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The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster

1850 - 1880 (c.)

Image: House on Mount Skipet, Kidderminster. This photograph shows a house before restoration in the 1980s which was occupied by a weaver in the mid-18th century, possibly by John Tanner or William Foster who are mentioned in a document of 1758.

Image from: Bewdley Museum (photograph taken in 1981)

In 1749 further developments took place, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of John Broom, then a leading stuff manufacturer. There are several versions of how he achieved this and it is difficult to prove any of them with a 100% certainty but all have more than a hint of industrial sabotage. He travelled to Brussels, Tournai, or Wilton and returned with both the plans for a new type of loom, the Brussels loom, and immigrant workers, settling them in the Mount Skipet area of the town. Whatever the truth of these stories, Pococke, a traveller, in 1751, noted that Kidderminster was now making carpets “the same as Wilton”3.

3 Ibid, p.5-6



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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