Weaving Techniques

Sprang can be found all over the world, dating back thousands of years, and was used by Native Americans prior to European contact. Sprang is an ancient textile method, worked on a set of threads that have been arranged on a frame (not a loom). In Sprang, the warp threads wrap around each other to create a net-like structure; there is no weft thread weaving back and forth. The unique thing about Sprang is that for every one row you weave, two rows of cloth are produced.

Sprang Drawing.JPG

Fingerweaving is an art form used mostly to create belts, sashes, straps, and other similar items through a non-loom weaving process. Unlike loom-based weaving, there is no separation between weft and warp threads, with all threads playing both roles. There are two forms of fingerweaving commonly found among American Indians of North America; warp face weaving and open face or oblique weaving. In warp face weaving , only the warp strands show in the finished product; the weft strands are not visible. This is the most common technique used today to construct belts. The basic patterns are as follows: diagonal, chevron, diamond, lightning, and arrowhead. From these basic patterns, one can create more intricate designs.

Fingerweaving drawing[1].JPG

Many prehistoric textiles were produced by twining. Twined fabric can be created by twining the weft yarns around the warp yarns or by twining the warp yarns around the weft yarns. This apparently simple structure can produce an infinite variety of fabric types of variation created by the type of yarns used and by the spacing of those yarns.


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Image Credit:  Spanos, Mary. Mississippian Textils at Beckum Village (1CK24), Clarke County, Alabama