Towards Textile Textures
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Bronze Age textiles display great diversity in texture, showing that this was deliberately and creatively explored. Some are thin, open, almost veil-like fabrics, while others are thick and dense (Figure 1) (see also Grömer and Hoffmann-de Keijzer, this volume). The woven structure may be clearly visible, making the fabric look almost dry or it may be felted and more or less obscured; in some cases, a shaggy appearance is created. Most fabrics have a homogeneous surface, but in some more dense and less densely woven sections interchange. Handle (how a textile feels to the touch), such as its thickness and whether it is soft, hard, stiff, pliable, rough or smooth is a further important aspect of its texture. Drape is another. Fabrics may drape limply, stiffly or in soft graceful folds; stiffness and weight are the most important components of drape (Taylor 1999: 191-192). Texture depends on a series of factors: the selection and preparation of fibres, yarn, weave and sett, weaving, borders and selvedges, and finishing processes. This is where creativity lies – in the manipulation within and between these different elements to create an object.