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Quarry Bank Mill Learning Journey

Follow the Learning Journey steps into the world of The Quarry Bank Mill community, and discover a microcosm of life in the cotton factory system.

Click on the steps below to explore.

                        
Quarry Bank Mill Learning Journey Step 4: The Spinning and Weaving Machinery
Image Number: 4001371
Quarry Bank Mill was built to spin cotton yarn using the latest technology of the time, the waterframe. It was largely replaced by the throstle spinning frame within a few years. Some of the preparatory processes were still performed by hand, being replaced with powered machines as they were invented.

Older and less efficient machines were constantly being replaced with more modern and efficient versions, and the Gregs often experimented with new machines to test their suitability for the Mill.

In 1838, power looms were installed in the new weaving sheds as the Mill spun and wove cotton for the first time. Once this proved to be successful, more looms were added: at its peak, over 400 looms were weaving coarse cotton cloth at the Mill.

Ring spinning frames replaced spinning mules during the nineteenth century, but spinning was becoming less economical here, and ceased in 1894 after 110 years, leaving the Mill to concentrate solely upon weaving.

Northrop looms were introduced in 1909 as a means of overcoming increasing shortfalls in the supply of labour, one employee being able to tender several more of these automatic looms than the conventional Lancashire loom weaver could.
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Image: Exterior view of Quarry Bank Mill Image: Map showing NW Cotton towns
Image: Railway viaduct Image: Derelict mill, Manchester
Image: Exterior view of Mill at Helmshore Image: Canalscape showing gasometer
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