Glossary

Clavus: A Latin word referring to the vertical stripes decorating Roman tunics. With or without additional attached medallions of various shapes, clavi extend over the shoulders of a tunic from front to back. They could be woven in or sewn on after the garment was assembled.

False-hatching: Carrying of a light and a dark thread together in the weft to create a lighter shade.

Flying shuttle: The technique of carrying an extra weft thread of contrasting color on a supplementary shuttle, to create fine internal lines or pattern details. The flying shuttle thread is secured at intervals by catching it under a warp thread. A technique that appears unique to Coptic weaving.

Ground fabric: Plain or tabby woven fabric of wool or linen into which the tapestry decorations are woven or applied.

High-warp loom: Any loom with the warp set on a more or less vertical plane. The term is derived from the French tapestry weavers' term for this type of loom.

Interlacing: Linking of various motifs for decorative purposes. A decorative style relating to mosaics.

Insert: Square, round, leaf, or other shaped decorations woven into a plain-weave ground material.

Loom: A structure made to hold a warp in position for weaving.

Low-warp loom: Any loom with the warp set on a horizontal plane. A term derived from French tapestry weavers.

Shuttle: Device for carrying the weft threads through the shed opening on a loom.

Slit tapestry: Tapestry weave with slits where two color areas meet.

Soumak: A supplemental, decorative stitch used for surface decoration and texture on Coptic tapestries. The soumak thread is wrapped around each warp, or group of warp threads, usually on a diagonal. Used to define lines, or create outlines.

Tabby weave: Tabby weave (or "plain weave") is a simple weave in which one weft passes under and over alternate warp threads in a balanced appearance of warp and weft.

Tapestry weave: Tapestry weave is a plain weave with more wefts than warps appearing on the surface. Colored weft threads are worked back and forth only in the pattern area where needed and do not extend from selvage edge to selvage edge of the finished cloth.

Tunic: A simple straight-sided gown with sleeves made of linen or woolen garment, often with decorative tapestry bands running vertically down either side of the front and back. Worn by men, women, and children, the tunic was the dress of choice throughout the Roman world.

 Warp: The threads stretched upon a loom and running lengthwise in the textile.

Weft: The threads which run transversely in a textile, passing under and over the warp threads.