Aldred Farrer Barker
First President of the Textile Society of Australia, Aldred Farrer Barker, was Professor of
Textile Industries at Bradford Technical College from 1892 to 1914.
First son of flannel manufacturer Benjamin Barker
(Junior) and his wife Ellen Farrer, Aldred Farrer
Barker was born in Oulton, Leeds in 1868.
He graduated as Master of Science from the University of Leeds and became Headmaster of the Textile Department at Saltaire Technical School. In 1892 he was appointed Professor of Textile Industries at Bradford Technical College and lived at 44 Ashgrove, and in 1914 Professor of Textile Industries at Leeds University. After 1933 he was Emeritus Professor. Aldred was awarded the Textile Institute Medal in 1931.
He wrote many books and papers about Textile Design and processes including An Introduction to the Study of Textile Design; Cloth Analysis; Ornamentation and Textile Design; Textiles; The Educational Value of Textile Studies; The Wool Year Book; Wool Carding and Combing; University Ideals Wool and the Textile Industries; Woollen and Worsted Spinning and Genetics and Wool Production.
He also wrote about the Textile Industries of Canada, the United States, China, Japan, Kashmir, Kenya, Peru, Rhodesia and South Africa, as well as the wonderfully titled publication Camping with Motor Car and Camera. Aldred took out patents on a ‘Hand Mechanical Fleece Deburring Machine’ and ‘Improvements in Beds for Cloth Cropping Machines.’
In 1924, Aldred wrote a Report to the State Government of Victoria upon the wool manufacturing industry of Victoria, and later became First President of the Textile Society of Australia, going to live in Portland, Victoria. Aldred became a Member of the Weavers’ Company and Citizen of London, Vice President of a number of Textile Societies and a Foundation Member of the Thoresby Society, Leeds.
He died in July 1964 in Australia.
Photograph supplied by the University of Leeds