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The History of Woven Wire Mesh

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The History of Woven Wire Mesh

The History of Woven Wire Mesh

by Katie Robinson
Explore the history of woven wire mesh and find out how it has became one of the most important and widely used manufacturing components.

The first documented use of woven wire mesh was in ancient Egypt where it was used to create gold and silver jewellery; a technique that was later adopted by the Vikings.

The Vikings used silver and gold wires to weave ropes, which were stretched to make jewellery for their most famous and powerful leaders. This wire weaving process was called the Viking Knit.

It was then during the 5th Century that woven wire became increasingly popular, as it was used for body armour. Many of the woven wire products were made from hand wrought iron wire. It was an important step forward in the wireworking industry, especially in Europe where Chainmaille (which derives from the French word ‘maille’ meaning mesh or net) were becoming increasingly popular.

Other historians argue that woven wire body armour was actually used as early as 300BC and then peaked during the Dark Ages and Renaissance period. Today, it’s still used for body protection purposes, in woodcarvers and meat packers’ gloves and jackets, as well as by scuba divers to protect them against shark attacks.

During the 17th and 18th Century steel and iron wire was generally traded on a small scale for domestic appliance applications such as cages, buckles, trays, windows etc.

But it was in the 18th Century that the first case of a wire weaving loom for industrial purposes was evidenced. It derived from several influencing factors, which included the development of the paper industry and textile loom.

In 1798 a French papermill worker had an idea to use fine wirecloth in a continuous form to produce paper, which was introduced to the UK by Henry Fourdrinier (whom the process was later named after). The endless meshbelt could then feed through the wet pulp at a much greater speed to produce continuous, large quantities of paper. This revolutionised the paper industry worldwide and allowed a basis for the technology to be applied to wider industries.

The textile industry was also growing at the time and it was soon realised the basis of the textile loom could also be used to weave metal wire. This new automated wire weaving process then quickly developed throughout the UK during the Industrial Revolution; arguably it was the catalyst for the speed at which the Revolution developed.

Then after the Industrial Revolution, demand for woven wire mesh peaked once again during WW2. It was an extremely useful application for many products used in the war such as military vehicles, aircraft filters, petrochemicals, sieving equipment for explosives. At this time the company R.Cadisch and Sons (now known as Cadisch Precision Meshes) joined the war efforts by supplying metal mesh aircraft components to the Air Ministry.

Up to this point, Richard Cadisch and his sons had been supplying all types of household equipment and automotive components to industries. Then after the war, the demand for wire mesh grew, allowing the company to develop their range of wire mesh products in the manufacturing industry.

Today, Cadisch Precision meshes has grown into one of the leading suppliers of meshes for industries, stocking thousands of different products; and the demand for mesh has not diminished. Often seen as the hidden manufacturing component, mesh screens, guards and wirecloths are all components used in almost every manufacturing process today. 

Find out more about our history by viewing our timeline