Spinning and Weaving

E. workmen's house

Explore the workmen’s house, a structure that served as a dwelling and textile workshop during Jefferson’s lifetime. More »

Nance Hemings

1761–post 1827 Weaver, Cook, Brewer

Learn more about Nance Hemings’s life history. More »

<strong>Spinning Jenny</strong>, by John James, <em>History of the Worsted Manufacture in England</em>, 1857By 1815, enslaved spinners, weavers, carders, and quillers made cloth from wool, hemp, and cotton in the textile shop.  Randal and John Hern, two young carders, used hand cards or a carding machine to brush the raw material into long rolls of fiber called roving.  Aggy, a spinner, fed the roving onto a spinning jenny, which separated the fibers before twisting them into thread and winding them onto 24 different spools.  Eliza, a young quiller, removed the spools from the spinning jennies and brought them to a loom.  Dolly then wove the thread into cloth on a fly-shuttle loom. The enslaved workers were instructed by William McLure, a hired weaver who worked at Monticello from 1812–14.

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