Bolton has important Industrial Revolution heritage

April 7, 2010 by  

Bolton has important Industrial Revolution heritage

Your printing requirements can easily be fulfilled today by many good printing companies in and around Bolton. They range from stationery and flyer printers to high volume offset litho printing companies. It is interesting to reflect on Bolton’s industrial past and realise that some of the earliest print firms in Bolton were printing fabrics.

Bolton was very much a cotton producing town back in the 1700s at a time when the industrial revolution was getting into full swing. Its most famous inhabitant at this time was Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning jenny. This machine revolutionised the spinning of cotton.

The town grew from a population of 24,195 in 1801, to 168,215 in 1901. By the year 1920, 160 spinning mills were operating in Bolton which used 9.5 million mule spindles and 2 million ring spindles. This type of machinery remained in use right up until the 1960s.

Early woven fabric was taken out to the fields to be bleached by the sun. Eventually the process was speeded up by washing it in an alkaline mixture, and Chlorine bleaching was introduced to Bolton in the 1790s. Some of this fabric would then go on to printers where some of the earliest designs were applied.

There have many rapid developments in the printing industry. It is interesting to compare the movements of this first mechanical revolution to the micro chip and digital revolution which is taking place today. Deciding when to invest in new kit in Bolton was probably as precarious then as it is today.