Following on from 'Power in the Landscape', the Alternative Technology Centre is working on a new project exploring the history of the textile industry in and around Hebden Bridge. It is a story that takes in a recent Bronze Age textile find, monastic multi-nationals, the use of natural dye stuff and the growth of the Co-operative Movement
The project spans the history of the area, from the fulling of woollen cloth, through the cotton industry of the 19th century, to Hebden Bridge becoming the largest producer of ready- made working class clothing made from fustian, the name given to various types of strong cotton cloth.
Manchester, as the centre of the cotton trade, was known as 'Cottonopolis', Bradford as 'Worstedopolis', and Edwardian Hebden Bridge as 'Fustianopolis', producing thousands of pairs of fustian trousers and jackets in the mills and sewing shops.
Water power was used for fulling woollen cloth long before the coming of cotton mills in the early 1800s.
This is a community based project involving local people with the support of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society and Calderdale Museum Service.
From Fulling to Fustianopolis