National Museum of Wales buys historic Teifi Valley woolen mill to ‘keep industry alive’

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National Wool Museum and staff of Melin Teifi

The National Museum of Wales has purchased a historic woolen mill in the Teifi Valley to ‘keep the industry alive’.

Wool was Wales’ biggest industry for hundreds of years, dating back to the Middle Ages, but much of the heritage has now been lost.

The museum will acquire Melin Teifi in Drefach Felindre and their “fantastic range of machinery” as they close after 40 years of traditional weaving in 2023.

“Melin Teifi’s retirement in 2023 will not be the end of the story, but simply the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the mill and a continuation of the history and tradition of the mill. wool industry in Wales,” a spokesperson said. for the museum said.

Melin Teifi was founded in 1982 by Raymond and Diane Jones following the closure of Cambrian Mills, where they had both worked for 18 years.

Two years later, Melin Teifi moved to the site of the old Cambrian Mills, which houses the National Wool Museum at Dr Fach Felindre in the Teifi Valley in Carmarthenshire.

The National Wool Museum plays a key role in maintaining the tradition of wool weaving through the maintenance and operation of historic machinery and through the work they do with their artisans.

There are only a handful of woolen mills left in operation in Wales. Following the acquisition of Melin Teifi by Amgueddfa Cymru, the machinery and equipment will remain in situ and be protected, maintained and used to continue the tradition of wool making in Wales, they said.

“National Significance”

Raymond Jones, Melin Teifi said, “I think what the museum is doing now is so important; they’re going to move the industry forward, bring people in to learn and run this factory, and keep the industry alive for the future.

“Drefach Felindre has been involved in the wool industry for centuries. The fact that the Museum is here shows that it is at the heart of the woolen industry, so it is very important that it continues.

Ann Whittall, Director of the National Wool Museum, said: “The acquisition of these historic looms and machines by Amgueddfa Cymru will ensure that the tradition of wool weaving in Wales will be protected for future generations.

“This will allow our artisans to continue their training and develop their skills whilst producing high quality Welsh woolen blankets.

“Seeing these machines in full working order will enhance the visitor experience with visitors able to witness living history at its best, watching and learning from our artisans and hopefully inspiring the next. generation of weavers.”

Daniel Harris, London Cloth Company, supports the training of artisans at the Wool Museum.

He said: “The purchase of Melin Teifi by Amgueddfa Cymru is of great national significance. Typically, what I’ve seen over the last ten to twenty years is that when the factories close, there’s no replacement, the whole collection is then dispersed, spread across the country, most being scrapped.

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