Origin Threads – Queensland’s Woollen Textile Industry
Dr Janis Hanley, Harry Gentle Centre Visiting Fellow 2021-2022


About the Project

Origin Threads explores the weaving together of geography, geology, people, animals and events that came together to enable Ipswich to become woollen textile manufacturing hub for Queensland. The background context to the story is given in two parts: 

  • Geography, Geography and the closing of a penal colony – this centres on Brisbane moving beyond its convict days, the settlement of the Darling Downs, and the establishment of Ipswich
  • Separation Anxiety – what becoming a new colony meant in terms of expectations aroudn the industries that needed to be built, 

A series of video four short video clips tells the story of the beginnings of Queensland’s woollen textile industry which ran from 1877 to 1994.

Introducing Ipswich’s first Woollen Mill
This episode introduces the mill, and how its opening was a pivotal event for the town.

Coaxing the mill into being
This provides background on the Queensland Colony textile manufacturing incentives and the discussions in the Queensland Parliament

Setting up the board
This episode tells of the prospectus, the provisional board and first board of directors

The mill making Ipswich
This final episode tells of the dreams and desires for the mill as it was forming and when it opened.