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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1505851909

Message started by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:11pm

Title: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:11pm
I recently continued working on the el Lahun/Kahun sling from Manchester museum and while looking up the different possible classifications of the textile I stumbled (again) over twining.
I already did a different approach based on warp twining. It is shown here: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1360291032/0
The above approach is rather complicated, needs a lot of tools, is also quite wasteful on thread and has a few other possible shortcomings.

Therefore I asked myself the question: Is it necessary to use tools, looms, jigs or frames to reproduce this structure? The answer is: Not really.
In the following short tutorial I outline a novel "no-tools" approach. It is inspired by Timothy Potters frame-based method (http://www.seekyee.com/Slings/howtos/tut1.htm) and the method by E. M. Burgess (An Ancient Egyptian Sling Reconstructed, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, Voll II, No 10, June 1958, pp 226-230, further illustrated by Jörn Michaelsen http://s567609897a9e4512.jimcontent.com/download/version/1348458289/module/5845581763/name/Rekonstruktion%20der%20Schleuder%20von%20Lahun%20150912_1.pdf ) but leaves away the frame or the jig.

It is possibly a bit slower than a frame or jig-based approach but has the advantage of not requiring any tools except a knife or scissors. The produced textile has a very similar structure to what is yielded by the different other approaches. I believe that the distinguishing features can be easily removed by some minor changes. There are also many possible variations of this method possible.

I loosely followed the features (twining, wrappings) and different thread thicknesses as well as overal dimensions as observed in the el-Lahun/Kahun sling on display in Manchester Museum (Acc. No. 103). However, I did not attempt to make a perfect copy.

A word of caution: This guide is intended for intermediate to expert braiders (or beginners with an excellent frustration tolerance). It shows all required steps but is not very elaborate. I assume that the guide by Timothy Potter is known.
Lahun_Free1_fr.JPG (1519 KB | 88 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:14pm
Take two long pieces of thick string (here: ~2-3 mm diameter), two long pieces of thin string (here: ~1 mm diameter). Tie a removable knot into the thin strings and arrange as shown, thin strings perpendicular to thick strings, passing over and under them.
Lahun_Free2.JPG (99 KB | 47 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:16pm
Make two loops with the thick strings. The ends are counterpropagating. Make sure that each piece of thick string only forms one loop. Twine the thin strings around them.
Lahun_Free3.JPG (125 KB | 61 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:17pm
Repeat.
Lahun_Free4.JPG (128 KB | 49 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:19pm
Form a new line of thin twined string. How a new line is formed is an opportunity for different variations.
Lahun_Free5.JPG (121 KB | 52 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:22pm
Continue this line. Note that I have reversed the twining from S to Z twist. This counteracts twisting of the work a bit and makes it easier to control the threads. It is however not absolutely necessary and I did not do it for all subsequent rows.
Lahun_Free6.JPG (130 KB | 55 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:23pm
Continue in this manner.
Lahun_Free7.JPG (141 KB | 40 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:25pm
Continue twining and add two loops of thick thread whenever reaching the end of a line. Build up a triangle.
If necessary, add thin thread: Cut a fresh piece of thin thread, fold it and start twining with either end. The remainder of the previous piece of thin thread can be hidden along the thick threads under subsequent rows of twining. This is not shown in detail.
Lahun_Free8.JPG (171 KB | 54 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:32pm
When you have reached your desired dimensions, start twining the other half of the pouch.
Possible variations:
Instead of making a butterfly-shape as done here, start getting narrower as shown by Hubert: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1364114006/0
Other geometries and ways of filling the pouch are also possible.
Lahun_Free9.JPG (258 KB | 43 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:34pm
Build up the other triangle. I added two additional pieces of thin thread in the outermost row so that I have 4 ends available at each side to make a wrapping.
Lahun_Free10.JPG (179 KB | 47 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:37pm
Pull the thick threads tight to give the pouch its shape. Make a rope twist with the thick strings to form release and retention cord.
Lahun_Free11.JPG (97 KB | 43 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:41pm
Use the 4 ends of thin string to make a wrapping. I wrapped half of the string clockwise, the other half counterclockwise around release and retention cord and finished it off with a knot. There are also other possibilities.

Make a retention loop and a release knot.
Lahun_Free12.JPG (110 KB | 40 )

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:48pm
For the future I'd like to explore different ways of beginning a new line to possibly fill up the small holes on the centerline of the pouch. I also recommend that you do not tighten your thin threads too much while twining. Here, I used too much tension while twining. This could also help to possibly fill the holes on the centerline and make them disappear. Another possibility might be to use even thinner thread. Compared to the specimen in Manchester Museum this sling is ~0.5 cm too short (when folded) and  ~0.5 cm too wide. Also the number of rows is 27 instead of 34. So a bit of fine tuning of thread thicknesses is required for a perfect copy.

As always, I greatly appreciate any feedback, inputs, general brainstorming and pictures of slings made by you with this method ;).

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Mersa on Sep 19th, 2017 at 6:42pm
Wow great tutorial this should be added to the list of links in faqs

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by kicktheotter on Sep 19th, 2017 at 6:43pm
Awesome! And looks like it came out beautifully. I'm bookmarking this!

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Morphy on Sep 19th, 2017 at 10:59pm
Beautiful sling and you make it look easy. Have you tried it out yet?

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 20th, 2017 at 4:20pm
The start can require a bit of fumbling. Afterwards you'll get into a good rythm.
I did not yet have an opportunity to try it. But judging from other slings with similar construction and dimensions it should perform okay. For my liking it may be a tad too much cupped. So a sling with even thinner thread would be nice. Another solution would be to modify the way and number of added loops or the tension while working.

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Plumbata on Sep 20th, 2017 at 8:51pm
Superb tutorial, I had been wondering about how to elegantly craft a cupped pouch, thanks for this!

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Timothy Potter on Sep 25th, 2017 at 3:59pm
Very nice! I like the idea of not having to use special tools.

Regarding how cupped the pouch is, you can change this by varying the shape you weave. For example, if you weave one big diamond instead of the two triangles meeting at a point, you will have a flat pouch. If you wove two smaller diamonds meeting at a point, you would have a pouch that was cupped, but not as much. Changing the angles of the woven shapes part way though the weaving process can also be done to make the pouch cupped in different ways. Although I've been too busy to test it, I think at least one of the original Tut slings was made with that last method.

-Timothy Potter

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 25th, 2017 at 4:44pm
Thank you for the feedback.  :)
The "one big diamond" would be the solution in the guide from Hubert which I linked. I did not think about weaving "two diamonds", but I'll definitely put that also on my to-do list.


Timothy Potter wrote on Sep 25th, 2017 at 3:59pm:
Changing the angles of the woven shapes part way though the weaving process can also be done to make the pouch cupped in different ways. Although I've been too busy to test it, I think at least one of the original Tut slings was made with that last method.

Would you mind to quickly elaborate on that? Which specific details make you think that the angle was varied?

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 25th, 2017 at 5:00pm

Morphy wrote on Sep 19th, 2017 at 10:59pm:
Have you tried it out yet?

I quickly gave it a go. It works well up to ~100 g stones, limited by pouch size. Despite the cupping light stones (< 50 g) also shoot well. I did not feel "drag" (for the lack of a better word) during the release like I experienced it with similar cupped slings and small stones. It may be advantageous that the sling itself is very light with just 16 g, which includes cords. The sling is still a bit stiff, but it's softening.

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Morphy on Sep 25th, 2017 at 5:25pm

Teg wrote on Sep 25th, 2017 at 5:00pm:

Morphy wrote on Sep 19th, 2017 at 10:59pm:
Have you tried it out yet?

I quickly gave it a go. It works well up to ~100 g stones, limited by pouch size. Despite the cupping light stones (< 50 g) also shoot well. I did not feel "drag" (for the lack of a better word) during the release like I experienced it with similar cupped slings and small stones. It may be advantageous that the sling itself is very light with just 16 g, which includes cords. The sling is still a bit stiff, but it's softening.


When you say "like I experienced similarly with other cupped slings..." are you talking about other cupped tut slings or other style slings?

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 25th, 2017 at 6:03pm
Oops.. That's indeed a bit ambiguous. I  actually meant a completely different design (The starfish: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1357568101/0 ), with which I remember feeling "drag" upon release if using too small stones. My other egyptian-like slings are all less cupped than the egyptian-like sling above, except one. I do not actively remember that any of these had "drag" but I also did not shot them for a long time.

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Morphy on Sep 25th, 2017 at 9:06pm

Teg wrote on Sep 25th, 2017 at 6:03pm:
Oops.. That's indeed a bit ambiguous. I  actually meant a completely different design (The starfish: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1357568101/0 ), with which I remember feeling "drag" upon release if using too small stones. My other egyptian-like slings are all less cupped than the egyptian-like sling above, except one. I do not actively remember that any of these had "drag" but I also did not shot them for a long time.


Ok, well I didnt necessarily expect that. Somehow Ive never heard of the Starfish sling. Thats a very nice design. Can it be made with less cupping?

Back to the original question, the Starfish seems significantly more cupped so its not surprising that it doesnt release as cleanly as others might. When I read your original comment I was wondering if maybe something about the nature of weaving a cupped pouch made it less prone to holding on to stones at release. My woven slings have been probably my cleanest releasing slings. I was wondering if there was a pattern here.

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Timothy Potter on Sep 26th, 2017 at 12:53am

Quote:

Timothy Potter wrote on Sep 25th, 2017 at 3:59pm:
Changing the angles of the woven shapes part way though the weaving process can also be done to make the pouch cupped in different ways. Although I've been too busy to test it, I think at least one of the original Tut slings was made with that last method.

Would you mind to quickly elaborate on that? Which specific details make you think that the angle was varied?


I'll try to explain it, but I'm not sure how clear I can be, and since I can't examine the original slings, it is just speculation on my part. Here's a photo of two of Tut's slings: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/gallery/p1324.html

If you look at the sling on the right, you can clearly see that the lines formed by the warps meet at an angle in the center of the pouch. Weaving the double triangle shape does make an angle there, and does make a cupped pouch, but there are a couple of things that make me think a different shape was used.

1. The angle in the center seems shallower that what I usually get when I weave a Tut pouch. Now, it's obviously possible to get that angle by weaving the right shape of triangles, but some of my pouches that have less of an angle are more cupped than seems practical for a sling, so while that's not really conclusive, it does suggest to me that the shape of the pouch may be different, and the angle may have been achieved in a slightly different way.

2. The pouch is not lying flat in the picture, and weaving a double triangle makes a pouch that lies flat when folded as the pictured sling is. It may be that the pouch was smashed into that shape over the centuries and won't lie flat now, but it could also be that the pouch is woven in a shape that won't lie flat either.

Here's what my idea is: instead of weaving the triangles with an even slope, you start out with a steeper slope toward the ends of the pouch, and then weave a shallower slope, or no slope at all in the center of the pouch. You can picture it as triangles with bent sides, or even as two trapazoids joined along their shorter base. Either way, you would end up with a pouch that had a shallower angle at the ends, but wouldn't be too cupped in the middle, and wouldn't lie flat when folded up.

I have made a couple of pouches this way and it works, but I haven't done it on with fine thread to try to duplicate the Tut sling yet.

One other piece of evidence that seems to indicate that at least some slings were made this or a similar way, are the other two lesser-known slings from Tut's tomb. These, while the archaeologists in Howard Carter's excavations speculated that that might be some type of belt, are more likely slings in my opinion. They can be seen in these photographs:
http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/gallery/p0087.html,
http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/gallery/p0086.html,
and on this thread: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1094667990

They look different from the other two Tut slings, having what seem to be slightly cupped pouches, but not in the same way as what I weave as a Tut sling, and I think could be duplicated with variations of the method I described.

-Timothy Potter



Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 26th, 2017 at 6:28pm

Morphy wrote on Sep 25th, 2017 at 9:06pm:
Can it be made with less cupping?

Possibly. I have never tried it. But I wouldn't bother too much trying as I don't think that it is a good design. It's only use is throwing tennis balls and cradling them nicely for beginners. But this is also done by many split pouch designs (e.g. Aussie pouch).

Morphy wrote on Sep 25th, 2017 at 9:06pm:
I was wondering if there was a pattern here.

That would be a very good topic for a general discussion on pouch design. The starfish, when stretched, also collapses much more in width than my woven/twined slings. So gripping of the stone from the side is also a possibility of the source of the "drag". Also, the cup in the starfish has a bump, prone to catching stones, contrary to the usually straight slope in woven/twined slings. This bump is also present in my "Captain Paul" leather sling where I remember feeling similar effects (but let me try that again to refresh my memory before you quote me on that  ;)). Last, stiffness of the pouch may be also an important parameter, where I could see that it could be advantageous or disadvantageous.


@ Timothy Potter
Thank you very much! I will have another look at the pictures and think a bit about it.


Timothy Potter wrote on Sep 26th, 2017 at 12:53am:
or no slope at all in the center of the pouch.

That's also what I do. I usually have a constant thread count in the 3 or 4 center rows.This because the Lahun sling in Manchester has no pronounced angle in the center of the pouch.  I also use different thread thicknesses of warp and weft to tune the angle.


Timothy Potter wrote on Sep 26th, 2017 at 12:53am:
These, while the archaeologists in Howard Carter's excavations speculated that that might be some type of belt, are more likely slings in my opinion.

That would be the contents of box 21. What's your opinion of Carter's comment: Two here join (http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/021kk-c021kk.html). Do the cords join there or did he mean something different? Also, it's somewhat difficult to decipher his handwriting.





Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Timothy Potter on Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:24am

Quote:

Timothy Potter wrote on Sep 26th, 2017 at 12:53am:
These, while the archaeologists in Howard Carter's excavations speculated that that might be some type of belt, are more likely slings in my opinion.

That would be the contents of box 21. What's your opinion of Carter's comment: Two here join (http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/021kk-c021kk.html). Do the cords join there or did he mean something different? Also, it's somewhat difficult to decipher his handwriting.


I did a quick search and found a better picture of them today on a travel blog: http://themaritimeexplorer.ca/2017/08/02/luxor-museum/

Here's the picture itself: http://themaritimeexplorer.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Sling-from-the-Tomb-of-Tut.jpg

The blog author calls it a sling, so I assume the Luxor Museum thinks it's a sling or slings. But in that photo, it does indeed appear that the cords are joined together a few inches from the pouches. What is also interesting is that the cords appear to have twisted cores inside of a very finely braided covering. I will try to take a closer look later, but it seems to me that if it is a sling, it is some type of double-pouch sling, which would really surprise me. Whatever it is, the weaving and braiding seem to resemble the other Tut slings, and having a better quality picture may help us understand some of the Ancient Egyptian weaving and braiding techniques.

-Timothy Potter

Title: Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Post by Teg on Sep 27th, 2017 at 5:42pm

Timothy Potter wrote on Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:24am:
I did a quick search and found a better picture of them today on a travel blog: http://themaritimeexplorer.ca/2017/08/02/luxor-museum/


This is the best picture I have ever seen of this piece. Very nice! In the top cloth in the picture I counted 55 rows. Thick as well as thin strings are used, as in the Lahun slings. The cloth seems to increase in width up to row ~15 from either side, then stays more or less constant in width.
In the bottom flat piece, the selvage is covered with a fine cloth as described in the hand cards (21kkll):


Quote:
Belt? consisting of two and part of a third flat pieces (as per sketch) of
very thick tapestry woven cloth, joined by thick cords 4cm. in diam.
Edges bound with plain cloth, 5 mm. wide, overlapping each side. Design of
cloth apparently small squares of different coloured threads.
This belt, if belt it be, was bound round or folded in with garment (cc),
in manner shown on next sheet.

I also see the checkerboard pattern. The 4 cm seems to be a typo and is most probably 4 mm.
The part of a third flat piece is most probably the thing between between the two flat pieces, partially covered by the top piece. Possibly a unique opportunity to look at the inside of the structure!  I'm undecided if I see  twining or plain/tapestry weave. The thickness of the two flat pieces seems to be around 2-3 mm, assuming a cord thickness of 4 mm. This matches roughly the thickness of the Lahun sling in Manchester Museum (Acc. No. 103).

I agree that the cords are joined together. I also agree that there is a 2 ply Z-twist core, covered with a very fine braid. It could be the braid in the appended picture, with many, many more coloured threads. I don't know the name of the braid.
If it is a sling, it would indeed be a double pouch design, which I find unlikely. I'd rather classify this as belt(?) as Carter did. Possibly something got mixed up during the years. I read a publication, where the items 21kk and 585y where assumed to be identical (N. Wernick, Slings in the ancient near east with reference to the egyptian material, ZAES 2014, 141(1) 97-103), which confuses me somewhat.

I agree that the weaving/braiding is very similar to the one in the different egyptian slings.
repro_tut_21kk_small.JPG (74 KB | 51 )

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