Ribbon & Glove Making.
Note that this article was
originally written in 1968 by Mrs. P. Reeks.
There were some crafts that have left no visible
evidence other than a mere mention in records of the area.
In the thirteenth century tanners were in abundance
in the Cranborne Chase, the deer hides being exported to
. During the eighteenth century leather became
subject to tax; the
Cranborne Borough Court
appointed twice yearly inspectors who watched, branded and
registered the output.
Also early in the eighteenth century in the
Cranborne area there was a ribbon weaving
industry. It is thought that an employer brought
his staff and business from
; after higher wages were fixed in London following the
Spitalfield' s Act of 1773. The industry died
out because of foreign competition.
Cloth for export was woven in
in the fourteenth century, but it does not appear to be
something of which to be proud. Apparently the
statutes of Richard II and Henry IV included Dorset with
"shires guilty of fraudulent practice in the
concealment of defccts" which the acts prohibited..
Glovemaking was a cottage industry on the
Hampshire-Dorset border at the beginning of this century.
Several ladies in Verwood can remember, as children having
to knit the ribbings of the gloves ready for their mothers
to complete them. One lady said that the knitting was always
in her mothers hands even as she walked about the house and
garden. This lady could not: remember the
pattern as she was never entrusted to complete a glove. I am
told that a man came from Blandford once a fortnight to
collect the finished gloves and bring more of the soft
string with which they were made.
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