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How Cloth is Made–the Ancient Way

The rabbis in the Gemara had a lot of familiarity with the ancient processes of making food and clothing.聽 We do not generally have this knowledge today, but thanks to archaeologists, anthropologists, museums and artists who are interested in old crafts, we can understand much about these ancient processes.聽 From time to time, I will post videos and articles explaining ancient crafts.

For this week:聽 Many pages in the Talmud talk about spinning, dyeing and weaving.聽 There are many discussions about flax and wool.聽 These videos will introduce you to some of the processes and equipment used to process flax and wool.

Flax processing

Sheep to Shawl (wool processing)

This video provides a good reconstruction of the painstaking process of weaving on a warp-weighted loom, the type that was used in Israel in the biblical period.

And a reconstruction of a warp weighted loom at Shiloh.

Another type of loom is a backstrap loom, or floor loom.聽 You can see how the Bedouin women in Israel weave.聽 Our Jewish mothers also used these looms. (Think Joseph鈥檚 coat!)

And lastly, for today, this may be the location referred to on daf 26a…between Tyre and Haifa.

Julie Mendelsohn

Julie Bloch Mendelsohn made aliyah with her family in 2009. Julie has a law degree, a Master of Public Health, has studied several foreign languages, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in archaeology. Julie dyes, spins, and weaves her own yarn and textiles. She loves to learn Daf Yomi and is interested in topics relating to Jewish law and ancient materials and crafts, ancient languages, and history.
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