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Health and Safety regulations did not exist in the 17th and 18th Centuries and working conditions were awful.

Repetative Strain Injury must have been common amongst Carders, Spinners and Weavers. Raw wool would pass disease and infection from the sheep to these workers.

Today craft workers in the Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guilds are advised to have tetanus innocutation and to be meticulous with hygiene when working with raw wool. 

Eye strain must have been an issue, as weavers worked in dark rooms with short hours of daylight in winter. 

Children would have been active in the homes, presses in to working as soon as they could.

..... and moths must have been a menace!

Julian from Pensychnant Nature reserve suppied this information:

'Of the 2500 moth species in Britain, only two commonly eat clothes. These are the Common Clothes Moth Tineola bisselliella, and the Case-bearing Clothes Moth Tinea pellionella. Two other tineids may also occur.

Naturally they would eat animal materials such as in birds nests, but these species have found their niche indoors in our clothes.

Nowadays these would be controlled with noxious chemicals. In the past they may have been controlled using extremes of hot or cold, wrapping the wool to prevent moths entering, or simply selling the wool before the larvae had time to hatch and do damage.'

Following this up shows that there is a lot on the internet about moths, so this an aspect of the history that we will continue to explore. The traders must have been worried about moths, as damaged cloth could be forfeit, however the skilled fullers might have had a solution, which was part off the alchemy and skill that was fulling. 

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