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Girl at Preston Loom

Photo credit: The Whitaker

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This is a portrait of Preston weavers, painted 15 years after the end of the Preston Strike. Images of working people are less plentiful before the development of popular photography: urban working-class subjects were not generally considered to be suitable subjects for painting. Both girls wear shawls, a feature that endured down to the Second World War, and sport different styles of headgear to keep their hair out of the machines. The girl in the foreground wears a headscarf, knotted under the chin, while her companion wears the more stylish hairnet. The wearing of crinolines, fashionable in the late 1860s, was prohibited for reasons of safety.

The Whitaker



Girl at Preston Loom




oil on canvas


H 29.2 x W 21.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Mrs Louisa Hamer, 1969

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Whitaker

Whitaker Park, Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire BB4 6RE England

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