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    AUTHOR:     Wilson, Kax.
    TITLE:      A history of textiles / Kax Wilson.
    PUBL.:      Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press,
    FORMAT:     xxi, 357 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
    DATE:       1979
    SUBJECT:    Textile industry--History.
                Textile fabrics--History.
    ISBN:       0891584919 :
    CONTENTS:   Includes bibliographies and index.
    RID #:      ocm04776753
Fabric Construction

Textiles are identified and named by their construction. Construction is dependent upon material and equipment and often determines design and finish.... ...interlacing two or more sets of strands at right angles to each other, was a simple concept for rigid materials like reeds, but it afforded complex problems when flexible yarns were used. The first record of a weaving device is a horizontal loom on an Egyptian dish dated 4400 B.C....

...The purpose of a loom is to hold one set of elements (warp, ends, lengthwise yarns) evenly, without tangling, and under varying amounts of tension depending on the fiber used, while the other set of elements (weft, filling, woof, picks, shot, crosswise yarns) are interlaced....

...Looms are generally distinguished from other frames used to make openwork and twined fabrics by the addition of "heddles" (healds, headles). One heddle, a loop of string or wire, is attached to one warp yarn. A group of heddles is looped on a heddle rod, or held in a frame called a "harness" or "shaft."

Weaving is a three step process. During the first, called "shedding," some of the warp are lifted by raising the harnesses or heddle rods to form a "shed," that is, a triangular space between the warp that are up and the warp that are down (figure 3.2). In the case of a plain weave, simple "over one/under one" interlacing, half the warp are up and half are down; alternate warp are raised each time the shed is changed. The second step is called "picking" or "making the shot." During it the weft, generally wound on some sort of shuttle, is passed through the shed. In the third step, "battening" or "beating," the weft is packed back with a comb, sword-like rod, or the reed. (p 35-36)

Woven Constructions

Terms in this section are ones commonly used by textile historians. Nomenclature, however, is not set by law, and there is often disagreement about exact meanings of words. Scholars have recently taken a greater interest in this particular aspect of textile study and considerable work has been done to bring order to fabric classification and nomenclature.... Emery is the current authority for all constructions and has been followed in this chapter. (p 63-64)

Simple weaves

Simple weaves employ only two sets of elements - one set of warp and one set of weft. (A single set of elements equals a group of components - yarns - all used in the same way.)...(p 64)

Nonweaving Techniques


Unlike weaving and twining, braiding is a technique which uses only one set of elements. The strands are interlaced diagonally from either the outside in, or the center outward. Braids can be round, square or flat (Figure 3.31). They are usually narrow, although some fairly wide fabrics were made in Peru and Egypt. In the prehistoric American Southwest, shirts were braided. It was a technique used widely in prehistoric times for slings, trump lines, ties, fringes and cords. The indians of the Great Lakes region made very complicated patterned braids, and one type was adapted as an elaborate sash by the French Canadians in the nineteenth century. "Plaiting" is a term often used interchangeably with braiding, although plaiting is best reserved for a method of interlinking whereby elements simply turn around each other as in a chain (fig 3.32 and plate 90). Braiding is more like weaving in that yarns are interlaced.... (p 71-72)

Fig 3.32

(Plate 90, Twine-plaited shirt from Tonto Monument (1200-1400 AD) Length 26". Arizona State Museum, The University of Arizona. Photo by E.B.Sayles)