We often hear the term, "Spinster" used to refer to a woman who is advanced in years and has not yet married. These days our attitudes toward this have changed enormously but in years past, the reason for this term was that before the Industrial Revolution, in many parts of Europe it was customary that a bride would spend her days weaving linen for her marriage. Married couples back then were dependent upon the home craftsperson to provide linens for the bed, a tablecloth, napkins and linens for personal wear. A young woman was not ready to be a wife until she had spun and woven the necessary articles and while doing so was called a "spinster".
Suellen Ocean is the author of The Guild available at Amazon, B&N and Ocean-Hose.