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The Knitting Frame

In the photo below Peter Clowes is sitting at a framework knitting machine in the Wigston Frame Knitters Museum. It produces a flat piece of material and the design of these machines goes back to 1589.

[Sound clip on the Bedaux strike]
0.24 minutes
[102 kb]


[Framework knitting machine]

Hear Peter talking about learning to use a framework knitter
Hear Peter describe the process of working a framework machine

The conditions of the 'stockingers' who worked with these machines in homes and workshops, were notoriously bad in mid nineteenth century Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, and it wasn't until an upturn in the market for knitted goods in the later 1800's that their lot improved. By the 1900's almost all knitted goods were produced in factories, and although a few framework knitters were employed in factories even into the 1930's, this method of production had all but disappeared in the space of a few decades.


Last updated: 14/11/02
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
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