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Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach (Read 4892 times)
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Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
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/58455... ) 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #1 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #2 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #3 - Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:17pm
 
Repeat.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #4 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #5 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #6 - Sep 19th, 2017 at 4:23pm
 
Continue in this manner.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #7 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #8 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #9 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #10 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #11 - 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.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #12 - 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 Wink.
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #13 - Sep 19th, 2017 at 6:42pm
 
Wow great tutorial this should be added to the list of links in faqs
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Re: Making Egyptian slings: A "No-tools" approach
Reply #14 - Sep 19th, 2017 at 6:43pm
 
Awesome! And looks like it came out beautifully. I'm bookmarking this!
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