1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hose-Pipe
HOSE-PIPE, or simply “hose,” the name given to flexible piping by means of which water may be conveyed from one place to another. One end of the pipe is connected to the source of the water, while the other end is free, so that the direction of the stream of water which issues from the pipe may be changed at will. The method of manufacture and the strength of the materials used depend naturally upon the particular use to which the finished article is to be put. Simple garden hose is often made of india-rubber or composition, but the hose intended for fire brigade and similar important purposes must be of a much more substantial material. The most satisfactory material is the best long flax, although cotton is also extensively used for many types of this fabric.
The flax fibre, after having been carefully spun into yarn, is boiled twice and then beetled; these two processes remove all injurious matter, and make the yarn soft and lustrous. The yarn is then wound on to large bobbins, and made into a chain; the number of threads in the chain depends upon the size of the hose, which may be anything from half an inch to 15 in. or even more in diameter. When the chain is warped, it is beamed upon the weaver’s beam, and the ends—either double or triple—are drawn through the leaves of the cambs of heddles, passed through the reed and finally tied to the cloth beam. The preparation of the warp for any kind of loom varies very little, but the weaving may vary greatly. In all cases the hose fabric is essentially circular, although it appears quite flat during the weaving operation.
There are very few hand-made fabrics which can compete with the machine-made article, but the very best type of hose-pipe is certainly one of the former class. The cloth can be made much more cheaply in the power-loom than in the hand-loom, but, up to the present, no power-loom has been made which can weave as substantial a cloth as the hand-loom product; the weak part in all hose-pipes is where the weft passes round the sides from top to bottom of the fabric or vice versa, that is, the side corresponding to the selvages in an ordinary cloth; the hand-loom weaver can draw the weft tighter than is possible in the power-loom, hence the threads at the sides can be brought close together, and by this means the fabric is made almost, but not quite, as perfect here as in other parts. It is essential that the warp threads be held tightly in the loom, and to secure this, they pass alternately over and under three or four back rests before reaching the heddles or cambs, which are almost invariably made of wire. Although the warp yarn is made very soft and pliable by boiling and beetling, the weaver always tallows it in order to make it work more easily.
|Fig. 1.||Fig. 2.|
|Fig. 3.—Section through the Warp.|
The commonest type of hose-pipe is made on the double-plain principle of weaving, the cloth being perfectly plain but woven in such a manner that the pipe is without seams of any kind. Fig. 1 is a design showing two repeats or eight shots in the way of the weft, and six repeats or twenty-four-threads in the way of the warp, consequently the weave is complete on four threads, or leaves, and four picks. Fig. 2 illustrates the method of interlacing the threads and the picks: this figure shows that twenty-three threads only are used, the first thread—shown shaded in fig. 1—having been left out. It is necessary to use a number of threads which is either one less or one more than some multiple of four—the number of threads in the unit weave. The sectional view (fig. 2), although indicating the crossings of the warp and the weft, is quite different from an actual section through the threads: the warp is almost invariably two or three ply, and in addition two or more of these twisted threads pass through the same heddle-eye in the camb; moreover, they are set very closely together—so closely, indeed, that the threads entirely conceal the weft; it is, therefore, impossible to give a correct sectional view with satisfactory clearness, as the threads are so very rank, but fig. 3 gives some idea of the structure of the fabric. This view shows ninety-nine threads and one complete round of weft; this round is, of course, equal to two picks or shots—one pick for the top part of the cloth and one for the bottom part. A comparison of this figure with fig. 2 will, perhaps, make the description clearer. The weft in fig. 3 is thinner than the warp, but, in practice, it is always much thicker, and may consist of from two to seventy threads twisted together.
Hose-pipes are also woven with the three-leaf twill on both sides, and occasionally with the four-leaf twill. These pipes, woven with the twill weaves, are usually lined with a pure rubber tube which is fixed to the inside of the cloth by another layer of rubber after the cloth leaves the loom. Such pipes have usually, but not invariably, a smoother inner surface than those which are unlined, hence, when they are used, less friction is presented to the flow of water, and there is less tendency for the pipe to leak. They are, therefore, suitable for hotels, public buildings and similar places where their temporary use will not result in undue damage to articles of furniture, carpets and general decoration.
The greatest care must be observed in the weaving of these fabrics, the slightest flaw in the structure rendering the article practically useless. After the cloth has been woven, it is carefully examined, and then steeped in a chemical solution which acts as an antiseptic. The cloth is thus effectively preserved from mildew, and is, in addition, made more pliable. Finally the hose-pipe is dried artificially, and then fitted with the necessary couplings and nozzles.
For a more detailed description of circular weaving see Woodhouse and Milne, Textile Design: Pure and Applied. (T. Wo.)