Weaves and Words from Weavers Throughout History

Weber Kunst und Bild Buch, Marx Ziegler, 1677

Weber Kunst und Bild Buch, Marx Ziegler, 1677

Weaving is as old as recorded time.  I’m sure Eve must have woven palm fronds and other leafy material into garment or garments to protect her delicate female skin from the elements.

Kunst, Buch, Ziegler3 1677 Twill 3-3F 4H4T

Kunst, Buch, Ziegler 1677

One of the drawbacks of woven cloth is historically it was done with organic material and didn’t survive being buried for eons.  Miraculously, though, diggings of historic artifacts the world over have unearthed scraps of woven material.  There even was evidence of woven cloth found in ancient Egyptian tombs. 

Ralph Griswold 2004

Ralph Griswold 2004

I have studied patterns dating back to the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, as well as in the 20 and 21st centuries.  The website, www.handweaving.net has pattern drawdowns from all these eras, many of them quite intricate.

Early weavers whose works and teachings I have studied were highly competitive and secretive about patterns they developed.  One British weaver, whose name I cannot recall at this moment, wrote his notes in a kind of shorthand only he could understand.  Sort of reminds me of Leonardo da Vinci who wrote some of his notes backwards to keep his data from others. 

The reason for the weaver’s secrecy probably was economic.  If the design was a good one, people seeking it woven into cloth would come to the person who could make it.  I’ll bet that’s why he kept his notes in his secret script.

This section of my blog will be devoted to the history of weavers and of weaving.  I’ll find quotations and historic pattern adaptations from weavers I admire, and perhaps from some of whom I don’t think so much. 

I hope you will enjoy it.