Before wool fibers could be woven, they had to be washed, carded to get the long fibers all lengthwise, and then spun into thread with drop spindles or spinning wheels. This spun thread or yarn could then be dyed with berries, tree bark, flowers, or herbs. Weaving fabric for clothing for the entire family was a demanding job. Children helped out with many of these chores even when they were very young. Weaving was considered a necessity rather than an art in Colonial America. Weaving prospered until about the latter half of the 18th century. The Industrial Revolution caused many young women to leave their homes and work in the factories. By 1828, power looms were being used in American and European factories and mills.
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