February 19, 2013

Språng Bredmose Cap in Glob's The Bog People

I got ahold of P.V. Glob's The Bog People: Iron-Age Man Preserved, trans. Rupert Bruce-Mitford (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1969) to look at an illustration of a språng cap found at Bred fen, Storarden (Arden forest), Denmark.

While I am a little squeamish about grave finds and wish we could let everything rest, the cap is certainly pretty.  Glob describes it as "a skillfully-made little bonnet or cap of wool yarn, held by two fastening-strings.  This is made by means of a special technique known as 'sprung' (sprang) and is a charming net-like head-covering."  (p. 82)

I like the translator's choice to give the name as it is pronounced in the original language.

The shape of the cap is similar to the bog hood I made, though there is no tablet-woven strap at the front and the yarn looks thinner.  The pattern of interlinking looks much like Skrydstrup, with five or six repeats, though it is hard to see.  I am not sure if there is a line of interlacing where rows of S twists reverse to rows of Z twists.

The National Museum, Denmark gave me this page when I searched for Bredmose (Bred fen): http://natmus.dk/historisk-viden/temaer/livet-i-oldtiden/hvordan-gik-de-klaedt/teknologi-og-produktion/sprang/.  In the right margin is a thumbnail image of the Bredmose cap, which you can enlarge to see in more detail.  The museum shows a different view than Glob's book, which is good.  I can see there is some seaming below the gathered section at the back.  The image is in colour, though presumably what you see is not the original colour of the wool but a tint picked up from bog water.

The large image on the page is not the cap found at Bredmose, it is a hairnet found at Haraldskær.  It is in fragmentary condition.  The pattern looks to be mainly holes used all across the warp, given by Collingwood in The Techniques of Sprang starting on page 132.

I ran the text of that museum webpage through Google Translate.  Part of it states, "Sprang [is] prepared in a frame where the clamped warp threads are twisted with each other in various patterns. Trend pattern is held in place by a single line, and without the use of a continuous element [weft]...Textiles in sprang technique associated primarily with headdresses for women."

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