History of Handweaving

Why Were Our Ancestors Such Good Weavers? 9 Reasons Why

We use many handwoven products in the home decor and home furnishing industry—everything from hand-woven baskets, textiles to furniture. Our ancestors and those who have gone before us are the people we need to thank for these handwoven skills

Our ancestors were such good weavers because they understood weaving was a skill to master as their very survival depended on it. Our ancestors knew they had to use readily available material. Weaving is a skill they passed down to their children. Every culture in the world has some form of traditional weaving because weaving has been around since the beginning.

Think for a moment of the number of products that require weaving skills – the list is astronomical. Everything from the clothes we wear, the carpets in our homes, baskets for decoration, and the furniture we sit in.

Our Ancestors understood this fact – the skill of weaving was essential. Here are 9 reasons our ancestors were such great weavers.

1- Our Ancestors Understood Weaving

Our ancestors understood weaving. This is because it was such an essential skill for them to know. I know that I had some great grandparents in Sweden that were expert weavers. My Swedish mother also knew how to weave; I grew up with a weaving loom in our home.

No matter who your ancestors are or where in the world they may have lived. You can almost be certain that they understood some weaving. For most of our ancestors, weaving was an essential skill for them to know and understand.

2 – Our Ancestors Passed Down Their Weaving Skills.

Our ancestors passed down their weaving skills. A mother would teach her daughter how to weave the cloth they needed to make clothes. Fathers or mothers taught their sons or daughters how to weave baskets to use on the farm or in their daily lives.

Weaving for most of them was an essential skill that they needed to not only survive but to be able to thrive in their circumstances. So whether it was someone in Somoa weaving an “i.e., tōga” or a fine mat or someone in Sweden weaving a heavy cloth so they could stay warm during the cold winter, weaving was an essential skill that was passed done between generations.

3 – Survival Depended On Our Ancestor’s Weaving Skills

In many places, our ancestors saw weaving as an essential skill they needed to survive. This was because of the way that their economy was set up. Most of the farms and small households were self-sufficient, so they had to make the items or materials they needed.

In other words, if they needed clothes, they had to weave and sew them. If they needed a mat or basket, they had to weave it. There was no Walmart, Target, Homegoods, or Amazon to buy from; most of our ancestors were self-sufficient.

4. – Our Ancestors Saw Weaving As An Art Form

Our Ancestors did not just see weaving as something they had to do to survive; for many of them, it was also an art form if you like antiques, one of the greatest things is to see the creativity that people had with their hands and how they saw their work as art.

I have some antique Chinese baskets in my home, and one of the things I love about those baskets is how each one is unique and one of a kind. The artisans used their own creativity in the weaving and the painting on these baskets; these antique baskets was an art form.

5. – Weaving Has Been Around a Long Time

Humans have been known to weave since the Paleolithic era; weaving has been found back as far as 5000 BC. Writings in the Bible refers to looms and weaving; this shows how long weaving has been around.

Weaving is one of those home decor and home furnishing skills that have really survived the test of time. It is a skill that has been around since the time men and women have been roaming the earth.

6. – Every Culture Has Some Weaving Skills

You can go in every culture, and you will find some form of traditional weaving. Of course, in some parts of the world, you will find more traditional weaving than others, but some form of weaving exists in all cultures and places.

This makes weaving one of the most important skills on the planet, just after men and women providing food and shelter for themselves and their families. Weaving is important as men and women needed to weave to make clothes and other objects. In many places, weaving was also an essential skill in providing shelter.

7. – Our Ancestors Used Local Materials

Our ancestors knew that to be successful in weaving, they had to use materials that they could find locally. That is why if you study weaving around the world, you will find that what was traditionally woven goes hand-in-hand with what materials they could find.

For example, in Polynesia, you will find handwoven mats that used the materials they could readily find; in Japan, they used different materials to weave their mats. To be successful in weaving, our ancestors understood they had to use locally sourced materials.

8. – Weaving Changed As Society Changed

The history of weaving is also interwoven into the history of society and how the world changed. One of these great changes that took place in Europe was the industrial revolution.

In Europe, during the industrial revolution, the weaving of fabric switch from hand to machine. For example, John McKay invented the fly shuttle for the loom in 1733; this fly shuttle allowed for fabric to be woven in a wider width and quicker than before.

Factories in Europe started weaving fabric in 1785. Jacquard looms were invented in 1803; the Jacquard loom’s allowed for punch cards to be programmed, which enabled the looms to weave more complicated and interesting patterns on the fabric.

All of these industrial changes also changed how people began to purchase cloth and fabric. They no longer needed to weave them by hand; now, they could buy the fabric to make their clothes.

When you look at the history of weaving, you will see that weaving is intertwined with changes taking place in society. The industrial revolution is a perfect example of this and how it changed how cloth was woven, manufactured, and sold.

9. – Weaving Was The First Home Decor Product

Weaving and woven objects, cloth, or other products were the first home decor product; weaving is a handicraft technique that has withstood the test of time. So the next time you look at a basket, a piece of woven furniture, or a woven carpet, you looking at an art form that has been around since the beginning of time.

Since the beginning of the earth, weaving has been an important skill. However, weaving is also a skill that has been refined over thousands of years of its existence. It is a skill that our ancestors certainly knew how to do, but it is a skill that now most of us have lost.

If you are interested to find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop and manufacture great home decor and home furniture products, including handwoven products – feel free to contact me, Anita. at my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

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