04/08/2012

Seafaring and the importance of weaving

Nearly every time I say something like that, at least one person laughs and objects. Weaving – important for ships??? Oh, come off it, you weavers always want to show off.

Well.
The first "boats" were probably raft-like: timbers lashed together by... ropes, perhaps?
Some time later, so called "sails" were invented. And sails are... woven, right?

Sailing ships were around for a long time – according to Wikipedia from about 3200 BC, until the birth of the steam-driven ships (Wikipedia, again: [...]France, by 1774 [...]working steamboat with rotating paddles [...]sailed [...] 1776, apparently the first steamship to sail successfully.)
Several of the sailing ships had rather large sails.
It is believed that Santa Maria, Columbus’ flag ship, had a sail area of around 350 square metres – and the biggest ever sailing ship (Preussen, built in 1902) sported 4650 square metres of sails. (Even with a weaving width of 2 metres, that means a roll of 2325 m, or more that 2500 yds, of sailcloth.)

I think I have made my point: before there could be sailing ships, both spinning and weaving must have been invented...

On a trip to Karlskrona, I saw some examples of "fibre arts" pertaining to sea-faring:




The sloops were built between 1830 and 1860, and are now used for (small, but still…) regattas every Thursday during summers. Read more here.

In the museum I saw some more "fibre arts"


Jarramas is one of the world’s smalles full-riggers:


To complete this post: a rather big "water spout"



1 comment:

Cally said...

And sailors and fishermen traditionally have excellent textile skills too! From mending nets to darning socks to patching sails...