History of Technology 5: Thread, Spinning Wheels, and Looms

We're going to spin you a little yarn, so sit back, relax, and hit play. Oh, and watch out for camel spit. ...You'll see.

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TechnologyHistory of Technology

Transcript

00:25

together to make thread or yarn well the oldest method of spinning

00:29

involved an ancient tool called a drop spindle this was basically a wooden [A drop spindle]

00:33

dowel with a hook on it early weaver's

00:37

would hook a hunk of fluffy wool and spin the spindle as they pulled downward [A weaver spinning the spindle]

00:42

the wool fibers would twist into yarn

00:44

the drop spindle worked like a charm but it took forever which was less than [Man checking his watch as drop spindle worked]

00:49

charming imagine being forced to watch every second of a slug crossing a

00:53

parking lot now imagine every single thread in a whole sweater taking that [Woman knitting a sweater sitting on a couch]

00:58

long to make well by the early Middle Ages the Chinese and several Middle

01:02

Eastern cultures had replaced the drop spindle with the spinning wheel this is

01:07

approximately oh we don't know a million billion trillion times better give or [A spinning wheel at work]

01:12

take sorry drop spindle we're just keeping it real you were quaint an all but life's

01:16

too short to hang out with you well spinning wheels used a pedal to spin a

01:20

weapel very clever naming there huh that helped to twist thread from raw wool

01:26

they increase the speed of spinning by at least 10x and according to some

01:30

reports they occasionally prick princesses fingers making the ladies [A princess pricking her finger on a spinning wheel]

01:34

snooze for a hundred years so after we make thread we've got to weave it

01:39

together to make cloth so the finer our thread the better the cloth and the [Man points finger and laughs at another mans clothes]

01:43

longer it takes to weave, right even with the spinning wheel weaver's had to

01:48

beautification the earliest form of weaving thread into cloth probably

01:51

happened on a structure called a back strap well the backstrap loom was [Man weaving thread using a backstrap loom]

01:56

back-breaking because it needed a humans body weight pulled against the threads to

02:01

give them tension so take away don't mess with those

02:05

ancient weaver's those ladies were ripped as early as seven thousand years [Ancient woman weaver slaps a man away]

02:09

ago a new structure was used called a loom or if we want to get

02:13

technical it was called a warp weighted loom these were a huge step up from the

02:17

old school back strap of course even though they work well these looms were [Woman working a loom]

02:21

big heavy and cumbersome no wonder all those nomads started settling down even [Man leading a camel down a road]

02:27

those ripped weaver ladies couldn't carry a warp weighted loom and when the

02:31

beasts of burden Union was pressed on the issue the horses said and the [A horse and a camel standing in a garden]

02:36

camels just spit don't quit our day job you say.. ha-ha! [Man on stage doing stand-up comedy]

02:39

the joke's on you this is our day job