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main image Woollen mill, Milladen, Aberdeenshire
Water power had been used in Scotland for woollen cloth finishing since the 14th century, often recorded in the place name 'Walkmill'.

Further mechanisation came in the 1780s, with powered machines for scribbling and carding (aligning the fibres in preparation for spinning), and for spinning itself, by 1810.

Mills were established throughout Scotland – except in the north-west Highlands. Later, the industry became focussed on areas away from west and east-central Scotland, where cotton and linen respectively prevailed. The mill at Milladen was established in 1789 as a flax mill but was later adapted for wool and rebuilt in 1868.

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