Textile Industry

By: Alexa N, Grayson S, and Ethan

Where did Textile Machienes Orginate?

Textile Machines orginated in England and made their way to America through smuggling. Textile Machines were smuggled through boats and brought to America. Once the Textile Machines were brought to America and set up people started building machienes just like the orginal one brought over but with different variations to make it better and more efficent.

How were Textile Mills Powered?

Textile Mills were powered by foot pedals, horse, and water. Later they were powered by steam. Many te

Who worked at the Textile Mills?

Mainly women and children would work in the textile mills. Children were good workers because of their tiny hands and fingers that would replace strings on the machines . Women and Children had never really worked before so they did not know they were being treated harshly and being paid less than minium wage. Many women and children worked 12 hours per day, 6 days per week.

Where were Textile Factories Located?

Textile Factories were located in North America due to the fact that there was an abundance of room to build factories. They were mainly located near rivers or mines for steam, coal, and water powering. They started off in North Carolina.

Steps of how to create a product from a Textile Machiene

Textile Inventions

"Spinning Jenny" was invented by by James Hargreaves and was the first offical Textile Machine using a spinning wheel to make cloth faster.

"Flying Shuttle" was invented by John Kay. The "Flying Shuttle" was an improvement to looms that allowed weavers to weave faster. John Kay was a weaver and used his knowledge of weaving to build this machine.

"Water Frame" was invented by Richard Arkwright it was the first powered textile machine.

"Mule Machine" was invented Crompton and allowed better control of weaving.

"Steam Engine" was invented by James Watt and used steam to power a wheel that would weave the cloth.

"Robert Loom" was invented by Richard Robert. It was the first loom that had a hand crank to power it. It combined the best qualites of a "Spinning Jenny", "Flying Shuttle",  and "Water Frame". This loom was most common and most efficent.

Major People of the Industrial Revolution

Samuel Slater was named as "Father of the Industrial Revoultion" due to the fact that he opened the first offical textile mill, first man to hire children, and brought over the first textile mill from england.

Sir Richard Arkwright was the inventor of the "Spinning Wheel", "Water Frame" and learned how to mass create fabric.

Women in the Textile Industry-

Women enjoyed being in the Textile Industry because they could contiune weaving, working with children, and felt independent because they were getting payed. The conditions were terrible but the women went along with it because the fear of being treated like the children. Women helped the children and would comfort them/give them love that they were not getting because they were absent from their home. Many women enjoyed the job because of the feeling of independency.

Children in the Textile Industry-

Children orginally started working as young as the age of 4 to 18 years old. Mainly girls worked in Textile Mills but boys did too. The textile mill job required children to replace broken thread, needles, pump peddles, handle chemicals to dye/bleach cloth and create patterns. The machines the children would work were very tall and most children could not even see the machienes without standing on top of the machine.

Many children were payed less than minimum wage and were given one lunch break a day if their employeer was in a good mood. Many children would be tired and hot due to the fact that factories had no windows or proper ventilation. Children were pushed very hard and would strain their eyes, hands, feet, and brains trying to keep up with the rapid paced machines. Children would complain or cry which would lead to their empolyer to beat them or punish them by taking away their lunch/break or make them work harder. Childern were mainly employeed but were treated with cruelty. Many children would not go to school so they could work and help their familes earn money. Children were taken from orphanages and given clothes and some food to work but were treated horrible. Dieases were spread by being in dirty, dusty, stuffy, tight quaters for 6 days a week, 12 hours or more a day.

That was untill the Act of Paraliment was passed in 1833 that forbid children under the age of 9 to work. Children under the age of 13 could not work more than 9 hours a day and 48 hours a week. Children under 18 could not work more than 14 hours a day and 69 hours a week. Each child was required to be fed and go to school for at least 2 hours a day. Many children under the age of 9 still worked because their parents were desperate for money and would create a fake birth certificate to allow them to be older so they could work. the Act of Paraliment only helped with some conditions but empolyers would still beat the children if they felt they had a just reason.


Many horror stories surfaced from the terrible working conditions, ranging from children being severely beaten, dismemberment, and even death.

Children were hired even when they were too small to see the top of the machienes. By standing on the machienes children would lose their toes, feet, and sometimes their fingers because the machines did not stop for children to replace the cloth. Many children were dismembered due to the countious powering of the machines.

Many children, mainly girls, had to watch bobbins (the sharp needle spinning the cloth) move at rapid speeds and if the thread ran out or broke they would have to replace it even if the bobbin continued spinning. They would be watching the bobbins spin for sometimes 70 hours at a time and would get very tired. One child said "My eyes hurt always from watching the threads at night. Sometimes the threads seem to be cutting into my eyes" (Saller 14).  The boys, Doffers, would mainly replace bobbins which was diffcult because the machiene didnt stop spinning to replace a bobbin. Both spinners and doffers ran the risk of loosing fingers or a hand in the machinery that rapidly spun the bobbins. Nerve strain and eyestrain were very common among young textile workers. Textile mills were in close quarters with poor or no ventilation. The humid lint-filled air lead to the spread of bronchitis and tuberculosis among the workers.

  • first to harvest and clean the fiber or wool
  • second, to card it and spin it into threads
  • third, to weave the threads into cloth
  • and, finally to fashion and sew the cloth into clothes

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