How was old cloth covered wire made?

I've seen women make cloth with a spinning wheel, and seen all sorts of other sewing done, but how did they mass produce that old cloth covered wire? What was the material used? (it seems to last forever except by hot fixtures), and was that really parafin wax used to coat them, or something else?
Just curious.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:40:59 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

is woven on a loom or knitted. Wire insulation was "tube knitted" over the rubber coated wire and the insulation was a phenolic varnish, not parafin wax.. The cloth romex covering was more like a raffia and was bitumen impregnated (tarred).
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Years back, when I worked for RCA Labs in Princeton, we had such a machine. You built up your cable, like you do rope, by twisting with the appropriate number of strands. You could then put on a wire mesh shield, if you wished, and finish up with a black knit outer covering. Doing more than about 20' of such stuff was a PITA.
/paul W3FIS
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Thank you deadgoose, I had always wondered how they managed to do such an excellent job that it is still being used today. My compliments to the workers who did a job with such dedication.
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You are welcome. I am an EE by profession, and ham radio operator (W3FIS). It was amazing how many parts would fall off the end of the workbench. Having access to a machine shop made building stuff (mostly AM 6 and 2 meter gear) pretty easy. I finally standardized all my power supplies with 7 wire plus shield and octal plugs/sockets, using the cable I just described.
Early color TV development was done at the labs, so "classic" tube building technology was pervasive. That wire technology got put to rest with the availability of "ribbon" cable and zip ties, which were just coming in in the mid 1960s. Lacing cables with waxed nylon line is tedious, but also does a nice job. The ARRL handbook used to show the proper technique (there is one!). I spent a couple of summers in Boston with EG&G lacing cables as a summer tech, so I got pretty good at it.
/paul W3FIS
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Molly Brown wrote:

Commercial wire wasn't woven manually, however...
--
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I have some Romex in my house from early 1970s. The woven covering was bitumen impregnated then coated with an orange type of paint and then an outer layer of wax covered it all. The wax was to ease pulling the cable through holes in studs and joists. It was easier to work with than the older uncoated cables.
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