Weavers Company


Newcastle Upon Tyne

The Weavers Company of Newcastle Upon Tyne

Weaving is the textile art in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads, called the warp and the filling or weft (older woof), are interlaced with each other to form a fabric or cloth. The warp threads run lengthways of the piece of cloth, and the weft runs across from side to side.

Cloth is woven on a loom, a device for holding the warp threads in place while the filling threads are woven through them. Weft is an old English word meaning “that which is woven”.

The manner in which the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is known as the weave. The three basic weaves are plain weave, satin weave, and twill, and the majority of woven products are created with one of these weaves.

Woven cloth can be plain (in one colour or a simple pattern), or it can be woven in decorative or artistic designs, including tapestries. Fabric in which the warp and/or weft is tie-dyed before weaving is called ikat.

The ancient art of handweaving, along with hand spinning, remains a popular craft. The majority of commercial fabrics in the West are woven on computer-controlled Jacquard looms. In the past, simpler fabrics were woven on dobby looms, while the Jacquard harness adaptation was reserved for more complex patterns. Some believe the efficiency of the Jacquard loom, with its Jacquard weaving process, makes it more economical for mills to use them to weave all of their fabrics, regardless of the complexity of the design.

Weavers in Newcastle

The old ordinary of this society, the original of which is still in their possession, is dated the last day of August, 1527. By the authority of the mayor, sheriff, and aldermen, justices of the peace, with the consent of their own body, it enjoins them to assemble yearly at the feast of Corpus Christi, go together in procession, and play their play and pageant of “The Bearing of the Cross,” at their own expense; each brother to be at the procession when his hour is assigned, on pain of forfeiting 6d. To take no Scotsman born to apprentice, nor set any to work under a penalty of 40s. for each default, whereof half to go to the fellowship, and half to the work of Tyne Bridge, without any forgiveness; to admit any person who had served an apprenticeship with a brother of the society, a member thereof, on the payment of 13s. 4d. and 12d. for a pot of ale; as also any man of that craft, being the king’s liege man, and desirous to be of the fellowship, a brother thereof, with power to set up shop on the payment of £20, and 12d. for a pot of ale.

Another ordinary, having the sanction of the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle, in Guildhall assembled, dated August 12, 1608, and inrolled in the books of the corporation, confirmed to them that no foreigner or person not free of the fellowship, living in or about the High Castle, near the liberties of that town, should take any work in prejudice of this society, on pain of forfeiting £5 for each default. And that none should buy any linen or hardone yarn, to carry out of the precincts of the said town, under a penalty of 40s. This society has a warrant renewed yearly from the mayor of Newcastle, to seize bad yarn, &c. and still continue to receive annual contributions from the pedlars, who keep booths on the Sandhill.

In 1682, Carliol Tower was repaired by this society for a meeting-house. It was again repaired and beautified in 1821; when the company paid £50 towards the expense, and the corporation the remainder. They possess no property except the tower.

Most probable date of Incorporation: 1527


Senior Steward

P. M. Errington 
27 Ladywell Way 
Newcastle upon Tyne 
NE20 9TE