Blog Post 4

Today we visited Caledonian Dye Works in North Philadelphia a textile dyeing factory. When we arrived, we walked in to a very big brick building and from its outward appearance you could tell the building was fairly old. The bricks have been faded from a strong red to more of a faded red almost pink looking brick. You could also tell from the outside due to its large scale it must have been some sort of factory earlier on. When we went inside we walked into a small hall way that lead us into the office of the owner, inside the hallway there were many black and white pictures on the sides of the wall of what the factory used to look like. After a few questions, we began our tour on the ground floor of the dyeing factory. When we initially walked there were rolls of various fabrics and cotton in many carts, the owner explained the process of how the factory worked, and explained that the rolls of fabric were sent in by the customers to have them dyed for different reasons. On the first floor there were a lot of different machines. It was very hard to hear with all the noise the machines were making so I was not really able to hear the explanation, but I was able to use common sense to figure out which machine was which. The actual steamer to help open the fibers of the fabric sent clouds of steam out of it and it helps open up the fibers so they are able to absorb the color. The dyeing machine themselves is what was causing much of the noise. To me the machine looked like an over sized rice cooker to be honest, but inside it holds the rolls of fabric and adds the dye to them. After this we went upstairs and saw the machines that help finish and make the final product. Upstairs they have the fabrics dry and then have them re-spun on to different rolls. This area upstairs was my favorite because being able to watch the actual fabric being spun at such high rates and the same model machines was so fascinating to me. Next came a room which was very incredible. It was a room where they use various technology and chemicals to match the color of the thread to the color the customers may want. This experience was incredible and was truly and insight to what the textile industry used to be.

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