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(1) Sliver that forms the starting material for the worsted and certain other drawing systems, usually obtained by the process of combing, and characterized by the following properties:

< >(a) the absence of fibres so short as to be uncontrolled in the preferred system of drawing;

(b) a substantially parallel formation of the fibres;

< >(c) a substantially homogeneous distribution throughout the sliver of fibres from each length-group present.

Note 1: Tops are usually produced by carding and combing, or by preparing and combing on worsted machinery, but recent years have seen the introduction of top-making by the cutting or controlled breaking of continuous-filament tows of man-made fibres, and the assembly of the resultant staple fibres into sliver in a single machine.

Note 2: The advent of man-made fibres has meant the introduction of staple-fibre top into the flax, jute, spun silk, and other drawing systems.

(2) The form or package in which sliver is delivered, e.g., ball top or bump top.

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A continuous untwisted strand of wool fibers of predetermined length from which the short fibers (noil) have been removed in the combing process.

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