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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 5

I 1788 - State Of The Art In Textile Technology

II Australian Textiles - The Early Days

III Australian Textiles - The 20th Century
i Technology and Development
ii Australian Wool Textile Research

IV Australian Textiles - To Date

V Acknowledgements



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Australian Textiles - The 20th Century (continued)

The cotton and flax sectors of the textile industry had not been idle all the while, and were establishing themselves during the post-war years. In 1923, in Sydney, George Bond (later Bonds Industries) commenced spinning cotton yarn and began the manufacture of towels and knitted garments and, in 1926, the Airedale Weaving Mills, of Melbourne, began weaving cotton tweeds and engineer's twist. The latter company pioneered the cotton-weaving industry in Australia.

In 1927, two companies, which later became predominant in the cotton industry, were formed. One of these companies, Austral Silk and Cotton Mills, Abbotsford, Victoria, was associated with Australian Knitting Mills, a knitting company formed in 1910, which later became a subsidiary of the Bradford Cotton Group; the second company was Bradford Cotton Mills, which erected a cotton-weaving factory at New-town, N.S.W. The latter company periodically added new plant until it became the largest plant of its type in Australia, proudly boasting of warping, sizing and comprehensive maintenance departments. In 1932 Bradford Cotton Mills erected a spinning plant at Camperdown, N.S.W., and in 1933 a dye plant was added to the spinning mill.

The Bradford Cotton Group developed and formed various subsidiary companies, including D & D Mills which produced heavy duty duck and canvas. Sanforizing Services of Australia was another Bradford Cotton Group affiliate created to treat cotton materials, although the technology was used under licence to American interests. In 1926, the firm of H. B. Dickie started assembling towel weaving machinery which became productive in 1927; spinning, bleaching and dyeing plant was appended in 1934.

Stirling Henry Limited of New South Wales established as an importing warehouse opened a small making-up factory to produce cotton garments in 1926. Two years later a knitting plant was added, and in 1938 cotton weaving, dyeing and finishing plant was installed. In 1926 Denniston and Company bought a small woollen and worsted weaving mill and converted it to the production of cotton tweeds and cotton-wool union worsted cloths. The Australian Towel Weaving Mills of Auburn, N.S.W. started operations in 1930, to produce condenser-yarn-filled towels.

In 1930 Davies Coop, a firm which had been engaged in the production of shirts and pyjamas from fabric since 1925, and knitting since 1928, installed a cotton-spinning plant; in 1932 a cotton-weaving plant was added. The company progressively expanded and in 1938 a new mill was established at Collingwood, Victoria, to manufacture condenser yarn and tyre yarn for motor-tyre fabric. In 1940 the company formed Davies Coop Flax Industries, to weave flax for tarpaulins, fire hose and canvas.

Almost without exception, all this was produced by importing overseas technology, though as explained in the next section there were some inventive minds at work in the product area.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Airedale Weaving Mills, Melbourne; Austral Silk and Cotton Mills, Abbotsford, Vic.; Australian Knitting Mills, Melbourne; Australian Towel Weaving Mills, Auburn, N.S.W.; Bonds Industries; Bradford Cotton Group; Bradford Cotton Mills; Davies Coop; Davies Coop Flax Industries; Denniston and Company; Sanforizing Services of Australia; Stirling Henry Limited; University of Sydney

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George; Dickie, H. B.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 272 - 273, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher