Every home had One,
but there were still Specialists
- This is the home of
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