Trefriw Woollen Mills, Watermills Trefriw, Conwy County - Wales where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales


. Trefriw Conwy_County Wales
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At Trefriw Woollen Mills in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales we manufacture Welsh double weave (tapestry) bedspreads (carthenni) and tweeds. We carry out all the processes from raw wool to bedcovers, i.e. blending, carding, spinning, doubling, dyeing, warping and weaving. We generate our own electricity using water turbines. Thomas Williams bought the mill in 1859. His descendants still own and operate it. Before the Industrial Revolution, spinning and weaving was carried out by hand at home. The woven cloth was taken to a fulling mill or "pandy" (in Welsh) to be washed and pounded before being stretched out on tenters in the field to dry. Trefriw Woollen Mills was such a pandy. Its position on the banks of the river Crafnant allowed the exploitation of the soft, fast flowing water to wash the wool and cloth, and drive the water wheels which powered the fulling hammers. The late 18th and early 19th centuries brought in looms with flying shuttles, spinning mules and carding engines, all taking power from the water wheels. This revolutionised cloth production, and the scattered cottage industry moved into the centralised mill situation. In about 1900 the water wheels at Trefriw were dismantled and a hydro-electric scheme was installed. Updated in 1952 with a dam, half a mile upstream, this water supply fuels our electricity generation today.
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