By Eric Broudy
A seriously illustrated vintage at the evolution of the handloom is now reissued in a convenient paper variation.
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Additional resources for The book of looms: a history of the handloom from ancient times to the present
When four Chinese weavers were kidnapped and taken to Japanhe concludes that the treadle loom was probably a Chinese invention. Other authorities attribute it to India. The Loom and Cotton The earliest cotton weaving has traditionally been associated with India, though it appears to have developed independently almost as early in Peru. From the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus Valley of Pakistan (c. ) a small piece of cloth and two lengths of yarn, one 12and the other 24-ply, have been recovered.
From early India came cotton fabric so delicate that it became invisible when laid on the dew-moistened ground, cotton spun so fine that one pound of yarn would stretch 250 miles. The superiority of primitive weaving is not the main theme of this book. break *Other conditions besides aridity that have preserved textiles from ancient times include: the permafrost conditions of Norse burials in Greenland; chemical preservatives such as the tannin that preserved certain textiles in Danish Bronze Age burials; metallic salts such as those that preserved silk fibers on early Chinese bronzes; and carbonization, in which intense heat without sufficient oxygen for complete combustion rendered a textile chemically inert, as with the textile scraps found at Catal Hüyük, c.
The Peruvians credit Mama Ocllo, the wife of Manco Capac, their first sovereign. The Assyrians honor Queen Semiramis, the Egyptians the goddess Isisusually pictured with shuttle in hand. ) The Mohammedans believe that weaving originated with the son of Japheth, the third son of Noah, who, according to some traditions, was the ancestor of the Indo-European race. In Greece the honor belongs to Athena (in Rome Minerva), the goddess of the arts, who is often represented holding a distaff. " The image is an apt one because it suggests that weaving has been with us for about as long as we would care to consider primitive man our ancestor.