Dr Wild has written an account of textile manufacture in the northern and western Roman provinces. He begins with a chapter on ancient textile fibres and their sources including an account of Roman production of wool, silk imports, flax and hemp and experimental fibres such as asbestos. Then he studies methods of fibre preparation and spinning and the tools used by the ancient craftsmen. The main body of Dr Wild's survey is a detailed account of the evidence, archaeological and literary, for Roman looms, and an examination of surviving textiles. The final section considers the problems of Roman industrial cloth-finishing and dyeing. The text is supported by tables of implements, two catalogues of textiles and over 100 illustrations. This is an important work of reference on a major, but neglected, aspect of Roman technology and economics.
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