The Handloom Era:
Domestic Textile Production
Lancashire and textiles have been closely linked since the 13th century. The manufacture of woollen goods came first, then linen, and then fustians, which had a linen warp and a cotton weft. Cotton came to predominate later in the 17th and 18th centuries. Lancashire's famous damp climate might have many drawbacks, but it did favour the spinning of fibres and all over the county people eked out a living, combining small scale farming, weaving and spinning. Blackburn was the market town for East Lancashire and was poised to become the centre of the cotton industry, not only in this country, but the world.