It has taken more than 10 years to research and write and is one of the most important local history books telling the extraordinary story of Norfolk’s world famous, and almost forgotten, textile industry.

Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750-1840 by Dr Michael Nix is a magnificent offering and the first book of its kind looking at the world of textiles and so much more.

Eastern Daily Press: Dr Michael Nix, author of Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750 – 1840 with a sample of 18th century flowered satin woven on a draw-loom for a Norwich manufacturer.Dr Michael Nix, author of Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750 – 1840 with a sample of 18th century flowered satin woven on a draw-loom for a Norwich manufacturer. (Image: The Costume and Textile Association)

Both Michael, publishers the Costume & Textile Association, not forgetting Geoff and Margaret Nobbs, are to be congratulated for giving those interested in our history the chance to sit back and enjoy this wonderful book.

It is a big, it is bold and it is worth every penny of the £35 it costs to buy…and cherish.

Author Michael, a man with Norfolk roots, is an established writer who worked as a teacher and in museums in the West Country and Scotland. He co-established Hartland Quay Museum in North Devon with marine artist Mark Myers.

When he and his wife Ann came to live in Norfolk in 2011 they, along with maritime historian Robin Craig, edited the autobiography of a shipmaster from Edinburgh called John Miller.

That resulted in Geoff and Margaret Nobbs, volunteers at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth, getting in touch to say they had a logbook from one of the East India Company ships Miller had been an officer on.

Eastern Daily Press: Dr Michael Nix photographed with the last surviving Jacquard loom from the Norwich textiles industry at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell.Dr Michael Nix photographed with the last surviving Jacquard loom from the Norwich textiles industry at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell. (Image: The Costume and Textile Association)

Michael has been looking for a project local to Norfolk and when they introduced him, through other records, to John Christopher Hampp , a master weaver who imported stained glass from the Continent.

“Stained glass interested me and I thought I had my project. However, I began to realise through Hampp that there was a bigger story to be told about the Norwich textiles industry,” said Michael.

Now, 10 years on, we have a full, in-depth comprehensive illustrated history of this period of Norfolk’s industrial heritage for the first time.

 

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750–1840 featuring an image of Weavers Lane, Norwich, by Henry Ninham (1796–1874).Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750–1840 featuring an image of Weavers Lane, Norwich, by Henry Ninham (1796–1874). (Image: Norfolk Museums Service)

Over 600 pages it tells the story of this important global trade, the sourcing and production of worsted yarn and the many processes required to turn it desirable and beautiful stuffs.

Here are the spinners, dyers and master weavers, the hot-presses who glazed their textiles and sold these rich, vibrant fabrics in Europe and across the world, as far afield as the Americas and China.

The book is also brought to life with many colourful illustrations, including jewel-coloured swatches from the pattern books revealing the beauty and intricacy of the dazzling patterns. Many of these are held in the Norfolk Museums Service collections.

Eastern Daily Press: Swatches of fabric given by the Norwich manufacturers Stannard & Taylor to the Italian merchant Giovanni Battista Moccafy during his visit to Norwich in either late 1766 or early 1767.Swatches of fabric given by the Norwich manufacturers Stannard & Taylor to the Italian merchant Giovanni Battista Moccafy during his visit to Norwich in either late 1766 or early 1767. (Image: : Michael Nix, courtesy of the Ville de Paris: Bibliothèque Forney, 677.064)

Norwich Textiles: A Global Story 1750-1840 by Michael Nix costs £35 and  in the shops now and online from www.ctacostume.org.uk