Charles Freeman, by way of a comment in another posting about thread count, asks:
Does anyone have the original comment that Flury-Lemberg made about the first century sewing techniques from Masada? There were a lot of textile fragments that had been sewn (many are listed in the excavation report with notes on the sewing technique used ) and I wonder if she had specified which one it was.
Wilson discusses this at some length on ensuing pages (my pp 72-74).
My reading of Wilson is that Mme F-L seemed to envisage that the original bolt of cloth was very much wider than the present Shroud (W’s diagram implies about 3 x wider). The bolt was then expertly cut lengthwise, firstly for the main cloth of the Shroud, and then secondly for a narrow side strip. The two raw edges were then expertly sewn together, so that the final Shroud cloth presented two selvedges on its two outside edges. The seam was not visible from the face side and was only revealed when the backing cloth was removed. It seems that in her 40 years of working with ancient textiles, Mme F-L had only come across this type of invisible seam only once before, on the 1st century textiles found at Masada. Wilson provides a diagram of the seam from a Masada cloth sample. Wilson’s bibliography provides three published references by Mme Flury-Lemburg, for any further information required.
Charles then wonders what Wilson and/or Flury-Lemberg actually observed
Thanks, DaveB. ‘The stitching pattern, which she says was the work of a professional, is surprisingly similar to the hem of a cloth found in the tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada.’ From an interview with Flury-Lemberg. If you actually look at the excavation reports from Masada- there is a very good section on the textiles in one of the volumes-they list 60 textiles 9the vast majority are wool ,not linen,) with stitchings on them. Obviously the types of stitching used varies but they are only described not illustrated. So presumably Wilson/Flury-Lemberg have either seen the originals or seen an illustrated account of them to which they have been able to relate the stitching on the Shroud .Presumably somewhere there are also illustrations of the stitching of the seam to compare the two. The evidence for these statements often proves much harder to actually pin down than one would believe.