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Revision of the pattern from Moshchevaya Balka

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I have seen the pattern from Moshchevaya Balka (with various versions of this name attached to it - Moscevaja Balka, Moščevaja Balka, Moshtcevaya Balka etc.) floating arround internet many times, but more details about it were hard to find. I do not know who is the author of this original pattern for 13 tablets, but few months ago (or is already more than a year ago?), Silvia Aisling Ungerechts designed a new version of it. Based on the fact that the dots in the centres of eyelets looked larger in the photo of the original band than in the reconstruction, she suggested the possibility that the pattern had been woven on 16 tablets.  When I was finally able to track down the Russian book about finds from Moshchevaya Balka, I was really curious what I would see. It turned out, that both authors were correct partially. The pattern was woven with 13 tablets, but the eyelets are as big as Silvia suggested. To fit them in the narrower band, outer parts of the pattern were cropped.  But there

Reconstruction of the tablet-woven bands E32132 and E32095 from Louvre - the evidence of the reverse sides

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In my last post I mentioned how seeing the reverse side of the band changed my opinion on its pattern. Today I want to write about more bands from the Louvre collections, which according to their obverse (right) sides looked like they had been made by the same weaving technique, but their reverse sides told a different story.  The pattern of the band E32132 is similar to another band from Antinoé, currently in Lyon museum, which was analysed by Silvia "Aisling" Ungerechts . The main difference is that only two colours were used in the Lyon band, but three in the Louvre band. I suspected that the technique would be similar, but did not know at first how to add the third colour into the pattern created for the tablets threaded with two threads only. Therefore I tried several different approaches.   This first set of experiments showed me that red threads need to be opposite white and yellow threads. As the warp threads pass over one weft only, I positioned the tablets on their

Reconstruction of the tablet-woven band E32036 from Louvre

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As soon as I discovered the huge collection of tablet-woven bands in Museé du Louvre, which was recently made public online, I knew that I would have plenty of interesting things to work on in next few weeks (maybe months).  As I wanted to start with something simple, my first choice was the  fragment E32036 . Beside the simple design, it was the only one with the photos of the front and back, which I hoped would make the reconstruction easier for me. If I only knew, how much time and failed trials this seemingly simple pattern would take me... Trial 1:  8 tablets, each with four threads (2 with all threads blue, 6 with one white and three blue threads) Luckily, I did not underestimate the pattern that much, to embark immediately on a fine wool and linen reconstruction, and I used cotton threads for my first trial. At the beginning, I assumed that this was a typical diamond pattern, with the "tabs" on the sides caused by the opposite threading of the second tablet from the ce

Reconstruction of the tablet-woven textile from Miran

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I have admired the tablet-woven band from Fort Miran, ever since I saw the photo of the four-legged animal (lion?) in The Techniques of Tablet Weaving,  but it took long time before I mustered courage to weave the reconstruction. If it wasn’t for lockdown, which provided me with plenty of free time, I would be probably still evading it.

More stockings? Yes, please!

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My biggest research project so far has been an investigation of the stockings from the 16th and 17th centuries. However, my work did not end with the publishing of the article in Archaeological Textiles Review .  During CoVid lockdown, I managed to track down another pair of stockings, and as soon as the lockdown in our country ended, I went to see them. They belonged to Johann Sporck (?1595-1679), originally a German peasant, who joined the army at the beginning the Thirty Years War. He gradually rose in rank and shortly before the end of the war was ennobled. He died as the Count von Sporck and owner of rich estates in Bohemia. Kuks - the burial place of the Sporck family in Eastern Bohemia Unlike other stockings I have studied, his burial stockings were knitted from wool; not in as a fine gauge as silk stockings, but still quite fine: 50 loops (stitches) and 100 courses (rounds) per 10 cm. The legs of the stockings are similar to other stockings I have seen, but the feet di

A story of my hand woven coat

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About two years ago I had to take a several months long break from all handicraft activities due to tendonitis in my hand. When I started to craft again, I soon discovered that the pain returns when I am not careful and knit too much. (This restriction is also the reason, why there are no recent posts about knitting.) 'What should I do with my enormous stash of knitting yarns?' I asked myself. 'Do more weaving!' came the inner answer. However, one needs only limited number of scarves and bags. Therefore I decided to weave some garments. (I hope this to be the first article of the series.) I love various types of 2/1 twill, which I am able to weave on my small rigid heddle loom with two heddles, not only because of their variability, but also because of the difference between the two sides of the fabric. And this difference I wanted to show off on my coat with its turned cuffs, collar and lapels. Here is the drawing of my original plans and the sample of the fabric:

Reconstruction of the band with the animal pattern from the tomb of St Bathilde

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Unlike the geometrically patterned band from St Bathilde's tomb and the sleeve trim of St Bertille, the third band from Chelles (France) is seldomly reproduced.  (So far I know about the only copy by Marijke van Eppen ). The reason is probably not only its width (4 cm, ca 232 warp ends), but mainly the combination of its weaving techniques. Whereas the lateral parts clearly show the structure of tablet weaving, the central part was woven in tabby, probably double layered. (To know this for sure, seeing the reverse would be necessary.) As the three parts are partly separated in the original band, it is generally believed that the tablet woven strips were additionally sewn to the central band which was woven in another technique. However, after seeing the photo of the band I have wondered about two things: 1) The gaps between the three parts do not separate tablet-woven trims and the central tabby piece, but they are placed inside the tablet-woven area, between the yellow warp

Tablet-woven band from Saint-Maurice

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This early medieval band, woven in the combination of tabby weave and floatwork technique, intriqued me ever since I learned about it in Collingwood's Tablet Weaving, and after reading more in Schmedding's Mittealterliche Textilien , my interest grew even stronger. For understanding this band both books are necessary, as each of them contains incomplete information. According to Schmedding, white linen was used for a weft, and white linen, red, yellow, orange and dark blue wool were used for a warp, but no explanation was given how these five colors were aranged in tablets. Collingood clarified that three central yellow threads were replaced by orange ones, but according to his description it seems that only wool was used as a warp. Collingwood reconstructed this band using 18 two-holed tablets (and published a pattern for it), with a note that it "can be woven by using half the number of four-holed tablets, each carrying all four colours. The result is almost ident

My private museum - Part 3: Other knitted objects...

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...except socks and stockings . A sample of the wrist pattern from the so-called St. Adalbert's glove (probably 13th century). Knitted as a test, when I was trying to find out how thin needles were needed for a gauge 7-8 loops* per cm. (The answer: 0.75 mm (=US 000000)). The sample was intentionally left unfinished on the needle, for people who could not believe that such a fine knitting had been made by hand and not by machine. Two berets based on the find from Venetian ship wrecked in 1583 and the instructions published in  Textile Conservation and Research  by Mechtild Flury-Lemberg. The shape of the first one (grey), which was knitted exactly following the pattern, does not look right. In the brown beret I started increases already in the 2nd course and only then continued with increases in each 5th course, following the instructions, and it looks much better. Child's woollen mitten from  London , 16th century.  Based on the photo and dimesions on the museu

My private museum - Part 2: Knitted socks and stockings

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Unlike the tablet-woven bands , which were from the start intended to be displayed, my collection of replicas of knitted objects started as a serie of knitting experiments for reverse engineering or estimating how thin needles were needed for this or that gauge. Only later I added the objects knitted after patterns of other authors, to show the variability of knitting in the past. In chronological order: Child's woolen sock from Egypt (nowadays in the museum in Manchester ), 2nd century CE. Nalbound, not knitted! A similar (and more famous) sock is  in British museum , but I did not have the yarn in right colours for that one. :-) Child's cotton sock from Egypt  (nowadays in the Textile Museum in Washington DC) ,  12th-15th century CE. This replica is a result of many hours spent over the detailed photo, combined with  the pattern found on internet  - and  yet, halfway through my knitting I realized that the jog in my sock is on the opposite side, which means the