Gazelles Samitum

A stocking held at the Cluny Museum and attributed to Lucca weavers of the 13th to early 14th Centuries is a silk and gold thread samitum of paired crowned gazelles standing back to back and separated by palmettos  (Musee National du Moyen Age, 2003). This piece is considered a fragment of a liturgical stocking  (Musee National du Moyen Age, 2003).

Eagle Samitum

Number 35 was woven on a cotton ground with wool weft. The cloth depicted two eagles facing each other, suggesting the samitum was woven using a point threading for numerous pattern heddles. The pattern is reversible, which shows great skill of the weaver.This piece measured 19" by 18.5".

Duck Samitum

Number 58 is the least preserved Sassanian textile in Weibel. Much of the wefts have worn away. This samitum is woven in silk and depicts a duck in a circle border. Motifs enclosed in roundels are fairly common design elements in textiles of this period, both Sasanian and Byzantine textiles.

Didymoi fragment 81-96 AD

The nature in which the Didymoi textile was excavated allowed for more precise dating to 81-96 AD. This textile was extremely well documented. Rogers et al (2001) presented the following analysis. The fragment included 60.5 cm (24 inches) of warp and 10.4 cm (4 inches) of weft. It included a tapestry woven clavus in purple. The clavus measured 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide and ran the entire length of the warp. The textile analysis stated the warp was an undyed Z-spun wool, sett at 29 to 36 epcm (63 to 79 epi)  in the damask ground weave and 34 epcm (75 epi) in the clavus.

Child's wool sock

Wild noted a characterstic of Roman diamond twills he studies were a higher sett than ppi. Wild also noted pattern units were often 10 warp ends and 9 picks.The sock is picutred in Illustration 2.12 pg. 88 2/2 diamond twill from Vindolanda Roman fort, Northumberland. The sock measured 16 cm in length. the sock is a similar shap to a simple boot.

Byzantine Samitum

This samitum cloth dated to the 9th Century is Byzantine. It is one repeat of a large design that likely covered the entire cloth. The repeat of the design measured 75 cm by 725 cm (34” by 329.5”). The design is that of human figures over three horses and enclosed in a roundel  with heart shaped lotus blossoms. The design is woven in yellow on a blue ground. 

Burse Panel

The Clothworker’s Centre has also undertaken the conservation of a panel of a burse, cloth container for transporting religious items. This particular piece was last listed as on display in the Victoria and Albert Medieval and Renaissance Gallery. The cloth was made of cut velvet and was also embroidered. The woven cloth was attributed to Italian weavers and the embroidery to English artists. The burse was dated to 1320-1340 AD. The cloth measured 10 inches tall by 11 inches wide the warp was roughly 35 epi.

Textile Image: 

Birds Samitum

Number 36 is also woven on cotton ground with wool wefts. Number 36 is not one continuous cloth, but both fragments depicts birds with curved necks. This samitum is reversible. The birds are not exact replicas, which suggests that they are either actually separate textiles, or the motifs were woven in separate parts of the fabric. The birds may be herson and are standing on curled twigs holding palmette branches in theri beaks.The herons are in a large "beaded" roundel.


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