Verdant Works Museum Dundee

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The Verdant Works Museum is situated in Albert Square close to Dundee centre.

The Museum can be visited all year with an entrance fee. Postcode: DD1 5BT

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The image top is of the Verdant Works Museum situated about half of a mile southwest of the City centre on W Henderson's Wynd. The museum covers the manufacturing of Jute, water powered mills, steam powered mills, workers lives, and the wealthy Jute Barons.



Jute is a hard wearing, inexpensive fibre for cloth to manufacture sacks, curtains, chair coverings, carpets, rugs, and hessian cloth. In the late 1800s, Dundee had around 60 Jute mills with over 50,000 workers, basically manufacturing Jute for the entire world.

The Fibre is made from Corchorus plants grown in warm wet countries such as India. Jute is the second most produced fibre after Cotton which is produced from Cotton plants.

Linen is also a popular cloth made from the fibers of the flax plant, similar to jute but not as course.

Along with Wool from various animals, these were the main materials for human use throughout the centuries.

Man made fibres such as Nylon, often made from petrochemicals, were introduced from the 1930s. About 45% of all materials were made from Nylon in the 1970s, although this has reduced since the material went out of fashion.

Polyester is another man made fibre used extensively in clothing and soft furnishings. This material was first manufactured in the 1940s, becoming popular in the late 1950s. This is another material that went out of fashion. Recently though, clothing made from polyester microfiber has become popular.

Jute also had a fashion crisis over the years before becoming popular with designers in the 2010s.

Dundee Jute History

1790s - Dundee had a number of Mills manufacturing Linen out of Flax plants grown in the UK and imported from countries around the Baltic Sea.

1820s - the first Jute Mills are opened in Dundee as the City had a large Whaling Fleet providing and abundance of Whale Oil needed to treat the Jute before spinning. The Corchorus plants for the manufacturing of Jute was imported from India.

1833 - the High Mill is opened in Dundee to produce Jute with three steam engines, 70 looms, and 2,800 spindles. The Mill and neighbouring weavers employed around 500 people spinning and weaving Jute.

1850s - saw India becoming part of the British Empire and Mills becoming more mechanized, leading to Dundee producing vast amounts of Jute for countries around the world.

The Jute Barons made vast amounts of money through the industry while providing jobs for over 50,000 people in Dundee.

1900 - the Barons began setting up Jute Mills in India to save on transporting costs of the raw material. This led to the decline of the Jute Mills in Dundee.

1930s - first man made fibers are produced such as Nylon and Polyester, taking much of the market for clothing and furnishings.

1947 - the US business Timex opens a huge factory in Dundee to make use of workers laid off from the Jute Mills. Timex made watches, and in the 1980s computers such as the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum.

1970s, late - 5,000 people worked for Timex.

1993 - the Timex factory closed.

1996 - the High Mill opens as the Verdant Works Jute Museum in Dundee. This 1833 Mill had closed some years earlier.

1999 - last of the Jute spinners in Dundee closed.

2018 - the disused Bell Mill and North Mill on Constable Street were converted to the Hotel Indigo Dundee.

Official website:
verdantworks.com

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Verdant Works Museum Dundee photos