Early brooms may have been just a bundle of sticks bound together with a piece of hemp, or a broom sage, a grass which grows tall that was cut and bundled together. Broomcorn, from the sorghum family, was grown specifically for making brooms. Its stalk was used for the handle, and its tassel bound with wire for sweeping.
Ann the Broom Maker demonstrates how to use a kicker winder to add the "hips" to the broom to make it wider. A broom vice is used to hold the broom while twine or thread is interwoven to hold the broom together. It takes about 45 minutes to make a broom from start to finish.
In the nineteenth century, brooms were very expensive and considered a luxury item only owned by the very wealthy.