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.
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!
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.
Other days out in Scotland for Textile lovers . . .
Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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