Film ID:
YFA 5763

BEHIND THE SIRDAR LABEL

1969

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a promotional film made by Harrap Brothers to promote their Sirdar brand of knitting yarn.  Accompanied by a commentary, the film takes us through the process of spinning wool into yarn at their factory in Wakefield, showing the workers at work, including those hand knitting designs for testing.

Title – Harrap Brothers (Sirdar Wools) Ltd. Present:
Behind The Sirdar Label

The film begins with a woman examining some wool in a wool shop, followed by aerial views over the Sirdar Mill in Wakefield.  Inside the mill bales of “tops”, rolls of wool, are being unloaded and put into “bins” from which the wool is drawn onto a machine where the fibres are pulled ready for spinning.  There is both fly spinning and rain spinning, both used in hand knitting yarns.  The process moves on to twisting, with it being explained that the entire process is pre-determined, dependent on the kind of yarn being produced.

Inside the laboratory the wool fibres are being tested at each stage of the process, for its colouring and quality, and all the results are written down.  As oil has been added to the wool it then needs to be scoured, and then washed out and dried, in large spinning machines and then in heating machines.  It is then winched into balls ready for packing, showing women working the machines winding the fibres of different colours into balls.  These are then bundled, labelled and packaged before being sent by conveyer belt to the warehouse.  They are selected for the different orders coming in.  

In the offices modern electronic machines and punch machines process all the information.  Instruction leaflets are added to the orders.  There is a display in a shop window before the film cuts to a room full of women busy knitting different patterns with the designers to be tested.  The hand knitting is shown close up, with it being explained that they are using the typical North Country method of holding one knitting needle under the arm.  It is also explained that some of this work is done by outworkers in their own homes.  The finished garments are pressed before the models try them on.  The film ends with a quick review of what has gone before.

Title – The End

End Credits:
A Tees Industrial Film Production
Directed and edited by T E McLaren
Technical assistance and script by Haig-McAlister Ltd.
Camera – T Stockton
Lighting – L Simpson, T Hodgkinson, W Chown.
Commentary – Franklin Engelmann