Note: See also the files: sprang-msg, sprang-chrono-art, p-knitting-bib, knitting-msg, lace-msg, weaving-lnks, crochet-faq, Bobbin-Lace-art, p-emb-Frames-art, naalbinding-msg

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A bibliography on the art of sprang weaving by Medb ingen Dungaile.
NOTE: See also the files: sprang-msg, sprang-chrono-art, p-knitting-bib, knitting-msg, lace-msg, weaving-lnks, crochet-FAQ, Bobbin-Lace-art, P-Emb-Frames-art, naalbinding-msg.

This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at:
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at


Sprang Articles

Bibliography by Medb ingen Dungaile
(** = notations and citations have been taken from
Aiken, Marie “Finger Weaves & Simple Looms” Sports & Recreation Bureau. Toronto: Ministry of Community & Social Services. 1974
Andersson, Eva. Tools for Textile Production from Birka and Hedeby: Excavations From the Black Earth 1990-1995. Birka Studies 8. Stockholm, 2003.

Brief mention of sprang fragments found.

Andrews, Denison. Hammock: How to Make Your Own and Lie in it. New York: Workman Publishing Company, 1978.
Anglo-Saxon and Viking Crafts. “Sprang.” Internet. Available from; accessed October 27, 2002.
“Anne Blinks Textile Study Collection- Sprang.” Internet. Available from; accessed April 15, 2004.
Barber, Elizabeth Wayland. The Mummies of Ürümchi. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999.

1,000 B.C.E., Tarim Basin finds of possible black sprang pieces

**Barber, E.J.W. Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

Brief summary of some early finds of sprang.

Bath, Virginia Churchill. Lace. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1974.

Contains picture of English sprang border, c.1450-1500

**Bazinet, Michael. "Coptic Dress in Egypt: The Social Life of Medieval Cloth," Textiles in Daily Life: Proceedings of the Third Symposium of the Textile Society of America, September 24-26, 1992, pp. 73-80. Textile Society of America, 1993.

Brief information about some sprang headdresses in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

**Broholm, Hans Christian, and Hald, Margrethe. Costumes of the Bronze Age in Denmark: Contributions to the archaeology and textile-history of the Bronze Age. Copenhagen: Nyt nordisk Forlag, 1940

Precursor to Hald's Ancient Danish Textiles chapter, with much of the same information. Nice photos of Hald's reconstruction of the Skrydstrup cap, both on and off the loom

Broudy, Eric. The Book of Looms. Hanover: Brown University Press, 1979.

Tiny mention of Peruvian sprang.

Cahill, Meroe M. “Some of my Sprang!” The Fibre Guild of Lochac. Internet. Available from:; accessed April 15, 2004.
**Clark, Louise. “Notes on Small Textile Frames Pictured on Greek Vases.” American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 87, no. 1 (January 1983): 91-96.

Short article discussing evidence for sprang in Classical Greece. Heavily footnoted, much of it comparative information from other cultures. 6th-5th B.C.E.

Collingwood, Peter. The Maker’s Hand: A Close Look at Textile Structures. Asheville, Loveland: Lark Books, Interweave Press, 1987.

Good colour photos of two belts from Pakistan (modern)

Collingwood, Peter. “Sprang” Early Period. No. 7, ASXXIII.
Collingwood, Peter. “Sprang” In Textile Crafts. Constance Howard, ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1978, pp. 86-117.
Collingwood, Peter. “’Sprang’ A Record of an Ancient Technique.” Handweaver & Craftsman, vol. 15, no. 2 (Spring 1964): 6-9)

Mention of Coptic, Peruvian sprang pieces

**Collingwood, Peter. The techniques of sprang: plaiting on stretched threads. London: Faber and Faber, [1974]
Collingwood, Peter. “Re: Tegle ‘Stocking’” SCA-Card-Weaving February 5, 2002
W.D. Cooke, A. Tullo. The conservation of a collection of Coptic sprang hats in the Whitworth art Gallery, Manchester, in: Bulletin du Centre International des Etudes des Textils Anciens 66 (1988). 5-14

**Crocker, Candace. Card Weaving, revised edition. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press, 1991.

Photo and brief explanation of two sprang caps with tablet woven ties. Although the caps are not strict replicas, they were inspired by early sprang caps, and they are a good example of the use of integral tablet woven borders for sprang, which is a known historic technique.
D’Harcourt, Raoul. Textiles of Ancient Peru and Their Techniques. Trans. Sadie Brown. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1974.

General description of sprang; also contains pictures of openwork sprang and a patterned neck covering.

Digilio, Domenica. “The restoration of fragments of cloth from the tomb of Archbishop de tabiatis of the cathedral of messinna” In ICOM Textiles Working Group (ed. Rosalia Varoli-Piazza; Interdisciplinary Approach about Studies and Conservation of Medieval Textiles; Rome: Il Mondo 3 Edizoni, 1998), p 155-157

From the Tomb of Guidotto in Messina Cathedral

---. Egyptisch Vlechtwerk [Sprang], Holkema & Warendorf, 36 pages. Note: Scanned images provided by Tess Parrish. Posted February 8, 2004.; accessed April 15, 2004.

Old publication, maybe from the early 20th century?; not in English

Emery, Irene. The Primary Structures of Fabrics: an Illustrated Classification. Washington: The Textile Museum, 1966

Photo of Hopi fabric with chaining on one side

**Erikson, Marianne Textiles in Egypt 200-1500AD in Swedish Museums Collections, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg. 1997

Brief historical background with discussion of excavations and chronological problems. Technical information about fibers, dyeing and spinning. Description of weaving technology including tapestry weaving (e.g. eccentric wefts, dovetailing, soumak wrapping), sprang, and knitting. Discussion of patterns, motifs, styles and garments. Most of text is catalogue of 51 textile fragments with descriptions (incl. Late Antique, Coptic, medieval and Islamic textiles).

Fisch, Arline M. Textile Techniques in Metal for Jewelers, Textile Artists, & Sculptors. New York: Lark Books, 1996.

Frame, Mary. Ancient Peruvian Sprang Fabrics, M.A. Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1982.

Pictures are not very good, but nice chronology.

**Geijer, Agnes. Die Textilfunde aus den Gräbern. Birka: Untersuchungen und Studien, III. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells, 1938.

A brief summary of the history of sprang and some information on two small finds of wool sprang in tenth century women’s graves at Birka.

Geijer, Agnes. A History of Textile Art. London: Pasold Research Fund in association with Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1979.

Gervers, Veronika. The Influence of Ottoman Turkish Textiles and Costume in Eastern Europe. History, Technology, and Art. Monograph 4. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1982.

Two sashes, 17th century (found in Hungary)

**Guojonsson, Elsa E. “Icelandic Mediaeval Embroidery Terms and Techniques,” Veronika Gervers, ed., Studies in Textile History: In Memory of Harold B. Burnham, pp. 133-143. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1977.

Restates and reinforces the point made in her 1981 article about the confusion of nomenclature arising from the Icelandic use of the word "sprang" to denote both plaiting on stretched thread and darned netting or lacis.

**Guðjonsson, Elsa E. "A Sprang Embroidered Altar Frontal from Iceland (With an Excursus: Icelandic References to Sprang)," Mechthild Fleury-Lemberg and Karen Stolleis, eds., Documenta Textilia: Festschrift für Sigrid Müller-Christensen, pp. 52-79. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1981.

Lengthy, well-sourced linguistic examination of the history of the word sprang in Icelandic written sources. It seems always to have referred to embroidery, not to plaiting on stretched threads.

**Hald, Margrethe. Ancient Danish Textiles From Bogs and Burials: A Comparative Study of Costumes and Iron Age Textiles. Trans. Jean Olsen. Publications of the National Museum, Archaeological-Historical Series, Vol. XXI. Copenhagen: National Museum of Denmark, 1980

A superior chapter grounded in the early history of the technique. Includes schematics of the Borum Eshøj, Skrydstrup, Arden Mose, and Haraldskær Mose hairnets. Also includes catalogue information on some Coptic caps in the V&A Museum as well as excellent large-scale photos and diagrams of several Coptic pieces.

Hald, Margrethe. Olddanske tekstiler. Kobenhavn: I kommission hos Gyldendalske Boghandel, 1950.
**Harris, Jennifer, ed. Textiles 5000 Years: An International History and Illustrated Survey. London/New York: British Museum Press/Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1993.

Pretty color photo of a copy of a Coptic sprang cap. Claims that sprang is a precursor of knitting.

Harvey, Virginia. “Sprang” Threads in Action, vol. 1, no. 4 (June 1970), 21-27.
Henshall, Audrey S. "Note on an Early Stocking in `Sprang' Technique Found Near Micklegate Bar, York", Ann. Report & Trans. Yorkshire Philosophical Society, pp. 22-24 (1950).
**Hoffmann, Marta, and Trætteberg, Ragnhild. "Teglefunnet," Stavanger Museum's Årbok, 1959, pp. 41-60

A photo of the extant "stocking" with tablet-woven borders from third- to fifth- century Norway, plus line drawings of how it was worked and a draft of the triangle pattern motifs.

Hoffman, Marta. The Warp-Weighted Loom: Studies in the History and Technology of an Ancient Implement. New York: Textile Book Service, 1964.

A photo of the extant "stocking" with tablet-woven borders from third- to fifth- century Norway, plus line drawings of how it was worked and a draft of the triangle pattern motifs.

Information Pack on Textiles in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology for Students Studying Textiles at Key Stage 4. Internet. Available from:; accessed April 15, 2004.

Drawing of Egyptian hat in collection, also instructions on how to make such a hat.

Isavea, Tatyana. “Sprang.” Internet. Available from; accessed August 6, 2004

In Russian; modern sprang pieces.

Janssen, R M, Javer, A & Eastop, D, 1999. A Sprang Cap Preserved on a Naturally Dried Egyptian Head, Textile History, 30(2), 135-154

Contains listings of Egyptian sprang examples.

**Jenkins, Ian, and Williams, Dyfri. "Sprang Hair Nets: Their Manufacture and Use in Ancient Greece," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 89, no. 3 (July 1985), pp. 411-418.

Discussion of Classical Greek and Coptic sprang hairnets, including sprang frames in Classical Greek art. An appendix by Hero Granger-Taylor details a 5th century BCE fragment from the Crimea.

King, Mary Elizabeth. “Sprang in the Paracas Period of Peru.” In: Rogers, Nora & Martha Stanley, eds. In Celebration of the Curious Mind: A Festschrift to Honor Anne Blinks on Her 80th Birthday.” Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press, 1983.

Discusses many examples

Kliot, Jules. Sprang: Language and Techniques. Berkeley: 'Some Place' Publications, 1974.
**Kliot, Jules. Sprang: Language and Techniques, Second Edition. Berkeley: 'Some Place' Publications, 1979.
Koch, Eva. “Cimbric Caps and Bonnets.” Internet. Available from; accessed August 6, 2004

Female bonnet

“Kunst og design I skolen – Museumshandverkerne pa Norsk Folkemuseum.” Internet. Available from:; accessed August 6, 2004

In Swedish or Norwegian; modern examples

Lund, Jeanette. “Sprang II” Threads in Action, vol. 2, no. 1 (Fall 1970), 13-15.
**Munksgaard, Elisabeth. Olditsdragter. Kobenhavn: Nationalmuseet, 1974.

A full-page drawing of the Borum Eshøj hairnet patterning (derived from Hald), and a series of drawings reconstructing the Skrydstrup hairstyle with its associated sprang hairnet.

“Phiala’s String Page.” Internet. Available from:; accessed October 27, 2002.
Priest-Dorman, Carolyn. “Old World Sprang through the Early Middle Ages: A Brief Bibliography.” Internet. Available from:; accessed April 15, 2004.
**Pritchard, Frances. “Silk Braids and Textiles of the Viking Age From Dublin.” Lise Bender Jorgensen, Bente Magnus, and Elisabeth Munksgaard, eds. Archaeological Textiles: Report from the 2nd NESAT Symposium 1.-4.V.1984, pp. 149-161. Arkaeologiske Skrifter 2. Kobnhavn: Arkaeologisk Institut, 1988.

An eleventh-century silk sprang fragment with a repeating hole pattern.

**Rutschowscaya, Marie-Hélène. Coptic Fabrics, trans. Adam Stephenson et al. Paris: Editions Adam Biro, 1990.

Photo of a linen sprang head covering, so elaborately patterned with holes that it looks kind of like lace.

Rutt, Richard. A History of Hand Knitting. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1987.
**Schlabow, Karl. Textilfunde der Eisenzeit in Norddeutschland. Neumünster: Karl Wachholtz Verlag, 1976.

Information on two Iron Age German finds of sprang: a hairband from Windeby and a hairnet from Damendorf.

Seiler-Baldinger, Annemarie. Textiles: A Classification of Techniques. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.
Skowronski, Hella & Mary Reddy. Sprang : thread twisting, a creative textile technique. New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold, [1974].
“Sprang, a Twisted Little Art.” Internet. Available from:; accessed June 26, 2003.

“Sprang Tunic” Arizona State Museum: Perishable Archaeological Collections. Internet. Available from; accessed October 8, 2003.

**Stauffer, Annemarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995.

Photos of several Coptic sprang caps from the collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Stephan’s Florilegium. “Sprang-msg”. Internet. Available from:; accessed April 15, 2004.
“Textile Techniken der Bronzezeit” Internet. Available from:; accessed April 15, 2004.

In German

**Thomas, Thelma K., and Harding, Deborah G. Textiles from Medieval Egypt, A.D. 300-1300. Pittsburgh: The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 1990.

One closeup b/w photo of a piece of multicolor sprang in the collection of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Turnau, Irena. “The Diffusion of Knitting in Medieval Europe.” In Cloth and clothing in Medieval Europe: Essays in Memory of Prof. E.M. Carus-Wilson. Ed. N.B. Harte and K.G. Ponting. Heinemann Educational Books Pasold Studies in Textile History 2. Pasold Research Fund Ltd. 2nd ed. Rev. 1979

Mention of 13th century Hungarian and German examples.

Wahls, Herborg. “Sprang” Internet. Available from accessed June 14, 2004

In Swedish or similar language; good pictures

Webster, Laurie D. The Economics of Pueblo Textile Production and Exchange in Colonial New Mexico.” Beyond Cloth and Cordage: Archaeological Textile Research in the Americas. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000, p179-204.

Tonto Shirt

Whitworth Art Gallery. “Conservation of Egyptian Hats” Internet. Available from: accessed April 15, 2004.

Not much detail

**Wild, John Peter. Textiles in Archaeology. Shire Archaeology 56. Aylesbury, UK: Shire Publications Ltd., 1988.

A paragraph on sprang with four line drawings showing the sequence of interlinking.

**Wild, J.P. Textile Manufacture in the Northern Roman Provinces. Cambridge Classical Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970. Catalogue entry for a first-century sprang fragment from Vindonissa, Switzerland.

Back then Wild believed an instrument was required to manipulate the stretched threads, but he doesn't refer to that in his later work.

Wyatt, Jackie. Unpublished notes made at the Yorkshire Museum, September 9, 2003.
Wyatt, Jackie. Unpublished notes made at the British Museum, September 1, 2003.
Zanni, Annalisa “The little net bonnet in museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan” In ICOM Textiles Working Group (ed. Rosalia Varoli-Piazza; Interdisciplinary Approach about Studies and Conservation of Medieval Textiles; Rome: Il Mondo 3 Edizoni, 1998), p. 196

9th century


Copyright 2004 by Jackie Wyatt, 704-15 Erskine Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada M4P 1Y5. . Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.

If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.

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