THE COTTON INDUSTRY
Ramsbottom is one of Lancashire's many cotton towns. The textile area of Lancashire stretches roughly from Manchester in the south to Burnley and Nelson in the north. Some of towns apart from those just mentioned are:- Oldham, Chadderton, Middleton, Bury, Bolton, Blackburn, Rochdale, Darwen, Haslingden, Rawtenstall, Bacup, Accrington, Littleborough. Those of us with ancestors in the area will almost certainly find that many of them would be employed in some way in the industry. These pages are to give some idea of the processes followed by the yarn and some of the occupations. Some of these processes changed as the industry developed but I remember as a boy going into some of the local mills in the mid-20th century and some of the machinery being used came from a much earlier period.
|SPINNING||Spinning can refer to the whole range of processes carried out in a spinning mill, starting with breaking open the bales of raw cotton to sizing the yarn. It can also mean the spinning of the final yarn. Once spinning proper has been carried out another 3 processes are often needed to make the yarn fit for further use:
|WEAVING||This is the weaving of the yarn into a cloth|
|FINISHING||There are many ways in which the cloth can be finished. Bleaching, dyeing, printing are common. Also processes such as mercerizing, or (more recently) making fabrics fire-resistant.|
Last update 12/05/2005