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Archaeological Sewing

by Heather Rose Jones

copyright © 2001, 2003 all rights reserved

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Wool, especially when fulled to some extent, is resistant to ravelling, so cut edges are not always finished and hems may only be turned once rather than twice. The sewing thread may be wool, linen, or silk.

Wool - Seams to join fabrics: Overcast Stitch and Variants

Overcast (typically of selvedges) (Fig. 7)

Overcast of (selvedge & single- or double-fold) (Fig. 8)

Overcast of (single-fold hem with hemstitch) (Fig. 9)

Overcast of (single-fold hem with hemstitch + running stitch top-stitching) (Fig. 10)

Overcast of (double-fold hem with hem stitch) (Fig. 11)

Overcast of (double-fold hem with hemstitch + running stitch outside fold & single-fold hem with running stitch) (Fig. 12)

Wool - Seams to join fabrics: Felled (Overlapped) Seams

Double hemstitch of raw-edge felled (typically of cut edges) (Fig. 13)

Flat-felled with hemstitch (Fig. 14)

Flat-felled with hem-stitch of (overlap with running stitch) (Fig. 15)

Flat felled with hem-stitch of (single fold toward seam & single fold away from seam) (Fig. 16)

Wool - Seams to join fabrics: Running Stitch and Variants

Running stitch RST (Fig. 17)

Running stitch RST + raw edges overcast together (Fig. 18)

Running stitch RST + raw edges turned under towards each other and overcast together (Fig. 19)

Running stitch RST + raw edges paired and hem-stitched to one side (Fig. 20)

Running stitch RST + raw edges paired and topstitched to one side w/running-stitch (Fig. 21)

Running stitch RST of (single-fold with no stitching) (Fig. 22 - figure shows Thorsbjerg variant w/blanket-stitched edges)

Running stitch WST of (single-fold with no stitching & selvedge) (Fig. 23)

Wool - Seams to join fabrics: Miscellaneous

Backstitch RST + running stitch top-stitching (Fig. 24)

Double-blanket stitch (of selvedges) (Fig. 25)

Seam type unknown + topstitching with backstitch

Seam type unknown - "false" seam in solid fabric

Wool - Edge finishes: No Sewing

Wool - Edge finishes: Blanket Stitch and Variants

Blanket stitch of (unfolded edge) (Fig. 26)

Blanket stitch + overcast stitch through blanket stitch only (Fig. 27)

Blanket stitch + 2nd row of blanket stitch above it (non-overlapping) (Fig. 28)

Blanket stitch of (narrow rolled hem) (Fig. 29)

Wool - Edge finishes: Hem Stitch and Variants

Hem stitch of (single fold) (Fig. 30)

Hem stitch of (fold number uncertain)

Hem stitch on double fold (Fig. 31)

Hem stitch on double fold + stem stitch on fold before folding (Fig. 32)

Hem stitch of (double fold) + running stitch top-stitching (Fig. 33)

Hem stitch of (uncertain number of folds) + backstitch top-stitching (can be multiple rows)

Wool - Edge finishes: Running Stitch and Variants

Running stitch of (unfolded cut edge) (Fig. 34)

Running stitch of (single fold) (Fig. 35)

Running stitch of (double-fold edge & folded main fabric) (Fig. 36)

Wool - Edge finishes: Miscellaneous

Overcast stitch of (rolled hem) (Fig. 37)

Herringbone stitch of (single fold) (Fig. 38)

Unknown folded hem + applied cord on edge (application method unspecified)

Wool - Edges with applied facings

Unknown (running?) stitch RST of (fabric and facing) + hemstitch of (single-fold of facing to wrong side of fabric) (Fig. 39)

Hem stitch of (tape facing folded over cut edge) (Fig. 40)

Wool - Other Stitch Purposes

Cord-ties as fastening method (Fig. 41)

Seam finish (decorative) - fishbone stitch over running stitch WST seam (Fig. 42)

Tucks in non-edge fabric (Fig. 43, 44)

Fig. 43 Fig. 44


Joining middles of fabrics (purpose unclear, but not quilting) (Fig. 45-47)

Fig. 45 Fig. 46 Fig. 47


Worked holes (Fig. 48, 49)

Fig. 48 Fig. 49


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