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The Tima/u Herald of a recent date says;—The present condition of the woollen trade in New Zealand makes it more than ever a matter for regret that the project for establishing a factory at Timaru came to nothing. The mills at Mosgiel and Kaiapoi are working to their utmost.capacity, but are quite unable to keep pace with orders ; and the Ashburton factory, which is not yet at work, has already received promises of large orders, if it proves capable, as no doubt it will, of turning out good material. In fact, the time is fast approaching when the great bulk of woollen goods used in the colony will be locally manufactured. Of course there will always be some imports, because people like a variety and like the newest fashions, and also because there are special descriptions of cloth :

which are made only at particular places in England, Scotland or elsewhere, and which cannot be so well or cheaply produced here. The value of woollens imported into New Zealand amounts to about Lioo,ooo a year, of which about L 20,000 is for blankets. There is no reason why the whole of this latter sum, and a great part of the remainder, should not be spent locally* to the great advantage ot the purchasers as well as the manufacturers. The New Zealand cloths and blankets are of better quality than those imported, and much about the same price ; and as the trade becomes more extensive and the appliances more complete they will become considerably cheaper. We have always had an idea, indeed, that eventually this country will be a large exporter of woollens, the honest quality of our goods giving them a reputation of their own in the Horae markets. In order to gain that end, however, it will be necessary for our manufacturers to produce some speciality, of a more oc less original character, which will be known everywhere at a glance as New Zealand cloth. We should also like to see a manufacture of carpets spring Up. The best of carpets are made in Tup key, Dagestan, and all sorts of wild mountainous oriental countries, the freight from whence is quite as heavy as that from New Zealand. Carpets are very heavy and expensive goods, and freights and insurance are an important item in their cost. They are made entirely of wool, and we cannot see why they should not be made as cheaply here as anywhere in the world. We have seen a New Zealand-made carpet, hand-made by a woollen weaver in his spare time, and though it was rough and the pattern not too artistic, yet it was an excellent warm* comfortable carpet, and quite as good as many which fetch high prices in London, simply because they come from the East. We commend the idea to some of our enterprising manufacturers.

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Bibliographic details

THE WOOLLEN TRADE IN NEW ZEALAND., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 633, 11 May 1882

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THE WOOLLEN TRADE IN NEW ZEALAND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 633, 11 May 1882