We recently headed down to Wales to take a look at what industrialisation did to our rural cottage workers. When we saw the scale of what could be done in the mills it was just incredible.
The wool arrived from the farms in huge bales
And it was fed by hand into their combing machine
Where it is shredded, then combed and turned into roving.
Then the spinning took place and this is the important bit -2000 of these-
Were replaced with just one of these –
And this was just one of six spinning machines that were operated in this mill alone.
Just think about that 2000 small rural families losing their staple income in one fell swoop from just one machine and there were six of them just in this mill 12000 people put out of work so that rich industrialists could make vast profits – nothing has changed.
So value what you do when you are spinning your wool by hand – you are keeping alive a lost heritage and it is so valuable.
My next trip is off to Shetland to see how some small operations are still managing to make their way alongside the mills of today and to look more at the history of spinning and weaving.