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The craft of hand weaving has been practiced for thousands of years. Where and how this art originated remains a mystery, but many believe that Arab nomads brought this art to Europe. Others think that weaving originated in Persia, but regardless of where the craft began, weaving is one of the original “textiles.”
Knitting is the practice of using two or more needles to pull and wind yarn into a series of interconnected loops. The word is derived from the Dutch verb ‘knutten’ or ‘knot’, which is similar to Old English ‘cnyttan’, ‘to knot’. Originally, knitting, like woven textiles, fulfilled the basic human need for protection from the elements, but as we all know, hand-knitting has become less of a necessary skill and more of a hobby.
The oldest woven artifact is socks dating back to the 11th century in Egypt. They are of a very fine gauge, made with intricate color work and some have a short row heel, which requires purl stitching.
The ancestor of knitting and crocheting was a process known as Nålebinding, a technique of making textiles by creating multiple loops with a single needle and thread, much like sewing. Some artifacts, for example, Roman-Egyptian socks from the 3rd-5th centuries AD, used the “Coptic stitch” of nalbinding.
During medieval times, weaving was controlled by guilds. Woven garments were worn only by the wealthy class. But by the 16th century, weaving had become a trade. During the Elizabethan era, weaving schools were established in Britain. Knitted stockings provided income for the poor. These stockings were exported to Germany, Holland, and Spain. During this period, men wore short pants, so tight-fitting stockings were a fashion necessity. A weaving technique, known as Dale’s weaving, began in the late 16th century. Items from this cottage industry of weaving are kept at the Hawes Museum in Wensleydale.
Weaving is also important in Scottish history. During the 17th and 18th centuries, entire families were engaged in knitting garments, especially jumpers, which were important to the fishermen of the Scottish islands. Island and cable patterns were used to knit sweaters. Also, during the Franco-Napoleonic wars, women would get together to knit socks and mittens for soldiers. This practice continued during World War I and World War II.
Fair Isle weave, named after one of Britain’s northern Shetland islands, is an intricate pattern believed to have been woven around 1850, although some historians believe Fair Isle weave was inspired by 1588 when a Spanish ship was destroyed off Fair Isle and its crew. he encouraged native weavers to create new weaving patterns. The Prince of Wales wore a light isle sweater in 1921. Purchase twentieth-century wearables through this price-cut discount store Macy’s, a sale is on with big discount offers for you.