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More Testing of Mesoamerican Lunate Artifacts as Possible Loom Weights, that also Functioned as Twining Tools

Billie J. A. Follensbee (US)
In previous replication studies and experiments, a lunate jade artifact from the Pre-Classic/Formative period (1500 BC-AD 250) of Mesoamerica was analysed, researched, and tested for its similarities to the crescent weight, a specialized type of loom weight found in ancient Central and Southern Europe. These analyses successfully established that even a form of this artifact made of wood, shell, or other...

Bast, Ferns, and Mud: Experimental Recreation of a Kapa Kaha (Barkcloth)

Avalon Paradea (US)
Kapa (Hawaiian barkcloth) was the ubiquitous fabric of historic Hawaiʻi, used for everything from clothing to bedding, from swaddling newborns to enshrouding the deceased, and all things in between. This textile is crafted from the bast (inner bark) of several plant species, most notably wauke (paper mulberry tree, Broussonetia papyrifera). The laborious process involves harvesting an adequate number of trees...

Recreating Historic European Spindle Spinning

Mary Ann Megan Cleaton,
Alice Rose Evans,
Jane Hunt (UK) and
Cathelina di Alessandri (AU)
Spinning is a vital step in the production of textiles, whereby fibres are drawn out (drafted) and twisted together to make thread. In the present day, several culturally unique types of spinning are recognised, such as the thigh-rolling technique of traditional Navajo spinners who use unusually large spindles in a supported style (Wolf Creek, 2009)...

A Discussion on the Position of Weaving in the Society of Prehistoric Britain

Helen Poulter (UK)
There have been several recent experiments on using warp-weighted looms in Demark, Italy and Greece, some in Roman houses (Andersson Strand, 2015; Dimova, 2016). The experiments, in particular those in Denmark and Netherlands, took place in the typical rectangular longhouses used in their respective prehistories, unlike 'Britain's predominant roundhouses...

Just how practical is it to Move a Warp-weighted Loom from between the Interior and Exterior of a Roundhouse?

Helen Poulter (UK)
An experimental programme at Butser Ancient Farm run between 2015 and 2017 was to investigate weaving within a roundhouse on a warp-weighted loom. Part of these investigations was an examination into the feasibility of moving the loom in and out of the house, to take advantage of the longer daylight available in summer...

Weaving Production in Butser Ancient Farm Roundhouses in the South of England

Helen Poulter (UK)
From 2015 to 2017 a series of weaving experiments using warp-weighted looms were conducted in the roundhouses at Butser Ancient Farm. The aim was to focus on the working environment within the roundhouse and to assess any potential issues that may occur whilst weaving, including benefits. The results of the research would also assist in evaluating any seasonal patterns which cause productivity to...

A Shared Warp: The Woven Belts of the Lao Han People, China

Celia Elliott-Minty (UK)
The remote mountain area of Guizhou in southwest China is ethnically diverse, and interesting textile traditions survive among the groups. Perhaps the best known are the multicoloured costumes of the Miao people that are skilfully decorated with embroidery and braids (Smith, 2007). Another ethnic group are the "Lao Han" (the ancient Han Chinese) who consider themselves unique from the rest of ...

What was *platъ and how Did it Work? Reconstructing a Piece of Slavic Cloth Currency

Jan Kratochvíl and
Jakub Koláček (CZ)
Using a credit theory of money, we propose that at least some Slavic tribal communities underwent a process of social monetization. In order to fully support this hypothesis, however, many linguistic and historiographic sources would need to be discussed – a task which exceeds the scope of a single article. Therefore, we will here focus on examining (from technical perspective) the oldest type of “money”...

The Shroud of Turin and the Extra Sheds of Warping Threads. How Hard can it be to Set up a 3/1 Chevron Twill, Herringbone on a Warp-weighted Loom?

Antoinette Merete Olsen (NO)
On the 10 May 2020, Mr. Hugh Farey sent me an email. He introduced himself as “a researcher into the weaving of the linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin”. Then he described the size of the Shroud and how it looked. His question to me was this: “If you had a piece of cloth as described and looked at it closely, could you tell if it was made by a warp-weighted or treadle loom, or would there be no difference?”...

Groundstone Indications from the Southern Levant for a 7th Millennium BCE Upright Mat Loom

Janet Levy (IL)
The southern Levant features a long-established matting tradition: soumak (weft wrapping) and also weft twined matting from the 10th millennium BC, and coiled matting from the 8th millennium BCE. The Chalcolithic period, 5th millennium BCE, attests to the introduction of plain plait, twill, sewn through techniques and also the use of the horizontal ground mat loom...

Testing Mesoamerican Lunate Artifacts as Possible Crescent Loom Weights

Billie J. A. Follensbee (US)
While the importance of textiles in Mesoamerica from the Classic period (AD 250-900) onward is well-recognized, scholars have conducted little exploration of earlier Mesoamerican textile production. This lack of scholarship may be attributed in great part to the scant preservation of perishable textiles and tools from ancient times. New sources of information have been recognized, however...

Flax Fibre Extraction Techniques in the Late Middle Ages

Martina König (DE)
On its surface, linen production research is simple as there is a large corpus of books available; however, the majority of these date to the last three centuries. Older texts, while available, tend to concentrate on the textiles themselves and their trade. As a result, I had to collect the information on medieval tools and manufacturing process myself. I have grown and processed flax ...

Working with Artisans; The ‘It Depends’ Dilemma

Christina Petty (CA)
We live in a world where scientific method is both the expected and accepted path to knowledge. With any scientific method, experiments based on detailed, well-documented, well-considered theories, and precise set-ups must be replicated exactly by others who come to the same conclusion to consider the information gleaned from them to be valid. This has become the accepted practice for most...

Replication of a Maori Ethnographic Textile Hem Border Pattern

Lisa McKendry (NZ)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***Replication of archaeological and ethnographic Māori textiles, under the direction of customary knowledge and previous practical experience, can provide a more nuanced understanding of the manufacture of taonga (treasures) made from fibre materials. A case study is presented here from the unique perspective of a weaver who...

The Contribution of Experimental Archaeology in Addressing the Analysis of Residues on Spindle-Whorls

Vanessa Forte (UK),
Francesca Coletti (DE, IT),
Elena Ciccarelli (IT) and
Cristina Lemorini (IT)
11th EAC Trento 2019
***This contribution focuses on residues developing on spindle-whorls during spinning. Such a kind of tools is largely diffused in archaeological contexts where spindle-whorls were used in textile activities or deposited in burials as grave goods. Scholars recently approached...

Textile Textured Silver Ingots: A Technical Investigation into how these Textures came to be on some Viking Hoard Ingots

Dave Meyers (US)
The ‘West Coast Cumbria’ hoard, discovered in 2014, is a late ninth/ early tenth-century Viking silver hoard, housed at the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, UK. It is composed of 20 Viking silver objects: bar-shaped ingots and ornaments, in various stages of fragmentation (PAS ‘Find-ID’ LANCUM-FA14C8). One, complete ingot (museum no. 2016.162.5) bears coarse cloth-impressions on its upper surface...

Prehistoric Dressing for Third Millennium Visitors. The Reconstruction of Clothing for an Exhibition in the Liptov Museum in Ruzomberok (Slovakia)

Kristína Urbanová (CZ)
There can be various reasons for reconstructing clothing for museum purposes. The most frequent one, as in the case of this paper, is to improve and liven up an exhibition with 3D models (Hendszel et al., 2008), which present the fashion culture of individual periods, nationalities or specific regional features to the general public...

Some Uses of Experiment for Understanding Early Knitting and Erasmus' Bonnet

Geeske M. Kruseman (NL)
10th EAC Leiden 2017
***Of Erasmus, prince of humanists (1466?-1536), no less than eight portraits from life survive – all eight in the exact same bonnet. A recently published investigation of this iconic garment (Kruseman, Sturtewagen and Malcolm-Davies, 2016) involved establishing a 250-year typology of the bonnet from iconographical sources, compiling technological and...

Spiral Tube Decorations: a Thousand Years of Tradition

Riina Rammo and
Jaana Ratas (EE)
An overview of finds, their regional spread and significance though the ages. The spiral tubes are made of an alloy that consists of copper supplemented mainly with zinc and/or tin (Rammo, Ratas 2015, table 1). The outer diameter of the spiral tubes usually range from 2.5 to 5 mm. Woollen and linen threads as well as horse hairs, were used to join spiral tubes into decorations...

An Experimental Comparison of Impressions Made from Replicated Neolithic Linen and Bronze Age Woolen Textiles on Pottery

Lauren Ferrero (UK)
Textile impressions on pottery provide evidence for fabrics and weaves in areas where the fabrics themselves do not survive. This article argues that the impressions can provide information on the uses of different fibres, the weaving technologies and possible trading or agricultural advances connected with these fibres...

Investigating the Influence of the Kettle Material on Dyeing in the Industry of Pompeii

K. Kania (DE),
H. Hopkins (UK) and
S. Ringenberg (DE)
7th UK EA Conference Cardiff 2013
***Dyeing, especially in bright, intense colours, has been one of the methods used to embellish textiles and add to their value. A considerable dyeing industry can be shown to have existed in Pompeii. The city of Pompeii was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in AD 79, but its remains were preserved in situ...

Variables and Assumptions in Modern Interpretation of Ancient Spinning Technique and Technology Through Archaeological Experimentation

Tracy P. Hudson (QA)
This paper takes the form of a critical analysis of archaeological experiments using spinning tools. The archaeological experiments regarding whorl weight and wool spinning of the Tools and Textiles – Texts and Contexts project, through the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, are examined with respect to a number of variables...