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Once the woollen cloth had had its nap raised it was ready for the shearman. It was his job to trim the nap to ensure a smooth and even finish.

A shearman had to combine a steady hand with strength and concentration. First the large cloths would be laid over a table with a curved top. Then the shearman would use huge shears to cut the nap. These shears looked like over-sized scissors and had razor-sharp edges.

Shears could weigh up to 14kg (31 pounds) – about the same as a two year old child. Shearing a single cloth could take several hours to complete. Each cloth was sheared, then had its nap raised again before being sheared once more. The process only ended when an even finish was obtained.

The shearman’s trade was highly skilled and much valued. In 1677 a good shearman could earn as much as six shillings a week – a very good wage for the time.

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