Pattern From the Past
Take a look at the ripple design in the photo below. It looks like an old-fashioned crocheted chevron afghan -- a favorite standard in the pattern repertoire of crocheters for generations. But although it may look like a ripple afghan, it's not. Amazingly, this piece is a thread-work specimen from an excavation of an Egyptian tomb dated between 900 and 1100 A.D.
Housed in the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, this exceedingly rare sample is available for study and referred to simply as "thread-work" by the curators. At first glance, it appears to be one of our most popular modern crochet designs, the chevron. A close-up view of this ancient piece reveals stitches that are remarkably similar to double crochet stitches. This ancient garment edging or curtain piece, however, uses an advanced needle technique to create a ripple pattern with the use of chevrons.
|Copyright© 1990 A Living Mystery The international Art & History of Crochet House of White Birches. All rights reserved.|
Although this Egyptian sample lies mutely in a museum, it speaks to us across the generations. Most convincingly, the piece isn't a simple or crude pattern of chain stitches alone -- a technique thought to have been invented sometime during the 1600s. It is an advanced style showing a definite pattern and skilled technique.
The sample cannot tell us whether it was made with a needle, but close inspection causes one to wonder how else it could possibly have been made. An implement of some sort would be required to produce such delicate and uniform stitching.
This pattern from the past constitutes important and priceless evidence that "stitching in the air" was known long before the laces of the 1500s that most modern writers on the subject say was invented in the 16th century and caused a major revolution in lace-making technique.
|Copyright© 1990 A Living Mystery The international Art & History of Crochet House of White Birches. All rights reserved.||Copyright© 1990 A Living Mystery The international Art & History of Crochet House of White Birches. All rights reserved.|
With its rather remarkable resemblance to a modern-day crochet pattern, this ancient design is a true example of the old adage "what's old is new again." We are lucky that it has been preserved, allowing us a fascinating look back at some of history's earliest thread-work. [Ok, I'm cheating - I didn't write this article. But this amazing story from another website was just too incredible to pass up. With credit to Crochet Magazine (http://www.crochetmagazine.com/newsletters.php?mode=article&article_id=707&key=NL00)]