Once one of the largest industrial centers of America, Lowell Massachusetts is now home to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum. The same doors that thousands of Irish immigrants walked through on a daily basis to man the weaving equipment, are now walked through by students and tourist alike to learn about how things were. For me, my sewing interest is what brought me to the museum. It was really fun to see fabric being produced, even if it was for demonstration purposes only. I was hoping I’d be able to buy some authentic Lowell fabric in the gift store but all they had was calico dish clothes
The Boott Mills were operational for over a hundred and twenty years and closed their doors in 1955. The US Parks Department has since restored and reopened the Mills to their current glory. The exhibits feature authentic mill equipment and gives visitors a sense of what the operational mills were really like. The first floor weave room is filled with industrial grade looms that run at top speed. The machines are authentic to when the the Mill was in its hay day but only a few run at a time. This gives you a sense of what Mill girls worked with. I had to wear ear plugs just to be there for about an hour!
I took some pretty great pictures, including some amazing shots of weaving equipment and of an authentic mill girl uniform. I LOVE the pleats of the skirt. I’m fairly certain they are knife pleats but if you think other wise please leave me a comment, I’d love to recreate the skirt!