If I understand correctly, weaving dates back to 7000 BC in Mesopotamia, 4400 BC in Egypt and 5000 BC in southern
Europe. You would probably know better than I when it first appeared. I am noticing that there isn't a huge amount of
symbolism material in the earlier cultures although I'm seeing representations in myths. When they date to is anyone's
I agree that the comb does have a practical purpose. Almost all symbols do. Comb symbolism has had a very
different etymology to weaving/weaver.
Here is what I was able to find.
Gertrude Jobes V1 P361
Animal crest symbolizing the rays of the sun. Dominance, masculinity.
In Icelandic kambr (crest) resolves into ak-amber, which yields great sun father.
Implement symbolizing rays of the sun or rain and, as either, a fertility symbol.
Also typifies enticement, fingers, heartlessness, vanity and as such an attribute of mermaids and of Venus.
Protection against danger, from the world wide folktale incident in which a comb is tossed away by a fugitive pursued by an ogre. The comb grows into a forest or thicket impeding the pursued.
Combs are found in prehistoric graves, and probably were grave gifts to bring light to the deceased.
American Indian murderers were not allowed to comb their hair for a given period lest bad luck descend on the tribe. Natchez brave who took his first scalp was not permitted to comb his hair for six months lest the soul of the dead man inflict him.
Christian symbol of martyrdom.
Iron combs were used as instruments of torture to tear the flesh.
Emblem of saints Blaise and Hippolytus.
In Greece originally a plectrum for plucking lyre strings, hence emblematic of music.
In Sarawak, if used by a wife while her husband is out collecting camphor, he will have bad luck.
The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects
The comb was an eminently female symbol associated particularly with water spirits: mermaids, sirens, nereids, and the Goddess herself under such names as Venus Salacia, Aphrodite Marina, Thetis and Thalassa. Goddess images recur often in folktales and ballads about the sea fairy discovered while combing her hair. In effect, she was making magic. Female hair combing was anciently associated with control of the weather.
Witches were said to raise storms by combing out their hair, which was likened to falling water.
The Greek word for comb, kteis, also means vulva.
The comb also became a symbol of Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, when Christianity evolved her from the pagan composite Virgin-Mother Goddess of sea, Mari-Anna.
Although the comb may generally be regarded as nothing more than a utilitarian or decorative item, in Japanese mythology it plays an extremely important, if highly complicated part. The most interesting aspect would seem to be that when not combing the hair, but simply stuck in it, the comb was a means of communication with, or identification by, supernatural forces. The teeth of the comb stood for the rays of heavenly light penetrating into the person’s being through the the Crown of the head.
Again, the comb is what holds together the hair, that is, the components of the individual’s personality seen as strength, nobility and capacity for spiritual elevation. A comb picked up by chance may change the finder’s individuality. In tales of Nihon-gi, combs also seem to play a protective role, which their transformation into Bamboo-clumps does not define precisely. Bamboo thickets, however, sometimes carry the same significance as impenetrable jungle (Jean Herbert, Aux sources du Japon: le Shinto). The comb, to which it is likened, may act as a protective barricade and its teeth may be regarded as daggers.
Hopefully this adds a little insight or least what I can find.
Here is what I found on the Goddess Neith, Goddess of Weaving. She seems to predate Egyptian history.
Triple Goddess of Sais, also called Anatha, Ath-enna, Athene, Medusa. Egyptians said her name meant “I have come from myself.” She was the World Body, the Primal Abyss from which the sun first rose, and “the Cow, who gave birth to Ra.” She was the Spirit Behind the Veil, whom no mortal could see face to face. She called herself ”all that has been, that is, and that will be,” a phrase copied by the Christian Gospels (Revelation 1:8). She was older than dynastic Egypt. Her symbol was borne by a prehistoric clan, and her name by two queens of the first dynasty. Greeks knew her as Nete, one of the original trinity of Muses at Delphi.
In the Bible she was called Asenath (Isis-Neith), Great Goddess of the city of Aun, which the Jews rendered ”On.” Her high priest Potiphar was made her “father,” as Teiresias was made the “father” of the Goddess Mante, and Brahma was made the “father” of the Goddess Sarasvati (Genesis 41:45). The Goddess herself was made the spouse of Joseph, whose Egyptian name meant “he who was brought to life by the word of the Goddess (neter)."