A Slender Thread by Katharine Davis: Chapter Heading Word Definitions

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A Slender Thread

Even though I couldn’t finish this book, I love what the author did with the chapter heading word definitions.  Aside from the cleverness of interlacing the chapter heading words with the title with the theme of the book (admittedly so), they spoke to me on a more general life level (especially since I’m a knitter – a fiber artist – and had previously gotten tangentially interested in weaving), so I’m sharing them ‘cuz maybe they might speak to you too.

(Chapter 1) Weave: Make cloth by interlacing threads on a loom.

(Chapter 2) Loom: A device to hold warp threads taut so that the weft threads can be woven under or over them.

(Chapter 3) Castle: The largest upright part of the loom.

(Chapter 4) Warp: Threads running vertically in weaving.

(Chapter 5) Weft: Horizontal Threads interlaced through the warp of a fabric.

(Chapter 6) Tenterhooks: The hooks on a tenter, the framework for stretching wool to prevent shrinkage after it has been washed.  When one is under tension, one is “on tenterhooks.”

(Chapter 7) Threading hook: Long skinny hook for threading warp.

(Chapter 8) Thread: Fine cord of two or more filaments twisted together.

(Chapter 9) Web: Woven cloth, but also the cloth remaining on the loom.

(Chapter 10) Shed: Open space between upper and lower warp threads.

(Chapter 11) Yarn: A continuous strand of twisted thread.

(Chapter 12) Draft: Map of the pattern to be woven.

(Chapter 13) Spin: Twist fibers into thread.

(Chapter 14) Spinster: A woman employed at spinning.

(Chapter 15) Woolgatherer: A person who wandered through the fields gathering tufts of wool left on low branches from the sheep that had been grazing there.  To woolgather is to indulge in fanciful daydreams.

(Chapter 16) Texere: Latin for “to weave,” from which the English word “text” is derived.

(Chapter 17) Shuttle: Tool that carries the weft threads through the shed.

(Chapter 18) Boat shuttle: A shuttle resembling a boat.

(Chapter 19) Loose ends: A woven piece not properly tied off.

(Chapter 20) Tapestry: A woven cloth, sometimes depicting a story.

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