• October 31, 2022

An early history of weaving

Knitting is something we are all familiar with, but we know surprisingly little about when and where the art of hand knitting began. This is because yarn fibers are biodegradable. One thing we do know is that the oldest form of weaving (cross weaving) was practiced before the birth of Christ. A pair of knitted socks discovered in Egyptian tombs from the 3rd to 6th centuries AD. C. is the oldest archaeological evidence of woven garments. The oldest knitting needle is a brass rod dating back to the early Iron Age. Wool spinning began around 4000 BC. C. near the Mediterranean Sea. The first wool mill in England was built by the Romans in AD 50. However, the kind of weaving we are used to was not practiced until very recently.

The oldest form of knitting is twill knitting, also known as single needle knitting and pseudo knitting. In cross weave, the stitches are rotated half a turn instead of lining up vertically. This weaving method was highly developed by the Nazca culture in Peru (100 BC-700 AD) in the fringes of their woven fabrics. The frequent color changes in these fringes were used to create intricate human and animal figures.

The origins of the fabric are difficult to trace, but several theories exist. Some people believe that weaving began in Persia, others that it began in Israel, Jordan, and Syria. Others believe that it began in the mountains of North Africa, or even in Japan or China. Some people believe that weaving arose from the weaving of fishing nets by men.

Some socks and other cross-weave items have been found in Egyptian burials dating possibly to the 4th or 5th century BC. Woven socks have been found in Egyptian tombs (3rd and 6th centuries AD at the Dura-Europas site near the Euphrates River (circa AD 200), and sandal socks apparently from Saudi Arabia (circa AD 350). similar to true knitting, and could be mistaken for true knitting by archaeologists untrained in the history of sewing A pair of patterned cotton socks from Egypt, dating to 1100 AD and the stockings were the earliest items that were knitted because knitting was ideal for shaping a foot-hugging garment at a time when cloth and woven fabric for sewing were less flexible.

Mildred Graves Ryan’s The Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery says that most historians agree that weaving was probably spread by (probably male) Arab sailors and traders who traveled throughout the Mediterranean. Many people believe that weaving was first invented by Arab nomads who brought the craft to Egypt, probably in the 5th century AD. C. The fabric was then carried through North Africa and to Spain. From Spain, traveling Catholics picked it up and quickly spread it throughout Europe.

It was not until the early 14th century that we have the first references to true weaving in Europe. At the time, the purl stitch was unknown, which meant that to produce a plain knit, people had to knit in the round and then cut if necessary. The first reference to the purl stitch was not until the mid-16th century, but knowledge of how to do it may have preceded it somewhat.

Although no one knows exactly where true weaving began, it seems that weaving was probably spread by Arab sailors and traders traveling throughout the Mediterranean. Then, evidently, traveling Catholics spread it rapidly throughout Europe. True weaving, as we know it, is a relatively recent craft. However, crafts similar to true weaving, such as cross-weaving and bookbinding, have a very long history, dating back to before the birth of Christ. Evidently, they were also practiced in many different countries and cultures, from Japan to Egypt to Peru. The fabric clearly filled a need in people’s clothing that continues and grows.

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