Testing at Quarry Bank

Testing Book from the Quarry Bank collection, dated 1911

Evidence in the Quarry Bank collections suggests the mill also undertook cloth testing and the standards set by the Testing House were likely used as a benchmark. Quarry Bank holds an extensive collection of equipment that would have been used for the testing of yarn and cloth and have been the focus of research with the assistance of The University of Manchester.

During the late 19th century some cotton mills opted to perform textile testing in-house, perhaps to lessen costs or to ensure the quality of purchased yarn before weaving.

 

In 1894 Edward Hyde Greg, the owner of Quarry Bank Mill, made the decision to stop spinning yarn at the mill, opting to buy it in for weaving. The creation of a testing room may have proved vital in this transition.

 

A small cotton testing room was established in the 1890s next to the counting house and offices. Its location next to the financial heart of the mill demonstrates the importance of this process. By testing the quality of the purchased yarn, the mill could ensure it was not being ‘short-reeled’ by merchants meaning irregularities could be identified, orders could be fulfilled and potential losses avoided.

 

'Example of our testing of twist and weft used in cloth production' taken from Quarry Bank Testing Book c.1911-1915
'Example of our testing of twist and weft used in cloth production' taken from Quarry Bank Testing Book c.1911-1915
'Example of our testing of twist and weft used in cloth production' taken from Quarry Bank Testing Book c.1911-1915