happily weaving along,
minding my selvedges,
of linen, wool and plain weave
through the millennia,
when I remembered this book.
for a long time
but until last week had not actually tried
the ever-intriguing notion
of tapestry as built-in embellishment
in an otherwise unadorned balanced plain weave--
at least for clothing--
as was the case with Coptic Tapestry.
Ten or fifteen years ago
I did the wool/ wool sample pictured below
as part of some early
Four Selvedge Tapestry experiments,
will know that exploring ways
to get tapestry off the wall
has long been a passion of mine,
when I suddenly realized--
wait-- I'm making cloth for clothing
and I can work tapestry into this cloth
usually seems to be wool weft on a linen warp,
and the the same holds true
for late 3rd to mid 7th Century Coptic Tapestry
(which makes sense given ease of dyeing wool for imagery
and a centuries old tradition of growing flax for clothing.).
I decided to do the tapestry part backwards too --
weaving a weft faced linen ground
with little woolen squares
(using the same yarn as the warp).
are already familiar with the endless disagreements
between my inner Luminist and Storymaker--
so while they are fighting over aesthetics
I will just mention that technically,
this first stab at tabby/tapestry
was both a delight
and a pain in the butt.
(and the simultaneous weaving of)
the tabby areas on the sides,
all of which I want to mess about with
in future experiments,
both with the addition of tapestry
and with the cloth itself which,
now that it is off the loom and washed,
(by hand as for wool, with extra agitation for fulling)
I find to be crisp, light, fluid
and even a little glittery.
in an intriguing and satisfying way.
Nothing odd or 'unbelonging' feeling about it.
I will probably sew the slits
before beginning the actual garment --
and of course that can't happen
until I've completed
the next swathe --
linen warp/wool weft
with whatever touch of sartorial tapestry
Luminist and Storymaker decide upon--
and designed whatever it is I'm going to make.
1. Linsey Woolsey has a long rocky history
from breeds of sheep, to the use and abuse of power,
from linen processing in Coptic Egypt
to ramifications of the British Wool Act of 1699,
from The Fibershed movement
to the enforced spinning and weaving of slave clothing--
as I was reminded by Mary Madison in last week's comments.
It is a history at once painful, fascinating and full of possibility--
worthy of serious inquiry on many levels.
As usual I've no idea where it all is going for me,
but as you can see,
I'm on the path,
spindle in hand.
and thank you kindly
for your company.
2. Switching Newsletter providers last week seemed to go well,
though a few people reported
that their newsletter went into Spam
because it came from Sarah C Swett
instead of A Field Guide To Needlework.
I have now changed that and hope it works better.
Thank you again for your support and patience!