Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Jermiah Fielding

Some time ago I talked about a present of several sheets of old drafts and how I had turned them into modern drafts and imported them into Fibreworks quite satisfactorily. The owner agreed to let me borrow what she had from her father and the weaving draft book has turned up and it is not what I expected. It  is much much more exciting!!!!!!!

The drafts have been transcribed but only tidily written out, not turned into modern notation. it is dated 1775 and is by one Jeremy (or Jeremiah) Fielding. There is a hand-written note (1952) with it which makes  clear that the original had all sorts of peripheral stuff in it. And  although there is nothing in my transcription to indicate source or  locality apart from the name, the written note refers to the weaver Fielding  selling his wares in Manchester. I had thought this was just a copy of a printed book but clearly it is his private notebook. I can find no trace of him on the internet.

There are 60 drafts. The first 38 are on 3 or 4 shafts. After that the drafts are a mixture, mostly 8  but there is the occasional 10 or 12 shafts.

 I have it in mind, as a major project for Kennet Valley Guild, to produce a book out of this but we need to decide various things. I would like the samples to look  'unified' but maybe all that means is that we use the same sett and  the same grist. In 1775 it could have been cotton or wool or silk. All  the drafts have names (not that I recognise them) and maybe we can use the internet to identify what fibre would have been used.

I reckon it will take one or two years to complete this if we can persuade six or more weavers to take part. I think we will have to hand  each weaver a modern draft plus a note on sett, how wide, how long.

 And just to show I am not joking.

The first thing to do is to scan in everything and lock up the original safely!

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled across this entry while looking for something else and was very intrigued to hear you have what appears to be a copy of the Jeremiah Fielding draft book. The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass., USA, owns the Jeremiah Fielding draft book, which we purchased in 1976. Our copy has numerous fabric samples attached. I am wondering if your copy is one that has the drafts copied out but no fabric samples? I am very interested to hear that there may be more than one copy (as we certainly thought we had the only copy). You can find a reference to our copy in our online catalogue, the Chace Catalogue, at http://chace.athm.org by using the Advanced Search option and putting Jeremiah Fielding into the Description field. I would very much like to talk to you about your copy. Please contact me at your convenience. Thank you. Jane E. Ward, Librarian, Osborne Library, American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01854, USA, jward@athm.org



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.