Weaving a seam.

While reading woven into the earth some years ago, I was really intrigued by the section on techniques used while sewing clothing. One of the techniques for finishing garments is the woven edge. By weaving a band on the edge of the fabric you get a sturdy seam. You can do this with weaving tablets or a small rigid heddle. You do not use a weaving shuttle, but a needle containing the weft yarn. 

I have made tabletwoven edges in the past, which are directly sewn on to the object, but I had never made a whole seam. So while remaking my viking apron I thought it was a good idea to finally weave a seam.

The sewn on edge made with tablets, 60/2 silk
Here you see the weft is on a needle.

Last week I finished my first woven seam. I used a rigid heddle and one ply wool. In the beginning it was a bit fiddly, but after a while I got the hang of it. I first used my Oseberg loom. The low seam of a dress or tunic has curves and this makes a straight warp not very useful. Later on I took the project of the loom and tried weaving while fastening the start on a belt. This worked quite well as long as you periodically repin your progress on the belt. This compensates for the curve in the seam. I think in the end I wove 30/40 cm in an hour or so. 

Weaving with the project pinned to a belt (in a train)
The finished seam

It looks very sturdy and the seam might even felt a bit with usage. This can even make the seam even stronger. I find it very interesting to see that people used this time-consuming finishing. Recreating these kind of seams shows us again how important clothing was and how much care people took of the clothing. (take notes, fast fasion) 

sources:

Woven into the earth, Else Østergård, Aarhus University press pg. 105

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