8-10/04/2019, Ashburn - United States of America

Analysis of Weave Structures in Museum Textiles: Simple Weaves and Complex Structures

Documenting the weave structures of ancient, historic and ethnographic textiles, is one of the most important contributions textile conservators can make to the body of knowledge about works of art in the museum context. It is a skill that is difficult to acquire, requiring focus and practice and is a constant learning experience even for those who have the basic understanding about how textiles have been made throughout history. Region to region, and period to period, textile traditions retain specific technical traits whose documentation can help in the identification of their cultural associations and context, authenticity and conservation needs. Understanding the structure of the weave, along with their material components is also critical to conservators' approach for research and preservation planning.

This workshop will focus on the basic weave structures of plainweave, twill, satin and gauze and their variants, forming a basis for understanding textile traditions. This will be followed with the examination of the complex weaves that utilize these basic structures incorporated into structures composed of multiple sets of warps and wefts, such as doublecloth, triplecloth, compound weaves, and those formed through the combinations of two structures (including samites and lampas). Participants will look at these structures in the context of examples from various cultures, including Precolumbian Peru, China, the Late Antique period in Egypt, and Western Asia.

The workshop will combine lectures on history and development of textiles and their analysis, practical exercises in the analysis of weave structures and the production of sample structures, as well as the first-hand examination of selected textiles in the museum collection.


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