History of Weaving
Warp on a loom
Now that you have a big thread wound onto your spindle,
you might want to make some of it into a piece of cloth.
(Of course there are many other uses for thread like tying up your hair
or making fishing lines or hunting nets). But suppose you want to make cloth. So you take this thread and you loop it back and forth over a loom to make the warp, and then you weave back and forth through the warp to make the weft, and then you have a finished piece of cloth.
Then you can cut the cloth off the loom with a knife or a pair of scissors and
tie off the ends so they don't ravel (or leave them long to make a fringe).
Weft on a loom
Weaving was probably invented much later than spinning,
around 6000 BC, in West Asia.
At first people just wove narrow bands with their fingers, tying one end to their belt. That was something like the finger-knitting you might know how to do. It was only later that people began to use looms.
Bibliography and further reading about weaving:
Can Weave!: Projects for Young Weavers, by Kathleen Monaghan (2001).
Textiles: A Concise History, by Mary Schoeser (2003). For adults.
Work: The First 20,000 Years : Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times,
by Elizabeth Wayland Barber (1995). Not for kids, but an interested high
schooler could read it. Fascinating ideas about the way people made cloth
in ancient times, and why it was that way.
Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University
Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.
More about Professor Carr's work on the Portland State University website
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