Who uses their handweaving for garb?

How often?  As in do you still buy commercial cloth, or do you exclusively use your handwoven?



I've just started weaving yardage for garb. It would be very cool to have an exclusively handwoven wardrobe, but between issues sourcing appropriate yarns and the rather specific tech needed to weave certain types of cloth, I can't see myself actually using 100% handwoven cloth in the near future, and perhaps ever. :(


Especially since available commercial fabrics have really declined in quality at the same time as commercially made garments. We're between a rock and a hard place! So I've been re-examining the efficacy of using my weaving to make practical daily wear. I'd love to hear how other weavers might have dealt with things like the difference in practical sett between commercial and handwoven cloth. And where they'd suggest starting for actual garments. I'm thinking of making a tank-top with 8/2 cotton to gain experience. Also, most of the designs I see featured on the subject are for twiggies. I have a figure! How do weaavers deal with darts? Aren't they bulky in handwoven? Are there positions for them that are better than the standard side-bust dart? How practical are princess seams with handwovens? Would love to hear from experienced people on such things!

Erica J


What time period and culture do yo re-enact? Yes for damask and many other complex structures you need a drawloom. However taquete and samitum, can be woven on table looms.

Nanefire, you make several good points, but this thread is actually to discuss using handwoven cloth in making clothes for medieval re-enactment. Your questions are probablt better asked in the Fearless scissors group. Good luck


I've got approximately 5 1/2 yard of grey linen tabby cloth woven, that I am calling "monk's cloth" I have plans to make an early sideless surcote with it....once I get up the nerve to cut it. I figure I have about 80 hours in just in producing the cloth.  I really want to machine sew it to limit the fraying...or at least zig zag each side before cutting as a fray-check, but not sure if that would be OK for an A&S entry, which this is supposed to be.....someday.


Erica J

Many would say it is an injustice to machune sew your handwoven cloth.  But we all have other constraints on our time and Daryl Lancaster machune sews her cloth!

For SCA purposes, I think it really comes down to what you have time to do. How have you finished the cloth? Do you have enough to cut a swatch off to test how much it frays?


Erica, I dabble! My wardrobe, at the moment, is mostly 14th C. I've seen some lovely things I'd love to sew from earlier and later periods (the 15th C Lengberg cache is a particularly interesting set of fragments). I recently got a chance to read through Pat Hilts' translation of a 17th C weaving manual also-- It's got some facinating descriptions of commonly traded cloths, and many lovely multishaft patterns (up to 32 shafts) for complex linen and wool weaves. Many of the patterns match extant textile fragments from earlier centuries, and almost all of them make my fingers itch!


Bnsysabeau, have you looked into historical seam finishes? There are many very effective ways to finish cut edges. A good wash and press before cutting helps too. This is a great resource: http://heatherrosejones.com/archaeologicalsewing/

kim (not verified)

I am currently planning a woolen tunic to wear in the spring when weather can be iffy.  I wove a chenille Italien Ren (back when I didn't know any better) and loved it, but want this to be better researched.  I am so glad there are others who are also interested!  My period is Roman/post Roman Wales, so lots of possibilities there.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Linda Ihle


I happened to find this thread this morning and wanted to mention that I am in the process of putting a workshop together for Feb 2016 with Kathrin Weber and Daryl Lancaster. Right now the plan is for a 2 week workshop, first week with Kathrin designing your yardage with her hand dyed warps and the second week will be a workshop with Daryl sewing  your yardage into a jacket or vest. The workshop will be held at the Sea Ranch Resort in Kill Devil Hills NC. Give me a shout if you'd like more info  and I also have a FB page set up - "From Thread to Garment" where you can find more info.


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