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Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation

Peggy Hart

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Keeping people warm for four centuries, wool has been an essential commodity from colonial times to the present. This book tells wool’s colorful and surprisingly epic tale and how it has impacted millions of lives from immigrants, slaves, Native Americans, to farmers and advertisers. Author Hart reveals little-known but fascinating facts about US society—for example, how huge flocks of sheep were driven to the California gold fields to feed hungry miners, and why sheep grazed on the White House lawn during World War I. Moving from the realms of handcrafted artisanry to industrialization and back, Wool is a story of technological and social change, marketing forces, and above all, consumer choices. A must-read for anyone who has knitted socks, woven a tapestry, or curled up with a warm wool blanket.

Size: 6″ x 9″ | 108 color & b/w images | 192 pp
ISBN13: 9780764354311 | Binding: soft cover

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Peggy Hart is a teacher and production weaver. She designs, produces, and markets hundreds of blankets each year, including custom blankets for sheep and alpaca farmers using their own yarn. Her weaving career has followed the stages of wool’s technological developments. Hart began as a hand spinner and weaver, dyeing wool with natural dyes. As a Peace Corps Volunteer she started a hand-spinning and weaving workshop in Kenya. Upon returning, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design, worked as a weaver in one of the last mills in Rhode Island, and bought her first industrial loom. She weaves on totally obsolete Crompton and Knowles W-3 industrial looms.