Dyeing Machines

Dye-tubs and vats, such as those described above, have been largely

superseded by machines in which the handling or working of the

materials being dyed is effected by mechanical means. There have been

a large number of dyeing machines invented, some of these have not

been found to be very practical, and so they have gone out of use.

Space will not admit of a detailed account of every kind of machine,

but only of those
hich are in constant use in dye-works.

#Dyeing Loose or Raw Wool and Cotton.#--Few machines have been designed

for this purpose, and about the only successful one is

Delahunty's Dyeing Machine.--This is illustrated in figure 12. It

consists of a drum made of lattice work which can revolve inside an

outer wooden casing. The interior of the revolving drum is fitted with

hooks or fingers, whose action is to keep the material open. One

segment of the drum is made to open so that the loose cotton or wool

to be dyed can be inserted. By suitable gearing the drum can be

revolved, and the dye-liquor, which is in the lower half of the wooden

casing, penetrates through the lattice work of the drum, and dyes (p. 044)

the material contained in it. The construction of the machine is well

shown in the drawing, while the mode of working is obvious from it and

the description just given. The machine is very successful, and well

adapted for dyeing loose or raw wool and cotton. The material may be

scoured, bleached, dyed or otherwise treated in this machine.

The Obermaier Machine, presently to be described, may also be used for

dyeing loose cotton or wool.

#Dyeing Slubbing, Sliver or Carded Wool.#--It is found in practice that

the dyeing of loose wool is not altogether satisfactory, the

impurities they naturally contain interfere with the purity of the (p. 045)

shade they will take. Then again the dyes and mordants used in dyeing

them are found to have some action on the wire of the carding engine

through which they are passed; at any rate, a card does not last as

long when working dyed wools as when used on undyed cotton or wool

fibres. Yet for the production of certain fancy yarns for weaving some

special classes of fabrics it is desirable to dye the wool before it

is spun into thread. The best plan is undoubtedly to dye the fibre

after it has been carded and partly spun into what is known as

slubbing, or sliver. All the impurities have been removed, the wool

fibres are laid straight, and so it becomes much easier to dye. On the

other hand, as it is necessary to keep the sliver or slubbing straight

and level, no working about in the dye-liquors can be allowed to take

place, and so such must be dyed in specially constructed machines, and

one of the best of these is the

Obermaier Dyeing Machine, which is illustrated in figure 13.--In (p. 046)

the Obermaier apparatus dye-vat, A, is placed a cage consisting of an

inner perforated metal cylinder, C, and an outer perforated metal

cylinder, D; between these two is placed the material to be dyed. C is

in contact with the suction end of a centrifugal pump, P, the delivery

end of which discharges into the dye-vat A. The working of the machine

is as follows: the slubbing or sliver is placed in the space between C

and D rather tightly, so that it will not move about. Then the inner

cage is placed in the dye-vat as shown. The vat is filled with the

dye-liquor, which can be heated up by a steam pipe. The pump is set in

motion, the dye-liquor is drawn from A to C, and in so doing passes

through the material packed in B and dyes it. The circulation of the

liquor is carried on as long as experience shows to be necessary. The

dye-liquor is run off, hot water is run in to wash the dyed material,

and the pump is kept running for some time to ensure thorough rinsing,

then the water is run off, and by keeping the pump running and air

going through a certain amount of drying can be effected. This machine

works very well, and with a little experience constant results can (p. 047)

be obtained. The slubbing or sliver may be scoured, bleached, rinsed,

dyed, washed, soaped, or otherwise treated without removing it from

the machine, which is a most decided advantage.

#Yarn Dyeing Machines.#--In figure 14 is given an illustration of a

machine for dyeing yarn in the hank form, made by Messrs. Read

Holliday & Sons, of Huddersfield. The illustration gives a very good

idea of the machine. It consists of a wooden dye-vat, which can be

heated by steam pipes in the usual way. Extending over the vat are a

number of reels or bobbins, these are best made of wood or enamelled

iron. These reels are in connection with suitable gearing, so that

they can be revolved. There is also an arrangement by means of which

the reels can be lifted bodily in and out of the dye-vat for the

purpose of taking on and off the hanks of yarn. A reel will hold about

2 lb. of yarn. The working of the machine is simple. The vat is filled

with the requisite dye-liquor. The reels which are lifted out of the

vat are then charged with the yarn, which has been previously wetted

out. They are then set in revolution and dropped into the dye-vat, and

kept there until it is seen that the yarn has acquired the desired

shade. The reels are lifted out and the hanks removed when the machine

is ready for another lot of yarn.

There are several makers of hank-dyeing machines of this type, and as

a rule they work very well. The only source of trouble is a slight

tendency for the yarn on one reel if hung loosely of becoming

entangled with the yarn on other reels. This is to some extent

obviated by hanging in the bottom of the hank a roller, which acts as

a weight and keeps the yarn stretched and so prevents it flying about.

To some makes of these machines a hank wringer is attached.

Klauder-Weldon Hank-dyeing Machine.--This is illustrated in (p. 048)

figure 15, which shows the latest form. It consists of a

half-cylindrical dye-vat built of wood. On a central axis is built two

discs or rod carriers, which can revolve in the dye-vat, the

revolution being given by suitable gearing which is shown at the side

of the machine. On the outer edge of the discs are clips for carrying

rods on which one end of the hanks of yarn is hung, while the other

end is placed on a similar rod carrier near the axle. The revolution

of the discs carries the yarn through the dye-liquor contained in the

lower semi-cylindrical part of the machine previously alluded to. (p. 049)

At a certain point in every revolution of the discs the rods carrying

the yarns are turned a little; this causes the yarn to move on the

rods, and this motion helps to bring about greater evenness of dyeing.

The most modern form of this machine is provided with an arrangement

by means of which the whole batch of yarn can be lifted out of the

dye-liquor. Arrangements are made by which from time to time fresh

quantities of dyes can be added if required to bring up the dyed yarn

to any desired shade. This machine works well and gives good results.

Beyond the necessary labour in charging and discharging, and a little

attention from time to time as the operation proceeds, to see if the

dyeing is coming up to shade, the machine requires little attention.

Many other forms of hank-dyeing machine have been devised. There is

Corron's, in which an ordinary rectangular dye-vat is used. Round this

is a framework which carries a lifting and falling arrangement that

travels to and fro along the vat. The hanks of yarn are hung on rods

of a special construction designed to open them out in a manner as

nearly approaching hand work as is possible. The machine works in this

way. The lifting arrangement is at one end of the vat, the hanks are

hung on the rods and placed in the vat. Then the lifter is set in

motion and moves along the vat; as it does so it lifts up each rod

full of yarn, turns it over, opening out the yarn in so doing, then it

drops it again in the vat. When it has travelled to the end of the vat

it returns, packing up the rods of yarn in so doing, and this motion

is kept up until the dyeing is completed. This machine is very


A type of machine which has been made by several makers consists of an

ordinary rectangular dye-vat surrounded with a framework carrying a

number of sets of endless chains, the links of which carry fingers.

The hanks of yarn are hung on rods at one end of which is a tooth (p. 050)

wheel that when in position fits into a rack on the side of the vat.

The action of the machine is this, the hanks are hung on the rods and

placed at the entrance end of the vat, by the moving of the chains it

is carried along the vat and at the same time revolves, thus turning

over the yarn, which hangs in the dye-liquor; when it reaches the

opposite end of the vat, the rod full of yarn is lifted out, carried

upwards and then towards the other end of the vat when it is again

dropped into the dye-vat to go through the same cycle of movements

which is continued until the yarn is properly dyed.

#Piece Dyeing Machines.#--Wherever it is possible it is far more

preferable to dye textile fabrics in the form of woven pieces rather

than in the yarn from which they are woven. During the process of

weaving it is quite impossible to avoid the material getting dirty and

somewhat greasy, and the operations of scouring necessary to remove

this dirt and grease has an impairing action on the colour if dyed

yarns have been used in weaving it. This is avoided when the pieces

are woven first and dyed afterwards, and this can always be done when

the cloths are dyed in one colour only. Of course when the goods are

fancy goods containing several colours they have to be woven from dyed


The most common form of machine in which pieces are dyed is the

jigger, commonly called the jig, this is shown in figure 16. It

consists of a dye-vessel made long, sufficiently so to take the piece

full width, wide at the top, narrow at the bottom. At the top on each

side is placed a large winding roller on which the cloth is wound. At

the bottom of the jig is placed a guide roller round which passes the

cloth. In some makes of jigs there are two guide rollers at the bottom

and one at the top as shown in the illustration, so that the cloth

passes several times through the dye-liquor. In working the cloth is

first wound on one of the rollers then threaded through the guide (p. 051)

rollers and attached to the other winding roller. When this is done

dye-liquor is run into the jig, and the gearing set in motion, and the

cloth wound from the full on to the empty roller. With the object of

keeping the piece tight a heavy press roller is arranged to bear on

the cloth on the full roller. When all the cloth has passed from one

roller to the other it is said to have been given one end. The

direction of motion is now changed and the cloth sent in the opposite

direction through the jig and the piece has now received another

end. This alternation from one roller to the other is continued as

long as is deemed necessary, much depending on the depth of colour

which is being dyed, some pale shades may only take two or three ends,

deeper shades may take more. When dyeing wool with acid colours which

are all absorbed from the dye-liquor, or the bath is exhausted, it is

a good plan to run the pieces several ends so as to ensure thorough

fixation of the dye on the cloth.

It is not advisable in working these jigs to add the whole of the dye

to the liquor at the commencement, but only a part of it, then when

one end is given another portion of the dye may be added, such (p. 052)

portions being always in the form of solution. Adding dyes in powder

form inevitably leads to the production of colour specks on the

finished goods. The reason for thus adding the dye-stuff in portions

is that with some dyes the affinity for the fibre is so great that if

all were added at once it would be absorbed before the cloth had been

given one end, and, further, the cloth would be very deep at the front

end while it would shade off to no colour at the other end. By adding

the dye in portions this difficulty is overcome and more level shades

are obtained, but it is met with in all cases of jigger dyeing. It is

most common in dyeing wool with basic dyes like Magenta, Auramine, (p. 053)

Methyl Violet or Brilliant Green, and with acid dyes like Acid Green,

Formyl Violets, Azo Scarlet or Acid Yellow.

Some attempts have been made to make jiggers automatic in their

reversing action, but they have not been successful owing to the

greatly varying conditions of length of pieces, their thickness, etc.,

which have to be dyed, and it is next to impossible to make all

allowances for such varying conditions.

In figure 17 is shown the jig in section, when the working of the

machine can be more easily traced.

#The Jig Wince or Wince Dye Beck.#--This dyeing machine is very largely

used, particularly in the dyeing of woollen cloths. It is made by many

makers, and varies somewhat in form accordingly. Figures 18 to 21 show

three forms by different makers. In any make the jig wince or wince

dye beck consists of a large rectangular, or in some cases (p. 054)

semi-cylindrical, dye-vat. Probably the best shape would be to have a

vat with one straight side at the front, and one curved side at the


In some a small guide roller is fitted at the bottom, under which the

pieces to be dyed pass. Steam pipes are provided for heating the

dye-liquors. The beck should be fitted with a false bottom, made of

wood, perforated with holes, or of wooden lattice work, and under

which the steam pipes are placed. The object being to prevent the

pieces from coming in contact with the steam pipes, and so (p. 055)

preventing the production of stains. Above the dye-vat and towards the

back is the wince, a revolving skeleton wheel, which draws the pieces

out of the dye-vat at the front, and delivers them into it again at

the back. The construction of this wince is well shown in the

drawings. The wince will take the pieces full breadth, but often they

are somewhat folded, and so several pieces, four, five or six, can be

dealt with at one time. In this case a guide rail is provided in the

front part of the machine. In this rail are pegs which serve to keep

the pieces of cloth separate, and so prevent entanglements. The pieces

are stitched end to end so as to form an endless band. When running

through the vat they fall down in folds at the back part of the beck,

and are drawn out from the bottom and up in the front. Each part thus

remains for some time in the dye-liquor, during which it necessarily

takes up the dye.

Figures 18 and 19 show forms of these wince dyeing machines,

constructed of wood, and very largely used in the dyeing of woollen

cloths. They are serviceable forms, and give very good results, being

suitable for all dyes.

Figure 20 is a form of machine better adapted than the preceding (p. 056)

for the dyeing of plush fabrics. In this kind of cloth it is important

that the pile should not be interfered with in any way, and experience

has shown that the winces of the form shown in figures 18 and 19 are

rather apt to spoil the pile; further, of course, plush fabrics are

dyed full breadth or open. In the wince now shown all troubles are (p. 057)

avoided, and plush fabrics can be satisfactorily dyed in them.

Figure 21 shows a dye-bath built of iron, cased with copper, suitable

for dyeing most colours on woollen cloths.

In the jig and wince dyeing machines the pieces necessarily are for a

part of the time, longer in the case of the jigger than in that of the

wince, out of the dye-liquor and exposed to the air. In the case of

some dyes, indigo especially, this is not desirable, and yet it is

advisable to run the cloth open for some time in the liquor so as to

get thoroughly impregnated with the dye-liquor.

The so-called hawking machine, figure 22, is an illustration of Read

Holliday's hawking machine, made by Messrs. Read Holliday & Sons, of

Huddersfield. There is the dye-vat as usual; in this is suspended the

drawing mechanism, whose construction is well shown in the drawing.

This is a pair of rollers driven by suitable gearing, between which

the cloth passes, and by which it is drawn through the machine. A

small roller ensures the cloth properly leaving the large rollers, (p. 058)

then there is a lattice-work arrangement over the pieces are drawn. In

actual work the whole of this arrangement is below the surface of the

dye-liquor in the vat. The piece to be dyed is threaded through the

machine the ends stitched together, then the arrangement is lowered

into the dye-vat and set in motion, whereby the cloth is drawn

continuously in the open form through the dye-liquor, this being done

as long as experience shows to be necessary. This hawking machine will

be found useful in dyeing indigo on wool, in mordanting and dyeing

wool with the Alizarine series of dyes.