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Research and the Linen Industry

Nature volume 131, page 614 (29 April 1933) | Download Citation



IN presenting the report at the thirteenth annual general meeting of the Linen Research Association on December 12, 1932, Mr. H. L. McCready, chair man of Council, referred to the importance of research in promoting the welfare of the linen trade and the restoration of prosperity. Due mainly to a reduction of £1,000 in each of the grants from the Empire Maiketing Board for flax and fibre production work and from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, there was an excess of £2,837 of expendi ture over income, £1,444 of this being represented by reserves for rent and depreciation. In spite of drastic economy, however, it was possible to develop during the year what appears to be a much improved and more economical method of treating flax. An entirely new system of handling the material was evolved, existing machinery was improved, new machines designed and constructed, and a superior article of good colour, straight, parallel and clean was produced. Useful work was carried out on various aspects of the bleaching and dyeing of both yarn and cloth. A good deal was discovered about the effect of various reagents on the strength of the fibre. The increased use of coloured effects for borders and checks caused attention to be given to the dyes used,-and information of the utmost importance regarding various dyes was obtained. The director of research, Dr. W. H. Gibson, underlined the emphasis which Mr. McCready laid on the service aspects of research. There has been a strong tendency for the research work at every stage of the industry to be influenced by questions relating to the raw material on one hand or the requirements of the consumer on the other. The research worker has to take a compre hensive rather than a sectional view of the industry, and research is increasingly demonstrating its ability to give the consumer better service and better value, particularly in relation to the durability of fabrics in washing.

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