The testing equipment
Little is known about the inner workings of the testing room, but the identification of objects from the Quarry Bank Mill collection has allowed for an insight into the textile testing procedures undertaken there.
Little is known about the inner workings of the testing room, but the identification of objects from the Quarry Bank collection has allowed for an insight into the textile testing procedures undertaken here.
The equipment in our collection suggests yarn and cotton were tested for strength, twist count, quality and weight. Additionally, apparatus was used to prepare textiles for testing and for ensuring the constant condition of the testing room. For instance, apparatus for supplying humidity and circulating air was used, as changes in atmospheric moisture content could impact yarn properties. Ensuring all fabrics were tested under the same conditions was therefore imperative for accurate outputs, and humidity tables and hygrometers were likely used to ensure moisture levels were constant.
By testing the strength, weight, twist count and quality of textiles, Quarry Bank could ensure the yarn it purchased and cotton it produved met required standards. In this way, the textile testing room may have played an important part in protecting the reputation of the mill within the Lancashire cotton industry. While research into these items in the collection has given a little insight into the purpose of the testing room, still relatively little is known about its inner working. However, our extensive archives and collections are still being catalogued, so there is a possibility that more concrete evidence about its role may come to light.
Find out more about the textile equipment below, and follow the links to see the objects on our online collection.
(Ilustrations taken from H.Curtis, The Testing of Yarns and Fabrics (1926), and The Testing of Textiles (J. Nesbitt Ltd, 1926)