Wool & Weaving in the Kings River Valley
In the late 1600s, a Quaker community settled at Baltyboys in the Kings River valley, County Wicklow, Ireland. The Quakers resurrected wool production in the valley and managed its supply to the Dublin weaving trade. In the early 1700s, Dublin’s weaving industry began a process of moving from the city to rural locations, a process which was termed ‘rustication’. One location to which the weaving industry rusticated was the area around Baltyboys, where its Quaker community commenced carding and spinning operations and, at a later date, weaving operations. Over time, other industrialists became involved in addition to the Quakers, and as the weaving process became more industrialised tuck mills and warping mills were built.
Although the industry survived the United Irish Rebellion of 1798, little if any further investment took place during the early decades of the 1800s and this led to the death of the local weaving industry around 1840.