The cloth trade fluctuated as fortunes could both rise and fall. Unsold cloth and over investment could result in bankruptcies. Unemployment and hardship was experienced by cloth workers who depended on the trade for their livelihoods. In 1825, riots occurred in Stroud.
From the 1820s to the 1840s, there was a major depression in the local cloth industry. There was also a decline of trade in the Near and Far East. The trade in coarse cloth or 'stripe' to the East India Company collapsed. Many local mills closed in the early 1840s, but those that survived prospered during the 1850s. However, some mill owners, such as the Marling family, were investing heavily and successfully in their mills.
Another marked decline began in the 1880s. Changing fashions affected the sale of traditional local cloth alongside competition from textile manufacturers in Yorkshire. By 1900, cloth production was undertaken in only about 20 mills in the Stroud District. Many mills were being used for other industries such as pin making, stick manufacture and engineering. Today, Lodgemore Mill is the only remaining working cloth mill in Stroud.