Loom Weights


Loom Weights

The waste products of the weaving industry were commonly spread around of fields as a means of soil improvement and also as a way to simply get rid of them. Unfortunately, objects like loom weights, which were hung on thread ends to create the required tension, were often thrown out with them. While the threads decayed quickly enough, the lead has stayed.

The weight on the far left is probably the oldest, and might actually be a 'spindle-whorl', which would be pushed onto a wooden dowel and used to spin thread while the spinner walked along.

It takes a long time for lead to build up a thick layer of white oxide, and this can be used to roughly date specimens. The range seen here, from left to right, is something in the region of 1100 - 1700 AD.

The large weight at the back is actually a small 'steelyard' weight.

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