Although stores in large urban centers and smaller settlements often sold pre-made thread and fabric, many frontier women of the 1830s continued to spin and weave their own textiles. Hardworking frontierswomen spun cotton, flax, or wool into thread, using spinning wheels to process the raw material into thread or yarn, then weaving it into fabric on primitive looms. Knowledge of spinning passed from mother to daughter. Studying textiles and the techniques used to create them are a great window into the past.

One of the simplest tools for spinning is a called a drop spindle. Unlike larger spinning wheels, drop spindles can be easily held in the palm of one’s hand and used to spin threads of various thicknesses and textures. The drop spindle can be found in numerous cultures as far back as pre-historic times.

On June 20th, come learn about the history of textile spinning and witness a live demonstration of thread spinning on a drop spindle from 11 AM to 3 PM. You can even pick one up in our gift shop afterwards, to keep the fun going at home!