Loom weights

La Lloma de Betxí (Paterna, Valencia)

Sexual division of labour

Gender and space 

Gender stereotypes: domestic sphere 

Loom weights are characteristic clay pieces used to keep the warp threads taut. Their presence indicates the existence of textile-making activity in the settlement of La Lloma de Betxí, but the type of material and fibres used are unknown. Although the interpretation of these pieces has always been associated with weights used in a vertical loom, we cannot rule out the possibility that they were employed as fibre twisters or spools, given their size and weight.

The task of weaving is linked to the domestic sphere and considered an activity performed by women. However, research has frequently failed to value the difficulty involved in performing this work, or the importance of the activity’s contribution to the economic maintenance of past societies.