(c) Kenneth Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0
Wellbrook beetling mill in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Beetling is the pounding of linen or cotton fabric to give a flat, lustrous effect.


Beetling was a textile finishing method of obtaining an aesthetic finish i.e. Lustre in cotton or linen based fabrics, the cloth was exposed under the hammers. The hammers have repeatedly fallen and rising on the subjected fabric, and the finish imparted a lustrous and absorbent effect that was ideal for linen dishcloths.[1]


Within Ireland, beetling was first introduced by Hamilton Maxwell in 1725.[2] Beetling is part of the finishing of the linen cloth. The hammering tightens the weave and gives the cloth a smooth feel. The process was gradually phased out, in lieu of Calendering. A similarity is the compression; however, with Calendering, the finish does not remain for the life of the cloth. This distinguishes it from Beetling.

Beetling mill

William Clark and Sons based in Upperlands Northern Ireland are the last commercial beetling mill in the world and have been beetling on the same site since 1736.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Joseph, Marjory L. (1992). Joseph's introductory textile science. Internet Archive. Fort Worth : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. p. 340. ISBN 978-0-03-050723-6.
  2. ^ Robert Whan, The Presbyterians of Ulster, 1680-1730, (Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 2013), 80.
  3. ^ "William Clark finishes for cotton and linen material". William Clark. Retrieved 2021-07-28.

Media files used on this page

Jute nahtlos.png
Author/Creator: SoylentGreen, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hessian Fabric made seamless. It will serve to create a normal map in Blender.
Batik Indonesia.jpg
Author/Creator: MartijnL, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0 nl
Batik cloth purchased in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
MacLachlan hunting tartan (D. W. Stewart).svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
A representation of the Maclachlan hunting tartan. This tartan is the oldest tartan to bear the name MacLachlan. This tartan is referred to as the Old MacLachlan, MacLachlan, and Hunting MacLachlan. This sett was first published in Old & Rare Scottish Tartans by D. W. Stewart in 1893.
Thread count: Y6, W4, Bk32, G32, Y6, W4, R48.
Sources: MacLachlan Clan Tartan WR1710 MacLachlan Hunting Tartan
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Wellbrook Beetling Mill - - 112280.jpg
(c) Kenneth Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0
Wellbrook Beetling Mill. Linen manufacture was of major importance in 18th century Ireland and beetling was the final stage in the production process. This water-powered hammer mill has its original machinery still in working order. The mill takes its power from the fast flowing Ballinderry River. A short distance from the road you can see the mill race and the flume - the wooden trough carried on piers of Coal island brick - which takes the water for 15 metres to hit and drive the water wheel on the gable of the building. The wheel is 5 metres wide and 1.4 metres deep, made mainly of wood. with an iron shaft and surround which bears the name of the Armagh Foundry. The lever to open the sluice gate to start and stop the wheel is inside the mill itself - more at