Fibres & Yarns
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Young girls with their woven aprons.

Photo courtesy of the Ethnological Department of the Museum of Macedonia

Weaving was done for household furnishings, interior decorations (curtains, cushions, runners) household linens (sheets, blankets, tablecloths) everyday wear, baby wear, clothes for religious celebration and hardware (braids, straps, sacks, animal rugs, and ropes).

The most common fibres were sheep wool, goat hair, horse-hair, cotton, flax and hemp. Animal wool fibres were used to warm the body and comfort the home, while flax, hemp and twines were used for heavier duty such as sacks, rugs and ropes.

The most common yarn was spun wool, and the least spun fibres being flax and hemp due to the labour intensive production required.

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Women winding the warp. Interesting use of the upturned table. Weavers have always been inventive! Photograph ©️ Rade Jordanovski
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Pegging out the warp and using a paddle (in left hand). Photograph ©️ Rade Jordanovski
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These photos to the left and right show distaffs in use in Macedonia during the 20th century.

A distaff is a tool used in spinning. It is designed to hold the unspun fibers, keeping them untangled and thus easing the spinning process. It is most commonly used to hold flax, and sometimes wool, but can be used for any type of fiber. The photo at top left on my ‘Spindles and Looms’ page shows the distaff in action.

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Homecrafts exhibition at the Ethnological Museum, Skopje Macedonia