The Dyer/Spinner/Weaver
Every home had One, but there were still Specialists

An Anglo-Saxon Weaver -  Nash Ford Publishing
  • This is the home of Aelfflaed the Weaver. Some people call her Aelfflaed the Dyer.
  • Women in every house in the village make their own cloth, but Aelfflaed is well known for her bright colours and beautifully made clothes.
  • She has her own sheep. Her husband shears them regularly. (Saxon shears are often found in graves). She washes the wool and then places it onto a distaff. From this, she spins it into long strands called 'yarn' using a spindle.
  • When she has quite a bit of yarn, she dyes it (stains it a different colour). The dyes are made from plants she collects locally and grows around her house. Like woad (for blue), madder (for red), weld (for yellow) and brambles (for brown). The yarn is hung up to dry. Some people buy her coloured yarn. 
  • Next Aelfflaed sets up the yarn on her loom, keeping it hanging straight with heavy loom weights at the bottom. She then weaves the threads together into cloth. She can add simple chequer or zig-zag patterns if she likes. Some people buy her fine cloth.
  • Finally, she cuts the cloth and sews the pieces together into clothes. Some of these are bought by the lord and his wife and some of the richer villagers.


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