University Announces Study of Handspinning

Some exciting news for those of us who enjoy spinning yarns by hand!

First study into spinning

A University of Hertfordshire historian has received a European Union grant to conduct the first ever study into spinning before the Industrial Revolution. It starts next week.


Four hundred years of spinning

The grant for €823,150 has been awarded by the European Research Council so that Professor John Styles at the University’s Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute can undertake a five-year research project into Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel, 1400-1800, which begins on 1 June 2010.

Undertaken by ordinary women

“When people today think about spinning wheels, they usually think of Sleeping Beauty, a fairytale princess, pricking her finger. In fact, working by hand at a spinning wheel was what most ordinary women in England did for the 400 years before the Industrial Revolution,” said Professor Styles. “This was a skilled occupation, vital to the success of the textile industries that made England rich. Yet historians often dismiss hand spinning as part-time, unskilled work for ignorant country women. They treat it as an inefficient obstacle to increased productivity, ripe for replacement by the mechanical inventions of the Industrial Revolution.”

Read the rest of this article here .


2 thoughts on “University Announces Study of Handspinning

  1. Jan in NoGa says:

    In these times, we can’t set better priorities for that money? Don’t get me wrong, history and certainly our craft is important, but in these hard times perhaps they could study how to create jobs or a more efficient energy system. We simply cannot have everything and something has to give. Oh, OK, go ahead and cut pensions….

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