Visit from a Curator of Textiles

Today Jenn Swope, who works in the Textile Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, came to teach us about the production of silk fabrics. Here the Kindergartners and 1st Graders are handling a 60-year-old sari from India that a woman would have wound around herself as an outer garment. The fabric shows translucent silk woven with a non-translucent cotton design. We have been studying about China and Rome in the Year One. Jenn told us that in the Year One, when Chinese silk was being transported across Eurasia from China to Rome, silk was valued like gold. Wealthy Romans could only afford small strips of silk (like ribbon borders) which they attached as edging to various garments. Sometimes they also used little pieces of silk like jeweled brooches which they pinned to their clothing.

And here is an ancient Roman needle made from bone that would have been used in about the Year One.