Cloth Preparation - Weaving Cloth Preparation - Fulling Cloth Preparation - Teazing Cloth Preparation - Dyeing Cloth Preparation - Shearing By Hand & Machine Cloth Preparation - Streaming Cloth Preparation - Tentering Cloth Preparation - Marketing Cloth Preparation - Changes In Production

After teazle raising, the surface of the cloth was cropped to produce an even finish. Up to the early 19th century, this was carried out by skilled shearmen and large shears were used to trim the cloth by hand.

In 1815, John Lewis was the first to patent a design in for a rotary shearing machine. The new machine could do the work of a shearman more quickly and evenly. Its main feature was a long cylinder with helically arranged blades attached. The cloth passed between these and a fixed bar. As the cylinder turned, the nap was cropped by the spiralling blades.

The rotary shearing machine presented a direct threat to the livelihood of shearmen in Stroud.  It quickly replaced shearmen and was taken up in other woollen cloth making areas.

Did you know...fifteen years later this machine inspired Edwin Budding to invent the world's first lawnmower!

GRO Miles Report 1840 - shearing

Streaming >>

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society