Zaanse Schans, North Holland

Windmills powered nearly everything in Holland back in the 17th century, except for looms, which were powered by human hands and feet (most modern looms still are!).  Visiting a very old weaver's huis (house) where the weavers produced heavy duty sailcloth from flax, I got the chance to weave on an old loom from the late 1700s.  At that time, men did nearly all the commercial weaving, as it provided a good living for hard working weavers, until mechanization became dominant in the mid 1800s.