Medieval Textiles:


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Coordinator: Nancy M McKenna

Purpose: To study the textiles, & textile production of the medieval period Including but not necessarily limited to c. 500 AD thru c. 1500 AD Eurasia. To this end, members discuss thru and contribute written materials and/or swatches with draft or description of the method of creation to the (usually quarterly) newsletter. Currently, there is also a group project: a Sample Exchange with samples due November 2001 for a calendar.

Medieval Textile Study Group is a study group of the Complex Weavers' Guild. The guild was started 20+ years ago during Convergence when a group of people with 8 or more shafts in their looms said "Hey, everything here is aimed at people with 4 or fewer shafts, lets start our own guild". However, many of the members of Complex Weavers have fewer than 8 shafts. Some even weave on backstrap looms, some on warp weighted looms… They joined because of the large number of study groups. Pretty much, if you want to weave it, there's a study group for it. Mathematics, passementarie, kumihimo, rugs, whatever…

Medieval Textile Study Group (MTSG) examines the textiles and some clothing (you should do something with the cloth you're weaving!) of the world during the time period of 500-1500 AD. It is not limited to Europe and can include the indigenous weaving of other continents and islands although it mostly deals with European Medieval.

Because of a lack of popular information about the Medieval Period, we have been covering the simpler weaves of late: Twills, twill varients, color and weave patterns (plaids). Most of the information comes out of extant documents from the Medieval period in the form of court documents, illustrated manuscripts, stained glass windows, bronzes, sculpture and figures in tapestries and embroideries. But it also comes from textiles which were conserved in churches and in the archeological record. As the group progresses in its learning we will be examining and weaving more complex cloth: for instance, damask, taquete & samitum. Enroute, such topics as the dyes, finishing techniques, weaving equipment, etc used in the Medieval period may also be examined.

Part of the requirement of being a member is to contribute at least one article and/or sample each year. Most of the materials in our newsletters comes from our own members, however, I do ask people outside the Medieval Textile Study Group to contribute. Because of the generosity of both the members and non-menbers, each issue has a variety of articles relating to textiles in the Medieval period, or to the recreation of such textiles.



To join you should become a member of
Complex Weavers.

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Last updated: March 26, 2014


Webmaster: Nancy M Michael