Thursday, 2 August 2012

More Day Tripping

We spent a day at Upper Canada Village.  Even so, we didn't get to see all of it.  It's huge and the costumed staff is knowledgeable and willing to discuss the history of the various buildings and depictions of the homes, businesses and trades.  

The Wool Mill was situated right near the entrance to the park.  The front part of the downstairs had a huge fibre washing facility.

 After washing, the fibre was spread outside on these racks to dry.   A storm had rolled through the night before so the fibre was really quite wet.  It was very clean and enticing.

Upstairs housed the carding and spinning machinery.   The fibre is  starts in the first carder and automatically is fed to the second carder.  It's pretty messy as large piles of vm and short cuts fall out the bottom of the carders.   

There is spinning machinery as well as bobbin winders.   It wasn't running when we were there but all the spinning equipment is functional.  I don't remember the all the details about the commercial spinning machines,  the speed was quite impressive.

After seeing the carding and spinning facility, the tour leads to the weaving room.  Here you can see the huge belts which connect the machinery to the water driven gears.   There were looms, a warping mill, brushing and fulling machines.  It was all fascinating but I was particularly taken with the brushing machine.  It uses Teasels!    The sample showed that the Teasels do a really good job of raising the nap.

The weaving and spinning house has a large number of wheels, including production wheels, one with an original distaff, and an absolutely lovely walking wheel.  It did invoke a small amount of lust, seeing that wheel in the corner.   It is a beauty for sure!   They have a 4 shaft barn loom in really good shape as well.  They were weaving a blanket with a cotton warp and handspun weft which was really nicely done.

 This very old castle wheel was in a roped off bedroom.   After asking a few questions about it, they brought it out into the main room so I could photograph it properly.  It's from the late 1700's.  it's in amazing shape.  The 3 legged design is so it will fit easily into a corner and be out of the way in a small cabin.    I was thrilled that they took the time to bring it out and show it off.  You don't see a wheel like this too often, at least in our area.

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