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The Principal Operations Of Weaving, 1748

May 19, 2015
by the gentle author

These copperplate engravings illustrate The Principal Operations of Weaving reproduced from a book of 1748 in the collection at Dennis Severs House. Many of these activities would have been a familiar sight in Spitalfields three centuries ago.

Ribbon Weaving

Dennis Severs House, 18 Folgate House, Spitalfields, E1

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Margaret Nairne permalink
    May 19, 2015

    Fascinating engravings. It is interesting to see – at least from these engravings – that there was skilled work for women.

  2. Pauline Taylor permalink
    May 19, 2015

    Having had a trying day I think I would quite enjoy a bit of beating of the wool myself at this moment!! Seriously though this is another very interesting insight into history so many thanks once again GA.


  3. Peter Holford permalink
    May 19, 2015

    Many thanks for this one – it gives a good insight into the work that my Holford ancestors were doing at that time in Spitalfields. With my wife coming from a woollen area it’s interesting to see the similarities and the differences in technology – mostly similarities!

  4. Ellen in NEW England permalink
    May 20, 2015

    In the illustration “wool loom”, is the word loom the more generic use, “tool”? Because I call that setup a creel, to the right, with many bobbins or spools of thread; and the threads being fed onto a warping reel at the center. The warping reel to the left is empty, to better show the internal structure. I had a horizontal warping reel, turned by an electric motor. The creel was made by my Dad, and held 120 cones of thread. I could make 6″ of warp at a time, then move everything over a bit and make another 6″.

  5. Ellen in NEW England permalink
    May 21, 2015

    That was 6″ wide and 200 yards long.

  6. Sonia Murray permalink
    October 1, 2018

    Gentle Author, I’m fascinated by your engraving, The Shear-man’s Work. One of my ancestors, John Cooper, born in 1691 at Sheffield, was apprenticed to and became a shearsmith. I’d guessed shears were made for shearing sheep, but from the picture they were huge things used to clip loose threads off newly woven woolen cloth. Can you tell me if there shears in a London museum? I’d love to see a pair. Your pictures bring the past to life. Thank you!

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