Updated: Jun 26, 2021
The art of weaving has evolved over the course of thousands of years, through discovery and experimentation. It involves the production of fabric or cloth by interlacing two distinct sets of yarns or threads in a right angle. The (usually pulled taut) vertical strings are called the warp, and the horizontal thread that is intertwined over and under them is called the weft. The way these two strings are interwoven affects the characteristics of the cloth that will be produced.
Early civilization called for temporary shelters to be built, so knowing how to twine, plait, knot and weave materials such as grass, twigs, string and twine together, in order to build walls, roofs, bedding, baskets and doors, was imperative. The idea of interlacing materials together to create a weave was probably inspired by nature; by observing birds’ nests, spider webs and various animal constructions, the early civilization artisans discovered they could manipulate bendable materials and create objects that would make their life easier.
It is believed that man first learned how to create string 20 to 30 thousand years ago, by twisting plant fibres together. This technique evolved through time, and man was eventually able to stretch and dry fibres, in order to produce finer threads.
A distinct fabric impression in an archeological find (Dolni Vestonice), has lead scientists to the conclusion that the discovery of weaving actually took place as early as the Paleolithic era.