I don't re-read books often. This is because I tend to have an extremely annoying feeling of "haven't I read this before...and this...and this?" going on.
But, just as you can never step in the same river twice, re-reading a good book can give you a new, deeper understanding of the material.
I don't remember when I read Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years for the first time. It was probably when I was in college.
I didn't know enough about knitting, before I read this book, to know that I wouldn't find any knitting in it.
You see, knitting isn't really all that ancient, especially compared to weaving and spinning. It's only about 1,000 years old, although there is some dispute about that. (Spinning wheels are relatively new to the scene, as well.)
Women's Work traces the formation of cloth and garments in various societies through some really interesting methods. One of Barber's most fun moments is when she talks about the relative ages of words for things like "needles," "thread," and "cloth."
So, if you're REALLY into ancient history, folkloric costumes, and different methods of spinning, this is the book for you. I especially love Barber's revelation that super-fine Egyptian linen fibers were spliced together rather than spun in the sliding/drafting action that most people use.
Also, the heddle, which allows weaving to be relatively efficient, was probably invented in one place and had to spread around the world, over time. It's that hard to just figure out. (page 41 in my library copy, printed in 1994)
You're welcome. Now go admire a loom.