Top positive review
60 people found this helpful
It's no work to read this book!
on November 21, 2003
This book covers a huge amount of information without ever being dry or boring. The tone is conversational throughout and incredibly interesting. The author shows us the oldest surviving fragment of cloth (a wool plaid from 800 B.C.) and then weaves a replica herself to see how long it would have taken to make. There are examples of Greek pottery showing women weaving at warp-weighted looms, which allows the author to tell us about the migration of peoples by describing finds of loom weights in Egypt. Other pottery fragments show women walking and hand spinning at the same time, and then a drawing of the Venus de Milo, with arms drawn on, shows that her arms are in the same position and she was very likely spinning thread. It's a marvelous book that's as easy to understand as a conversation over a fence with your neighbor. In fact, there's a picture of two modern Hungarian girls doing just that while wearing their typical bell-like national costume, and beside this picture is a scene from a mid-first millennium B.C. vase found in Hungary showing a very similar costume. The author moves us back and forth through history and across the continents with ease and interest. It's a fabulous book.