According to the Colonial Williamsburg website, a colonial weaver wove fabric shipped from abroad. In colonial times, fabric was mostly imported as it was too expensive to make on its own. A weaver was tasked to clothe the community using textiles shipped from Great Britain, China and India.
In the 18th century, dyes used in weaving were produced from natural sources. Red was derived from the cochineal, an insect native to South America. Brown came from walnuts while blue came from indigo, which is derived from a type of plant. Turmeric made yellow, and extract from the Spanish log tree made purple.