Transcriptions from: The Weaver’s Guide: Linen Designs by Ralph Watson of Aiskew.

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Detail of page 144 (scroll to view)
Image courtesy of North Yorkshire County Records Office: Document reference: Z.371 9
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Transcriptions from: The Weaver’s Guide: Linen Designs by Ralph Watson of Aiskew.

Most of the 151 pages of Ralph Watson’s eighteenth-century manuscript are taken up with drawings of block diaper patterns, with titles such as The Keel Man’s Frolic and The Deep Wounds of Calder. Towards the back, however, is a single page of pattern drafts for hapings, flowered wounce, damask twill, huckaback, buble damask, and bird eye. These are inscribed in concise weavers’ notation, indicating the threading draft and loom tie-up, but with no indication of the resulting weave structure or appearance.

I saw each draft as a two-hundred-year-old injunction: “do this, follow me.” My transcriptions of the three drafts for ‘hapings’ each represent one complete repeat of the pattern –  two or three square inches of cloth. I have assumed the convention that the order of treadling follows the order of threading (‘treadled as drawn in’).

January 2021

Manuscript images courtesy of North Yorkshire County Records Office: Document reference: Z.371 9 (MIC 1691, 2564).