Handloom Weaving

1780 - 1840 (c.)

Image: Carpet Weaver. N Whittock et al, The Complete Book of Trades (London, Marshall and Co., 1837). The image shows the type of handloom for carpet making which was used before the advent of technological change and the factory system

Image from: Science, Technology and Management, Birmingham Central Library

Carpet weaving was originally conducted in the homes of independent weavers, who employed either apprentices or draw-boys and girls to help them. It was possible to weave carpets in several smaller pieces and therefore weaving could take place both in the smaller homes of the individual weavers as well as in larger factory buildings. Factory owners also wished to retain control over the patterns, quality control and any petty pilfering, which was a common problem.

Conditions were hard for all except the factory owners, who moved into large homes on the edge of the town, so fostering discontent with the workers,6 which came to a head in the strike of 1828.

6 See Gilbert, N, Ridiculous Refinement for a fuller account of these houses.

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4429-0Made in Kidderminster: the History of the Carpet Industry 618-0The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster 4427-0The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster 4431-0The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster 1230-0Handloom Weaving 4428-0The Factory System 4426-0Washing and Winding 4423-0Washing and Winding 2531-0Technological Changes: the Scotch Loom 2535-0Technological Changes: the Brussels Loom 4430-0Technological Changes: the Jacquard Loom 1830-0The Kidderminster Carpet Industry and the Wider World 1803-0The Kidderminster Carpet Industry and the Wider World 4422-0Working Conditions in Kidderminster Carpet Factories 4425-0The Great Strike of 1828 4424-0The Aftermath of the Great Strike of 1828 1837-0Kidderminster in the mid 19th Century 1832-0Kidderminster: the Factory Town