According to the historians at Colonial Williamsburg “Then as now, Americans required fabrics for clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, sails, and dozens of other items made of wool, cotton, silk, linen, and hemp and bought them from textile manufacturers. Until the Revolution, British goods poured into the American market, and most people wore clothes made of English textiles. English or American, weavers typically learned their trade through apprenticeship, which focused mostly on operating a loom. Weavers had to know how to prepare the loom and how to run and to maintain it. During the Revolution, when Americans could not get English goods, weaving became a necessity and a patriotic duty. Weaving will be explored at this workshop for kids. Museum Educator Laurie Walker will show the kids the “loom room” in the 1740 Betts House, and explain weaving with flax and wool. For a workshop project, the kids will make a woven pot-holder. Snack of lattice-pattern sugar cookies.
Suggested for ages 6 – 12. Wilton Historical Society members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-762-7257.
Did You Know?
From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “A single woman who is old enough to be married but isn’t—and isn’t likely to get married—is sometimes called a spinster. The word has an old-fashioned and dated feel to it, and because of that it can carry a whiff of impoliteness in certain circumstances. But in previous centuries, spinster was a valuable word that didn’t carry any such connotation. During the late Middle Ages, married tradeswomen had an easier time obtaining higher-status, higher-income work than their unmarried peers. Unmarried women ended up with lower-status, lower-income jobs like combing, carding, and spinning wool—hence “spinster.”
When spinster first entered English in the mid-1300s, it referred to a woman who spun thread and yarn. . . . Two historical facts led to spinster’s evolution: the fact that most spinners in the Middle Ages were women, and the fact that it was common in legal documents to use one’s occupation as a sort of surname (which is why we have Smiths and Bakers and Tanners and so on). Women who spun yarn or thread were given the title Spinster in legal documents . . . By the 17th century, spinster was being used in legal documents to refer to unmarried women.”