The textile industry, as we know it today, has been in the making quite some time, and all of its progress certainly didn’t happen overnight. This post is going to be a bit of a history lesson that highlights some fundamental textile machines that have created the textile industry and fashion as we know it today.
The US textile industry was first established in New England, it possessed all of the necessary factors needed like capital and mechanical skills. The textile industry first started to expand in the South, where textile mills were built.
The steam engine was the turning point for the textile industry, as it sparked the need for textile expansion and development.
Thomas Savery patented the steam engine, which effectively drew water from flooded mines with steam pressure. This new technology made it possible to run a machine anytime, anywhere.
John Kay invented the flying shuttle loom.
James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.
Richard Arkwright patented the water-powered spinning frame.
Francis Cabot Lowell was an American businessman who is credited for bringing the industrial revolution to the US. Lowell invented the first functional power loom and factory (in 1813) that could perform processes such as spinning yarn to finishing cloth, all under one roof. Lowell built his famous textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts. Textile mills concentrate on the fabric construction stage of fabric.
Rev. Edmund Cartwright invented the mechanized power loom through 1787.
Samuel Slater, the father of American manufacturing, is credited for modifying Arkwright’s blueprints and bringing them to America. Moses Brown hired him, and Slater created the first American textile mill in 1791. He went on to create 13 spinning mills with tenant farms and company towns around his textile mills. In 1806 he created a mill that he named Slatersville.
Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, which allowed the cotton growers to supply New England’s spinning and weaving mills increased demand for fibers.
Once textile mills were created they began to grow like wildfire, and so did the advancements in technology. All of the great inventors of the past made the pioneering steps for the textile industry, and although a lot of the mills are no longer needed, some spinning mills still operate. Some of the first, which were made in North Carolina, are still standing today.
Which invention do you think was the most revolutionary, and have you been to any of the textile mills that are still standing today?