A spotlight on… The National Wool Museum
It’s free to visit, it very nearly burned down and it once even required urine in the process of creating fabric. What else didn’t you know about the National Wool Museum? Here’s your chance to find out…
1. Its neighbour is Melin Teifi mill. Right next door to the Museum is another working, private commercial mill called Melin Teifi, which produces work on commissions for established, well-known designers in Wales and England. This mill is open to the public to view the work that goes on there.
2. It is part of National Museum Wales. The National Wool Museum is part of National Museum Wales which has seven different sites across Wales – National Slate Museum, Big Pit National Coal Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, National Waterfront Museum, St Fagans National History Museum, National Museum Cardiff as well as the National Wool Museum.
3. It nearly burned down in 1919. Cambrian Mills, which is now the National Wool Museum caught fire in 1919 causing great damage.
4. It is VERY popular with tourists. Over 36,000 people visit the National Wool Museum every year. There is a varied events and exhibition programme all year including textile courses and craft fairs, family days out and trails of all-sorts to follow.
5. The machines are used daily. Experienced craftpersons work the machines daily, giving tours and producing yarns to sell in the Museum shop. Welsh is the predominant, natural language of the Museum but all literature and the tours are available in English.
6. Woollen mills were once big business. There were once 24 mills working at the same time within one square mile at Dre-fach Felindre, one was Cambrian Mills – where the National Wool Museum is now housed.
7. History costs nothing. Entry to the National Wool Museum is free, as is parking, so you can enjoy an exciting and informative day out without spending a penny!
8. Making fabric is a complex process. The process of turning fleece into fabric includes: willowing the wool, carding, spinning, dyeing, weaving and washing the wool.
9. Welsh shawls are considered good luck. It was once said that if a baby was nursed in a Welsh nursing shawl for the first year of his/her life, that baby would be content for life.
10. The process once required unusual ingredients… Human urine was once paid for to be used for fulling (washing and shrinking the cloth).
There you have our interesting spotlight on the National Wool Museum. For spotlights on other local businesses, why not try…