The Falkirk tartan

or: what excessive googling can lead to...

Someone asked me about "the Falkirk tartan", could I help explain?

I had to admit that "the Falkirk tartan" wasn't in my cache memory, so I would have to get back later.

There were a gazillion hits on "Falkirk tartan". Here is a picture, snagged from the National Museum of Scotland enlarged to double size (click to maximize):

Some manipulating later, I decided this was as "improved" I could get it:

So, obviously, this is a straightforward 2/2 broken-reversed twill, treadled straight. (Well, who knows which direction is which, and it probably was neither "threaded" nor "treadled" as we understand the words nowadays, but the structure looks like this)

(edited to show the correct picture here)

However, several hits used this same sentence to describe it:
" Although small, it is of a type known as weft-woven (or dog-tooth) check in woollen fabric. It has a simple check design of natural light and dark wool."

Er, yes. Of course it is a weft-woven check (I mean, all cloth is woven with a weft, yes?). But just how often do we come across the combination weft (hyphen) woven? By then, my google-fu had deserted me, I just could not convince it to search for "weft-woven" (as in weft-hyphen-woven). Tried some other search engines, with the same result.

So: is there anybody out there who can tell me what exactly "a type known as weft-woven (or dog-tooth) check" means???

Giving up on that one, I went on to "dog-tooth". Maybe I shouldn't have done that... as usual, "trade" has its own definitions, sometimes not agreeing with "handweaver" defs.

According to my usual (handweaving) sources, hound's tooth is a colour-and-weave pattern, a 2/2 straight twill with 4-and-4-ends/picks. If the twill is broken/reversed, it can become a shepherd's check (but by now I have run out of stamina, and I can't remember which of the other three quadrants is what I think of as shepherd's check, and, besides, does it really matter?)


Laura Fry said...

Be interested to see if you can find out anything.


Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Me, too...
(to tell the truth: I'm guessing I just have encountered one of "those"... "us bairns were always told that gramma wove these fantastic lace shawls with her spinning wheel, and they ALL said they were weft-woven, so that's what I'm gonna call them ALways", only dressed up in Better Language. As we all know, there are A Lot of those around)

Wee e said...

Weft-woven as opposed to warp-woven? I think it’s just meant to mean that it’s not from a process like card-weaving, where the warps themselves get twined about one another and make the pattern, with the weft being more or less invisible. In other words, if it is the remnant of a narrow band, it was still woven the same way as larger types of cloth.