Why my love of textile machines is inspiring me.

In a dark mouldy area on the ground floor of Armley mill there are three fulling machines, textile machines, in a room that once housed many.  The machines were driven by water and large hammers smashed the wet woven cloth , shrinking it and making it warmer and water resistant.

On the more airy first floor of the mill amongst the warping, carding and spinning machines stand two jacquard head textile machines. These complex, intricate machines allowed the automation of the weaving process and were at the very start of the development of computers. Each machine contians hundreds of threads and beautiful cast levers, cogs and wheels.

Two totally amazing and totally different textile machines both key to the development of the woollen textile industry.

Armley Mill is the industrial museum of Leeds , containing not only textile machines, but a cinema and  photography equipment exhibits.  Plus lots of artefacts relating to garmet manufacture in Leeds. But among all this it’s the textile machines that grab my imagination and inspire me.

Returning to the fulling machine , my first photo in the low light captured to me what I might have been like when the machines were hammering away.

A bad case of hand shaking really !

With some help from my photographer husband I used this composite image to develop a piece of felt.

Capturing the green mouldy walls, and the elements of the fulling machine, a felted and stitched piece emerged.

In similar process I have depicted the Jacquard head in felt. There are massive amounts of machine stitching in this piece.

Inspirational textile machines

First captured in digital format and then converted into felted textile art. What a wonderful process. I love it !

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One thought on “Why my love of textile machines is inspiring me.”

  1. Els
     ·  Reply

    WOW ! some inspiration Jane !!!!!

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