trade shows and organisations

From the middle of the 19th century, Welsh fabric producers were having to compete with English and other manufacturers who used machinery and cheap labour on a large scale, in contrast with their own small hand looms. Some producers began to market their products at trade shows, and later, established marketing organisations which encouraged the production and sale of Welsh crafts to a new market (especially the middle and upper classes), the main objective of which was to keep Welsh people employed in Wales.

The most famous of the trade shows was the Great Exhibition, held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London in 1851, at which several Welsh wool producers were represented, but some Welsh products were also present subsequent national and international exhibitions.

The Welsh Industries Association (1891-1914) based in London

The Welsh Textile Manufacturers’ Association (established in 1915 or 1918), based in Cardiff

The Associated Welsh Textile Mills Ltd. (1918?-1924)

Welsh Rural Textile Industry Committee (University of Wales archive in National Library of Wales, 1928-1959)

Associated Welsh Textile Mills Ltd. (1919-1924) (a selling agency – failed because of slump in values)

Report on a survey of the Welsh Textile Industry by William P. Crankshaw (Cardiff, 1927)

The Welsh Textiles Association Ltd. (1931-1943)

The Rural Industries Bureau was established in 1921 or 1928. A Welsh office was based for at least some time of its life at The Plas, Machynlleth.

Records for the Rural Industries Bureau: Welsh textile industry, 1948-1957 are in the National Archives, MAF 113/324

In 1968 the Bureau merged with the Rural Industries Loan Fund to create the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas (CoSIRA)

Rural Industries Bureau Survey of Welsh Mills (unpublished, 1947)

Welsh Woollen Manufacturers Association (established April, 1955), which published : Anon, The Welsh Woollen industry, (The Plas, Machynlleth, 1957?). This includes a short history, bibliography, the Present Position, Some information on Welsh Textiles and the Process of Woollen Manufacture (copy in NLW, Maxwell Frazer (19) 44 typewritten and cyclostyled)