Woollen and Worsted

The Story

Imagine what your life could have been like in the early 1700s.

Meet Ethel

The year is 1730.

She is 8 years old.

She is wearing a bonnet and a home-made dress.

Ethel is carding sheep’s wool in preparation for spinning.


Ethel’s Story

Ethel, though only eight, was used to helping her mum spin. Ethel’s job was carding their sheep’s wool. The wool from their sheep was quite short, so once it had been spun it was sold to weavers of woollen cloth.

But today Samuel Hill, the wool merchant and clothier from Soyland, had sent some beautiful long staple wool. This had to be combed to get rid of the short wool fibres, leaving just the long fibres.

They were going to start spinning wool for the much more valuable worsted cloth. It was much thinner and smoother than the woollen cloth.

Ethel’s father was now working in one of Samuel Hill’s mills, weaving worsted. He had told her about the lovely clothes made from worsted.

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