The history of the Yorkshire textile industry.

Timeline created by stewaite12
  • Period:
    Apr 18, 1185

    The Yorkshire textile industry.

    A look at the history of the Yorkshire textile industry.
  • Jun 27, 1185

    Temple Newsam.

    Temple Newsam.
    Temple Newsam, just outside of Leeds, was the first fulling mill in England. Fulling is the process of beating and cleaning the cloth in water. This process was intended to consolidate and thicken the fibres, creating a stronger more durable fabric.
  • May 18, 1300

    The Spinning Wheel.

    The Spinning Wheel.
    Domestic textile production increased with the introduction of the spinning wheel. The cottage industry was born. People were able to work part-time in homes producing a wide range of goods.
  • Dec 4, 1324

    Leeds enters the textile industry.

    Leeds enters the textile industry.
    The lord mayor builds the first fulling mill in Leeds; with a second mill constructed in 1356. These fulling mills were the first early examples of factories.
  • Oct 28, 1539

    Kirkstall abbey dissolves.

    Kirkstall abbey dissolves.
    The textile industry in Leeds had previously been controlled by Kirkstall abbey; however in 1539 the abbey dissolved giving the town’s cloth merchants the opportunity to expand and increase their wealth.
  • Feb 27, 1555

    The Saxony wheel.

    The Saxony wheel.
    This wheel is often referred to as the Cinderella wheel. It is the most familiar and recognizable spinning wheel design.
  • The Wool industry.

    The Wool industry.
    During this period 30% of people who submitted a will, declared their occupation to be one which was associated with wool production.
  • Halifax starts to prosper.

    Halifax starts to prosper.
    Unlike Leeds and Bradford where civil war and the plague caused widespread damage, Halifax was left relatively intact, helping it to grow into a prosperous market town.
  • Textile Printing.

    Textile Printing.
    Textile printing is first introduced to England by a French refugee who set up a business on the banks of the River Thames. It was believed he used a woodblock printer to transfer his designs.
  • Calico Acts.

    Calico Acts.
    The government introduced the Calico Acts in 1690 in order to reduce the amount of imported textiles from countries such as India and China. These restrictions increased the domestic production of textiles and boosted the English economy.
  • Connecting Yorkshire with the rest of the world.

    Connecting Yorkshire with the rest of the world.
    In 1701 it first became possible to transport goods along the River Aire and Calder. This was an important transport revolution for Leeds and the surrounding towns providing a link to the rest of the world, further boosting trade in the textile industries.
  • Armley Mills.

    Armley Mills.
    In 1707 Armley Mills is leased by Richard Booth a local clothier; turning the building into a fulling factory, it contained two wheels and four stocks. By 1788 it had five waterwheels powering eighteen fulling stocks, evidence of the rapid rate in which the textile industry was growing.
  • Mass production.

    Mass production.
    In 1725 the demand for textiles continued to grow, multi-storey factories are introduced. This enabled the factories to use more equipment, increase profits and benefit from economies of scale.
  • The flying shuttle.

    The flying shuttle.
    John Kay develops the Flying shuttle; it vastly increases the speed of producing textiles. It is said that when the shuttle is in motion it can barely be seen by the naked eye, travelling at 60mph.
  • Mills in Yorkshire.

    Mills in Yorkshire.
    By 1740 there was 87 Large mills in Yorkshire alone.
  • Hargreaves spinning jenny.

    Hargreaves spinning jenny.
    James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny, making it possible to spin eight threads at once.
  • Arkwrights Waterframe.

    Arkwrights Waterframe.
    Richard Arkwright invents the first water powered textile machine. It was originally designed to be powered by horses however in 1770 Arkwright built a water powered mill and adapted the design.
  • Halifax Piece Hall.

    Halifax Piece Hall.
    As the textile industry in Halifax grew, the demand for a place to trade cloth increased. Piece Hall was built in 1779 for £10000. It not only served as a vital trading location for the people of Halifax, but for cloth merchants from surrounding areas such as Leeds and Bradford.
  • The Spinning Mule.

    The Spinning Mule.
    Invented by Samuel Crompton it combined the technologies of both Hargreaves Spinning Jenny and Arkwrights Waterframe. It produced a strong, thin yarn suitable for any textile.
  • Industrial Revolution.

    Industrial Revolution.
    John Marshall starts to transform the cottage industry. He builds Marshall Mill, a six storey water powered mill built to spin yarn. The factory employed 2000 people, with 7000 spindles.
  • Rolling Along.

    Rolling Along.
    Thomas Bell invents the cylinder press, using an engraved copper plate to transfer the pattern onto the fabric. Plate printing was problematic and as a result wasn’t widely used.
  • Factory advancements.

    Factory advancements.
    Prior to 1796 all textile factories were made from wood. It would not be uncommon for factories to set on fire, ending production and killing many lives. As a result the first iron frame building was introduced by John Marshall and his partners. This shows the massive effect the textile industry had on other industries too.
  • Benjamin Gott.

    Benjamin Gott.
    Benjamin Gott buys Armley mills, transforming it into the world’s largest woollen mill. During this period the mill would export textiles to the North and South America, Europe and the Far East.
  • Marsden Silk Mill.

    Marsden Silk Mill.
    Marsden silk mill in Huddersfield is built. Employing 24 silk workers: 1 silk carder, 4 silk dressers, 1 silk mule piecer, 1 piecer silk, 7 silk spinners, 1 silk throwsters, 3 silk twisters, 1 silk weaver, 3 silk workers, 1 person “employed in silk”, and a couple of Assistants.
  • Saltaire Mill.

    Saltaire Mill.
    Founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt in Bradford Yorkshire it became one of the leading textile mills in the area. Salts mill eventually closed in 1986.
  • Whaleys of Bradford.

    Whaleys of Bradford.
    Whaleys was established in 1869 by Mr Samuel Whaley, about whom not a great deal is known. The activities of his enterprise at that time were silk and jute weaving, with one floor processing textile sacks and bags.
  • Marks and Spencer’s.

    Marks and Spencer’s.
    Michael Marks opens an outdoor stall in Kirkgate market, it has grown over the years to become the famous British store we all know and love.
  • The Full Monty.

    The Full Monty.
    Montague Burton starts the company Burtons in chesterfield, eventually moving to Leeds in 1914. His tailoring company continued to expand, he opened up multiple shops, and eventually became the largest made to measure Suit Company in the world. This is where the phrase “the full Monty” comes from.
  • Pre-war phase.

    Pre-war phase.
    This was considered to be the final peak year of the Yorkshire textile industry. Exports declined with severe market losses in the Far East. In the late twenties, early thirties, large numbers of factories started to close, especially those that specialized in producing the coarser wool.
  • Textile production on the rise.

    Textile production on the rise.
    By 1937 the level of textile production nearly reaches the peak of 1924. The revival had been affected by an increase in demand both in the UK and abroad; however this demand doesn't last long.
  • Post war.

    Post war.
    In the 1950's the mills were forced to compete with other labour markets. This competition placed a strain on the domestic mills, and as a result a large number of mills were forced to close. Even the mills that remained open were forced to reduce their labour force. A lot of jobs were lost.
  • Topshop.

    Founded in 1964 by Peter Robinson in Sheffield. It is now one of Britain’s leading fashion retailers, with 440 stores across the world.
  • Christopher Bailey.

    Christopher Bailey.
    One of Britain’s leading fashion designers is born in West Yorkshire, England. He is now the creative director of leading designer brand Burberry.
  • Banana Moon.

    Banana Moon.
    Established in 1993 Banana Moon Workshop Limited is a personalised clothing company with a longstanding reputation in design quality and customer service. The company was formed by directors Paul, Jackie and Nikki who have been in the industry for over 30 years.
  • Randisi Textile Recycling.

    Randisi Textile Recycling.
    Established in 1997 in the UK, they are a family run company specialising in the recycling of used clothing and have extensive and well established business links throughout the UK, Europe, East and West Africa and Asia.They are experts in all aspects of the reclamation, sorting, processing and export of second hand clothing.
  • The Yorkshire textile industry breathes new life.

    The Yorkshire textile industry breathes new life.
    Even though many businesses have struggled in recent times the Yorkshire textile industry is back. High end designer brands are calling for high quality, English made fabric. Figures show there has been a 25% rise in jobs over the last four years.
  • Leeds Trinity.

    Leeds Trinity.
    The new development hopes to revitalize the city centre shopping experience.