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  • Chowan Herald

    Womens Club to demonstrate colonial textile crafts

    By Vernon Fueston Staff Writer,

    24 days ago

    The Edenton’s Women’s Club will sponsor a family-friendly demonstration of colonial-era textile manufacturing at the Iredell House in Edenton next month.

    The demonstration will include how Chowan County women prepared cotton and wool by carding the fibers, spinning them, and preparing them for weaving a basic cloth called homespun during the 17th and 18th centuries.

    The program, which will take place at the James Iredell House on June 8, will allow families to drop in between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Antique spinning wheels and methods for preparing animal and plant fibers for the textile-making process will be displayed. Children can try the process themselves and even pet a lamb that will be on site.

    The demonstration is the Women’s Club’s interpretation of what life was like in Edenton at the time of the Edenton Resolves. The local community is celebrating the 250th anniversary this year of the event considered the first example of political action by women in colonial America. Also known as the Edenton Tea Party, 51 women signed a compact on Oct. 25, 1774 promising not to purchase British tea, textiles, clothing, and other products until the English Parliament repealed a series of taxes that were passed without the Colonies’ representation.

    Carlette Pruden, chair of the Edenton Women’s Club, said that while many historians dwell on the courage it took for women to take action that might damage their husband’s career and their family’s livelihood, the Women’s Club decided to focus on the practical side of the accords. Many well-off women would have had to forgo staples like tea, clothing, and textiles, opting to wear locally manufactured cloth and other substitutes for British imports. The colonies were not permitted to establish manufacturing businesses competing with British factories.

    Chris Haislet, a historical interpreter at the Island Farm in Manteo, and Abbey Sutton, a historical interpreter at Hope Plantation in Bertie County, will demonstrate the crafts. Abigail Colson of Triple C Petting Farm will bring the lambs for children to pet and provide small amounts of wool for the demonstration.

    The organizers request that participants bring a canned good to donate to the Edenton Food Pantry instead of purchasing tickets. The Edenton Women’s Club is a chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

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