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Crafting Textiles (Paperback)

Tablet Weaving, Sprang, Lace and Other Techniques from the Bronze Age to the Early 17th Century

P&S History > Archaeology > Archaeological Method & Theory P&S History > Archaeology > Textiles & Weaving

Edited by Frances Pritchard
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Ancient Textiles
Pages: 240
Illustrations: B/w and colour
ISBN: 9781789257595
Published: 1st September 2021
Casemate UK Academic

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New research into the techniques of tablet weaving, sprang, braiding, knotting and lace is presented in this lavishly illustrated volume written by leading specialists from Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and USA. Drawing inspiration from the pioneering work of Peter Collingwood, this publication explores aspects of these craft skills in the prehistoric, Roman and medieval world through scientific, object-based analysis and 'research through making'.


Chapters include the growth of patterned tablet weaving for trimming garments in prehistoric Central Europe; recently identified styles of headdress worn in the Roman Rhineland and pre-Islamic Egypt; Viking-age Dublin as a production centre for tablet-woven bands; a new interpretation of the weaving technique used to make luxurious gold bands in the twelfth to late thirteenth centuries; and the development out of plaiting of bobbin lace borders in gold and silver threads from the fifteenth to early seventeenth centuries. Practical experiments test methods of hand spinning and the production of figure-hugging hose in ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy. A typology of braid and knotting structures in late medieval Europe is also set out for the first time. Diagrams, illustrations and photographs enrich each chapter with a wealth of visual source material.


The work is the outcome of recent discoveries of archaeological textile finds from excavations as well as fresh examination of material recovered in the past, or preserved in treasuries. Early textiles form an increasingly popular subject of interest and this publication, which is a landmark in the study of various specialised textile techniques, aims to provide the reader with a better understanding of these virtuoso craft skills in antiquity.

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