Saltaire was founded by Sir Titus Salt, a woollen textiles manufacturer who moved his entire business from Bradford - partly to provide better living and working conditions for his workers, and partly to site his large mill by a canal and a railway. The illustration below shows the open countryside in which the mill was built, before completion of the whole village in 1876.
Titus wanted a brand new, 'state of the art' mill with all the latest technology, and in 1851 he closed the small mills that he owned and brought everything to Saltaire to create one 'supermill'. Using the wool from alpacas, Titus combined it with other materials to create new varieties of worsted cloth (wool worsted cloth, wool/cotton and wool/silk worsted cloths already existed).
To celebrate the opening of such a fantastic mill, Sir Titus threw a big party on his 50th birthday in 1853 and invited all of his 3,500 workers where they ate two tons of meat, half a ton of potatoes, 320 plum puddings and 100 jellies. What a feast!
'It was such an exciting place to work; we sold our fabrics all over the world. My mill was one of a kind'.