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-3- "The preparatory machinery to be used before the silk enters the loom is exceedingly complicated and very elaborate, and requires experienced and most skilful artists to construct it. These artisans are found only in Lyons, where alone these wonderful fabrics are made. I is impossible to write a description of the entirety of this marvellous machinery, but one feature of the apparatus needed in the work may give you some idea of the whole. The machinery finished, the silk is put into the loom ; the warp or chain is entirely white and the filling is a mixture of white and black, so as to produce the desired shades. This is done by using perforated pasteboard cards, with from one to five hundred small holes in each. In this portrait of Washington 28,000 cards were required. These holes each control one thread of mixed black and white silk, as the shading of the picture demands. They are tagged at the foot of the loom and slowly rise to the top, one after the other performing its function, when they are cut off and laid aside, to do the same duty in the next picture. The best Italian silk and the most approved dye are selected for this rare work, and out of every hundred pounds of the finest silk not more than ten pounds would answer for this class of work. The pictures woven fifty years ago are as perfect now in color and shade as when first finished. Only a limited number of copies are ever woven of European sovereigns. When this has been done the loom is destroyed, so that the few portraits made are absolutely in the hands of the Court. I procured, by the generous courtesy of this distinguished firm, a copy of Washington for each of the cities of Boston, New York and Philadelphia and one for myself". [[line]] Upon my return to Charleston I addressed a letter of date April 17 to the great silk house in Lyons, France, making inquiries about the possibility of procuring a copy of this silk woven portrait, and the following correspondence ensued: Charleston, S.C., April 17, 1876. Messrs. Pouson, Philippe & Vibert, Lyons, France - Dear Sirs : We have in Charleston a volunteer corps of militia of the State of South Carolina, known as the Washington Light Infantry, a company that has enjoyed a high reputation for three quarters of a century. It was this company which, by order of the Governor, occupied ./..
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