Weaving Shed 360

Explore the now demolished weaving sheds in 360 degrees!

The Weaving Sheds were built in the mid 19th century and held 200 shuttle looms. By 2008 the same production needed only 16 modern rapier looms! The looms were at the heart of the Mill’s production line and had to be kept running all the time.

View fullscreen

Fun facts

  • The noise made by the looms in the weaving sheds was tremendous, in the days before health and safety many weavers’ hearing was damaged.
  • There were several skilled trades that worked on the looms – the loom tuner was responsible for all the mechanical settings and repair of the loom and was paid very well, next came the warp twister who was responsible for tying or twisting warps into the loom, and finally there was the weaver who actually ran the loom once it was all set up. The weft-man would make sure the loom had the correct yarn and never ran out of yarn. Then the loom cleaner would make sure the weaving shed floor was kept clean of “fud” the fuzz of fibres that is created by the weaving process and they would also clean down the looms when the warp was finished.
  • Each warp thread had a “dropper” sitting on it, this was a slim light sliver of metal, that if the thread broke would fall or drop onto an electrical contact bar and stop the loom automatically, thus preventing a long fault developing. A flashing light would alert the weaver to the broken end (that’s the name of a single warp thread) and they would mend it and set the loom running again.
  • In 2015 we had a graffiti exhibition in here called “Throw Up”, a graffiti term to describe the fact that graffiti art is often done quickly! Over 40 artists transformed the space into an urban street scene including a skate park. They also painted the world’s longest carrot (we say!)