After leaving Llanidloes, I headed off to visit the Wool Museum. It was a fair drive to get there, as I had to drive across to Aberytsthweth and then down the coast road. I headed for Newcastle Emlyn - luckily the brown tourist signs appeared, as the Wool Museum is not on a main road. The area is very rural, although the area once had many mills, due to the availability of a fast flowing stream, the local availability of wool, a rail head nearby, plus local weaving expertise.
When I arrived, my car was the only one there, save for a bus, and it was raining hard!
Luckily, I could hear the sound of the looms and knew that I was in the right place. There is still a commercial mill on the site, as well as the Museum.
The items that were produced in this mill in its heyday were nursing shawls,
Flannel for shirts and other garments, and blankets.
...and in more modern colours. A blanket costs about £250 depending on size, which sounds expensive, but it must be remembered that these will last for over 100 years if well kept.
Flannel was a major product in days gone by, and these woollen fabrics made the famous flannel Welsh quilts. I was hoping to get more of a sense of how this was made....I had to wait while the ladies of the Porthcawl Baptist Church had their coffee in the tea room, then took the tour with their group! (Yes, it was their bus in the carpark.) I'll show you photos of the weaving machinery in the next post.