Weaving Since the Stone Age

Spinning and weaving were found to have originated since the stone age. The earliest looms and threads were made from raw materials only by hand. However, the techniques we have today are still reminiscent of the very old methods. The development of the techniques has been influenced by different nations and cultures all over the globe. Here is some more information on how weaving and spinning came to be at present.

The Past Few Millennia

Early men developed the first string 20,000 to 30,000 years ago by twisting and twining handfuls of fibers that come from plants together. They prepared thin bundles of plant material and stretched these out as they twisted the material together to create fine thread or string. Weaving, sewing and spinning today began with the ability to create thread and string. Men during the stone age continued making strings and threads for various reasons. These strings had various sizes and were laced and knotted together to create several functional items, like home covering and clothes.

A lot of weavers today still use the technique of finger weaving, wherein threads are knotted and laced together using only the hands. During the Neolithic Age, the first weaving looms were created and developed. Basic weaving looms are artificial items that hold the vertical threads or warp together tightly to let the weaver insert weft threads. Two of the earliest forms of looms include the warp weighted loom and the horizontal ground loom.

The Available Looms

The warp weighted loom is created using big wooden poles that are held together forming a rectangular shape. The poles can be mounted over a wall or dug into the ground to create a freestanding loom. The vertical threads or warp are held together at the top pole. Near the bottom of the frame, you will find the threads held together in clumps and secured to stone weights or clay weights. Using his hands, the weaver positions the weft threads via the warp while standing right in front of the loom. The warp weighted loom is now used by many weavers.

The horizontal ground loom features a very basic organization of poles and sticks driven right into the ground. The weaver measures the width and length required to weave the cloth and drives the sticks right into the ground. The warp or vertical threads are wound onto the sticks and tied together in place. The weaver works the horizontal threads using his hands and throughout the stretched warp. The ground loom is still used at present in the Near East by Bedouin weavers.

Chinese Influence

In China, the Shang Period witnessed the development of the treadle and frame loom system. Weaving frames that have rectangular shapes held the heddles together. The heddle is described as a long string that resembles a needle or a metal item that has an eye or opening right in the middle. The doup or loop at the bottom and top of every heddle can be seen too. The top and bottom doups are threaded at the bottom and top cross bars. The warp yarns are threaded through the heddle eye.

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