July 12, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST

"What is sprang? How does it work? And what can you do with it?"  with Carol James 

This presentation answers these questions and more. We begin with simple definitions and demos to help you understand how, with this technique, every row of work yields two rows of cloth. A variety of stitches lend themselves to this type of work, some even look like woven cloth. The results can be hats, socks, mittens, vests and more. We will then see this played out in a series of images of sprang through history. We will review evidence of sprang from ancient to modern times: artwork depicting the technique, as well items made using the sprang technique.


The presentation finishes with a focus on a particular project, Carol's replication of the Braddock-Washington sash in 2013. The young George Washington served as an advisor to the British General Braddock in 1755.  The mortally wounded Braddock gave his sash to Washington, handing over command of the troops. The sash is held today by George Washington's Mount Vernon. A 300-year old silk sprang sash, it is considered too fragile for display. The replication project presented several challenges and has resulted in a textile suitable to test theories of the purpose and use of the sash. 

Carol James has been playing with strings for a long time; she learned to embroider and to crochet before she entered kindergarten. Since the 1980s she has been exploring a wide, flat, braiding technique known in North America as fingerweaving. In the mid-1990s she was introduced to sprang. She is now a world-recognized teacher.  She has spent the past 20 years rediscovering textile forms that had been considered lost, resurrecting these ancient techniques and making them accessible to everyone through her publications, books and workshops. 

Carol believes that textile creation is part of our human heritage.  Textile is an amalgamation of threads interconnecting with each other, just as humans work together in order to create the fabric of society. The method used to create fabric in disparate communities around the world is often quite similar.  This is a common language of humans: the construction of fabric.  Woven together we are stronger. 

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