New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

New Lanark Wool & Textiles

06/09/16 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , , , , ,

Days out for Textile Lovers

Days out for Textile Lovers

New Lanark World Heritage Site really does have something for everyone. Whether you are a keen walker interested in woodland trails with beautiful views, or if you are a history fan looking to educate yourself, we’ve got you covered. A large element of New Lanark is the textile side of things, where woollen yarn is produced everyday with the use of traditional methods on a 19th century spinning mule.

IMG_3338

When visitors come to see our wool being spun, they are able to get a taste of what it would have been like for the millworkers back in the late 17 hundreds. As soon as you set foot onto the textile floor you can hear and feel the machinery at work. The noise of the 392 spindle, 120ft long, 19th century spinning mule, making 4 passes every minute really gives you an insight to what some of the working conditions would have been like. The 19th century spinning mule is powered by renewable energy from our own hydro-electricity production.

What else does New Lanark have to offer for textile lovers?

Knitting Day! Knitting Day invites textile enthusiasts down to socialise and knit with other textile lovers. This allows visitors to share tips and secrets of the trade with each other. Due to the previous success we have had with Knitting Days, we have decided to make it a monthly occurrence. The next Knitting Day will take place on Sunday the 25th of September in the Mill Shop. Come on down and join in on the knitting fun!

New Lanark's Organic Tartan in production

The Mill Shop is open all year round for visitors to come and have a look at what is on offer. With The Mill Shop offering four different types of wool (Aran, Chunky, Double and Organic) and a range of knitting kits, textile lovers will be able to find the right wool for them! The Mill Shop also have products from ‘Brooks’, a local men’s clothing store, on offer – including lambs wool knitwear and tweed jackets. ‘Joules’ is another brand available in the shop, offering stylish clothes and accessories for women.

IMG_3155

 

Other days out in Scotland for Textile lovers . . .

Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works

Photo Credit: greatscotland.co.uk

Photo Credit: greatscotland.co.uk

Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works is a museum in Dundee which tells a tale of the 19th century. You are able to view the original restored machinery and hear stories of the workers from the past. With hands-on interactivities, film showings and multi-media computers, Scotland’s Jute Museum is a must for textile lovers to witness how the weavers helped Dundee in a desperate time.

 

Borders Textile Towerhouse . . .

Photo Credit: heartofhawick.co.uk

Photo Credit: heartofhawick.co.uk

Borders Textile Towerhouse should definitely be on your list if you are a fan of textiles. You can learn the history of the region and also educate yourself with the people and the processes. Designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Chanel and Dior have used the skills of the Borders Textile workers in the past. So head down to Hawick and see what Borders Textile Towerhouse has to offer for yourself!

 

Johnston of Elgin Cashmere Visitor Centre . . .

Photo Credit: craftscotland.org

Photo Credit: craftscotland.org

Johnston of Elgin specialise in making a high quality woolen and Cashmere cloth, clothing and accessories and have been doing so since 1797. You are able to go on the free mill tours available every day in Elgin. Enjoy the 5* destination even more by visiting the shop in Elgin and then enjoy the Food Hall where you can feast on some top quality local produce.

 

Tartan Weaving Mill . . .

Photo Credit: royal-mile.com

Photo Credit: royal-mile.com

Located on Royal Mile in Edinburgh the Tartan Weaving Mill is a 5 story building which shows how tartan is made into a kilt. From shaving the sheep all the way to the end product. There are working looms on display and you can even get fitted and photographed wearing Scotland’s traditional attire. If you’re in Edinburgh be sure to stop by the Tartan Weaving Mill!

 

Knockando Woolmill . . .

Picture Credit: Knockando Woolmill

Picture Credit: Knockando Woolmill

Manufacturing since 1784, Knockando Woolmill has allowed generations of families to spin, weave and farm over the past centuries. Still with the original machinery visitors will be able to see how the wool was made, using said machinery. You will also be able to enjoy the wildlife in the garden and the home-made produce in the tearoom. Visit Knockando Woolmill to educate yourself on the wool making industry!

So, what are you waiting for? Come visit us here at New Lanark World Heritage Site for knitting days and learning about how New Lanark strived in the textile industry. Be sure to also check out the other textile sites mentioned above!

Ronan Moore – New Lanark Marketing Intern

0 likes no responses
01/08/16 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , ,

New Lanark Organic Tartan

New Lanark Organic Tartan

New Lanark is home to the world’s first Organic Tartan. The Organic Tartan is certified by the Soil Association. The tartan is made using 100% organic wool from HRH The Prince of Wale’s flock at Duchy Home Farm, in Gloucestershire. Our tartan here in New Lanark is a blue/green colour with a subtle purple and a hint of yellow shining through – shades all inspired by the River Clyde and New Lanark’s woodland surroundings.

Why do we have Organic Tartan?

New Lanark introduced the Organic Tartan range in order to honour our Scottish connections. The unveiling of the tartan was on the 27th of November 2015, just before St. Andrews Day. The Organic Tartan represents New Lanark, not just due to the colours included in it but also because of the uniqueness that the tartan has to offer. Both New Lanark and the Organic Tartan are unique in their own ways, however, can both represent each other in their own way.

What is the Organic Tartan being used for?

New Lanark Organic Tartan is currently sold in the New Lanark Mill Shop and is sold through a variety of products such as: throws, bags, purses and cushions.IMG_3154 IMG_3155

The Organic Tartan Process

The process for the organic tartan is completely UK based as all the stages for it take part in different locations of Britain. First of all, the wool originates from Duchy Home Farm, Gloucestershire. It is then sent to Hawarth Scouring in Bradford to be scoured. The wool is then blended, carded and spun into top quality yarn using traditional methods on the historic machinery here at New Lanark World Heritage Site. The yarn is then sent to Bradford to be dyed at Paint Box Textiles and finally finished by Schofield of Galashiels.

Below are pictures off the organic wool being woven into the tartan…

IMG_8874

IMG_8885 IMG_8888 IMG_8897 IMG_8902 IMG_8967 IMG_8918 IMG_8904 IMG_8981 IMG_8959 IMG_8935 IMG_8928

As you can see there are many steps during the process of the wool being woven. Each step is carefully monitored and manned to ensure the best quality of tartan is being produced.

Be sure to have a look at our Organic Tartan in the Mill Shop on your next visit to New Lanark World Heritage Site!

Ronan Moore – Marketing Intern

0 likes no responses
29/06/16 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , ,

Woollen Yarn Production at New Lanark!

Woollen Yarn Production at New Lanark!

Guest blog by Ronan Moore – New Lanark Marketing Intern

You may not know it, but New Lanark is still a working mill. What once started out as a small part of the restoration process and Visitor Centre experience has now became one of the core revenue generating activities for New Lanark Trust.  The village has reclaimed its title of being a spinning centre by using the same traditional methods using spinning woollen yarn instead of cotton and other modernistations along the way! The production is extremely efficient here in New Lanark and the woollen yarn produced can be recognised on a global scale. New Lanark’s wool has been used in a Harry Potter movie and Carbonised White woollen single ply yarn is added to other yarns and woven into cloth used by Chanel for their garments.

For some of our yarns we add silk our Donegal Silk range. In the silk range there will be up to 10% silk in the yarn.

Knitting Product Image File

New Lanark’s Harry Potter Knitting Pattern

The Raw product

The New Lanark woollen yarn process begins in the basement of Mill3 with the raw prodcut – sheep fleece.  There are more than 60 different breeds of sheep in Britain, more than in any other country. Their wool is very different often depending on where they live, on hills or lower land, and some are naturally coloured. Different sheep also produce different quantities and weights of fleece. At New Lanark we work with a range of different fleece for different breeds, for example: Kent Romney, Shetland plus many more.

Our fleece is bought from a broker and arrives in large bales or bags which are stored in the basement of Mill 3, where most of the production takes place. Most of our fleece comes scoured (cleaned) and if we, or any of our commission customers, want the fleece dyed, it is done before it is delivered here. All of the brokers, scourers and dyers we use are based in Yorkshire. For some of our yarns we add silk (our Donegal Silk range) which softens the woollen yarn. In the silk range there may be up to 10% silk in the woollen yarn.

 

Blending

To create our woollen yarn range we work to a recipe book of finely tuned combinations of weights of different fleece. To create a batch of a particular yarn, particular amounts of specific wool shades are selected, weighed and blended. Our final shades have up to 7 different colours in them.

The fleece is weighed and laid out in a large metal vat on the floor, usually with lighter colours at the bottom. Vegetable-based Oil is then added to lubricate the wool and replace the natural lanolin which is removed during the scouring (cleaning) process. The blended wool is left to rest for around 8 hours (for 500 kilos) then transferred to a large metal Blend Room, ready for the next step – Carding. 

IMG_3307

Large Metal Vat where the oil is added to lubricate the fleece

 

Carding

Carding is the next stage of the woolen yarn production process, the carding machine is located in the ground floor of Mill 3 at New Lanark and can be seen by the public through a glass partition.  The carding machine continues to blend and refine the wool but the main job of the carding machine is to align the wool fibres. It does so by using its many hundreds of ‘teeth’ on the surface of the large rollers which comb and blend the fibres and colours together, and also remove any waste material – even particles of sand from the Shetland sheep’s fleece! The man who is in charge of the blending and the carding process is Robert.

 

IMG_3308

The end of the carding machine.

 

IMG_3323

Robert showing us how the carding process is done!

 

Spinning

Then we move on to the Spinning floor! This is the main part of the woollen yarn production process, that visitors can see at New Lanark as part of the Visitor Centre experience and is located on Level 4 of Mill 3. The traditional methods are still in place with spinning as you will be able to see with the Headstock.

The Headstock is what keeps the process moving and can be described as a large gear. To simplify the process, the carded spool feeds out,is spun  out and wound onto a pirn Scott, who has worked here for five years works on the spinning mule and was kind enough to show us how it works!

The spinning mule is stopped regularly to check the quality of production in order to make sure they are the correct thickness and that they are even.

Scott operating the spinning machine. Notice the Headstock behind him.

Scott operating the spinning machine. Notice the Headstock behind him.

 

A close up view of the pirns on the Spinning Mule

A close up view of the pirns on the Spinning Mule

 

A pirn full with wool is called a Cop

A Pirn ‘full’ with wool is called a ‘Cop’

 

Winding & Plying

Once the cops are created they are sent through to the savio machine, also known as the winding machine. There are 8 units for cones on the machine and it takes 18-20 cops to make 1 cone. This machine ensures the quality of our yarn and removes any knots or inconsistencies. Unfortunately, this machine is not on public display.

Savio machine creating cones

The Savio ‘winding’ machine creating single ply cones

 

Once the cops are created they are sent through to the Savio winding machine .There are 8 units for cones on the machine and it takes 8-10 cops to make 1 cone. This machine ensures the quality of our yarn and removes any knots or inconsistencies. Unfortunately, this machine is not on public display.

 Once the cones are produced, they are either stored until ready to be used or sent directly back over to the Twisting Frame. The twisting frame’s purpose is to create the thickness (or ply) intended for the type of wool the customer would like. Single thread(1 strand), Double Knitting (2 strands), Aran (3 strands), Chunky (4 strands)

The Twisting Frame where individual strands are twisted to create the desired thickness of yarn

The Twisting Frame where individual strands are twisted to create the desired thickness of yarn

 

Hanking

One of the last processes is the Hanking Machine which does exactly what you would think, it creates hanks. The Hanker rolls yarn into big loops that weight just over 1 kilo and then they are sent down to Yorkshire to be cleaned/scoured.

The Hanking Machine- customers can purchase hanks or hanks can also be balled

The Hanking Machine- customers can purchase hanks or hanks can also be balled

This is what a Hank of yarn looks like!

IMG_3346

 

The Finished Product

We sell our finished product in many ways – in our Mill Shop, at Trade Shows, via our online shop and to wholesalers or commission customers.

 

Stockroom of New Lanark wool cones

Stockroom of New Lanark wool cones

The Mill Shop's New Lanark Wool & Textiles department

The Mill Shop’s New Lanark Wool & Textiles department

The quickest turnaround from start, blending, to finished product including hanking and balling, is 6 weeks. However, as New Lanark has a wide range of shades available, it could take a few months for a specific shade to be reproduced if our production schedule is full.

All proceeds from the sale of our wool and textiles are returned to New Lanark Trust to be reinvested in the care and development of New Lanark World Heritage Site.

 

The New Lanark Textiles team - Robert, Colin, Jim, Alan, Scott, Stewart and Wilma (Janice not pictured)

The New Lanark Textiles team – Robert, Colin, Jim, Alan, Scott, Stewart and Wilma (Janice not pictured)

 

You can read a lot more about the production of New Lanark wool on the ‘Wool Process’ page of New Lanark’s online shop. 

Ronan – New Lanark Marketing Intern

0 likes no responses
25/03/15 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , , , ,

Mamma Mia…New shades of wool!

Mamma Mia…New shades of wool!

New Lanark Wool & Textiles are delighted to introduce 5 new shades of New Lanark wool which have been inspired by the beautiful cities of Italy. The vibrant shades add a splash of colour to the range of New Lanark wools, and are perfect for creating eye-catching Spring/Summer garments.

The balls of 100% Pure Wool are currently available to purchase in the New Lanark Mill Shop in ‘Double Knitting’ and ‘Aran’ varieties, with ‘Chunky’ coming soon! Aran is also available to purchase in our online shop. 

Aran is priced at £4.50 per 100g, and Double Knitting is priced at £3.50 per 50g.

Take a look at the colours below and please let us know what you think by tweeting us @newlanarkwhs or posting on our Facebook wall!

 

Milano – A bright purple shade with blue undertones. 

New Lanark Wool - Milano

 

Roma – A rich red shade with blue and yellow nebs. 

New Lanark Wool - Roma

 

Verdi – An eye-catching green shade with light yellow and cream nebs. 

New Lanark Wool - Verdi

 

Como – A beautiful blue shade with teal undertones. 

New Lanark Wool - Como

 

Verona – A warm purple shade with pink undertones.

New Lanark Wool - Verona

Happy Knitting – Italiano style!

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer 

0 likes no responses
25/02/15 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , , , ,

10 most popular shades of New Lanark Wool

10 most popular shades of New Lanark Wool

New Lanark was formed as a cotton spinning village in 1785 by David Dale. It gained international fame under the enlightened management of Robert Owen and was a successful spinning centre until its closure in 1968. Since 1974, the site has been restored and brought back to life by New Lanark Trust and is now once more an internationally famous World Heritage Site.

Today we produce yarn using traditional methods in one of the historic mills, where a 19th century spinning mule is still working. We specialise in producing high quality British Organic wool, Aran wool, Double Knitting and Chunky woollen yarns, which are ideal for hand knitting.

We offer three fantastic ranges spun from British wool: Donegal Silk Tweed, Heather Mixtures and Natural Blend – all available in a range of stunning shades.

Our wool is sold in the Mill Shop, online and wholesale around the world. To give you some knitting inspiration we’ve pulled together a list of some of most popular shades…

1. Blue John

Blue John wool

Did you know that New Lanark Wool was used to create the iconic Christmas jumpers featured in the Harry Potter films? ‘Blue John’ and ‘Damson‘ are sold to Lochaven International, in Stewarton Ayrshire who make the replica Harry Potter jumpers that are sold at Universal Studios in Orlando and Warner’s Bros Studios Leavesdon near London.

2. Damson

Damson

Our range of natural colours are also very popular…

3. Pebble

Pebble

4. Woodland

Woodland

5. Ecru

Ecru

6. Limestone

Limestone

Not fogetting the bright colours!

7. Denim

Denim

8. Cherry

Cherry

9. Heather

Heather

10. Sky

Sky

All proceeds from the sale of New Lanark Wool and Textiles are returned to New Lanark Trust to be reinvested in the care and development of New Lanark World Heritage Site. You can learn more about the wool making process at New Lanark Visitor Centre. 

We hope to see you soon…Happy Knitting!

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

0 likes no responses
13/09/12 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , ,

New Lanark Wool Used in Tapestry Exhibition

Don’t miss the ‘Inspired Landscapes’ exhibition of wall hangings by Forth Community Resource Centre, in the River Room at New Lanark until 11 October.  The hangings are approximately the size of postcards and are very appealing.  Inspired by local landscapes, many of the tapestry items are woven from New Lanark wool in soft natural colours. Weaving, embroidery and crochet stitches are combined to create impressions of trees, water, moorland and hills.  One hanging shows Dundaff Linn waterfall at the end of New Lanark village.  Brilliant!

0 likes no responses
07/11/11 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , ,

New ‘New Lanark’ Chunky Limestone Knitting Yarn available online

New Lanark Chunky Yarn - Limestone

New Lanark Chunky Yarn - Limestone

The team in the yarn production department at New Lanark Mills are always adding to the range of yarns available. One of the most recent is a Chunky yarn, in a lovely light grey colour, called Limestone. This is now available to purchase online. If you’ve a knitting project in the pipeline then this may be just ideal.

0 likes no responses
21/10/11 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # ,

New knitting pattern released using New Lanark yarn

A brand new knitting pattern designed by Judy Furlong using New Lanark Donegal Silk Tweed yarn is now available. This stunning men’s waistcoat pattern featured in Issue 37 of The Knitter magazine and more info available on this link. Yarn for this pattern is available to buy online from New Lanark online shop.

0 likes no responses

New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

We are always looking for guest bloggers to become involved with the blog. If you are interested in writing for us, please get in touch.

Join us online


Join our mailing list