National Wool Museum

Woollen Textile Fragment

from the Wreck of the Sydney Cove

The Sydney Cove started life as the ship Begum Shaw, she was renamed in 1796 when purchased and used to carry goods to Sydney Cove. She ran ashore on the 9th of February, 1797 on the so named Preservation Island, near Tasmania. She was among the first ships wrecked on the east coast of Australia.

This sample of woven fabric was recovered from the shipwreck nearly 200 years later. It was analysed by the CSRIO as wool with the fibre being rated at 25 microns and weaved in a 2/2 Hopsack structure. This information suggests that it formed part of a coat with an additional fibre identified as hemp also being found on the sample indicating that the jacket would have likely belonged to a member of the crew. The durability of the wool is unquestionable after surviving  almost 200 years in the sea floor.

Also of note was the recovery from the shipwreck of the world’s oldest bottle of beer.

H1 x W6 cm