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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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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.

 

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The end of the carding machine.

 

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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!

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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

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20/04/15 Events at New Lanark # , , , , , ,

Meet the Stallholders: New Lanark Food & Gift Fair

Meet the Stallholders: New Lanark Food & Gift Fair

To celebrate Visit Scotland’s ‘Year of Food and Drink’, New Lanark’s annual Spring Food and Gift Fair on Monday 4th May will highlight the best of local produce and include demonstrations by chefs and producers from across Scotland. The fair will also include arts & crafts and gifts & accessories, along with demonstrations from traditional crafters and artisan producers. Our in-house produced New Lanark wool will feature and there will be the chance to take part in some knitting and crafting workshops! Entry to the fair is free. Ticket required for Visitor Centre Exhibitions.

Take a look at some of the wonderful crafts & produce on offer…

James Dinnen – painter
James Dinnen is a Scottish artist selling his original artwork and prints. He specialises in stunning colourist Scottish west coast landscapes , cityscapes and figurative work. His work is colourful modern and bold and will add colour and vibrance to any room. His work is in private collections around the world such is the demand from expatriate Scots for his nostalgic and modern cityscapes and landscapes.

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The Bijou Wine Co
Why not enjoy a beautiful glass of wine whilst wandering around the many stalls at The Food and Gift Fair? The Bijou Wine Co is a quirky wee wine bar serving stunning wines to enjoy at the Fair or you can buy a bottle (or two) to enjoy at home.

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Janet and John – shop/gallery
Janet & John is a small shop/gallery just off Byres Road in Glasgow’s West End, promoting the work of almost 50 artists and crafters, all of whom are based in Scotland. I sell my handknitting through the shop, some of which will be included on the stall and I will be demonstrating one of my patterns at the fair. Visit our website, Facebook page or Twitter.

The Melt Pool 3

 

Angel Wire Jewellery – Vibrant Fun Aluminium
Unique hand crafted Jewellery made from Light, Non Allergenic Aluminium. Fun and vibrant inspired by the colours of the Mediterranean.

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Tom’s Tablet – Scottish tablet
“Tablet is something I remember from my own childhood growing up in Scotland. My Grandma used to make it for us to enjoy – happy memories!  I took her recipe and after much practice to perfect the flavour, the colour, and consistency, I taste-tested it on my Dad. I worked hard to make the ‘best batch’ especially for him.  Today, I pay homage to his memory by producing… TOM’S TABLET,  ‘the best batch of finest quality Scottish Tablet’ from Rona Orr, Founding Partner

tom's tablet 2THE FOUNDERS
Rona has been producing tablet for 10 years now and after much practice has perfected her Grandma’s version of the “best batch”. Diane, her childhood friend, brings 20 years of brand experience having worked for some of the globe’s most influential brands. Together, they have pulled on each others strengths to develop Tom’s Tablet!

OUR VALUES
Quality is key to our success.  We work extremely hard to produce ‘our best batch of Scottish Tablet’ using the highest quality of ingredients.  As soon as the tablet has cooled, our customer service team aim to provide the best service possible to our valued customers.

OUR BELIEFS
TOM’S TABLET is based in Scotland.  Our product is, and will always be  ‘made in Scotland’.  Both Rona and Diane lost their Dads prematurely.  To mark this, each season, we donate a percentage of profits to our nominated charities.

 

Lochielknits
Lochielknits is a home based business which is situated in a small rural location, 2 miles from the historic market town of Lanark. I take pride in making quality hand knits in a smoke free environment. The yarns which I use include alpaca, cotton and merino wool although I also provide items knitted in acrylic for those whose allergies require it. I stock a selection of women’s accessories, children and baby items and cushion, e reader and phone covers. Visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Lochielknits

Toddler Hat1-002 Yellow

 

Thistly Cross Cider
Established in 2008, Thistly Cross has gained a reputation for making award winning ciders that people rave about. Using fresh fruit, including strawberries from our own farm, we pride ourselves on maintaining our core values and pride in everything we make; we’re invested at every step of the cider-making process, from apple to bottle. We’re bringing all 6 of our cider varieties to New Lanark: Original, Traditional, Whisky Cask, Strawberry, Ginger and Elderflower. Visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

TCC bottles Feb15 (casks)

 

The Linen Chest
I have had the Linen Chest for 22 years and deal in soft furnishings. I try to source all my stock in Scotland failing that UK . I have throws, cushions draught excluders (mainly in winter), coasters . Candles (which are made in Scotland), fridge magnets and small household giftware. I also have a small selection of tablecloths and napkins but usually in winter.

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Agnes MacLean Glass
I am a glass artist who specialises in stained glass specifically tiffany style wall art/sun catchers, clocks, mirrors and tea light holders. You can visit my website or like my Facebook page here.
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Superlative Pearls
What started as a hobby, moved quickly to become a passion and ended up an obsession! Hand made jewellery and all things glittery – I just can’t stop making them, so much so that I had to end up selling them to fund my obsession. My customers seem happy enough with that! My jewellery is sparkly and beautiful and because this is more a hobby than a business I can afford to sell gorgeous jewellery at pocket friendly prices. The more I sell the more I get to make – everyone wins!

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All That’s Delicious
“All That’s Delicious” was set up in 2012, after working as a professional chef for high end hotels and international cruise ships around the world. During this time I worked with some of Britain’s well known celebrity Chefs who gave me the inspiration to create my own brand. We have created a fabulous range of baking mixes using quality ingredients, measured out and ready to bake. Our mixes make home baking fun, quick, easy and enjoyable. In our range we have also crafted an indulgent,melt-in-the-mouth collection of handmade Scottish Tablet. Including our Award winning Traditional which was awarded a Great Taste award in 2014. We currently stock Farm shops, Gift Shops and Delicatessens throughout Scotland. Including the luxury Gleneagles hotel and Scottish Parliament to name a few.

all that's delicious

 

Video History Scotland
Video History Scotland are an independent producer and distributor of a range of unique Scottish archive history and nostalgic Scottish memories DVD titles covering areas that include the Clyde and Highland Steamer fleet and Scottish maritime history, historic accounts of towns and islands of the Clyde and the West Highlands and historic archive titles covering Scottish Steam train and railway journeys amongst others. Our titles have been written produced and manufactured in Scotland. These are unique productions that have been written and produced using rare archive materials from our archive libraries. Visit us online at www.videohistoryscotland.com
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Karuna’s Sweet Gifts
I will be selling handmade Belgian chocolate. These will be in the form of 3d shoes, trucks etc, lollies, and chocolate cards. Chocolate bouquets and sweet cones. For pictures of many more www.facebook.com/KarunasSweetGifts.
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 COUTAL
We are a Scottish company dealing directly with a woman’s co-operative in Morocco. We bring over argan nut kernel powder which we refine and add essential oils in a 7 stage process.

Our main product is our argan powder face and body scrub and we also hand craft a range soaps with Scottish flowers, herbs and argan powder, which is our unique selling point. We give on site free hand treatment demonstrations so people can sample our products.

COUTAL exfoliates and deeply cleanses the skin. It removes impurities and refines and softens skin texture. The concentrated oils in the argan powder superhydrate the epidermis; regenerating, replenishing and nourishing the skin.

COUTAL is completely authentic and non-gimmicky. It is simply a product that works…

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iheartbags – Harris tweed bags and accessories
My company, iheartbags is pleased to introduce itself to your readers. I design and make Harris tweed bags and accessories. I started off a couple of years ago making bags for friends before finding some Harris tweed and have not done any other make since then. I develop different styles suggested by my customers, such as tote bags of two sizes. I also make I-pad and kindle covers as well as phone covers and cushions. I have a small workroom which is packed with tweeds and enjoy spending as many hours sewing as possible.

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Unique Shabby Chic
We are two ladies who created a company with a vision to make original hand crafted gifts from scratch. We work from home and love attending craft fayres. We also sell online at www.facebook.com/unique.shabbychic.589. Bespoke wooden gifts hand crafted with love and personalised to order. Your vision is our creation. If in doubt add glitter ♥

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The Wee Fudge Company
The Wee Fudge Company is an award winning artisan producer of Scottish Fudge. Voted Best Producer at Feastren 2012 the business also holds a Great Taste Award and was a finalist in the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2014. They will be selling an extensive range of fresh fudge made from fine natural ingredients; all free of artificial additives, colourings and flavourings.

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Glam Glass

Local artisan glassware. Individually designed and handcrafted pieces to provide sparkle to your home, or a special gift. From beautiful plates,bowls and coasters to stunning light catching candle waves, suncatchers and tealight holders. Each item is unique and crafted by me in my own studio. Commissions a speciality. Classes and workshops available. Join me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Glamglass2.

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Chocolaaah!
I’m a small, fledgling company based in Hyndford Bridge, and I started making chocolate goodies last year with the view to being able to work from home. Everything is made by my own fair hands, adding no artificial preservatives. My filled chocolates don’t have a long shelf life because of this, but this just means that there’s no excuse for not eating them straight away! I also produce novelty chocolate gifts such as hand decorated chocolate shoes, champagne bottles, mini chocolate pizzas, thank you gifts for teachers, teapots…anything that’s hopefully just a little bit different. Join me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Chocolaaah

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Lilias Silk Paintings
As a Silk Painter working from my own studio in the south side of Glasgow,I exhibit and sell throughout Scotland including Paisley Art Gallery,Auld Kirk Museum,Stirling Castle and Kirkcubright Art Festival. Working on pure silk with vibrant dyes I specialise in the “Gutta Resist” technique which allows me to indulge my passion for unusual architecture.My quirky buildings and atmospheric landscapes are inspired by our travels throughout Scotland and Ireland. My work also includes handpainted silk scarves,ties,corsages and cards with many pieces going abroad. I am happy to accept painting commissions. Visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LiliasSilkPaintings

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Damn Delicious
We are a family run farm based near Biggar, Scotland and we take great pride in using unique and natural farming methods to ensure that our meat is of the finest quality and always tastes absolutely delicious – it’s meat like it should be. At the New Lanark Spring Food and Gift Fair we will be offering our Amazing Damn Delicious Aberdeen Angus Burgers as well as Wild Venison Burgers. We will also have a selection of our Grass fed Natural Beef and Lamb  for sale. Visit our website or join us on Facebook.

damn delicious

Mulberry Foods
Selling a delicious selection of preserves, sauces and sweet treats!

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Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership – Victorian Tour
Come say hello to the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership team and find out what projects they’re working on which celebrate and enhance the unique landscape and cultural heritage of the area from ancient wooded gorges to designed landscapes. Join the free Victorian themed tour to Corra Linn by booking at www.cavlp.eventbrite.co.uk.

Lady Geraldine Lockhart-Ross (c) Paul Watt - Copy

 

Clydesdale Community Initiatives – Free woodworking course
Join the FREE Green Woodworking Course and make your own stool with Clydesdale Community Initiatives! Specialist workshops start at 11am and 2pm, lasting 2 hours each. Materials and equipment are provided free of charge but places are limited so call 01555 664 211 or email [email protected] to book, quick!

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RSPB Scotland – sowing wildflower seeds
Come along and sow some wildflower seeds with RSPB Scotland. These will grow into some beautiful plants that will attract bees and butterflies to your garden. You can also find out about the stunning Baron’s Haugh RSPB nature reserve in Motherwell. You can visit our website here!

Andy Hay (rspb-images.com

Andy Hay (rspb-images.com

 Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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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 

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18/03/15 Ted at New Lanark # , , , , , , ,

Ted’s March at New Lanark…and beyond!

Ted’s March at New Lanark…and beyond!

Hi everyone, it’s me Ted again – the resident bear at New Lanark World Heritage Site. I’ve had a very busy March so far taking trips to other visitor attractions in Scotland, and have even been working on my wardrobe with New Lanark Primary…but more about that later!

Battle of Bannockburn
Last week I packed my backpack, donned my cardigan and headed to The Battle of Bannockburn experience with some of my friends at New Lanark. When we got there we met lots of other people from visitor attractions across Scotland through who are all linked together through ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions)…I can’t wait until I get the chance to visit another attraction! All offers to my personal assistant [email protected].

 

Ted and Robert the Bruce statue

We had a brilliant day at the Bannockburn Experience. First of all we entered the ‘Prepare for Battle’ room where you can discover the weapons used in the battle, experience 3D film all around you and best of all – talk to some characters who would have been involved in the battle. I liked this bit the best and think it would be really cool at New Lanark, what kind of stories would you like to hear from people who used to live/work in the mills? Let me know by commenting below.

Bannockburn Experience

After ‘preparing for Battle’ we put the tactics we had learned to good use and teamed up as the Scottish and English army to play against each other in an interactive Battle Game!

Battle Game

Fresh from battle I met up with Bruce the Bear who lives at the Bannockburn Experience. I commented that he looked a lot more regal than me so he suggested trying on some of the chainmail and other armour soldiers would have worn in 1314. Wow, that stuff is heavy!

Ted and Bruce the bear in chainmail

New Lanark Primary ‘Dress Ted’ competition
After my trip to the Battle of Bannockburn I went to see the Quaker Tapestry in Kendal, and ventured more locally to New Lanark Primary School. As my cardigan and wooly hat are getting a bit warm for Spring, the pupils have entered a competition to design me a new outfit fit for a Spring Fling! I’ve had a look at some of the entries so far and there are some very talented children at the school. Keep an eye out for my April blog as I’ll be modelling the winning entry!
Ted and his Dress Ted competition entries

I’ve also been busy helping the New Lanark team get ready for Stargazing LIVE this weekend on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March. (5-8.30pm) The event is going to be great, with a talk from Clydesdale Astronomical Society, Stargazing on the Roof Garden and some amazing Cosmic Crafts – including this ‘Build your own Jet Pack’!
Ted and his Stargazing LIVE jetpack
The £4 tickets are selling really fast, and Saturday night has now sold out totally! If you want to go along to the Sunday night try and book them as soon as possible by calling 01555 66134, emailing [email protected] or buy them online.

After Stargazing LIVE there are lots of fun Easter events happening at New Lanark in April. You can visit this page on the New Lanark website to find out lots more about them, but here’s a wee idea of what will be going on:

Sunday 5th & Monday 6th April – Easter Egg-Stravaganza
Friday 3rd – Sunday 19th April – Easter Holidays Daily Tours
Wednesday 8th April – Clearburn Family Drop-in nature workshop
7th, 9th, 11th, 14th, 16th April – Easter Craft Workshops

I’ll hopefully see you at New Lanark soon. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to meet the Easter Bunny!

Ted – New Lanark Guest Blogger

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16/03/15 A Visitor's View , New Lanark Visitor Centre # , , , , , , ,

New Lanark: A Visitor’s View – Donna Mairi MacIver

New Lanark: A Visitor’s View – Donna Mairi MacIver

We were delighted to welcome blogger Donna from www.ordinarywanders.com to write a guest blog for us on her trip to New Lanark. Have a read to find out what she enjoyed most about her visit…

 

What does the world famous Smithsonian Museum have in common with a small mill town in the south of Scotland? The answer lies in the heart of the New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our journey back to the 19th century began with our descent into the village from the car park. The rows of perfectly symmetrical buildings stand seemingly untouched. The River Clyde continues to flow through the site and churns as it ever did, though no longer in demand as the lifeblood of these once great mills. So much has changed at New Lanark due to the renovations which brought the original buildings back to life, but there is a sense that the true heart of this old mill town has endured.

Rooftops of New Lanark

I didn’t know much about Robert Owen, one time owner of the New Lanark mills, until I visited this famous historical landmark on that cold, grey day in February. Just walking around this site allows visitors to gain an understanding of what Owen wanted to achieve whilst in charge of the mills. His words are quoted throughout the town and provide a great insight into his forward-thinking views, which were sometimes deemed to be quite controversial.

Robert Owen's quotes at New Lanark

This is such an inspirational place to visit – here are just some of my personal highlights from the New Lanark Visitor Centre:

  • The Annie MacLeod Experience

This is a great little ride that allows visitors to gain an insight into life in New Lanark. Annie MacLeod, the ghost of a girl who worked in the mills in 1820, hosts the ride. She introduced us to some of Owens’ modern ideas, such as a workers sick fund and shorter working days. The rides’ effects and illusions were a real treat and I think it’s the perfect way to engage children with the reality of life in the 1800’s.

  • Robert Owen’s School.

Owen believed in community and education. Most notably, whilst other young people around the country were put to work almost as soon as they could walk, those of New Lanark were being encouraged to stay in school.  In this model classroom there are lots of things that you would expect to see; benches for the children to sit on, slates to write on, a lectern. There is also a replica cage that was once used to house a real crocodile. Owen was no ordinary man and the education he insisted on for the mill children was certainly not ordinary. He really was a person before his time and this classroom is indicative of that.

Robert Owen's School for Children

  • The Mill Café & Shop

The Mill Café has a great selection of refreshments and our generous soup and sandwich lunch kept us full until teatime (that’s dinner time to any non-Scottish readers!) The star of the show, though, was the coffee. The perfect, frothy latte I received really set me up for heading back out into the damp Scottish afternoon. We could have sat in this busy little café for the rest of our visit, if only the sites we had passed on the way in hadn’t called out to be explored.

Though the mills no longer work to full capacity, traditional methods are still used to produce smaller amounts of New Lanark wool. This can be bought in the on-site Mill Shop alongside lots of other locally sourced gifts and trinkets. It’s a real treasure trove there and well worth taking the time to look around.

Coffee in the Mill Café

  • Robert Owen’s House

This was the last stop on our tour and it felt like the satisfactory end to an epic journey. Inside there are replicas of the rooms that the Owen family stayed in. There is also a small exhibition that informs visitors about what became of the Owen family after they left New Lanark. The world famous Smithsonian museum? It was Robert Owen’s son who proposed its creation via the United States Congress. The Owen family all continued to do great things once they left Scotland, including; campaigning for gender rights, championing the resettlement of freed slaves in North America and establishing the first kindergarten in the US.

Other historical buildings include a replica of the mill workers accommodation and of the Village Store that once served the whole town, where you can still buy a treat or two. If you’d like more time to wander around the site you can choose to stay for a few nights in one of the renovated mills, which has been turned into the New Lanark Mill Hotel, or the Wee Row Hostel. And if you really enjoy your visit, you can even choose to stay on a more permanent basis in one of the local residential houses – though these are so popular they are swept off the market almost as soon as they appear.

Whatever the reason for your visit, I can guarantee you will leave inspired by the story of Robert Owen, his perseverance and his ambitions to make the world around him a better place. I know that I did.

Guest blogger – Donna Mairi MacIver

www.ordinarywanders.com

 

If you would be interested in writing a Visitor’s View Blog on your trip to New Lanark, please email [email protected] 

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23/01/15 Events at New Lanark , New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , , , , , , ,

A royal guest blog from Bonnie Prince Charlie…

A royal guest blog from Bonnie Prince Charlie…

Given at the Camp of HRH Charles Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales

It is with great pleasure that we received notice that, as of the 27th day of this month, the famous Prestonpans Tapestry will be on display for our subjects to view at New Lanark World Heritage Site.

This striking community artwork, stitched with tender care by countless volunteers across the country, follows the fortunes of our army on its first campaign in 1745, from the inception of this grand scheme for the Restoration of our family to that remarkable and game-changing victory at Prestonpans.

Bonnie Prince Charlie (Arran Johnston)We encourage all those who are able to visit and to enjoy this exhibition, which reveals the heroic efforts of our loyal Highland men, alongside the endeavours of our gallant if misguided opponents, as those two armies traversed the landscape of Scotland to determine who might be its King.

In the wake of our victory at Prestonpans, our army has been busily engaged in an attempt to bring this regrettable war to a glorious conclusion. How events will play out we can only at this stage imagine. What we can know is that our achievements in 1745 will ever be remembered, and that no telling of our story will rival the Prestonpans Tapestry for its detail and its charm. Never has a project so encapsulated the spirit of our quest: Victory, Hope, and Ambition!

To celebrate the Tapestry’s visit to New Lanark, we have authorised the deployment of some of our soldiers to said place on Saturday 21st February. They are instructed to answer any questions you might have as to their modes of dress and combat. I expect that our enemies might do the same.

We are pleased also to note that the historian Arran Johnston, who has not been unkind to our character in his works, will be presenting about the Battle at Prestonpans and the Tapestry’s creation on Friday 13th March. (tickets available to purchase for £4)

It remains only for us to encourage all our father’s subjects to notify their friends and family of this opportunity to view the Tapestry, which will remain in New Lanark until 19th March.

God Save the King.

Charles signature

Find out more about The Prestonpans Tapestry at  New Lanark. 

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12/11/14 Behind the scenes at New Lanark # , , , ,

A volunteer’s day at the Great Tapestry of Scotland

A volunteer’s day at the Great Tapestry of Scotland

We’re more than three weeks into the Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition at New Lanark and so far over 6,000 visitors have come through the doors for a chance to see the stunning Scottish artwork. With an average of 300 visitors each day, the successful running of the exhibition would not be possible without the generous help of our tapestry volunteers!

“We recently gained ‘Volunteer Friendly’ status from Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire, and we believe that has had a huge impact in attracting people to volunteer at the tapestry” said Jane Masters, Heritage Manager at New Lanark World Heritage Site.

Over 30 volunteers are involved in the Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition at New Lanark and they undertake a range of tasks – from providing a friendly welcome to the exhibition and answering questions, to helping people leave their stitch on the People’s Panel. A number of the tapestry volunteers already volunteer at New Lanark in the Search Room, working on digitising the vast range of  archives from the World Heritage Site. The rest have chosen to give up their free time for a number of reasons – some have even volunteered at previous Great Tapestry exhibitions around Scotland and couldn’t resist the chance to be involved again.

We asked some of our volunteers what their favourite thing about volunteering at the Great Tapestry was:

“It’s really interesting to be volunteering here, and it’s amazing to be able to see all of the incredible detail that has went into the panels. I’ve met lots of people I wouldn’t normally have met, and it’s great to be able to answer peoples questions about the tapestry. The question I get asked most is where it’ll be exhibited next…but that’s not been announced yet!” Helen Bell

 

“It gives me great pleasure to be able to show people around the tapestry. It’s 143m long, so you really appreciate all the work that has gone into it. My favourite thing about volunteering is talking to people, and being able to answer their questions about the tapestry. I’d recommend volunteering to anyone as it’s really worthwhile, and it’s nice being able to help the public” Kenneth Ellis

 

“I helped to stitch Panel 97, and have been part of a banner group since 1990. After we stitched a banner for ‘Glasgow: City of Culture’ in 1990, we received a certificate saying we could graze our sheep and hang our washing in Glasgow Green. We told Andrew Crummy that and he included a little washing line and sheep in Panel 97’s football design! I love meeting everyone who visits the tapestry, hearing their positive comments and where they’ve come from”  Marilyn Caddell

 

“I used to teach in Carluke, so it’s been great meeting people that I wouldn’t have expected to see here: parents, pupils and friends!” Lorna Chapman

 

“I live locally and saw an advert looking for volunteers in the paper. I enjoy Arts & Crafts, and I helped embroider the Millenium Tablecloth for Lanark Rural – so it seemed like it would be very interesting to volunteer at the tapestry. It’s wonderful seeing the fantastic reception the tapestry receives from visitors from around the world” Eileen Greig

We spent the day at the Great Tapestry with our volunteers on Saturday 8th November. It was one of our busiest days with almost 500 visitors! The highlights of the day were two storytelling sessions with best-selling Scottish author Allan Burnett. Visitors young and old crowded round to hear Allan tell fantastic tales from his book “The Story of Scotland” which is inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland. From Macbeth to Mary Queen of Scots, history really came alive as Allan interpreted details from the Tapestry into fascinating Scottish stories.

Great Tapestry of Scotland - Allan Burnett

Looking the part for some 16th century story telling.

Great Tapestry of Scotland - Allan Burnett

Children listen on eagerly to author Allan Burnett.

There are now less than two weeks left to see the Great Tapestry of Scotland at New Lanark before the exhibition ends on Sunday 23 November at 5pm. (last entry 4pm) Don’t miss out!

New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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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.

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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.

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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.

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