Home Crafts In Colonial America Essay

Home Crafts In Colonial America Essay

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The community of the American Colonies in the 16th to 17th century shared ideas and ways of life with one another. “The colonist came from many countries—England, France, Holland, Germany, and Spain. They brought with them their different customs and skills” (Corwin 7). Together they learned to formulate and develop items. Home crafts are gender specific; typically women became the ones who wove, sewed, embroidered, and quilted; while the men cleared land, farmed, cut wood, butchered and hunted animals. In colonial America, home crafts became not just decoration or a hobby, but a thrifty use of leftover resources, a way of life, rebellion, and a huge role in women’s history.
Colonial women did not have many materials; they either made what they needed or bought it from Europe. Due to lack of supplies and money, the colonists never wasted materials that could be used again. The colonist saved grease and wood ashes; grease became used for lighting and was also the basis of soap, ashes became used as the soap ingredient called lye (Tunis 43). Salt was limited in the colonies, therefore not much salt became wasted on hardening soap; as a result they made it soft. Due to the hazardous fire of melting iron, common colonial citizens did not have much iron in their homes. As a substitute for iron; door hinges, latches, barrels, and utensils were all made out of wood.
Fabric that came from Europe costed as much as the equivalent to the garment itself. It became less expensive to make your own fabric than to buy it. “Producing one’s own clothes . . . meant weavin...


... middle of paper ...


...ing of home crafts, as the 17th and 18th century progressed, women became more than just a homemaker; they could own property, vote, and get a job.

Works Cited
Corwin, Judith. Colonial American Crafts: The Village. NY: Franklin Watts, 1989.
Earle, Alice. Child Life in Colonial Days. NY: Berkshire House Publishers, 1993.
Pepek, Gregory. "Women's Role Before and During the Colonial Period." Web Connections. 6 Oct 2008 .
Roberts, Cokie. Founding Mothers. USA: Harper Collins Publishers , 2004.
"Stamp Acts of 1765." Stamp Act. 2007. 6 Oct 2008 1765.php>.
Tunis, Edwin. Colonial Living. Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, 1957.
“The Weaving Room.” Online image. Daughters of Liberty. 6 Oct 2008.

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