Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Thread counts of medieval linen fabric

These are data about the thread counts of linen fragments discussed in “Textiles and clothing”

period: 1375-1400 nr of threads per cm, warp/weft: 20/ 19
period: 1400-1450 .. : 22/ 22

This type of linen is quite fine/ tightly woven. It can be used very well for “free style” stitches (e.g. stem stitch), but it is less suitable for counted work (e.g. brick/ satin stitch). Jenny Schneider describes the thread count of a number of embroidered Swiss linen tablecloths:

period: 1200-1250 nr of threads per cm, warp/weft: 13/ 14
period: 1300-1400 .. : 15/11
period: 1450-1500 .. : 14/14

This type of linen is quite “loose”. I think a thread count of about 14/14 or 15/15 is suitable for a tablecloth that combines both counted and “free style” stitches.

Crowfoot, E., Pritchard, F., Staniland, K. (2002), Textiles and clothing: c.1150-c.1450, Woodbridge, The Boydell Press
Schneider, J. (1972), Schweizerische Leinenstickereien, Bern: Verlag Paul Haubt


Jerusha said...

WooHoo! This is such useful information!

Machteld said...

Thanks! I had a lot of trouble with finding the right type of linen. I have worked with 20/20, which is too fine and 11/11, which is too loose for whitework embroidery. I'm now working on a whitework sampler using 14/14 linen and it is just right!