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Weavers' Cottages

On February 9th 2017, our group had as a speaker Mr David George who gave a fascinating talk on the changing nature and varying styles of weavers’ cottages throughout the 18th and 19th century.

He talked about the early weavers' cottages, often deep in the countryside, where the weavers also kept smallholdings and were part of what was known as the “dual economy”.
[Perhaps similar to today 2017 where folk have two or three 'jobs', some in the 'gig economy' , which is quite different to the stable one job economy of 1900 ~ 1995.]


Sketch of a weaver's cottage ex
Sketch of a weaver's cottage ex (c)


















Weavers' cottages, Tib Street, Manchester for SJ8498 (c) Trica Neal CC



 You Can Visit a Weavers' Cottage at Rossendale

RossendaleCivic_Trust_Weavers' Cottages'%20Cottage.html


 Attributation included Weavers cottages Wardle


Weavers Cottages, Wardle, Manchester,

 (c) Dr Neil Clifton Creative Commons under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.


Putting-Out System (also 'domestic system')

We were told how the weavers were provided with raw materials by clothiers who also collected the finished goods from them to sell on. 

[A fashion still today, where 'seed' is provided to farmers and crop is pre-sold to the seed provider.]

The Clothier’s home often also acted as a warehouse and weaving rooms and with its long bays of windows became the model for the later weavers’ cottages we are all familiar with.




Talk illustrations.

We were shown slides of various differing styles of weavers’ cottages from across the North West and learnt that the cottages were often owned by the same people who owned the large textile mills.

The cottage weavers could be used to fill smaller or more delicate orders taken by the mill owners.






Co-operative Building Society Clubs.

We were also told about “club houses”, where friendly societies of weavers themselves grouped together to raise funds to build a row of cottages. 

Often lots were drawn to decide who got the next house built.


Tied houses.

Finally we heard a little about some of the cottages built for mill working weavers and not intended to act as a place of work as well as a home.



The group observed that the speaker was obviously deeply knowledgeable on the subject and the slides used throughout were extremely good illustrations of the building types being discussed for whichthe group warmly thanked the speaker.


References and illustrations.

These are from different sources to the talk. Howevere they will give some illustration and links to articles, and places, and the hand weaving community in UK  'Harris Tweed'


Hand_Loom_weaver-from-1888-publication_(c) 122306a5_in-Print-collection-Maggie-Land-Blank-c-.jpg
Hand_Loom_weaver-from-1888-publication_(c) 122306a5_in-Print-collection-Maggie-Land-Blank-c-.jpg


 Modern Hand weaving (leg powered)

Refer link:  Harris tweed 




Video link

Making of Harris Tweed ®