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Caroline Skeel (1) There seems to have been trade in very poor quality cloth, which gave Welsh cloth a poor reputation.  Various statutes were put in place to try to improve this.  This poor quality was still evident in the first half of the 17th century.

There is no easy source of information about the organisation of the Welsh cloth industry but it can be assumed that the Welsh clothier probably only employed his own family and maybe one or two weavers.  He would be the wool buyer, weaver and cloth-seller – and probably also a farmer.

In 1619 £2000 a week was paid to cloth-sellers at Oswestry market, so the industry helped to bring prosperity to poor areas.In the 17th century there appears to have been difficulty supplying spinners with sufficient wool to spin – possibly through the lack of a system allowing its purchase?  Spinning would have been done by women and children.

How much were weavers paid?  In 1601, for “weaving kersey yard wide, 1d” and for “spinning and carding every pound of wool, 5d”.

In 1674, two weavers and a woolcomber were brought from Norwich to effect improvements in technique.

Welsh cloth was sold in fairs and markets in Wales, to English merchants, in the cloth market in Oswestry (and later Shrewsbury) and in London.

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