Animal materials

Curled hair is the highest quality filling as it maintains good resilience over long periods.

Figure 3.9 Examples of upholstery fill materials: (a) curled hair; (b) coir fibre; (c) retted Spanish moss; (d) ulva marina; (e) tow; (f) pre-moulded cavity foam

Figure 3.9 Examples of upholstery fill materials: (a) curled hair; (b) coir fibre; (c) retted Spanish moss; (d) ulva marina; (e) tow; (f) pre-moulded cavity foam

Horse hair, obtained from the mane and the tail, is the highest grade, since it is the longest, strongest, and most resilient. Lower grades are shorter and more brittle. The curl is permanently set by boiling or steaming tightly twisted hair ropes. Curled hair is used for first and second fillings and skimmer layers.

Feathers are light, horny epidermal outgrowths and down is the soft under feather. Before using as a filling, feathers are sometimes chopped into smaller pieces or curled to give them more resilience. Feathers from live birds are preferred but most now come from dead birds reared for meat production. Eider duck down is especially valued because of its high resilience and high warmth to weight ratio.

The Drapers Dictionary of 1882 mentions that 'shoddy' (recycled shredded wool cloth) was used as a stuffing for saddles or furniture. An example of wool used as a secondary filling is cited in Housecraft of 1926: 'The filling is preferably of hair, covered "topped out" with raw wool thick enough to cover the wooden edges well. '

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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