, with small comb.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.