SPINNING AND WEAVING WEEK
The first week in October Spinning and Weaving Week spotlights creations made on looms, wheels, and spindles. It’s a week in which practitioners of the ancient skill like to publicly demonstrate their creations.
Animals grow it, and you wear it, but what happens to get that garment from the animal to your closet? Spinning and Weaving Week aims to help people learn what it takes to turn different types of threads into fabric. It’s of special interest for those who have preserved the ancient techniques of spinning and weaving. The skill knows no national boundary and has been practiced for thousands of years.
I do regard spinning and weaving as a necessary part of any national system of education.–Mahatma Gandhi
Early humans used plants to make threads. Woven baskets from about 27,000 B.C. have been found in Europe. Flax was an early fiber used in fiber in Egypt around 5,000 b.c.
Thread and cloth were in short supply in colonial America when trade with Britain was interrupted. So, colonists began to weave cloth from locally produced fibers, mostly cotton, and wool.
Cotton was a difficult material to use because it required so much effort to separate out the seeds. When the cotton gin was invented, cotton became a much more popular material.
Beyond fabric and clothing, the week will find demonstrations and instructions on how to make dyes and baskets from nature. Basket weaving is a part of all civilizations. Local sources of material include roots, bark, grass, rushes, or pine needles.
HOW TO OBSERVE SPINNING AND WEAVING WEEK
Invite a local weaver to your brown bag lunch, power lunch, service group luncheon, or classroom.
Watch for spinning and weaving demonstrations at local museums, libraries, or historical sites that you can attend to learn more.
Use #spinningandweavingweek to follow the conversation on social media.
On Facebook, follow the sponsoring organization, Handweavers Guild of America.
SPINNING AND WEAVING WEEK HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this arts and crafts holiday.