Saturday, 4 January 2014

A working Mill

I thought this might be of interest to some of you, it was an eye opener for me
and something that helped me connect to my families past!!

As part of my last visit to college, just before christmas, we went
as a group to visit a local, working woollen mill at Bradford.
Compared to the huge working mills of the last century in this area I guess
it is actually quite a small affair but it was so fascinating!

.....all this gorgeous wool set up for cleaning, mainly merino and shetland.

.......vast drum carders where colours begin their blending process.

......yarn being spun, machines in huge ranks!
This was the part that hit home for me as I know my maternal grandmother,
as a young teenager, worked in a spinning mill in close by Wakefield. that's what I call a yarn stash!
Enormous bins of stockpiled yarn singles. The in house textile designers
get to play with all this....oooo, the envy!  :0)

......ranks of weaving looms in action, just a small number I guess compared to what used to be,
but the noise!  You do begin to appreciate what it was possibly like when our
wool and cotton industry was at its height!

.....a close up on just one loom, the speed at which these machines work
makes you feel sadly slow when in front of your table loom!
To actually see the fabric growing before your seconds.
I'm sorry, it was simply a wow moment for me!

....lengths of cloth, having been washed, are swept into these trolleys
to be moved to yet another machine for the drying process.

......and at the end of the process all these gorgeous bolts of fabric
that simply get your fingers twitching.

It is just simply wow, fantastic, and to think that it is still happening in little old Yorkshire
in this new century......its wonderful. I am so pleased that some companies
still manage to hang in there and to produce such gorgeous textiles.
 ......just a small snatch of part of their collections.

One day, maybe this could be me!!!!!!!  ;0)))
Cheers!  x


  1. How interesting and those fabrics are beautiful. I went to the Rowan mill once to see the wools being spun and at one time back in the early 1960's I myself worked in a time and motion study office at a glass fibre mill in Dorset following the workers round and seeing how long they took to repair broken warps etc and the noise was tremendous! A fascinating post.

  2. Really interesting post Ash! I hope it really inspired you. Sounds like you've been very busy.

  3. Really, very interesting.... I adore a wool in any kind, and here it turns into each in other.... Thank you, Ash, for sharing! It was great!