The history of spinning and spinning wheels

This is a fascinating subject, and I’ve enjoyed researching it during the last year or so. I set out to write an article for Creative Fibre Magazine but the subject kept growing … it became two articles, and then three. Here is the first one, about the very beginning of spinning. I had no idea our craft could be traced back to the palaeolithic (old stone age)! Or that the resulting yarn (yes, it has to be classed as yarn) was used for creating fabric by twining, Spindles are pretty old too, but not that old.

It took a lot of reading, and often there was frustration at the barriers to accessing articles if one is no longer part of an academic institution. However, I did get hold of a lot of interesting material, and my list of the most useful is in a separate page.

I want to pay tribute to the splendid magazine of Creative Fibre (the New Zealand Spinning, Weaving and Woolcrafts Society) and its wonderful editor Jo Reeve. I am very grateful for all her encouragement, the excellent presentation of my articles and everything else in the magazine, and the generous permission to reproduce material here.

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