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Old 2011-10-10, 17:32   #1
Flatlander
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Default Why does wetting the cotton make it easier to thread the needle?

If I wet kitchen towel it becomes more floppy not more rigid. What's going on?

Flaccido Domingo
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Old 2011-10-10, 17:35   #2
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Pre-emptive strike
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Old 2011-10-10, 19:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
If I wet kitchen towel it becomes more floppy not more rigid. What's going on?

Flaccido Domingo
In both cases, the wetting (but note that the strands must have just the right amount of wetting - a completely-saturated sewing thread will again become flaccid like an overcooked noodle) will cause nearby strands to cohere. The difference would appear to be asymmetry - in the sewing thread you have a very thin strand bundle surrounded by air, i.e. the extra cohesion pulls all the fibers toward the center of the thread. In the larger cloth, each individual fiber feels cohesive attraction from nearby fibers all around it, which (except near the boundaries) would tend to nullify the overall effect.
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Old 2011-10-11, 01:26   #4
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Even if the fibers themselves become more floppy, the sticking together of those fibers makes the needle much easier to thread...since half your mushroom head on the end of the thread won't get caught on the sides of the eye of the needle, bend over, and ruin the whole operation.
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Old 2011-10-11, 03:01   #5
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Quote:
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If I wet kitchen towel it becomes more floppy not more rigid. What's going on?

Flaccido Domingo
Needle in a haystack

David
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Old 2011-10-11, 05:14   #6
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it's not "Placebo flamingo"

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Old 2011-10-11, 06:10   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
If I wet kitchen towel it becomes more floppy not more rigid. What's going on?
Flaccido Domingo
The fibers stick together because of the surface tension of the water. Try to use oil, or some other liquid that makes a convergent meniscus. The fibers will spread as a hedgehog.
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Old 2011-10-11, 14:34   #8
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Quote:
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The fibers stick together because of the surface tension of the water. Try to use oil, or some other liquid that makes a convergent meniscus. The fibers will spread as a hedgehog.
I will try that. I like hedgehogs.

A Clerk of Works once said to me, 'The wall is wet due to pacillary action.' [sic]
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Old 2011-10-11, 22:52   #9
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Quote:
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I will try that. I like hedgehogs.

A Clerk of Works once said to me, 'The wall is wet due to pacillary action.' [sic]
Are you sure that wasn't a Werk of Clorks?
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Old 2011-10-12, 02:16   #10
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Are you sure that wasn't a Werk of Clorks?
You read Paul's collective noun for "bankers" did you not?
Might have been a PM.
That's why I nearly always wash my dirty linen in public these days.

David

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Old 2011-10-12, 03:20   #11
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Default Dear cmd

Quote:
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it's not "Placebo flamingo"

Placebo Flamingo was a witty riposte.

The Cat Stevens (or is it Muhammed Ali these days?) is exquisite.
But even I am at a loss to spot the connection/placenta.

David

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