New Textile Report

imagePam Moon sends along a link to a new report: Consideration to the Uniformity and Effects of the Fabric in the Shroud of Turin by © Donna Campbell MA, Technical Design, Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen. It begins:

This is an interim report requested by Pam Moon, a researcher on the Shroud of Turin.

Using photographic images found on the Oxford University website, this report examines the
uniformity and effects within a small sample taken from the Shroud of Turin.

Permission has been given by Professor Ramsey at Oxford University to use these images for this report.


This analysis of the Turin Shroud fabric sample has been approached independent of any outside influences or research. I have used the images of the fabric sample at the above website as a source of information to be considered and documented as I see it. With no preconceived ideas, my interpretation of the Shroud sample is drawn from my expertise in the design of linen fabric and the technical application of the woven architecture. The ideal analysis could only be done on the actual fabric sample.

[ . . . ]

In the conclusion, at about page 16, we read:


Yarns break during weaving. The success in identifying these breaks and fixing depends on the skill of the hand weaver. However, there are signs in the Shroud sample that direct the notion of mending or reweaving of the actual woven fabric. Many of the following considerations are not evident in the control samples.

  • The stitch like forms on the more bias direction of the fabric (Fig. 20). These forms are not apparent in the control samples.
  • Consideration to the black thread and its function (Fig. 22, 23 and 24). The suggestion that the thread could have been used to reinforce the fabric. No such thread is obvious in the control samples.
  • There is disruption in the weave pattern located at one side of a pick. This disruption sits along a contour of linear staining (Fig 20 indicated by the blue markers). It is unusual that the whole pick is not effected in the same way.
  • The difference in two sections of the sample that have a noticeable change in the size of spacing between the interlacement (Fig 16). This could suggest the use of different yarns.
  • At the location of a heavy stain and buckle, there is an extreme contrast in the tension and distortion of the weave noticeably on the warp face side (Fig 15). A contributing factor could be the manipulation of mending.
  • A patchwork of staining in the form of rectangular linear shapes (Fig 18) that does not
    conform to the staining on the control samples.

[ . . . ]

5 thoughts on “New Textile Report”

  1. Trying to take a quick look at the new report by Donna Campbell MA,
    at p. 12 of 17, we can read:
    >When enlarged (Fig. 24) the black fibre appears to be a tightly twisted thread.
    >Possibly a byssus thread (or sea silk) used in ancient times.
    >Since it doesn’t seem to be woven into the fabric, its function could have been for stitching.
    >This may lead again to signs of repairs within the shroud fabric. Whatever its use, the black thread appears in the images to be an integral part of the sample. …
    — —
    Original website image ref: p2575_2
    — —
    So …
    I have found a photo showing extreme fineness of the byssus thread of Pinna nobilis :

    Then I am curious about the exact dimensions for that thread.
    See also the textile composition :
    How many fibrils are present in that “black fibre” ?
    — — —
    Is that “black fibre” a modern synthetic thread ???
    I hope to see the truth for that sample after future analyses …

  2. I have written to the author of the paper for a bit more explanation. The fibre is far too thin to be any kind of stitching thread. If it is twisted into a shroud thread I wondered if it could be a hair from the weaver or spinner. If not, then a fibril from one of the stitches used to connect the backing cloth to its outer backing, a hair from a researcher or priest, or a modern fibre from clothing or floating house-dust.

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