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study distinguishing between textiles made by splicing thread and those produced through spinning.  RSS feed

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Interesting article! I've lifted bits of it but better to read in it's entirety through the link.

It has long been assumed that the technique of spinning thread has a lengthy and robust history. New evidence, though, suggests that a different way of making thread – called splicing – was instead the norm throughout most of Europe and the Near East during prehistory.

Spinning the tale of prehistoric textiles

The first plant bast fibre technology: identifying splicing in archaeological textiles (pdf available here)

the researchers were able to determine how the thread from each example had been made. Their results demonstrated that all the samples were produced through splicing – in which strips of fibres are joined individually, either by adding them in continuously or by joining them end-to-end through twisting – and not by spinning.

it appears that prehistoric technologies were varied and encompassed several different forms of splicing.

An example of a spliced textile from the Early Bronze Age site of Over Barrow, Cambridgeshire. (IMAGE: M. Gleba, S. Harris, with permission of Cambridge Archaeological Unit)

the ‘presence of spindle whorls… is not evidence of draft-spinning, as they could have been used to impart the twist to the spliced yarn or to ply two or more spliced yarns together.’

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A fascinating read! I don't know anything about producing thread/yarn, but I still enjoyed it and learned a lot. Thanks for posting.
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