From the introduction of the spinning wheel to England during the later Middle Ages to its eclipse by the powered spinning machine early in the nineteenth century, hand-spun yarn was vital to the success of the textile industries that dominated English manufacturing. Indeed, hand spinning of wool, flax and ultimately cotton became the principal income-generating activity pursued by women. For many of those women, it was also an essential means of furnishing their own families with textiles. Yet the history of spinning in the period has never been the subject of a major study in its own right. Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel aims to rectify this anomaly. Its objective is to provide a comprehensive history of hand spinning in England between 1400 and 1800 that approaches the subject from the whole range of relevant perspectives, treating it as a practice that was at one and the same time material, technological, economic, commercial, legal, cultural, gendered, and global. This will involve an approach that is multi-disciplinary, embracing historical, literary, legal, technological and scientific approaches.
Field of science
- /humanities/history and archaeology/history
- /engineering and technology/materials engineering/textiles
Call for proposal
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