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The study of the old scientific-technological instrumentations exhibited in the Museo dell’Arte della Lana of Stia in the Casentino Valley in Tuscany, allows to discover interesting connections between textile industry, science and technology. One example is a testing device from the beginning of the 19th century that allows the user to characterize fibers, yarns, fabrics, and other hygroscopic materials. The testing device, permits true and accurate determination of their strength, and well as other properties affected by the moisture content of the fiber/material under study, without the need to refer to moisture regain tables and charts. The instrument represents a noteworthy improvement in the art of testing materials and products of hygroscopic nature. The napping machine, known as ratinatrice, is an example of technological instrumentation affected by the industrial development. A plate of the Encyclopédie de Diderot et d’Alambert - Art des textile, shows a drawing of the ratinatrice which can be considered a forerunner of the one of the museum dating back to 19th century. The instrumentation consists of a wooden roller on which hooked iron teeth are fixed in order to maintain the fabric under tension and of a movable table with abrasive material that with different movements (straight, circular, oscillator), gives the fabric passing under pressure, the characteristic curly appearance. The napping machine design and making is shaped by the evolution of the finishing technique of the panno casentino, characterized by a curly surface. Differences between the drawing and the artefact may be found in the mechanical parts, in the dimensions of the hooked iron teeth and in the granulometry of the abrasive materials.
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
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Download from Proceedings of IMEKO TC-4 2020 International Conference on Metrology for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage