Pattern and Loom: A Practical Study of the Development of Weaving Techniques in China, Western Asia and Europe
by John Becker
When John Becker's Pattern and Loom was posthumously published in 1987, the work was hailed as an important work that revealed much new knowledge on the development of weaving techniques across the centuries from China through to Europe. The key to the book's almost forensic investigation of its subject was the author himself, a Danish damask weaver with a lifetime's practical experience in his craft and an intimate knowledge of weaving techniques that allowed him to decipher, experiment and interpret original techniques from small remnants of surviving material. Long out of print, the work has been tidied and reset by Becker's collaborator on the original work, the sinologist Don Wagner.
"To the modern weaver looking for a source of inspiration in the past John Becker has written an eye-opening indispensable handbook." – John Peter Wild, Antiquity, 1988, no. 62
"The greatest virtue of this book is that it shows the archaeologist how much can be learned from practical experimentation in the re-creation of ancient crafts and artefacts." – E.J.W. Barber, Archeomaterials, 1990, vol. 4.2
"In no work known to the reviewer are the technical analyses so firmly situated at the very heart of the work as the indispensable starting point for all other forms of investigation. They are an example of what is often preached but seldom practised in material culture studies: the primacy of evidence extracted from meticulous observation of objects in the fullest historical and technological context. … [A] noble memorial to an extraordinary technician and scholar.’ – Verity Wilson, Oriental Art, 1989, vol. 35.2
John Becker was a Danish damask weaver with a lifetime’s practical experience in his craft and an intimate knowledge of weaving techniques that allowed him to decipher, experiment and interpret original techniques from small remnants of surviving material. With his death in 1986, a fine, old Danish weaving tradition, with its roots in the 1800s, died out and the historical study of material culture lost a great practitioner.
Publication year: 2014
400 pp / 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-87-7694-138-3, Hardback