The Weavers' Triangle - Burnley's Historic Canalside.

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Cotton Industry


The Cotton Industry - Burnley's Story

Early History
Cottage Industry
The Factory Age
Population Explosion
Working Life
Strikes and Riots
The Cotton Famine
King Cotton
Textile Engineering
Decline and Fall

Cottage Industry

The 18th Century saw the beginning of the changes that were to turn Burnley into an industrial town. The woollen trade was well established and two new developments were taking place.

The first was the introduction of worsted manufacture. This involved the careful combing of the raw wool, and by the end of the century Burnley had become an important centre of the wool-combing industry.

The second was the introduction of fustian weaving. Fustian was a cloth with a warp of wool or linen and a cotton weft. This was the first use of cotton in Burnley.

Textile manufacture was still mainly carried out under the “domestic system”, in which the cloth was made in the worker’s own home. As it took several spinners to keep a weaver supplied with yarn, the whole family was usually involved in the work.

Cottage industry