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A Gainsborough Flashback

December 2016  |  General

If you have been keeping up with #technicaledit this week, you will already be aware of our focus on the machines we use to create the wonderful fabrics we are known for.

Our 1930s Hattersley Looms, 2016

From our 1930s Hattersley Jacquard looms, to the hank winding machine, we still maintain the original machines, which have been adapted over time to function with the most current form of power.   Once upon a time, the looms and yarn winding machines were connected via belts that spanned the length of the factory to the engine room.  With the introduction of modern electric power, we dispensed with our Engine room; yet the machines that have been used for 80+ years continue to be of paramount importance to our production process.

Bobbin Winding, 1949

It is only really the people who change at Gainsborough, and even then, only rarely, with all but a few employees having worked at the mill for between 10 – 50 years.  The photos we have spanning back across the course of time show these tireless machines being used in exactly the same way, with only the operators unfamiliar or, in some cases, perhaps simply matured!

Winding Machines, 2016

It all lends itself to the unavoidable conclusion that we, the staff, are the fleeting contributors to this historic Mill.  We expect that in as many years again, someone may comment on how, in the good old days, the looms were powered using mains electricity!