History of Weaving

No one knows exactly when weaving was first developed, but the history of weaving can be surmised from ancient woven artifacts. It's known that weaving came about thanks to the boundless creativity of mankind to fulfill a need over 9,000 years ago.

Inspiration in Nature

Historians hypothesize that weaving was inspired by nature. Perhaps the complex woven structures of spiders, worms, moths and butterflies or the nests of birds inspired the first weavers. People found solutions to their own everyday needs by observing the ingenuity of nature.

Early Uses for Weaving

Weaving solved myriad challenges. Once the intersection of fibers was mastered, the skill was repurposed in a variety of ways. Webs of fibrous plant material were perfect for catching fish and other edibles, or crafting body coverings. Mats could be woven for comfortable sitting and resting. Those mats, if used overhead, created protection from the elements. Hair could be woven for beauty or to keep it out of the eyes.

Woven Artifacts

All ancient civilizations bear examples of early weaving. Woven objects littered the tombs of Egypt and the Fertile Crescent. Weaving was a valued skill in ancient Asia, the Americas and Britain.

Technology Comes to Weaving

The invention of the loom thrust weaving into the state of mass production. No longer were pieces fingered together tediously. Warps, wefts and the loom structure produced objects quickly and consistently. Many forms of looms were invented through the years, including the modern computer-aided loom.

The history of weaving is a long and significant one. Weaving met the basic human needs of early our ancestors, told stories via the Navajo blanket and represented the Scottish warrior clans via complex woven Tartans. Weaving has been at the crux of significant cultural experiences over the centuries, and the history of weaving has followed the evolution of civilization.

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