Graphic Enterprises - Home of the Pioneer Times USA - A Web Site for Living History
Demonstrating The Inkle Loom with Gary and Debi Miner on Site at
Grassy Run Heritage Rendezvous
April 28-30, 2006
Photos by Jim Cummings
Inkle Weaving A definition and brief history of inkle weaving 'Inkle' is the Old English word for a linen band or drawstring, hence an inkle loom is a loom on which these were made." The word "inkle" has been in use in the English language for over 400 years, although spellings have varied considerably: "In 1545 'pieces of white unckle for girdles and lates (laces)' were purchased for 7d. In 1567, one penny was paid for 'whyte incle to make synes in books.'"
"Early examples of use: 1541: 'for a pece of brode yncull for gyrdlls'... 1567: 'With baskets...on their arms, wherein the haue laces, pynnes, nedles, white ynkell'...
Although the modern, tabletop inkle loom was only developed in the past century, inkle bands have been woven on much older style tape looms and large, floor looms. Inkle looms have a simple, two-shed arrangement, which means that, unless pick-up techniques are used, only tabby woven bands can be produced on them. A tabby weave is a simple over and under weave. Broadcloth, for example, is tabby woven. Most inkle bands are warp-faced, that is, the long, warp threads are the only ones that show on the surface. The weft is hidden by the warp and shows only at the edges.
Shakespeare in The Winter's Tale has a servant say of Autolycus 'Hath ribbons of all colours i the rainbow, points...inkles, caddysses, camricks, lawnes.'"