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Textiles demonstration – Groups

Go back in time to the working mills of 150 years ago, experience the deafening sounds of the machinery and find out what life was like for thousands of mill workers.

We're looking for weavers, scavengers and piecers of all ages to become our new apprentices. Come and learn all the tricks of the trade as we turn cotton into the thread that made everything from napkins to knickers!

The Weavers Wanted demonstration will give you a taste of what it was like to work in a cotton mill amongst all the noise, dust and elbow grease. Find out which job you’d have and what life was like for the workers that made Manchester.

What will they learn?

  • Understand how raw cotton from a plant can be turned into cloth via a number of scientific processes.     
  • How machinery during the Industrial Revolution employed scientific processes to mass produce cotton cloth.
  • Why Manchester was known as Cottonopolis.
  • About the dangerous working conditions in Victorian mills, and the jobs that mill workers had to do.
  • How the cotton industry in Manchester impacts on today.

Please note: We cannot guarantee these demonstrations every day. Please speak to staff on arrival to see if demonstrations are running that day.

To see this demonstration (when available), we recommend scheduling time for the Textiles Gallery during one of the times listed above.

This demonstration takes place in the Textiles Gallery. It is open to other groups and general visitors.

Scheduled dates