Women workers in a silk mill, 1843

Victorian illustration to download showing a picture of women workers at a silk mill, 1843. They are ‘doublers’: doubling is the combining of two or more single threads into one to increase the strength and thickness of the thread. Each woman sits beside a spinning wheel, which she turns with her right hand. With the other she draws single threads from bobbins so that the threads lie side by side on the wheel. (Twisting the threads together, ‘throwing’, was another process, which at this date was done by machine, powered by steam or by hand). This scene was sketched in the Lombe silk mill, Derby.