Charles Freeman is commenting over at the History Today blog:
I am doing some work with a TV producer who is approaching weavers to recreate the Shroud weave- at the moment it looks as if only a medieval treadle loom could do it – but we shall see what the experts who specialise in treating early weaves ( it always amazes me that groups of such experts do exist!) come up with. One weaver apparently told me that she is furious she had got rid of her treadle loom as it would have been ideal.
P.S. This producer has already tracked down someone who has recreated a three in one herring bone weave as a commission for a church vestment. Whether they knew it or not ,the only other three in one herringbone linen, other than the Shroud, we know of is also from a church vestment dated to the fourteenth century-more circumstantial ,but only circumstantial, evidence that this weave was about at this time. I’d do think the evidence for authenticity is just not there and is being eroded by the day but there is nothing to stop anybody finding some evidence for an early date- it just has not been done yet so let the debate continue! (bolding emphasis mine)
We should know where the church vestment is preserved.
It’s in the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. They acquired it in the 1860s. I have been told that it is in storage and have been given the way I could get to see it. However, there would be no point in my going to see it unless I had an expert on medieval textiles with me.
What this programme will come up with is anybody’s guess. They already have weavers involved. Similarly the producer told me that they would be approaching art experts about the painting. I shall be as interested as anyone else to see what emerges.
I don’t know how this producer became so involved with the Shroud- I had never heard of him before he contacted me – but he does seem to take that painting line. He told me That once they had finished they would try and artificially age the images. I asked him whether he had five hundred years to spare…..
So there is something more than just Turkish 3×1 silk there. It is strange that V&A has been reticent, keeping quiet all this while. I contacted them years ago regarding 3×1 weaves and they fell silent.
Always good to hear of any form of Shroud-related experimentation. The results of the project should be fascinating. Thanks for the scoop, Charles (and Dan).
Comments are closed.