Friday, 8 July 2016

Gallery 2 - The Machine Floor

The Story of Wool Cloth Production
From elements of previous work and projects the machinery around wool and worsted manufacture is a known commodity that I am fascinated by. Though I am not always certain as to what it all does and love to see it working to further educate and inform me. The display at the Textiel Museum is well laid out and accessible to those with some knowledge and no knowledge. On the two days that I visited the gallery there were several attendants on hand to share knowledge and work the machinery, which brought the story to life further. They were incredibly engaging and enthusiastic and were happy to share stories and answer questions. The signage throughout the exhibition was also highly appropriate with archive photographs, machinery knowledge and dates and where the machines came from. It was all highly illuminating in creating a working, contemporary and engaging museum narrative through display, volunteers, examples and signage.

The exhibition space begins with large sacks of beautifully clean wool tops that the visitor can touch and gain a sense of the materials used. Museum information is in a clip board style which I felt was really user friendly and not over facing. The historic pictures add to the scene. I did wonder whether there was a need for more such pictures but they could be elsewhere for visitors who are more interested in the history. There was a real sense of placing the story locally in Tilburg.

Wool sack and exhibition signage
The Devil's Mill

The 'Duvel Molen' Devil's Mill described the picking shed where all the wool was sorted to the desired blend before being dyed or spun. Back breaking work and highly dangerous.
Back of the Devils Mill and those scary teeth

the clocking in machine I did wonder if the workers of Tilburg were shut out from the factory gates if a minute late as the Yorkshire Mill workers were.

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