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) 


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

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