weaving history

As I continue to research the varieties of looms, I came across a book titled “Women’s Work, the first 20,000 years” by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. In it, she traces the history of weaving, from the first beginnings when primitive fiber was twisted into string and used to make clothing.

The modern loom is actually a very sophisticated construct, with many variations that came before. I am thinking of the ground loom that the Ancient Egyptians used to weave linen.

The backstrap loom is another efficient loom that is still used in some places today, such as Peru.

For millenia, the weaving of cloth was women’s work, easily fit in around child care. I am proud to weave (I feel I am not skilled enough to call myself a weaver) and work at other fiber arts; I am at the end of a long line of tradition.


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