Before They Were Weavers/Carpet Makers/Handloom Weavers - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Early modern era & beginning of the modern era. Exploration, enlightenment, industrialisation, colonisation & empire (1492 - 1914 CE).
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#14195425
In Britain there was a class of people who primarily in the 18th to 19th centuries worked in weaving and textiles. Hand loom weaving was a form of small home industry. What occupations did these people have a few generations before? What would their ancestors in the Middle Ages have done?
#14195455
Peasants in the country. Remember the industrial revolution was accompanied by a massive movement of people from the countryside to the towns and cities. The vast majority wouldn't have had roots in the play that they were working.

Interestingly this is when the nuclear family starts replacing the extended family as people needed to be able to move around the country with the jobs for the first time ever.

I like your questions PI, they always provoke good debate.
#14196114
Decky wrote:Peasants in the country. Remember the industrial revolution was accompanied by a massive movement of people from the countryside to the towns and cities. The vast majority wouldn't have had roots in the play that they were working.


Ah I see. What about those who were weavers before the industrial revolution or did handloom not exist before then?

Would handloom weavers be considered working class?

Decky wrote:I like your questions PI, they always provoke good debate.


Thank you Decky. It is good to discuss these things.
#14196138
Ah I see. What about those who were weavers before the industrial revolution or did handloom not exist before then?


Well remember one of the main points of bringing in factory production is the de-skilling of labour. It takes far less time to train a factory worker than it would to make someone a skilled handloom weaver from scratch. This means you can pay them less.

In a factory jobs are broken down into their smallest parts and the divion of labour means that each worker only performs on tiny part of the job.

The old weavers were very skilled but you wouldn't need that skill to work in the factory as you would be only doing one tiny task instead of being a skilled craftsmen making a product from start to finish. You might even be maintaining a machine and not interacting with actually wool at all.

People who were handloom Weavers would not necessarily be working in the mills as the jobs has very different skill sets despite producing the same thing.

Would handloom weavers be considered working class?


Well it would depend. It they are working for someone else and being paid a wage to do the weaving in exchange for the product of the labour belonging to the boss to sell then yes.

If they do it for themselves and then sell it themselves they are (very) petite bourgeoisie.
#14196173
hand loom weavers were often peasant farmers who did the weaving in addition to farming. Many proto industrial developments were cottage industries were work was put out to individuals who often had other occupations, and often lived in rural locations. Medieval peasantry often produced various items at home, with the expansion of trade in the later middle ages we get increasing specialisation of regions, and some peasants moving into their secondary trades more as full time occupation. Hand loom weavers in England was IRC dominated by hand looms in the home, the weavers clung to their independence and working from end till the bitter end (the hand loom weavers were increasing very very badly paid within the British economy).

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