Mysteries of the Bible TV - Michael Wood TV - Mark Williams TV - Ronald Top TV - A N Wilson - Noam Chomsky - Ezra Miller - Lawrence Summers - Niall Ferguson TV - Jago Cooper TV - Robert Peston TV - Misha Glenny - Robert Tressell - Dispatches TV -
In 1999 archaeologists uncovered textile remnants dating from 3150 B.C. at Bab edh-Dhra, a possible site of Sodom & Gomorrah. The discovery marks the site area as the earliest centre of mass textile production in the Near East. Mysteries of the Bible s1e4: Cities of Evil: Sodom & Gomorrah, A&E 1994
1960: 533,000 textile workers; 1978: 209,000 textile workers; 1960: 700,000 miners; 1998: 9,000 miners in the UK. Michael Wood, The Great British Story: A People’s History 8/8, BBC 2012
One of the glories of the industrial revolution for which we should all get down on our knees and give thanks was that people went from wearing this to this: in the nineteenth century we will be mostly wearing cotton undergarments. Cotton wasn’t just more comfortable, it was more healthy too. Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations s1e2: Pants for All, Discovery 2002
All of a sudden cotton was cheap. And that was a revolution. ibid.
Cotton – much more difficult to spin than wool. Has a short staple length ... The Spinning Jenny worked on the same principle as the Spinning Wheel ... The Jenny took cotton out of the home and into the workshops, sounding the death-knell for spinning as a cottage industry. ibid.
They smashed the new machines and rioted and people died. So if you wanted to make a profit from this new technology you had to protect your investment. ibid.
Cromford was to become Britain’s spin-city. ibid.
Beautiful patterned cotton from India was all the rage. ibid.
Cotton could now be spun in mills on Arkwright’s frames using cheap unskilled labour and the latest water-powered technology. ibid.
It had made Arkwright an extremely wealthy man and turned spinners into factory employees ... The people who worked in this mill couldn’t stop and start, come and go as they pleased as they used to when they worked from home: they were now factory employees. And they worked when Arkwright told them. Just imagine the noise. Arkwright was the prototype mill owner. These are his workers’ houses. He invented most of the oppressive working practices we now associate with the bad old days, making women and children work from six in the morning until seven at night for a pittance. And once a year he made his workers sing his song: ‘Let us all here join as one, and give him thanks for favours done. Let’s thank him for all favours still that he hath done beside the mill. Modestly drink liquor about and see whose health you can find out. This will I choose above the rest – Sir Richard Arkwright is the best.’ Was he really! It better have been a good tune. ibid.
Steam power had finally arrived in the textile industry. And this is what the boilers are generating steam for: it’s a tandem – because there are two cylinders one in front of the other like a bike – compound – because the steam is used more than once – condensing – because downstairs is James Watt’s separate condenser – creating a partial vacuum in this the big cylinder – steam engine! It develops five hundred horsepower. Mark Williams: Industrial Revelations s1e4: Pennine Passage
Because this is what it’s driving – three hundred power looms. You can get an idea of how loud it is, but you can’t feel the concrete floor vibrating ... Now everything is powered by steam. ibid.
Soon entrepreneurs started building factories to house the stocking frames ... These frame-knitter workshops with their high long windows to let in light were all built together around 1820. Mark Williams: More Industrial Revelations s2s2: What to Wear? Discovery 2005
The knitters took their employers to court with little effect. So, under the mythical leadership of one General Lud well-organised gangs of knitters smashed the frames of any employers who broke the law. ibid.
A sewing machine did away with ten tailors. ibid.
Two Englishmen, father and son, transformed the textile and iron industries of northern Europe. It’s a story of espionage and intrigue ... William Cockerill was born in 1759 ... One of the British machines Cockerill built was the Spinning Jenny. Ronald Top, Industrial Revelations s3e7: The European Story: Industrial Espionage, Discovery 2005
They realised Jacquard’s system could be applied to any fabric; they decided to use it. And by 1833 the British had over a hundred thousand looms based on Jacquard’s system, driving the world’s biggest textile trade. Ronald Top, Industrial Revelations s3e10: The European Story: King Silk
By the 1760s they could use a Spinning Jenny: a glorified spinning wheel with several spindles: but even it couldn’t keep up with demand. Ronald Top, More Industrial Revelations s4e4: Europe – Cotton, Linen and Rope, Discovery 2006
Arkwright built a series of mills across the north of England. This is Cromford: the first. His appetite for cotton was insatiable. ibid.
The price of cotton plummeted ... Linen was really hit hard. Although linen came from a home-grown product – flax – unlike cotton which was imported. The linen industry in France and Belgium had remained unchanged for hundreds of years. ibid.
Mass production had reached the linen industry but perhaps a little too late. It never truly recovered from cotton’s competition. ibid.
In the 18th century, James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, and Richard Arkwright pioneered the water-propelled spinning frame which led to the mass production of cotton. This was truly revolutionary. The cotton manufacturers created a whole new class of people – the urban proletariat. The structure of society itself would never be the same. A N Wilson
I remember at the age of five travelling on a trolley car with my mother past a group of women on a picket line at a textile plant, seeing them being viciously beaten by security people. So that kind of thing stayed with me. Noam Chomsky
I guess the big thing is that I don’t buy anything first-hand. It’s a personal policy I have for all sorts of reasons. If you research to the textile industry yourself, you’ll know why. I came to it personally. Ezra Miller
There are children who are working in textile businesses in Asia who would be prostitutes on the streets if they did not have those jobs. Lawrence Summers
China’s began with a massive investment in textile manufacture. Niall Ferguson, Civilisation: Is the West History? V Consumerism, Channel 4 2011
Their beautiful textiles. Jago Cooper, Lost Kingdoms of South America I: People of the Clouds, BBC 2013
In 1978 more than three-quarters of a million people were employed in textiles and clothing – that had slumped thirty years later to less than ninety thousand. Robert Peston Goes Shopping II, BBC 2015
A charismatic, tough independent trade-union leader and former physician, Dr Dutta Samant, persuaded Bombay’s 250,000 textile workers to lay down their tools for an indefinite strike. Misha Glenny, McMafia
The strike ended not in agreement, but with the virtual collapse of the textile industry. ibid.
He employed a great number of girls and young women who were supposed to be learning dressmaking, mantle-making or millinery. These were all indentured apprentices, some of whom had paid premiums of from five to ten pounds. They were ‘bound’ for three years. For the first two they received no wages: the third year they got a shilling or eighteenpence a week. At the end of the third year they usually got the sack, unless they were willing to stay on as improvers at from three shillings to four and sixpence per week.
They worked from half-past eight in the morning till eight at night, with an interval of an hour for dinner, and at half-past four they ceased work for fifteen minutes for tea. This was provided by the firm – half a pint for each girl, but they had to bring their own milk and sugar and bread and butter.
Few of these girls ever learned their trades properly. Robert Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
Cheap clothing: we go undercover in the factories making big high street brands, paying their workers less than half the national living wage. This isn’t Bangladesh or China, these are factories right here in the heart of Leicester in Britain. Dispatches: Undercover: Britain’s Cheap Clothes, Channel 4 2017
Dispatches went undercover in Leicester in 2010 we found factory workers being paid £2.50 an hour making clothes for high street fashion chain New Look. ibid.
The true cost of fast fashion … We now expose the harsh conditions in the warehouses dispatching your online fashion orders. We’re inside the multi-million-pound business where having a sick child could cost you your job. Dispatches: Undercover: Britain’s Cheap Clothes II
It’s boomtime in Boohoo … Every order comes through their Burnley warehouse … Twelve-hour shifts … Agency recruits don’t have the same rights as company staff … ‘It’s three strikes and you’re out’ … ibid.