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Early Medieval (400AD - 1099AD)


Iron Heckle/weaving comb

Early Medieval

An iron heckle, or weaving comb. X-rays revealed two rows of four iron teeth, concreted through corrosion to a wooden base. It was found near the head of a grave at Barhobble.


Weaving combs were used to prepare the fleece by removing tangles and getting the fibres to lie in a straight line, making them easier to spin into thread.


Spinning and weaving were essential parts of female domestic life in the early medieval period, and would have been undertaken by all ages. It has been calculated, for instance, that 20,000m of thread would be required to make the cloth for a single dress.

The Whithorn Trust

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