|Woolsorters at work|
It was a highly skilled job requiring a seven year apprenticeship and was a much sort after job, because of the relatively high wage, when compared to other work within the textile industry, and because of this many men were tempted by job offers abroad, as the following poster from 1855 shows.
The West Riding of Yorkshire’s phenomenal growth during the 19th century was founded on the Wool Industry….925 factories employed woolsorters ...a total of about 25,000 individuals ....45,000 in Bradford alone....but this industry had a dark side….alongside bad working conditions and poverty, a deadly disease awaited some woolsorters. Their job was far from a safe occupation for many…..read on for the full story.
Over the following twenty years, however, merchants and manufacturers in Bradford began to make far more extensive use of ever-more-readily available imported fleeces, whose long fibres made for a high-quality end product.