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Str. Carding and one half of the use of the comb, and the other
processes of wool-working which separate the composite, may
be classed
together as belonging both to the art of woolworking, and also to
one of the two great arts which are of universal application-the art
of composition and the art of division.
Y. Soc. Yes.
Str. To the latter belong carding and the other processes
of which I
was just now speaking the art of discernment or division in wool and
yarn, which is effected in one manner with the comb and in another
with the hands, is variously described under all the names which I
just now mentioned.
Y. Soc. Very true.
Str. Again, let us take some process of woolworking which is also
a portion of the art of composition, and, dismissing the elements of
division which we found there, make two halves, one on the principle
of composition, and the other on the principle of division.
Y. Soc. Let that be done.
Str. And once more, Socrates, we must divide the part which
belongs at once both to woolworking and composition, if we
are ever to
discover satisfactorily the aforesaid art of weaving.
Y. Soc. We must.
Str. Yes, certainly, and let us call one part of the art the art
of twisting threads, the other the art of combining them.
Y. Soc. Do I understand you, in speaking of twisting, to be
referring to manufacture of the warp?
Str. Yes, and of the woof too; how, if not by twisting, is the
woof made?
Y. Soc. There is no other way.
Str. Then suppose that you define the warp and the woof,
for I think
that the definition will be of use to you.
Y. Soc. How shall I define them?
Str. As thus: A piece of carded wool which is drawn out lengthwise
and breadth-wise is said to be pulled out.
Y. Soc. Yes.
Str. And the wool thus prepared when twisted by the spindle, and
made into a firm thread, is called the warp, And the art which
regulates these operations the art of spinning the warp.
Y. Soc. True.
Str. And the threads which are more loosely spun, having a
softness proportioned to the intertexture of the warp and to the
degree of force used in dressing the cloth-the threads which are
thus spun are called the woof, and the art which is set over them
may be called the art of spinning the woof.
Y. Soc. Very true.
Str. And, now, there can be no mistake about the nature of the
part of weaving which we have undertaken to define. For when
that part
of the art of composition which is employed in the working of wool
forms a web by the regular intertexture of warp and woof, the entire
woven substance is called by us a woollen garment, and the art which
presides over this is the art of weaving.
Y. Soc. Very true.
Str. But why did we not say at once that weaving is the art of
entwining warp and woof, instead of making a long and
useless circuit?
Y. Soc. I thought, Stranger, that there was nothing useless in
what was said.
Str. Very likely, but you may not always think so, my sweet
friend; and in case any feeling of dissatisfaction should hereafter
arise in your mind, as it very well may, let me lay down a principle

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