A Catechism of Familiar Things; eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about A Catechism of Familiar Things;.

     Milled, worked in a kind of mill.

     Bleached, whitened.

What is Velvet?

A rich kind of stuff, all silk, covered on the outside with a close, short, fine, soft shag; the wrong side being very strong and close.  The principal number, and the best velvets, were made in France and Italy; others in Holland; they are now brought to great perfection in England.  An inferior kind is made by mixing cotton with the silk.  Velvet has been known in Europe for some centuries, but its manufacture was long confined to some of the chief cities of Italy.  From that country the French learned the art, and greatly improved it.

Whence is the word Velvet derived?

From the Italian word velluto, signifying velvet, which comes from vellus, hair or fleece.

What is Mohair?

The hair of a kind of goat, common about Angora, in Turkey.  It is used in the manufacture of various kinds of stuffs, shawls, &c.

Is there not another animal much celebrated for the material it furnishes in the making of shawls?

Yes; the Thibet goat.  The wool is sent to Cashmere, where it is spun and dyed.  Cashmere is situated in the north-west extremity of India, and has long been celebrated for the beautiful and valuable shawls bearing its name which are manufactured there.  The goats are beautiful creatures, with long, fine, wavy hair, reaching nearly to the ground, so as almost to conceal their legs.  The material of which the shawls are made is a fine silky down, which grows under the long hair, next to the skin.

CHAPTER VI.

CURRANTS, RAISINS, FIGS, RICE, SUGAR, SUGAR CANDY, &C., SAGO, MILLET, GINGER, NUTMEG, MACE, PIMENTO OR ALLSPICE, PEPPER, AND CAYENNE PEPPER.

What are Currants?

A kind of small raisins or dried grapes.

Whence are they brought?

From several islands of the Archipelago, particularly Zante and
Cephalonia; and from the Isthmus of Corinth, in Greece.

Do they grow on bushes like our Currants?

No, on vines like other grapes, except that the leaves are somewhat thicker, and the grapes much smaller:  they have no pips, and are of a deep red, or rather black color.

When are they gathered, and how are they dried?

They are gathered in August, and laid on the ground in heaps till dry; they are then cleaned, and put into magazines, from which they are taken and packed in barrels for exportation.

What do you mean by Exportation?

The act of conveying goods for sale from one country to another.

What are Raisins?

Grapes prepared by drying them in the sun, or by the heat of an oven.  Raisins of Damascus, so called from the capital city of Syria, near which they are cultivated, are very large, flat, and wrinkled on the surface; soft and juicy inside, and nearly an inch long.  Raisins of the sun, or jar raisins, so called from being imported in jars, are all dried by the heat of the sun; they are of a reddish blue color, and are the produce of Spain, whence the finest and best raisins are brought.  There are several other sorts, named either from the place in which they grow, or the kind of grape of which they are made, as those of Malaga, Valencia, &c.

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A Catechism of Familiar Things; from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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