Sprang - a twisted adventure

I've started working on sprang, a technique of twisting warps without a weft into an interlocking net.

This net is stretchable and suitable for many different items.

I'll post some more below.

Have a good day!



Posted on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 18:41

The Sprang Begins

I've been dying to start on this sprang project and so here it goes.

This is the first attempt. This is a very sad sprang.

This is second attempt. Much better looking. Still sad.

Stay tuned for more!

Posted on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 18:50

Sprang 3 and Sprang 6

Here is sprang #3, with more practice, my eyes and my fingers are getting used to movements and patterns needed for this basic weave pattern.

Here is sprang #6, becoming more familiar with the movements and where the strings need to overlap for the weaving to work. I have 24 warps on it now. Will start some wider pieces with a long board soon.

I've used string to pull the weaving wide for taking the photo. I've also drilled some holes in the clipboard to anchor the sticks with string loops.

Have a good day!

Posted on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 18:46

Here are some more sprang links

Sprang - an ancient craft which is a cross between
weaving and knitting. Follow these links for your own sprang adventure.

Wikipedia - Sprang

Stringpage.com - Sprang info

Regia Anglorum - Anglo-Saxon and Viking Crafts - Sprang

Middle Kingdom Textile Artisan Guild
Click on the various sprang articles

Doni's Coptic Bag Sprang Project

Ellen Shipleys Weft To My Own Devices sprang article

Ronald and Blue's Web Site with Sprang and Nalbinding
English Version - Click on pictures to read about Techniques

Jen's Coptic Sprang Article
with links to other articles

Sprang Article from House Ebarra Early Period #7

Have a good day!

Posted on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 20:44

I have the Peter Collingwood book and there is a great deal written about having just the right kind of yarn to do this so you don't end up with a fabric that just twists up on itself when it comes off the loom. I am interested to see what happens to yours. Franco when it is not under tension. I suppose sprang fabrics are intended to be stretchy and probably held permanently under tension. However, I have seen pictures in a braiding book (Braids and Beyond by Jacqui Carey) of Columbian women making sprang bags that hang nice and straight when off the loom. I shall have to go to Columbia and study with these craftspeople to find the secret or do you have it , Franco?.!! 


Posted on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 19:06


Thats a good compilation of sprang articles. That is all of them that I have found on the net at various times, but all in one place. Great job!


Posted on Thu, 12/24/2009 - 05:36

I found another sprang book online at
Egyptisch Vlechtwerk [Sprang], Holkema & Warendorf, 36 pages.
Part 1 file size 4.2MB
Part 2 file size 11.6MB
Description from Anne Blinks
Van Reesema, E. Siewertsz, Egyptisch Vlechtwerk [Egyptian Lace], V. Holkema   
   & Warendorf's, Uitg-My.N.V. Amsterdam, N.D. 48pp.  [Instructions included, 
   with photos.  Also photos of currently interlaced pieces from classes.  
   This is what we now call Sprang.] 
I don't read Dutch, but there are dozens of excellent pictures. The book was scanned as picture so I can't put the text into a translator without typing it all in.
Add this web page to the list of links
Have a good day!


Posted on Thu, 12/24/2009 - 04:44

I'm working on a longer sprang right now.

I'll take it off the when done and take a picture.

It might be a couple of days.

Have a good day!

Posted on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:14

I haven't taken mine off the loom yet, I've been untwisting and retwisting the same warp until it is so frayed it won't play anymore.

I was just directed to a video on you tube that describes Z twist and S twist by Blue of denblauwenswaen, who has about six sprang related videos on youtube


Blue of denblauwenswaen is narrating and says if you weave with S twist, the fabric wants to curl on itself since the strands are twisted to one direction. By twisting to the other direction, you can prevent the fabric curling.

I also started a yahoo group for sprang since there are a lot of talented people who lurk in yahoo. It was one of those people who directed me to Blue's video.


I've had over 50 people join in less than 48 hours so there seems to be an interest in sprang.

Have a good day!

Franco Rios


Posted on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:22

Thanks Franco! Call me lazy, but after reading that bit in the Collingwood book I just didn't feel like doing all the yarn experiments on my own so I am waiting for someone else to just tell me which one to use or which way is best!! I am sure the answer is going to come up in your group. Are you sure the interest is in sprang or is it in ''adventuresome Franco'' :-)!!


Posted on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:32

Blue says in her video that by combining S twist and Z twist in a piece the twisting will counteract each other, allowing the piece to lay flat.

I'll be testing that myself soon.

I expect some people are coming to see what Franco is up to now. I also expect some people have interest in sprang.

Have a good day!

Posted on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 18:34

Sprang in color

I'm ready to start working on larger sprang. I pulled this wooden frame out of the garage to use for sprang. It measures 11-1/2 inch between the sides and is 30 inch overall. It part of an old laundry hamper that I took apart to use as a
frame loom. I tied on the dowels at 23 inch apart.


(click on pictures for larger image)

I warped up with red, white, and blue cotton yarn because I'm tired of using white yarn. This is for practice. I'm going to comb this out and start over. Look at the upper right there is a string that got away and is not attached to the web for three rows.

There is the whole frame. As you can see at the bottom, I was trying to make horizontal stripes, but the webbing is not forming correctly. I found that using chopsticks, dowels, and a safety string are very good for holding my place as I try to figure out what the heck I did!
I'm getting encouragement and advice from the people on the new Sprang_List on yahoogroups.
Have a good day!
Posted on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 22:54

Well done, Franco.  I love all this in color. I have watched your progress with great interest and I am getting ready to dip my toes in the water here. First, I have to complete my backstrap project.

Keep up the good work.


Posted on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 02:41

Well done! I like the bright colors!.

Bamboo skeweres work great too, if chopsticks are not handy. The safty string is a must.


Posted on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 19:55

Franco --

I have a hammock that I bought in Honduras several years ago.  I put it in storage each winter.  A couple of years ago, when I got it out, something had gotten into it and nibbled the strings, creating a couple of holes in the middle of it.  From your experimenting so far, do you think it would be possible to repair a hole in the middle of a sprang piece where the thread has been broken?


Posted on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 20:13

I think a new piece could be spliced or tied in to repair it.

Time to get out your girl scout handbook and look up "splices." Then using the remaining strands as your example, follow the twisting pattern to replace the damaged section.

Have a good day!

Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 17:51

Sprang - chopsticks and pencils

I've been using chopsticks to keep my spacing in the sprang and it is just not working for me. The web is so tight that I can't stretch the 3 inch wide band more than 4-1/2 inch wide as shown above.

So on the recommendations of the people on the yahoo


I tried using pencils and leaving them in to keep the spacing. This looks better.

See how the web is now spreading out almost 11 inches wide!

A couple of tips: Top of the frame I used a doubled up string to tie up the upper dowel. I wrapped it twice around and tied with a shoe lace knot. Wrapping it twice around makes it easier to cinch up and tie up since the double wraps makes a mechanical advantage similar to a pulley. I can quickly tighten or loosen as needed.

The other tip is to look at the back of the sprang. Here we can easily see the two blue strings I missed on my last row. In weaving these are called "floats", but I did not want this to happen. More later.

Have a good day!

Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 17:52

Sprang - first bag

Here's the finished bag. I used string to sew up the sides. I think I'll leave the sticks in before sewing next time because I couldn't keep track of the outside cords. The drawstring cord is braided from red & white string. I did not chain loop the bottom, instead I put a string through it.

The real test of a bag is to put something into it. The bag failed. The mesh was too loose to hold and oranges fell through.

So next time I think I'll use pencils again, but I'll tighten up the twist. If that doesn't get it, I'll try chopsticks again but make it more loose.

Have a good day!

Posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 03:40

It came in the mail today! The Techniques of Sprang by Peter Collingwood!

It was offered to me by email and I bought it for $15. It's in great condition.

I can see why everybody says I need this. This book is a textbook on sprang. There is 300 pages and most every other page has a chart or diagram on it explaining this or that aspect of sprang.

I'm going to be reading on the bus for a while.

Have a good day!

Posted on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 14:06

Hallo!! I am working on sprang .

I put a cord after any interloking o interlacing sprang.but I remove them after the work ends. Only the last cord remains to hold the warps.

 I invite you to look at my blogs.

Have a good day!

Graciela, from Argentina
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracielaforadori/         sprang, gasas ( gauze)


Posted on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 20:38


Wow! So glad you got the book. I'm also glad to hear your review of it. I've looked at buying it several times, but the price was always high. Next time that I see one for sale I might try to pick it up since you said it was so helpful.




Loren & Liza Stallsmith
Circle S Leather - http://Braintanner.com

Posted on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 00:41

Graciela Foradori Blogs - Sprang, Gasas & more!



I am moving this comment from Graciela Foradori of Argentina to the top of the blog.

Hallo Franco!!!I am working on sprang
I put a cord after any interloking o interlacing sprang.but I remove them after the work ends. Only the last cord remains to hold the warps.
I invite you to look at my blogs.
Have a good day! Do you speak Spanish?
Graciela, from Argentina
Te invito a visitar mis blogs

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracielaforadori/ (sprang, gasas/gauze)

Back to Franco: I have spent the last hour reading the blog and enjoying all the photos and information. There is sprang, there is old backstrap weaving pictures and sculpture, there is gauze (gasas, leno lace).

There are purses, bags, shawls, vests, it is like a candy store for the eyes!

Bravo Graciela!
And thank you for sharing these wonderful things.

For the NorteAmericanos like me who have not learned Spanish yet, you can use internet translation services like Yahoo Babelfish or Google Translate for translations. It is worth it! I am going to learn Spanish now because there is another world on the internet that speaks Espanol!

Have a joyful day!

Franco Rios, Sacramento, Calif, USA

Posted on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 01:28

Yes, it is worth learning a bit of Spanish, because there is some wonderful weaving going on in Chile and Argentina. The young girls there are really into weaving, and make some fantastic fashion garments on their RH looms, and share all this on their blogs. Most of them are multi-talented and happily mix and match techniques. Those that prefer the more traditional indigenous looms are also blogging, so its like crawling through the Wardrobe into Narnia, a whole different experience, and the translation services are really stretched to their limits trying to cope. I'm following several Spanish-speaking blogs.

I have also purchased a couple of  weaving books in Spanish, which are so well written and diagrammed  even an Anglo like me can follow what is going on.

Now I'm off to explore Graciela's links and pick up a bit more Spanish on the fly!

Happy Easter!

Posted on Sat, 05/15/2010 - 16:38

Good morning Graciela,

Is the green/white piece done in sprang?

That is amazing!

How long is the length? How wide is it?

How many threads are in it? What kind of thread?

I want to make one that looks like that one!

Thank you for posting it.

Have a good day!

Posted on Sun, 05/16/2010 - 00:30


Mostrar forma romanizada

Hi Franco! It is a belt or girdle. (Perhaps the names are not exact, but we will understand).
 The belt is made of sprang (interlaced). The design is obtained by alternating of the color.
 I call “par” when the thread coming out of the bottom rail passes back  to forth along the bar top and returns to the bottom rail. (Full circle by a thread.) (A thread is the front and one rear)  ( it

Posted on Sun, 05/16/2010 - 00:25


Mostrar forma romanizada


AA means a couple of threads color A. When I put the fabric of a single color would be ........... AAAAAAA
AABB AABB AABB siignifica a couple and a couple color A color B.
etc. etc. ..
This alternation AABBAABBAABB ..... gives us a vertical line on the fabric.
The alternation ABABABAB .... gives a horizontal line.
How do I place the warp ABAB? I put the warp AABBAABB .... and I  move  the threads A to
forward  and B.  behind.
Regarding the number of pairs, are approximately 20, the final width about 7 cm. The final length about 1 meter.
The warp shortens placed between 25 and 40%. A fabric so tight shortened to 40 %. should make a sample.
This belt begins with a warp AABBAABB .....................
 and then switched to ABABABAB ....................... and in the end I left some ABABABAB warps (the edges) and AABBAABB the center.
If it is not clear post again with pictures.



Posted on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 23:08

First of all, that is not so sad an attempt, the very first sprang I mean. My first sprang was much worse! Love the coulors in the red, white and blue piece.


Blue from www.denblauwenswaen.nl

Posted on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 23:47


Culture: Salado
Dates: ca. AD 1300-1450
Location: Tonto-Roosevelt Basin, central AZ
Material: cotton

This sleeveless tunic was made by a non-loom technique known as sprang which
creates an interlinked structure. The fiber is handspun cotton. The design motifs--running
triangles and interlocking rectilinear scrolls--are also found on contemporary
painted pottery and petroglyphs.


Posted on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 13:54

That is an interesting variation on the bow loom. A smaller one oriented like those used by Native Americans for bead weaving, or medieval tablet weaving might work on the bus.

Posted on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 14:15

Nice article, thanks. I didn't take the time to translate, only looked at the pictures. The work in progress appears to be a type of finger crochet called shepherd's knitting. The only stitch used is the slip stitch, and when worked in the round looks very much like knitting.
Boy, doesn't the fiber she is using look hard on the hands!

Posted on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 16:42

My last comment was in reference to the war shirt link. I just looked at the sprang link, and find it fascinating too. It's interesting that the warp ends are loose. It makes me want to wind them on bobbins. This looks like it might be a precursor to bobbin lace.

I did a little more research, and shepherd's knitting is sometimes used for this technique, but is also another term for Tunisian crochet. The term most used for this style of slip stitch today is Bosnian crochet. It can of course also be done using a hook. It can be worked either flat or in the round, and makes an extremely dense and firm fabric, though it has a very strong tendency to curl, which is probably why the shirts shown are worked vertically instead of from the bottom up.

Posted on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 19:58

Thanks so much for the translation. It is a truly interesting article. I am reminded of when I have knit, then spray painted "chain mail" for theater costumes.