Shuttles, Spindle and Flyer Wheels: Hand Spinning and Weaving in the 21st Century

Updated: Aug 22

The Essex County Hand Spinners Guild visited Durand-Hedden House to demonstrate the magical art of spinning fibers into yarn on hand spindles and spinning wheels, some antique or traditional in appearance, and some contemporary with a modern look. Weavers demonstrated how cloth is made on a variety of looms, and visitors were invited to try their hand at spinning and weaving.


Spinning and weaving fibers have been part of human existence for tens of thousands of years. While the tools have been modified over time, the basic result of twisting fibers into useable string, yarn or rope and then weaving it in an organized manner remains the same. Despite the industrial revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries that mechanized these processes, people throughout the world carry on these earlier practices and many follow traditions particular to a specific culture. In this country, hand spinners and weavers continue these crafts for the love of learning about and continuing a tradition, and the ability to produce unique yarns and fabrics.

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