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Washing and Winding

Image: Carpet Dyehousemen washing skeins of woollen yarn after dyeing in the water of the River Stour, Kidderminster.  J Knox Ferguson, <i>Old Kidderminster</i> (n.d.).

Image from: Bewdley Museum

Each of the larger factories had its own warehouse and dye-house, often with direct access to the river Stour for washing the dyed yarn. The process was potentially hazardous for the dyehousemen. One observer watched them “standing on little platforms over the river balancing gaily coloured skeins of yarn in the water on long poles to cleanse them loose from dye with the skill of acrobats”. The yarn was then dried and wound onto bobbins by female bobbin winders, before being collected by the independent weavers.



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