During a visit to the British Museum, I noticed an ancient textile that had a V-Neck shape. On closer inspection it looked like the neckline had been shaped on the loom. I tested this theory of how this could be done on my loom.
Qasr Abrim Garment -3rd or 4th Century
Qasr Abrim Garment
To test my theory of the shaping of this garment, I tried the technique on the remaining yardage of a hemp warp that I had on my loom.
I had previously woven a couple of
hemp shawls on this warp and had about a yard of warp left to weave.
3 ply white and natural hemp, random warp dyed with Cochineal, Madder
Sett: 10 epi
Starting at one of the outside selvages (left side), I cut one warp thread at the selvage (at the back of the warp) and wove it as weft to the opposite edge (right side). I changed sheds and wove it back across 3 ends, to make a clean edge finish.
Working from the right side this time, I cut one warp thread on the right selvage edge at the back of the loom, and wove it across to the left selvage. I changed sheds and wove this back 3 warp threads.
I continued on in this fashion for about 1 -2 inches, cutting 1 warp thread at a time and weaving it across and tucking it back into the edge. The weft ends can be cut after the warp is removed from the loom. Sometimes I find it easier to trim them as I am weaving.
To start the beginning of the V-neck, I cut 1 warp thread from each side of the warp and using it as a weft yarn, wove it to the centre of the warp. I changed sheds and then wove the warp thread back to the outside edge, tucking it in as before.
Then I cut 2 warp threads from the centre of the warp (at the back of the loom)
Treating them as a weft yarn, I wove them to the outside edge, changed sheds and wove them back to the centre.
I then continued on weaving, alternating with cutting the 2 outside edge warp threads and the next 2 centre threads.
The weft threads can be trimmed as you are weaving, or can be left and trimmed after the fabric is off the loom. I have trimmed the weft threads on the right side of this but left them on the left side.
I tested the weaving for the neckline, but still have further questions and things to explore at another time. There is some sort of pattern at the bottom edge of the garment. And how was the fringe work done?
Qasr Abrim Garment
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Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
The Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand Weaving for the Beginning Weaver
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)
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The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
Weaving In the Arts: Widening the Learning Circle
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