The leading industries comprise manufactures of tweeds, hosiery, clogs, baskets and leather, besides the timber trade, nursery gardening and the making of machinery and iron implements.
is said to have granted letters of protection to John Kemp, a Flemish weaver who settled in the town; and, although the coarse cloth known to Shakespeare as "Kendal green" is no longer made, its place is more than supplied by active manufactures of tweeds, railway rugs, horse clothing, knitted woollen caps and jackets, worsted and woollen yarns, and similar goods.
The woollen manufactures, dating from the close of the 16th century, are the most important in Scotland, though now mainly confined to the weaving of tweeds.
The flannel manufacture has been transferred to Newtown, but Welshpool has tweeds and woollen shawls, besides a fair trade in agricultural produce, malting and tanning.
The principal industries include distilling, slate-quarrying and the manufacture of tweeds, tartans and other woollens.