Cotton was imported from America in raw state and processed into fabric in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Calico (tlws?) – a closely woven cotton – was used in the lining of the tailored bedgowns.
Cotton manufactories in Wales
There was a cotton manufactory briefly at Prendergast Mill, Haverfordwest, 1786 – 1816; the Cotton Twist company had four mills at Holywell which produced cotton thread for England and Scotland; there was also a cotton mills near Mold and another, briefly, in the Vale of Llangollen around 1800, but it is not known exactly what they produced.
For Holywell, Mold and Llangollen see Pennant, Thomas. The history of the parishes of Whiteford, and Holywell. [London], 1796, p. 214; Davies, Walter, General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of North Wales, (London, 1810), p. 401, 409
Some of the simple bedgowns from north-west and south Wales were made of printed cottons. Catherine Hutton noted that women in Caernarfon were wearing cottons in 1799 in contrast to the inland ‘mountaineers’ who wore only woollen fabrics. (Catherine Hutton, Letters written during a Third Tour in North Wales by Miss Hutton, of Bennett’s Hill, near Birmingham LETTER XIV, Caernarfon, September 14th, 1799, Monthly Magazine, 1816)
References to cotton
‘There is a good market for Welch cottons and an old glover evades stamp duties to sell very tolerable gloves at a shilling a pair.’ (Slaney, Plowden, A journal of a tour through the counties of Denbigh, Merioneth, Cardigan, and Caernarvon, and the island of Anglesey in 1793, NLW 9854, p. 16)