Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.


A member of our staff lately paid a visit to Messrs Arthur M'Donald and Co.’s establishment in Bond street for the purpose of inspecting the fur cutting department recently started by them. Upon entering the store piles of rabbitskins are to be seen in various directions, all in the process of manufacture. Around tables with a trough in the centre are seated a number of girls and young women actively engaged preparing the skins, which go through the following interesting process :—First, the skin is cleaned of fat, dirt, shot (if any),blood, etc.; it is then opened out and the tail and outside edges removed; next comes_ the process of damping and pressing until the skin is perfectly level and smooth, to attain which the skins require to be in a small press for a day or sc. The skins are then “ plucked,” which means that the coarse hair which grows on the top is palled off with knives until nothing is left on the pelt but the delicate fur. It then undergoes the process of “carrotting” (a mixture of acids). It is then taken and put through a machine known as the “brusher,” which again cleanses the fur of all impure matter. Then comes the wonderful catting machine, which removes the fur in a fleece, and cute the pelt into thin threads not unlike hemp in appearance. These tiny fleeces are then handed over to the sorters, who place the various qualities in brown paper (with tissue paper lining) bags ; next comes the packing into zinc-lined cases, and the fur is ready for export. The coarse hair is used for stuffing mattresses, etc., and the pelt makes a splendid gelatine, while the fur is ultimately made into felt hats, etc. It is claimed that by doing this work In the colony instead of shipping the skins that

K great saving is made, for it is not'; an uncommon thing for shippers of skins to be sadly disappointed in their returns for skins which they considered of prhne quality, they only realising in the London- market comparatively low prices. TW reason,- we understand, for this is that the skins have not been properly cleaned and otherwise dressed before baleing up, and it has been proved that even when every particle of fat has been removed that the fur on the skins deteriorates fully 10 per cent, while in transit, for there: Is a natural oil in their pelt which works it» Way to the fur when tho skins are subjected! to the heavy pressure necessary when they are packed. As labor such as is required for this business can be obtained, and is obtained, quite> as cheap as in England, there is no reason: why the industry should not be a success* especially as the work under notice is ' managed by an experienced operator; and further, it would give employment to a .large number of young people, who would otherwise probably be unable to find employment, The work of plucking could easily be done by inmates of the Industrial School and Benevolent Institution, and considerably swell the receipts. As Mr M'Donald put it, the industry is only in its infancy; and we understand that his firm commenced the trade here not altogether with the idea of going deeply into the fur-cutting line, but more for the purpose of ascertaining by practical experience several important facts connected with the proper classification of skins for export. In conclusion, we wish Messrs Arthur M‘Donald and Co. every success in this undertaking.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

Bibliographic details

A PROMISING INDUSTRY., Issue 7976, 3 August 1889

Word Count

A PROMISING INDUSTRY. Issue 7976, 3 August 1889

  1. New formats

    Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.

  2. Hierarchy

    These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.

  3. Search

    Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.

  4. Search

    Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.

  5. Search facets

    Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.

  6. View selection

    Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.

  7. Tools

    Print, save, zoom in and more.

  8. Explore

    If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.

  9. Need more help?

    The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.