Threading Time

Reading notes:

Threading Time: A Cultural History of Threadwork by Dolores Bausum.

“More than thirty thousand years ago, notes [E. J. W.] Barber, the principle of producing thread by strengthening fibers through the twist was known, and remarkably little improvement in the making of thread occurred during the following fifteen to twenty thousand years.” p. 15

“Barber concludes that one of the most interesting points to come out of her prolonged study of prehistoric textiles is ‘the implication that heirloom tapestries recording the earlier mythic history of the Greeks may have survived from Mycenean times through the Dark Age [when writing disappeared] into the Archaic Greek period when Homer lived.'” p. 24.

“By working at the loom, [Penelope] explains, her thoughts as well as her hands have been occupied.” p. 34.

“The oldest known pieces of embroidery in England are a stole and maniple made in the tenth century for the tomb of Saint Cuthbert, who died in 687 C.E.  Preserved in the library of Durham Cathedral, the threads on the fragments of these silk relics are ‘extraordinarily fine; sixteen of then couched closedly side by side cover about an eighth of an inch.'” p. 56.

“‘The far-flung integration of skills and resources that went into Europe’s fourteenth-century textile trade was the single most important achievement of the Italian city state economy,’ concludes [William H.] McNeill.” p.67.

“The art and Florentine architectural monuments that have for centuries delighted visitors ‘were built by the profits accumulated from sale of Florentine cloth and from the transactions of Florentine merchants and bankers.'” p. 67.

Enclosure in England was landowners needing more space to raise sheep for the textile trade.  pp. 87-88.

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