Skip to content

The Principal Operations Of Weaving

March 8, 2018
by the gentle author

These copperplate engravings illustrate The Principal Operations of Weaving reproduced from a book of 1748 in the collection at Dennis Severs House. Many of these activities would have been a familiar sight in Spitalfields three centuries ago.

Ribbon Weaving

Dennis Severs House, 18 Folgate House, Spitalfields, E1

You make also like to read about

A Dress of Spitalfields Silk

James Leman’s Album

At Anna Maria Garthwaite’s House

Dickens in the Weavers’ Loft

At Stephen Walters & Sons, Silk Weavers

6 Responses leave one →
  1. March 8, 2018

    I used to believe that the processes involved in cotton mills (I had a succession of holiday jobs therein during my university years) were complex and onerous! What did I know?!

  2. Caroline Bottomley permalink
    March 8, 2018

    That’s fascinating

  3. Vicky permalink
    March 8, 2018

    In 1984 the BBC produced Silas Marner, set in the early years of the nineteenth century, with the opening scene showing Ben Kingsley weaving in his cottage. The loom was an accurate working copy of one in the Science Museum.

  4. Marianne isaacs permalink
    March 8, 2018

    I just watched a u tube video interviewing Dennis and talking about 18 folgate stree as well as interviewing Dan Cruikshank who helped save Spitalsfield . I searched under Dan Cruickshank . It was a great documentary . I recommend it .

  5. Helen Breen permalink
    March 8, 2018

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, what an interesting collection of intricate machinery. It would make us more appreciative of those lovely tapestries we see in museums and grand houses.

    Vicky, thanks for mentioning the BBC’s 1984 production of SILAS MARNER with Ben Kingsely. It’s a great take that I would highly recommend.

  6. Peter Holford permalink
    March 8, 2018

    Probably the best location to see processes like this still in action is Quarrybank Mill at Styal (next door to Manchester Airport). It is a complete complex of water-powered mill (huge wheel!) which drives the spinning frames and the power looms. The village built for the workers (Styal) and the Greig Family house (the mill-owning family) are also preserved. It’s all National Trust now.

    Also the Weavers’ Triangle at Burnley. Take your ear defenders – the noise of the looms is quite astonishing.

    There are also various museums which have working hand looms as would have been present in Spitalfields and Bethnal Green. Golcar near Huddersfield comes to mind.

    I live in that area these days but I spare a thought for my silk-weaving ancestors when I see the back-breaking work involved!

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS