Book Review: Woollen Industry Processes by Ken Rogers
Woollen Industry Processes: How cloth was made firstly in people’s houses then by machinery in factories, K.H. Rogers, 2019 AAA.677
Trowbridge Museum in Association with the Friends of Trowbridge Museum
The publication has been designed to describe all processes of cloth making for visitors to Trowbridge Museum, first appearing as two pamphlets in 2000 and 2008 but the scope of this newly published version is now much wider.
Ken Rogers has taken a novel approach, using a 1749 account of cloth processes, found in the Stourhead archives at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre as the backbone of the book, quotations being used at the beginning of each chapter. These are extremely effective, adding context and a sense of history to the information which follows.
With an eye-catching front cover, Woollen Industry Processes is image-rich, packed full of interesting views of cloth workers, machinery, processes, locations and more.
Key terms are explained and the processes are followed step-by-step. The change from domestic to factory production is addressed and the industry is looked at on a county-wide scale, although understandably the focus is on the Trowbridge mills. Interesting information includes the work of the scribblers and the ‘sheer’ size of the shears used on the nap.
An enjoyable read, great to dip into and informative but also succinct, Woollen Industry Processes contains a wealth of information and superb images which complement the text.
Recommended for those with a little to no knowledge of the industry but have an interest in discovering more about how cloth was produced.
Available from the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre and Trowbridge Library
County Local Studies Librarian
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre