Spindle and spindle whorls

Working Group 1 – Textile Technologies

Introduction

Objectives in WG1: to explore the origins and long-term development of textile technologies by examining tools and textiles and testing techniques using experimental archaeology and learning from craftspeople and textile engineers; to investigate how textile techniques influenced and were influenced by other fields of knowledge and cross-craft phenomena; to highlight the roles of skill and creativity, and the mechanisms for the diffusion of techniques, innovations, patterns and fashions, and how it has influenced other technologies and inventions.

Themes: Early textile craft and technology can be studied through a variety of sources: archaeological textile remains, textile imprints, tools, texts, images, but due to soil and climate conditions, very few textile remains are found in excavations and textile tools made of perishable materials such as wood have also not often survived. However, bone needles, spindle-whorls and loom-weights are numerous in excavated areas. The analysis of these tools, linked to the study of the few textile remains and textile imprints in clay, shed new light on the spinning, braiding and weaving methods of the past. Textile fibre crops and the later exploitation of wool were innovations that affected textile technology profoundly. Wool has played an important role in technical innovations since the Bronze Age when dyes and mordents became a specialised field of knowledge. The individual sections of the chaîne opératoire are highly gendered and also structured according to age and training processes: it is rare to find a culture where men did the spinning, which was mostly the task of women and children.

Loom with crescent weights

Likewise, in most cultures fulling was associated with adult males. Weaving can be carried out by both men and women (and children) but this assignment seems closely defined by the degree of income generation, the nature of production, and the productive context: women usually weave at home while men take over when weaving moves to workshops. In medieval times, guilds of men ‘professionalised’ the craft. Up until the 19th century, textile production was an integrated part of the professional training of poor children and orphans, with gender-specific specialisations and associated moral connotations. Spinning schools and cloth manufacturers undertook to educate boys and girls and prepared new generations for life as citizens.

1000 CE knitting emerges as an innovation, resulting in new designs and fashions. The medieval spinning wheel and the treadle loom accelerate production but also change techniques, body movements, and organisation of labour. Museum collections of industrial machinery are a historical resource that needs revival and requires skilled experts who are able to communicate the lost technologies.

Our major questions are: Q1: How to identify technological traditions and innovations? Q2: How is textile knowledge/ skill transmitted? Q3: How can the production of textiles inform us of the relationship between gender, age, status, labour, economy, and family income? Q3: What is the cross-craft interaction with other technologies of the past?

Team

Working Group Leader
Christina Margariti
GR

Working Group
Vice-Leader
Maria Emanuela Alberti
IT

Working Group
Vice-Leader
Tina Chanialaki
GR

Country Name Affiliation
AT Karina Grömer Natural History Museum – Vienna
AT Kayleigh Saunderson University of Vienna
CH Laura Hendriks School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg
CZ Helena Březinová Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
CZ Milena Bravermanova Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
DE Petra Linscheid University of Bonn
DE Katrin Kania Independent Researcher
DE Malgorzata Siennicka University of Göttingen
DK Elsa Yvanez University of Copenhaguen
ES Raquel Piqué Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
ES Maria Herrero-Otal Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
ES Susagna Romero-Brugués Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
FI Sanna Lipkin University of Oulu
FI Krista Vajanto University of Helsinki
GR Christina Margariti Directorate of Conservation/Hellenic Ministry of Culture
GR Stella Spantidaki Hellenic Centre for the Research and Conservation of Archaeological Textiles (ARTEX)
GR Dimitra Andrianou National Hellenic Research Foundation
GR Tatiana Kousoulou Directorate of Conservation, Hellenic Ministry of Culture
GR Tina Boloti Academy of Athens
GR Tina Chanialaki Directorate of Conservation, Hellenic Ministry of Culture
GR Maria Kinti
GR Daphne Filiou Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens, Hellenic Ministry of Culture
GR Stavroula Rapti School of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, University of West Attica
GR Panagiotis Christodoulou Directorate of Conservation, Hellenic Ministry of Culture
HR Julia Fileš Kramberger University of Zagreb
HU Rebeka Nagy Museum of Applied Arts – Budapest
HU Eszter Mátyás
HU Anikó Moór Hungarian National Museum
IL Debi Cassuto Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Bar Ilan University
IL Diana Medellin Tel Aviv University
IT Francesco Meo University of Salento
IT Francesca Coletti Sapienza University of Rome
IT Maria Emanuela Alberti University of Florence
NM Liljana Kovachovska National Museum of the Republic of North Macedonia
NM Zlata Blažeska Independent researcher
NO Hana Lukesova The University Museum of Bergen
PL Agata Ulanowska University of Warsaw
PL Katarzyna Żebrowska University of Warsaw
PL Marta Pokojowczyk Independent Researcher
PL Magdalena Przymorska-Sztuczka University of Warsaw
PL Małgorzata Grupa Nicolaus Copernicus University
PL Joanna Słomska-Bolonek Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Lodz
PT Helena Loermans LabO
PT Joana Sequeira Lab2PT/INT2PAST, University of Minho
PT Francisco B. Gomes UNIARQ, University of Lisbon
PT Catarina Costeira (PT) Municipality of Sintra; UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Teresa Rita Pereira Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of the District of Setúbal; UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Elisa de Sousa UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Íris Dias UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Eduardo Porfírio Municipality of Sintra; CEAACP – University of Coimbra
PT Artur Q. Mateus (PT) University of Lisbon (MA Student)
PT Alexandre Gonçalves Archaeological Museum of São Miguel de Odrinhas; UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Mariana Diniz UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Andrea Martins UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT César Neves UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Paula Nabais LAQV – Requimte; NOVA University of Lisbon
PT Ana Margarida Arruda UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Ana Catarina Sousa UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Victor S. Gonçalves UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Raquel Vilaça CEAACP – University of Coimbra
PT Elsa Luís UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Sérgio Gomes CEAACP – University of Coimbra
PT André Texugo UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Rui Mataloto Municipality of Redondo
PT João Pimenta UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Lídia Baptista CEAACP – University of Coimbra
PT Ana Sofia Antunes UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Marta Miranda Municipality of Mafra
PT Catarina Alves UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Joaquina Soares Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of the District of Setúbal; UNIARQ – University of Lisbon
PT Natércia Teixeira University of Porto
PT Ana Claro NOVA University of Lisbon
PT Ana Maria Silva University Coimbra; CIAS; UNIARQ; CEF – University de Coimbra
PT Ana Manhita HERCULES Laboratory – University of Évora
PT Cristina Barrocas Dias HERCULES Laboratory – University of Évora
PT Teresa Ferreira HERCULES Laboratory – University of Évora
RO Alina Iancu, Romania National Institute of Heritage of Romania
RO Florica Matau Alexandru Ioan Cuza University
RO Iulia Teodorescu ASTRA National Museum Complex
RO Bogdan Manea Research Institute of the University of Bucharest
RO Adrian Balasescu Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Pârvan” Bucuresti
RO Mihaela Golea Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Pârvan” Bucuresti
RO Florica Zaharia Textile Museum – Romania
SK Tereza Štolcová Institute of Archaeology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
Dye experiment with cochineal

Output

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