As promised, here are some photos from Trefriw Woollen Mill. Some are from my visit on Wednesday, and some are from last time I went, nearly three years ago.
This is the blending shed, with piles of raw wool all over the place. It’s very sheepy.
There are huge bales of dyed fibre all over as well.
There are lovely old handwritten signs alongside the newer ones, this one tells how the different colour blends are put together.
And this one explains the different processes (click to make them bigger).
The nice man working the carding machine let me in past the barrier for a closer look. The carded fibre comes over the drum on the right of the photo, and is then rolled slightly into strips which go up the belts on the left
and onto large bobbins to make slivers, which are strips of fibre with no real strength to them.
The bobbins of sliver are then put onto the back of the spinning mule, and spun into singles. I’m very chuffed with myself here for remembering that my camera also takes videos, and then managing to upload them to YouTube.
I didn’t quite work out how the singles are transferred from the spindles to the large cones, but they evidently are, because here they are being twisted together to make a two ply yarn (they called it twisting, it looked like plying to me).
This contraption may have something to do with it, it seems to be winding the hanks onto cones, but it could be the other way round (it wasn’t working whilst I was there!) I loved all the cones of yarn knocking about the place.
Sadly the looms weren’t working either (it was just after lunch, maybe they’d have got going later, but I didn’t have time to hang about), but they all looked very intriguing.
Now that’s a warp.
These are some of the tapestries they weave. When I was about eight or so my mum made me a cape out of the red one at the top of the three samples, I wore it for years – it had a zip up the front and slits for my hands, it got shorter as I grew. She’s probably still got it somewhere. Humm, wonder if she’d let me have it to make something else out of it….
Some 1930s bedspreads.
And to finish off, this is the River Conwy as I was driving back up the valley towards Llandudno. Just visible at the bottom left of the photo is the railway line, which is almost in the river at this point.