Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homespun and Professional Textile Workers in Classical Greece

Stella Spantidaki writing in arachne, volume 3, 2009 tells of Specialization in textiles in Classical Athens. (https://www.academia.edu/3984979/Specialization_in_textiles_in_Classical_Attica_Arachne_3_2009_p._80-83)

tells us that women were producing textiles in the home.  However, there were also freed women producing various textile products for pay.

Then there were also men producing textiles on a commercial basis.  The key point is that men producing textiles are not shown in any of the art and iconography, e.g., the vases.  Thus, it is clear that art images do not tell the full story of textiles, and highly symbolic iconography does not tell the truth about spinning technology.  This is consistent with modern spinning iconography, were the same icons are used for 400 years, while the actual spinning technology moves from hand spinning to mill spun.

People who just look at the pictures, get spinning and weaving technology, economics and social structure wrong.  Here we have a class of professional (male) spinners in Classical Athens.  This also sets a commercial factory system where workers are specialized and work on particular tasks, rather than working on the entire production process as is more common in home production.

See related http://www.academia.edu/4217546/The_Fabric_of_the_City_Imaging_Textile_Production_in_Classical_Athens

1 comment:

Holin Kennen said...

Did you even READ the article you cite? i did, and there is no evidence for the industrial, male spinners you say must have existed. The spinners and weavers are women. The men are observers or are bringing money or sometimes raw wool to the women to be spun and woven. Nowhere in that article is there the remotest suggestion of a class of professional male spinners or weavers. You can invent all the facts you want, Aaron, but it doesn't make them true.