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Spinning and Weaving (Paperback)

P&S History Arts and Crafts

By Lynn Huggins-Cooper
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Heritage Crafts and Skills
Pages: 118
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526724526
Published: 24th September 2019

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Offering a whistle-stop history of these two ancient crafts, Spinning and Weaving begins in pre-history, when people first wove yarns to create clothing and blankets, and goes on to explore the ways in which these techniques have continued to be important throughout human history (or should that be herstory), in artistic, economic and functional terms.

The second part of the book brings us up to date, via interviews with modern day spinning and weaving artisans. These textiles artists have generously allowed the author a window into their studios and discussed with her the way they use and adapt traditional methods, techniques and tools for the twenty-first century. Photos of their work, and their working environment, offer a unique view into the world of this ancient craft.

Finally, if you are inspired to try your hand at this fascinating and most ancient of crafts, the book also has a resources section. It includes a valuable list of suppliers of fibre, dyes, tools and yarn, as well as information about training courses, useful websites and more – everything you need to get started.

Such an interesting trip through not only the history of spinning and weaving, but also through the minds of many modern day spinners and weavers (there’s a chapter of artisan interviews that is awesome. A great gift for someone who likes to know how techniques and trends developed.

NetGalley, Jennifer Houle

As featured by

Lets Knit, December 2019

What pleased me most in the reading of this book was the realisation that, perhaps, in a way, things have come full circle. Yes, we live in a very commercialised world but it is also a world full of opportunities. We still have machines producing millions of yards of cloth every year, but we also have people like you and me, who have chosen to take up our wheels and looms in pursuit of authenticity, quality and satisfaction in our work. And thankfully, more and more all the time, we have an audience who appreciate what we do and who also desire quality, slow and beautifully made unique garments and pieces.

The book finishes off with some inspiring interviews with fibre artists (I noticed there was even an Australian included!)

I feel so blessed to be a part of something that many of our ancestors (my ancestors were English) earned their living by and now, we have the luxury of choosing to do. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to practice these crafts and pass them on to the next generation.

Read the full review here

Kelly Casanova Weaving Lessons

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have recently become interested in spinning and weaving. This book wasn’t quite what I thought it was, but when I began reading I became captivated by the history associated with spinning and weaving which is so closely related to the history of women.

Further into the book, the author includes interviews with artisan spinners, weavers and wool crafters which was fascinating and inspiring. I finished the book and went through to follow the crafters mentioned on social media and to look up their courses. I am now even more keen to learn how to spin and weave and have booked myself on my first course.

See the full review here

Amazon Customer, Jayne

As a fiber artist myself, I could not help but be pulled in and feel a part of the continuing narrative of working wool with my hands. I truly am hopeful that, along with the work of the artisans included in this treatise and the work I do and the many weavers and spinners I have connections with, weaving and spinning will continue as a craft and skill stretching as far into the future as it has done in the past.

Read the full review here

My Life is but a Tapestry

This latest title in Pen and Sword's Heritage and Crafting Skills series looks at spinnig and weaving. Beautifully written and illustrated.

Books Monthly

As featured on Iowa Weaver

Iowa Weaver, Susan Poague

This book looked at spinning and weaving throughout history and as a modern handcraft. The author started by explaining what type of tools were used for spinning and weaving in ancient times and what fibers were used for clothing. She then talked about the new technologies that changed how spinning and weaving were done up until modern day. The second half of the book contained interviews with modern weavers who talk about how they got into traditional weaving, what they make, what tools they use, how they learned the skills, their advice to others, what their business is like, and a typical day. At the back of the book, there were lists of suppliers and educational websites. I'd recommend this book to someone interested in trying out weaving who wants some background on the possibilities for learning and using the skill.

NetGalley, Deborah White

This is a good, accessible, clearly written introduction to spinning and weaving.

NetGalley, Annie Buchanan

As a spinner and weaver I found the content interesting.

NetGalley, Rose Grey

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As a knitter and history major, I found this book fascinating. The first half of the book gives a quick and interesting view of the British textile industry. As an American, this covered a lot of history I didn't know but found quite interesting. This book champions the cause of supporting "heritage crafts," and the history lessons support this cause by showing how textile production drove a number of social and cultural trends throughout British history.

The second half of the book features the personal, firsthand stories of women who have taken up the heritage crafts of wool production, spinning, and weaving. The pictures of life in rural Britain wonderfully show how different this life is from American suburbia. This book made me want to visit the UK soon!

NetGalley, Cindy Coe

From prehistory to the modern day, showing how little that crafts have changed.

Bookseller Buyers Guide

About Lynn Huggins-Cooper

Lynn Huggins-Cooper is a widely published author. When she is not writing, she is in the studio creating art for exhibition. She is a textiles artist, working in natural and found materials, and mixed media, and her work is influenced by the 360 hectare woodland that begins at the bottom of her garden. She is a member of the Heritage Crafts Association, and the International Felt makers Association. She lives with her husband and daughter in the north east of England.

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