A large part of the fun of wandering around Williamsburg is visiting the shops and seeing the various crafts being done.
The weaver was wonderful. A man who had spent most of his life weaving and dyeing, he was full of information. The pictures are of his shop from left to right. The dyeing was done with natural dye stuffs from historic recipes. The wool is not from the cattle raised on site as theirs is too dirty and lacks the texture for good woolens. The sheep are keep more for meat than wool. The spinning wheels vary is the number of turns to do meter. The more decorated the wheel the more likelihood it was meant for a noble house. Spinning was done by noblewomen, but more as an exercise in getting together with other women. Most of the spinning was done by slaves and servants for their cloth. The nobles imported their cloth for the most part. The winding wheels become important in measuring both to determine the finess of the resulting cloth as well as the value of the fiber.
Of course once you have cloth you have tailors for the men and millinary shops for the women. Enjoy.
Return to Main DC-Virginia Trip Page
Photos and text copyright Robin Berry & William Ringer 2004.