You spin me right round - spinning for textiles in the Roman world

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Friday 30 September 2022, 6.30pm
The Chapel, University of Winchester, King Alfred Quarter, Winchester, SO22 4NR

Winchester, and southern Hampshire, have been centres for wool production since the time of the Romans, so what better place to talk about the invention of tools used in spinning (and some in weaving) as the practice moved from hand-spindles, to the spindle wheel, through to the flier wheel. Join Dr Carey Fleiner to discover how the invention of spindles and spinning wheels opened up a huge and versatile world of textiles.

Spinning was a ubiquitous & necessary practice, an endless chore performed by women of all social classes up through to the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century – whereas afterwards it became the gentile task of ladies, and eventually, from the late 20th century onwards, a hobby and craft still practiced worldwide. As a domestic task, spinning represented not only the organisation of a household & devotion to family but also, in some cultures, a meditative exercise if not a means of freedom against political suppression.

This talk will include images of surviving tools from early ages such as spindle whorls and distaffs, and various types of wheels. Dr Fleiner will also demonstrate some of the tools of the trade - showing how fibres are prepared for spinning, and the various means of spinning up threads in preparation for the weaver. You’ll have a chance to ask questions and possibly even get hands-on.

This talk forms part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, and takes place in our beautifully restored Victorian chapel.

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