Here the way the ingredient tobaccos were before blending is the
way they remain once the mixture is finished and ready to be smoked.
Of course, a blender may choose to use a flake, rub it out, and
mix it with other ingredients; however, in this case the tobacco
form before blending, to me, is the rubbed out version and not
the flake, since it is the the RR version that you see in the
final product (i.e., mixture). Examples: St. Bruno and Walnut
Flakes: Once the tobacco blend is made, it is
exposed to varying degrees of moisture, pressure and heat to turn
it into "blocks" of pressed tobacco that are then cut
and slices into flakes.
Slices: Same as Flake, but usually thicker (and
sometimes longer). Examples: Bengal Slices and Edgeworth Slices.
Ready-Rubbed: Flakes or Slices already rubbed
out before being tinned. I find this to be no different from the
so-called "Cavendish Mixtures", such as several of the
Amphora tobaccos (mainly Brown and Red). Examples: Rattray's Old
Gowrie and Pipemaker's Dark Strong Flake.
Navy Cut: This is the most mysterious and confusing
term. It has been used to describe "flakes" but mainly
flakes that are different in a way or another in size (length
and width) and as well form. For example: Player's Medium Virginia
comes in a form like flakes, with each flake cut almost in three
smaller pieces. Another example is Mac Baren Navy Flake (another
weird combination of words; here the 'flakes' are cut to fit into
the small rectangular tin, one on top of the other. Most examples
of "Navy Cut", I think, fall into this category.
Curly Cut: The most commonly used name to tobaccos
rolled into a "rope", with pressure, heat and moisture,
and then slice into little round discs. Typical examples include:
Four Squares Purple and Three Nuns. Other names for the same tobacco
form include: "Roundels" (which I've seen only on the
now discontinued State Express Roundels, "Sliced/Cut Twist"
(mainly used and produced in the UK).
Twist: The procedure to make a Twist is very
similar to the one used to make cigar: There is a filler and a
wrapper, and the whole is made in a sort of "rope".
This long rope is then cut into longer pieces, and sold either
by weight or by length. Twist tobaccos are generally more expensive
than other tobacco form because its production is a labor-intensive
process. Examples: Gawith Pigtail and Gawith Hoggarth Black Irish
Twist. (This type is known in the USA as "Rope".)
Sliced/Cut Twist: Another way to describe "Curly
Cut". Example: Gawith Hoggarth Sliced Brown Twist.
Plug: When a whole "block' of pressed tobacco
is produced, and instead of cutting it into flakes or slices,
the manufacturer would cut it into smaller "blocks"
or "cubes", usually each weighing around 50g. (25g Plugs
are also available in the UK, but they're rarer.) In the UK, this
tobacco form is also sometimes referred to as "Bar".
Example: Warrior Plug, Gawith's Kendal Plug, and Gallaher's War
Horse Bar & Condor XX Bar.
Cut Plug: Another way to say "Flake".
Example: G. Hoggarth Coniston Cut Plug and Fribourg & Treyer
Cut Blended Plug.
Bar: A "bar" is usually used to refer
to a whole block of pressed tobacco before being cut into "plugs";
a retailer who stocks a bar would cut it into pieces according
to the amount desired by the customer. The word "bar"
is sometimes maintained (and used) by manufacturers for the final
product (i.e., "plug").
Hatband: This is an old, and now little known
and used, term. It was used in yesteryears to refer to chewing
tobaccos that miners never left home without. As miners couldn't
smoke underground, they would keep the tobacco under their hat
bands; when the shift was over, they would come up to the surface,
slice the tobacco, fill their pipes and puff away. Such a great
way to relax and get ready to resume such physically demand work!