She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands.
Read Chapter 31
Augustine of Hippo
The sacred text describes this housewife as a weaver of woolens and linen. But what we want to find out is what wool represents and what linen does. I think wool means something of the flesh, linen something of the spirit. I hazard this conjecture from the order we wear our clothes in; our underclothes or inner garments are linen, our outer garments woolen. Now everything we do in flesh is public, whatever we do in the spirit is private. Now to act in the flesh and not to act in spirit may seem good but is in fact worthless, whereas to act in spirit and not act in the flesh is downright laziness.
The sacred word describes that woman as working in wool and linen. Perhaps you will ask us what the wool and linen are. The wool signifies something carnal; the linen, what is spiritual. This interpretation is given because in the order of clothing inner garments are of linen, outer ones are of wool. Therefore, the wool signifies something carnal, because it is produced from a mingling or union, while the linen is brought forth from the earth without any carnal pleasure and for this reason seems to be an image of chastity. So true is this that by command of the law, priests of the Old Testament used linen bands as an indication of chastity.
Hands, with skill and industry, (Calmet) or "willingness. "(Hebrew) (Menochius)
Ladies of the highest quality formerly employed themselves in this manner, like Penelope. Alexander, Augustus, and Charlemagne wore garments, which their sisters or wives had wrought. (Curt. 5.) (Suetonius 64.) (Eginhard.)