Colonial Williamsburg Textile Story

August 23, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Colonial Williamsburg Textile Story

 

One of our stops during our 2014 tour of Eastern United States was Colonial Williamsburg Virginia.  There is a lot to see in Colonial Williamsburg so if you are planning a trip there be sure to plan for at least a full day. 

 

Interaction with the town’s people helps you immerse yourself in the story of a city on the verge of and during the Revolutionary war.  You can join them in their everyday life and discover what it was like to live at the beginning of the birth of our nation.  See how tradespeople, shopkeepers, slaves and everyday normal people tried to adjust to their changing world.

Textile-1Willliamsburg Textile

In 1776 America was dependent on imported goods of all kinds.  With the start of the revolution imported textiles were restricted so the colonists had to rely on the newly established local cloth producers for their textile needs.  “Work on Williamsburg’s cloth manufactory started in 1776. The factory was built on the banks of Queens Creek in York County, just a stone’s throw from Williamsburg city limits. Local newspaper advertisements indicate that linen and hempen cloth were being produced there by 1777.”

 

Using everything from flowers to insects, nature provided the colors used in dyes.  Wool is the easiest fabric to dye.  The weavers would card the wool after the sheep were shorn and spin it into thread.  The thread would be dyed and woven into fabric.

 

Prier to the revolution spinning was a time-consuming domestic chore and it was rarely done.  It was easier to buy the cloth but as it was unavailable during the war they had to make their own.  It would take 12 spinners of wool to keep the weaver busy at the loom, and 100 spinners of cotton to keep him busy.  In Williamsburg local weavers interpret the art of spinning for visitors.  They demonstrate the carding of the wool, spinning the thread, and using the loom to create very simple to very elaborate cloth.

It was interesting talking to the people, who never got out of character, and learn, about their life in “The Revolutionary City”.

For more pictures of Colonial Williamsburg:  http://www.bmwphotography.com/p550638857


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