National Wool Museum
The National Wool Museum is located in the former Cambrian Mills in the village of Dre-fach Felindre in the beautiful Teifi Valley, Carmarthenshire.
In its heyday there were 52 mills working in and around the village and Dre-fach Felindre became known as The Huddersfield of Wales. Shirts and shawls, blankets and bedcovers, woollen stockings and underwear were all made here to be sold in local markets and then exported to all parts of the world.
As part of the visit you will see the traditional historic working textile machinery in action which shows the whole process of weaving woollen cloth from fleece to fabric. There will be opportunities to meet skilled craftspeople who will guide you through the spellbinding process as well as have a go at some of the traditional tools yourself.
Visitors can enjoy a unique view of textiles in production at Melin Teifi, the site's commercial woollen mill, explore the textile gallery which showcases the Wall of Blankets as well as experience a mock-up of the Emlyn Davies Drapers Shop, a fixture of Dowlais from 1898 to 1962, surviving the war-time years and booms and busts of the 1920s.
As well as enjoying the permanent collections, visitors can take part in the Woolly Tale, a family-friendly trail where you can have a go at carding, spinning and sewing or try out the Village Trail, a self-guided walk around the area uncovering interesting facts about the local woollen industry.
After exploring the displays, you can relax and enjoy a coffee and slice of homemade cake or a light lunch at the cafe before browsing the gift shop which sells a range of contemporary woven Welsh textiles and gifts.
People think of Wales and automatically assume that mining was the country's main source of employment, let alone income, and in many aspects you would be correct. But every single one of these miners would have needed the correct attire to make their job even more comfortable, whether they were down a coal mine, working within the steel industry or in fact marching off to war. Here at the National Wool Museum, you will learn the story of just how important these mills were to the every day life in Wales, and the history behind this particular mill is that interesting, I could have easily spent all day here. The one thing I love so much about visiting these places is, they bring the reality of working inside such a place ever more real. I enjoyed seeing the looks on all of the children's faces as they were spellbound at the many pieces of forgotten technology.- Top 100 Review