Softly, softly catchee Coptic

Assignment 1 Year 2 – copy a segment of historical tapestry in 20 cm x 20 cm.

I picked a bit of Coptic weave (Egyptian, 3rd or 4th century AD). The original full piece was itself only about 24 cm x 24 cm, and I am reproducing less than 1/4 of it. The original was at about 30 epi, and I have ‘blown up’ the image as it were and am working at about 8 epi. I got very discouraged early on – the images were distorting and the techniques were obscure.Have managed to get moving again – about 1/3 done as you Β see:

little coptic people

Things to note:

1. The extremely tight warp sett (but not in my reproduction).

2. Warp of the original was probably linen.

3. All colours are pure – no mixed threads.

4.Extensive use of ‘flying shuttle’ technique.

5. Avoidance of long slits by frequent ‘dovetailing’.

6. But, paradoxically, frequent single warp wraps – which DO result in slits….

Still have quite a way to go – and will probably comment more later.

5 thoughts on “Softly, softly catchee Coptic

  1. Vera, course I don’t mind – your comments are very helpful. This has been much the most challenging bit I’ve done so far – trying to understand how the piece was woven originally.

    and Debbie – I am in Australia, so naturally the little fellow is surfing (or have you been drinking too much Somerset scrumpy?)

  2. I personally don’t find double warp edges very helpful…..
    I think you are doing great! All that frustration, – yes, keep remembering to take a deep breath in-between! πŸ™‚
    but when you finish you will have learned so much, which all helps towards developing your skill.
    Think of the varying weft thicknesses like building material for a house, – if you can only have a half brick, what would you do to get it to the level of the full size brick? It also makes you aware of weaving with more tension when your yarn is thin and less tension if it is thicker (how high “bubbles” are made, when laying the yarn in) – hope you don’t mind – only writing this in case it may be helpful
    Looking forward to see more of it!

  3. Thanks, Michelle:
    I like to tell myself that the double edges help in stopping pulling-in – but I am not sure that they do!
    I’ve got varying yarn thicknesses within the one pass – I don’t know if that’s authentic or not, but I think it affects the tension – the wrong way!

    This piece is quite ‘challenging’ to do – have to keep inventing odd ways of doing things. Yes, fun.

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