Monday, 20 June 2016

National Wool Museum Wales

Well lovely felt folk, today I thought I would talk WOOL, The National Wool Museum of Wool in Wales to be precise. I was lucky enough to visit this museum back in Easter with one of my bestes and it was absolutely fascinating to learn the long Welsh Wool heritage within Wales and how significant it was back in its hey day. 

According to the National Wool Museum of Wales, Wool was historically the most important and widespread of Wales's industries. The picturesque village of Dre-fach Felindre in the beautiful Teifi valley was once the centre of a thriving woollen industry, earning the nickname 'The Huddersfield of Wales'. Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, shirts and shawls, blankets and bedcovers, woollen stockings and socks were all made here, and sold in the surrounding countryside - and to the rest of the world. Sheep shearing was the social highlight of the year on the farms of Wales. Sheared in one piece, the fleeces were rolled out and then folded correctly to make sorting easier in the mill. 
The sorting process was vital as different sheep produce different quality of wool, resulting in different produce like clothing, carpets and blankets, while the quality of wool varies depending on the part of the sheep’s body it comes from. The fleece is put through a willower to untangle the wool, removing impurities such as dust and sand, disentangling it on a roller with metal teeth to create a soft, fluffy mass of fibres. Some of the larger mills in Wales scoured the wool before willowing. The most common method, until the 1930s, was to immerse raw wool in a solution consisting of one part human urine, one part water.
Up until around 1850, natural colours were used to dye wool, with three stages when it could occur: when it was still a fleece, in threads ready for weaving, or after the cloth had been woven.
So perhaps I should get on and show you some of the highlights of the museum itself!

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