002 - The Cotton King

Factual Questions

Who is the 'Cotton King'?
How did the 'Cotton King' revolutionise the cotton industry?

Conceptual Question

How did societies change due to the industrial revolution?

Key Terminology

  • Spinning Jenny
  • Flying Shuttle
You will find out what these inventions are during the course of the lesson.



Activity One - Who?

Taken From: http://www.famousinventors.org/images/james-hargreaves.jpg
Taken From: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/PublicDomainColourPortraitOfJohnKayBorn1704.jpg/220px-PublicDomainColourPortraitOfJohnKayBorn1704.jpgTaken From: http://www.daviddarling.info/images/Arkwright.jpg

Before we look at the changes to the cotton industry we need to look at some of the key players who helped create this change. We will be focusing on the 'Cotton King' himself, Richard Arkwright, James Hargreaves and John Kay. Answer the following questions:

  1. Who was James Hargreaves? What was his background?
  2. What did James Hargreaves invent?
  3. How did that invention change the industry?
  4. Who was John Kay? What was his background?
  5. What did John Kay invent?
  6. How did John Kay's invention change the industry?
  7. Who was Richard Arkwright? What was his background?
  8. What did Arkwright invent?
  9. How did Arkwright's invention change the industry?
  10. What did these inventors have in common?
  11. Looking at the map below where are the key areas for garment (textile) manufacturing in England?

Useful Resources




Activity Two - Where? Raw Materials

Taken From: https://vw-superiorthreads.storage.googleapis.com/docs/cotton-infographic.jpg

We have so far explored three key inventions which have revolutionised the cotton textile industry. We now need to look at the global process of the growing of the cotton right through to the selling of a garment. To do this we are first of all going to look at where the cotton is produced, spun into cotton and dyed. You will need to use the infographic above and the clip below to help you with the questions below:



Raw Materials
  1. Name the five top cotton producing countries? 
  2. Where do you think the English would have originally bought their cotton from?
  3. How is cotton actually produced? Watch the you tube clip above.
  4. Using the infographic why is Egyptian cotton seen as the best?
  5. Why is there a movement away from buying Egyptian cotton today?

Useful Resources



Activity Three - Where? Production

Photograph Taken by: Ellena Mart at Masson Mills

Before you begin to answer the questions below you will need to download the roundme.com and google cardboard apps on to your smart phones. The applications are free but if you need to get permission from your parents please ask!

Roundme.com
Taken From: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/H0UgglBFk6oOQH0LboUNhTW5zdDjeLhkCcB6s7zn7lY5OwAwzUiSC-S5R1YJzCF_0Gw=w300
Google Cardboard
Taken From: http://www.roadtovr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/cardboard-app-virtual-reality.jpg




  1. Why did Arkwright build his factories near Matlock in England? What natural advantages can you see in the map and the images below.
  2. What evidence is there in the first 360 image of energy use at the Arkwright Mill?
  3. What did Arkwright do to encourage people to work at his mills?
  4. What were the working conditions like in Arkwright's factories?
  5. What acts were put in place due to reduce the amount of child labour?
Map One - Masson Mills and the Arkwright Mill

360 Degree Image of the Arkwright Mill located at Cromford Meadows, Derbyshire

Link to Photographs of Masson Mills



Useful Resources




Activity Four - Today

Textile manufacturing has gone through a revolutionary change from its inception; from the types of machinery that are now used to make our clothing, to the location of where our clothing is produced. Global interactions have played a critical role in these changes. While much of our clothing is mass produced in huge factories abroad there are still a few in England who are trying to survive this much more hostile and competitive environment.
  1. What has changed to cause the production of clothing to move to Asia? (Think about what we have looked at in the Global Tourism unit.)
  2. Watch the clip below and describe the conditions that the factory workers live and work in within Bangladesh. Record your results in the padlet below.
  3. Why are people beginning to buy British made clothes again? Read one of the articles below to help you.

Fashion Living Conditions - Bangladesh


Made with Padlet

Useful Resources




Activity Five - Case Study of a Very British Company

Taken From: https://i0.wp.com/acontinuouslean.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/7258033026_e0908b081f_b.jpgTaken From: http://info.sunspel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sunspel-Factory-Superior-Craftmanship1.jpg

Watch the video in the link and answer the questions in the table below. The clip is from a publishing company could Esquire who focus on what men's fashion, health and interests are. The clip focuses on four very British manufacturing companies mainly based in the Midlands area of the UK. While the companies produce different items ranging from coats to underwear they all have the same ethos. It is your job to find out how and why they are surviving in this competitive world of cheap imports.

Esquire Video Questions


  1. Watch the clip below and right down what looks the same and what is different in the manufacturing of clothes since Arkwright was alive.
  2. Using the roundme.com image below answer the following questions.
      • What innovation was created in the Medieval Times?
      • What gender are the workers?
      • What is being made? What evidence is there of that?
      • What evidence is there of a production line?
  3. Using the article in the useful resources section, answer the following questions:
      • How has the factory adapted to modern life?
      • What has stayed the same since the conception of Sunspel?
      • Is there anything familiar about the people you have read about?

Sunspel - A day in the life of a British clothing factory



Useful Resources