Cloth Weaving Patterns

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Completion Rating
This article's completion rating is 2 out of 5. Article structure and content is subject to change as data is still being collected.

Tabby

Tabby is also know as plain weave and is the simplest of the weaves. In a tabby weave the weft thread goes over one warp thread and under one.

Weave diagram of a tabby

Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

  • Kildonan, Isle of Eigg: Wool and linen in tabby weave were found, one piece of wool was piled.[HENSHALL 1952]:p. 15
  • Clibberswick, Shetland: Some plain weave cloth was found on the hinge of a brooch. [HENSHALL 1952]:p.16
  • Kiloran Bay, Argyll: Plain weave cloth was found on a shield boss. [HENSHALL 1952]:p. 16
  • Oronsay, Argyll: Plain weave (possibly linen) found under the hinge of a brooch. [HENSHALL 1952]:p.16
  • Greenigoe, Orkney: A piece of tabby cloth was found sewn to a piece of 2/2 twill. [HENSHALL 1952]:p.17
  • London, Milk Street and Watling Court (late C9th - early C12th): Nine examples of tabby weave were found. Three were died with madder. Three had weft stripes. [PRITCHARD 1984]:p. 52
Some of the goat hair cloth was also in a tabby weave. [PRITCHARD 1984]:p. 59
  • York, Coppergate 16-22: 14 fragment of wool were of simple tabby weave. [WALTON 1989]:p.318
  • York, Lloyds Bank: 9 textiles of tabby weave were found. 8 were woollen and one was silk. [HEDGES 1982]:p.102
  • York, Coppergate 5: Only one piece of silk was of plain tabby weave. [HEDGES 1982]:p. 125
  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC): 62 fragments of tabby were found. 9 had z-spun threads in both warp and weft the other 53 had tight z-spun threads in the warp and loose woven s-threads in the weft. [HUNDT 1981]:p.4 9 fragments had different natural coloured threads in the warp and weft [HUNDT 1981]:p. 7 ( Walton-Rogers reports incorrectly that 162 examples of tabby were found at Elisenhof [WALTON 1989]:p.?)
  • Birka, Sweden: 17 of the 89 wool fragments described by Geijer were of a tabby weave. And all of the 11 linen fragments described were also tabbies. One of the linen fragments was blue and white checked. [GEIJER 1938]:p.14, 21, 35
  • Scar, Orkney: A piece of tabby woven cloth was found mineralised to the weaving batton in the female grave. [OWEN and DALLAND 1999:p. 93]

Discussion
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Plain 2/2 Twill

A plain 2/2 twill is were the weft thread goes over 2 warp threads then under 2 warp threads. This creates a pattern of diagonal lines going across the fabric.

Weave diagram of a 2/2 twill

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Archaeology

  • Greenigoe, Orkney: three fragments of 2/2 twill, two were loosely woven the third was sewn to a piece of tabby weave.[HENSHALL 1952]:p. 17
  • Skjoldehamn, Norway (~1075): All the garments were made from 2/2 twill. [LOVLID 2009]:p.38
  • London, Milk Street and Watling Court (late C9th - late C10th): Two examples of 2/2 twill were found. One had a thicker thread in every third weft, which was dyed red with madder the other weft threads were dyed blue. The other fragment was of natural brown wool. [PRITCHARD 1984]:p. 56
  • York, Coppergate: 6 wool fragments were of non-reversed 2/2 twill. Some were so small that they may have been from a chevron or diamond twill, but no pattern is recognisable in the preserved fragments. Two were dyed with madder. [WALTON 1989]:p.321
  • York, Lloyds Bank: 2 fragments could only tentatively be recognized as a 2/2 twill, they are listed here as no pattern could be seen. [HEDGES 1982]:p.112
  • Birka, Sweden: 10 of the 89 wool fragments described by Geijer were of a plain 2/2 twill. One further fragament was of a 2/2 twill but the pattern was offset, making it a hybrid type weave between a plain and a diamond twill [GEIJER 1938]:p.21, 38
  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC): The plain 2/2 twill was the most common weave found at Elisenhof with 142 examples. [HUNDT 1981]:p.11
    6 fragments had z-spun threads in both warp and weft. 5 were probably dyed, of these 2 had different natutral coloured warp and weft prior to dyeing. 7 had different natural coloured threads in warp and weft. One example (E-76) had black stripes of different widths in warp and weft giving it a "scottish" look. The other threads were brown. [HUNDT 1981]:p.15


Discussion
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Plain 2/1 Twill

A plain 2/1 twill is very similar to the 2/2 twill but here the weft goes over two warps and under one. This also creates a diagonal pattern but the lines are closer together.

Weave diagram of a 2/1 twill

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Archaeology

  • Skjoldehamn, Norway (~1075): The decorative, striped (red, yellow and green) square and collar on the shirt was in 2/1 twill. [LOVLID 2009]:p.97
  • London, Milk Street and Watling Court (late C10th - early C12th): 5 examples of 2/1 twill, two of which had a diamond pattern in the weave. [PRITCHARD 1984]:p. 56
Some of the Goat hair cloth fragments were also woven in 2/1 twill [PRITCHARD 1984]:p.59
  • York, Lloyds Bank: One fragment of plain 2/1 twill was found. 2 other fragments could not be determined whether they were of plain, diamond or chevron 2/1 twill. [HEDGES 1982]
  • Birka, Sweden: 2 of the 89 wool fragments described by Geijer were a plain 2/1 twill. [GEIJER 1938]:p.21, 38
  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC): Only 2 fragmets were of 2/1 twill, one had a black warp and brown weft [HUNDT 1981]:p.11
  • Scar, Orkney: Small bits of a 2/1 twill were found on the box in the woman's grave. [OWEN and DALLAND 1999:p.99]

Discussion
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Diamond Twill

The diamond twill is a variation of a 2/2 or 2/1 Twill where the diagonal lines are repeatedly reversed to create a diamond pattern in the cloth. For simplicity both 2/2 and 2/1 diamond twills have been included in this list. As the majority are 2/2 diamond twills it is only specifically mentioned if the piece in question is reported to be a 2/1 diamond twill.

Weave diagram of a 2/2 diamond twill

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Archaeology

  • Hedeby - Settlement: 3 fragments of woollen fabric were found in diamond weave. All were of one colour. One fragment of diamond weave linen was also found where the warp was of a lighter colour than the weft. [HAGG 1991]:p. 95
  • Hedeby - Graves: 6 possibly 7 fragments of Diamond weave wool were found in the graves. One was dyed a red colour another possibly blue. [HAGG 1991]:p. 234
  • Hedeby - Harbour: 6 fragments of diamond weave fabric were found. All were dyed one colour. Two fragments, from trousers, were dyed a reddish colour using walnut shells. Two fragments of a coat lining were also redish. The last two fragments, also from trousers, were dyed but no colour was given. [HAGG 1984]
  • Birka: 58 fragments of woollen cloth were found woven in diamond twill. Most of these were dyed (dark brown, black, blue, green. All were of one colour.
  • York, Coppergate: 6 cases of diamond weave wool were found. two were dyed with madder. [WALTON 1989]:p.329
  • London, Milk Street and Watling Court (late C9th - late C10th): Seven examples of diamond weave were found. One was dyed with madder and one with woad. [PRITCHARD 1984]:p. 53
  • York, Lloyds Bank: 8 fragments were of a 2/1 diamond twill. And 6 were of 2/2 diamond twill. [HEDGES 1982]:p. 106 & 112
  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC):184 examples of diamond weave were found. 8 had z-spun threads in both the warp and the weft, the other 176 had tight z-spun threads in the warp and loose spun s-threads in the weft. 8 of the fragments had different natural coloured threads in the warp and weft. [HUNDT 1981]:p.25

Discussion
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Herringbone & Chevron

The herringbone and chevron weaves are two further variations of a broken or reversed 2/2 or 2/1 twill. In a chevron weave the pattern forms a perfect point, in a herringbone weave the point is offset (see immages). Because this difference is so slight, and not always distinguished between in the literature, they are both included in the following list. Again the majority of these are of 2/2 twill, so only when specifically reported as 2/1 twill is it listed as such here.

Weave diagram of a 2/2 herringbone
Weave diagram of a 2/2 chevron

Art
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Archaeology

  • Hedeby - Settlement: 1 fragment of woollen fabric in herringbone weave was found. It was probably from a leg wrap. [HAGG 1991]:p.97
  • Hedeby - Graves: 1 example in grave VI/1930 was of large chevron weave and had a checker pattern in it created by lighter threads (possibly linen) in both the warp and the weft. [HAGG 1991]:p.241
  • Hedeby - Harbour: 4 examples of herringbone weave were found in the harbour. 2 were woven as bands (probably leg bindings) [HAGG 1984]:p.145
  • Birka: 2 fragments of woollen cloth were found woven in herringbone weave.
  • York, Coppergate: 6 cases of herringbone weave wool were found. One fragment was small and may have been from a diamond weave. In five of these the pattern is in the warp rather than in the weft. One was dyed lichen purple and another was dyed with woad. Another fragment had a dark warp and a light weft, which makes the herringbone pattern very visible. [WALTON 1989]:p.324
  • York, Lloyds Bank: One fragment of 2/1 chevron twill was found, and one of 2/2 chevron twill. [HEDGES 1982]:p.106 & 112
  • London, Milk Street and Watling Court (late C9th - early C12th): Six examples of herringbone weave were found. Two were dyed with lichen purplel, one with woad and one possibly with both lichen and woad. [PRITCHARD 1984]:p.53
  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC): 2 examples of 2/1 chevron were found, both were leg bindings. [HUNDT 1981]:p.15
    • 4 examples of 2/2 chevrons were found, all were warp chevrons. Only 1 example was non-accidental, the other 3 occuring in the same piece of textile as either herringbone or a diamond twill. In 2 fragments (possibly from the same piece of cloth) the chevron and herringbone alternated forming a kind of striped pattern. In the other fragment there was one strip of chevron at the edge of a diamond twill.[HUNDT 1981]:p.16
    • 125 examples of 2/2 herringbone twill were found. 1 of these had z-spun threads in both the warp and the weft. 7 look like they may have been dyed, though they have not been analysed. 5 fragments show differnt natural colours in the warp and weft, mostly a black warp and a light brown weft. [HUNDT 1981]:p. 19f.

Discussion
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Kreuzkoper

The Kreuzkoper is a variation of a 2/2 chevron twill but the pattern is obscured by braking it after every two threads.

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Literature
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Archaeology

  • York, Coppergate: One example (Fragment 1304) of a Kreuzkoper was found. [WALTON 1989]:p.329
  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC): Two examples of Kreuzkoper were found. [HUNDT 1981]:p.22

Discussion
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Panama and half Panama

The Panama weave is a variation on a tabby weave where the warp and the weft consist of two threads rather than one. In the half panama only the warp or the weft has a double thread, the other only having one thread. It generally appears in the selvedge rather than the entire cloth being of thise weave.

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Archaeology

  • Elisenhof, Germany (8thC): 3 examples of a panama weave were found, all were probably form the selvedge of the fabric rahter than the entire fabric being of this weave. One of them was on the edge of a twill. [HUNDT 1981]:p.8
    • One example of a half panama was also found where every second warp is double [HUNDT 1981]:p. 8
  • Skjoldehamn, Norway: The selvedge of the blanket that was wrapped around the body had a panama weave. [LOVLID 2009]:p.139

Discussion
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Felt

In true felt the textile was not woven, but the fibres were felted together through agitation. Felt is different to fullered cloth, though the surface might look similar.

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Archaeology

  • Hedeby Harbour: 20 pieces of felt were found. One was the facemask, the others could not be identified as particular items. Some of the felt fragments consisted of two destinct layers one of light wool the other of dark wool. Hagg thinks the original item may have had a pattern cut into the top layer to make a pattern of light and dark wool. [HAGG 1984]:p.96

Hagg says the felt came in two types: 1, a thin but dense felt ideal for caps/hats. 2, a thicker but looser felt ideal for saddle pads.[HAGG 1984]:p.195

  • Hedeby Settlement: 8 fragments of felt were found in the settlement. Hagg suggests that the production of felt may have taken place in Hedeby. The felt was secondarily used as tar brushes and to caulk the ships. [HAGG 1991]:p.99-104

Discussion
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Fullered cloth

When cloth is fullered the surface of the woven textile is felted to give a denser surface. In archaeological context it is sometimes hard to tell whether the cloth was fullered during it's production, or if it was caused by wear during the garments use, or in some cases even a post-depositional effect. If the textile report states that a piece of cloth was of fullered appearance it is listed here.

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Piled

A piece of cloth is called piled when it has tufts of fleece incorporated into it either during weaving or afterwards with a needle. Other terms for the same effect are "rog" or "flokatti"

Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

  • Kildonan, Isle of Eigg: A piece of plain weave,piled piece of wool was found. [HENSHALL 1952]:p. 15
  • York, Coppergate: two of the tabby wools were piled. [WALTON 1989]:p.319
  • York, Lloyds Bank: Two fragments were piled, both after the weaving process. In one case the baser fabric was a plain tabby in the other it was a 2/2 diamond twill. [HEDGES 1982]:p.113
  • Isle of Man, Cronk Moar. Remains of a cloak made from a woolen cloth with wool piles sown through it. [BERSU and WILSON 1966:p.82]
  • Denmark, Mammen. Edging of a warrior coat. Dyed pink?
  • Denmark, Hedeby. A hat. Coat edging.

Discussion
Earlier examples have been found at Sutton Hoo and Valsgarde [BERSU and WILSON 1966:p.83]


Reference

Bersu, Gerhard and Wilson, David M. (1966) Three Viking Graves in the Isle of Man. The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Servies: No 1 [BERSU & WILSON 1966] *
Geijer, Agnes (1938) Birka III - Die Textilfunde Aus den Grabern. [The Textile finds from the Graves] Birka, Kungliga Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien [GEIJER 1938] ^ 1 2 3 *
Hagg, Inga (1984) Die Textilfunde aus dem Hafen von Haithabu. [The Textile Finds from the Port of Hedeby]. Hedeby-Ausgrabungen in Haithabu [HAGG 1984] ^ 1 2 3 4 *
Hagg, Inga (1991) Textilfunde aus der Siedlung und aus den Grabern von Haithabu. [Textile Finds from the Settlement and from the Graves of Hedeby]. Hedeby-Ausgrabungen in Haithabu [HAGG 1991] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 *
Hedges, John (1982) 'Textiles'. In MacGregor, Arthur (1982) Anglo-Scandinavian Finds from Lloyds Bank, Pavement and other sites. York Archaeological Trust: 17/03 [HEDGES 1982] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 *
Henshall, Audrey S. (1952) 'Early Textiles Found in Scotland. pp 1-29'. (Available Online) The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: Vol.86 [HENSHALL 1952] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 *
Hundt, Hans-Jurgen (1981) Die Textil-und Schnurreste. Elisenhof.. [The Textile Cord and Residues. Elisenhof]. Elisenhof Band 4 [HUNDT 1981] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 *
Lovlid, D. H. Nye tanker om Skjoldehamnfunnet (MA). 2009. [LOVLID 2009] ^ 1 2 3 *
Owen, Olwyn, and Dalland, Magnar (1999) SCAR, A Viking Boat Burial on Sanday, Orkney. Tuckwell Press. [OWEN & DALLAND 1999] *
Pritchard, Frances A. (1984) Late Saxon textiles from the City of London (wool, goat hair, silk, flax: production processes; 11th century new technology). pp.46-74. (Available Online) Medieval Archaeology: Vol.28 [PRITCHARD 1984] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 *
Walton, Penelope (1989) Textiles, Cordage and Raw Fibre from 16-22 Coppergate. York Archaeological Trust: 17/05 [WALTON 1989] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 *