Saturday, November 14, 2009

Naturtuche Diamond Twills

Yesterday, I received the fabric swatches I requested from Naturtuche. They sent me samples of all the fabrics they sell, not just the ones I expressed interest in. However, most of the wools, though very pretty, are not much different from wools I can obtain more cheaply (and with lower shipping costs!) closer to home. So I'm focusing on the diamond twill samples they sent me.

There are three of these: a medium weight wool, with the motif woven with cream-colored and dark brown threads (Product No. 00059); a cream-colored wool worsted (Product No. 00070); and a light-weight linen (Product No. 00030). I have scanned each of these samples with a measuring tape at the bottom to show scale, and the differences are interesting.

Product No. 00059 is the heaviest and coarsest of the three. It is also, so far as I can tell, the most authentic in terms of weave pattern (though all three appear to be balanced twills; period diamond twills were usually unbalanced, sometimes extremely so). I figure it to be about 15/15 per cm, though the actual diamond motifs are much larger than the thread count implies (and in fact are wider than the diamonds in the coarse twill swatch featured in my original post on this subject). Readers can use the scanned images to do their own thread counting, however.

Product No. 00070, the cream-colored worsted, is the lightest and thinnest of the three fabrics. (It is also the one in which I was the most interested because it is undyed). Each diamond motif is about a centimeter wide--much smaller than Product No. 00059, and about the same size as the diamonds on my coarse gray wool swatch.

Finally, Product No. 00030, the linen sample, was a bit heavier than the worsted, but the diamonds were even smaller--about four diamonds on Product No. 00030 fit in the same space that one diamond takes up on the worsted sample, and the thread count appears to be a bit higher than the worsted sample.

Looking at the three samples made me realize that there is one thing that I don't know about period twills. I don't really know the size of the diamond motifs. Does Product No. 00070 or Product No. 00030 better imitate the surface appearance of a fine period diamond twill? Without a travel budget, and an opportunity to see actual archaeological specimens, I'm not sure how to find out.

I'm inspired to see whether I can obtain samples of some modern diamond twills from some of the other companies that sell them to reenactors. Tonight, I wrote to the other companies discussed in my first post to see whether they are willing to send me swatches also. If I receive other swatches, I will scan them and post them here, so my readers can also compare them.

EDIT: I heard back from Wollstoff shortly after I sent my e-mail. It turns out that they do not ship outside the European Community. I wrote back acknowledging their policy but asking for the samples anyway, since at this point I would like to see how their fabric differs in feel, and in size of diamonds, from the ones I've collected so far!

EDIT (10/17/2016):  Reformatted post to improve layout and corrected a few typos.

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