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Being a tourist
by Simon at 17:54 15/05/07 (Blogs::Simon)
Kris's folks came to stay for a week last week (hence my absence from hereabouts), so we had a week of being tourists with them.
A particular highlight was a visit to the Wilton Carpet factory in Wilton, near Salisbury, where they make woven carpets (Axminster and Wilton).

Since there were just the four of us, we got a full tour of the entire factory including the design studio.

The shop floor with the looms is one of the loudest places I've ever been (not excluding standing in front of Deep Purple's speaker stack at Wembley many years ago). Some of the looms are almost 100 years old - beautiful pieces of cast iron and steel, with oilers, springs and all manner of properly built stuff :-)

Some photos:

12,000+ threads...

1923 vintage Wilton loom

Modern Axminster loom (computerised - no more Jacqard cards, unlike the older looms)

Hand-stitching any flaws, 8 hours a day, every day

My favorite machine - a carpet lawn mower with helical blades to trim all the pile to the same height after drying and fluffing


JPG image (71 K) 12000+ threads going in
JPG image (63 K) Wilton loom - 1923 vintage
JPG image (66 K) Computerised Axminster loom
JPG image (67 K) Any flaws are corrected by hand-stitching
JPG image (65 K) Essentially, a cylinder lawnmower for carpets
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