If working in the fields was mainly men's duty, spinning and weaving were considered feminine activities and it assumed a symbolic meaning. Women used the distaff and the spindle to spin the hemp to make the yarn.
The importance of weaving hemp and linen for countryside economy can also be seen in the typical countryside houses where a big loom was always present. This tool was used so often that each house had a loom room. This was used to produce bed sheet, blankets and trousseau decorated by means of printed fabric. The artisan made different steps to create this final product. First of all the fabric was smoothed down with the Mangle to make it unwrinkled and close-woven, so that it could be decorated. The stamp had to be inked on an ink-pad, then placed on the fabric and hit hard with the a mallet until the ink has soaked well through to the fabric. All inks are obtained from mineral substances. The most traditional one is the rust brown ink, obtained from rusted iron. Finally the colours have to be fixed on the fabric and made indelible, by soaking the fabric in “lye”.