Threading Time: A Cultural History of Threadwork

In a survey taken primarily from literary sources, this volume reveals the essential link between the human spirit and the art of connecting threads. Whether looking at stories about clothing made in the Garden of Eden, a mediaeval manuscript, or modern fiction and poetry, the author traces the importance to humankind of a craft that has never ceased since it began thousands of years ago. The author's conception of threadwork throughout is generic, including all kinds of work done with thread, yarn or fibre. In the author's view, threadwork becomes more than a garment, a rug, or a tapestry on the wall. It is often a bond shared with contemporaries and with ancestors, a links between humans and cultural beliefs, even a tie between humankind and the Divine. This age-old association of interwoven fibres and humanity is found today in a metaphor that is used to convey the concept of shared traditions, values and beliefs - the fabric of society. A rip in the fabric can be alarming; mending it is necessary to avert instability and even chaos. The volume discusses work such as: stories from biblical traditions; Greek and Roman myths; Piers Plowman ; the Bayeux Tapestry and other mediaeval textile evidence; French manuscripts; selections of poetry by English writers such as Robert Burns and William Blake; and novels by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, D.H. Lawrence, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edith Wharton, Margaret Mitchell and Alice Walker.