The History and How To of Sprang :: A Craft Talk with Carol James

The History and How to of Sprang

A Craft Talk with Carol James

Thursday, May 9, 7 pm

St. Boniface Museum

494 Tache Ave


What on earth is Sprang?  With enthusiasm, energy and a solid background of research, Carol will draw us into  the fascinating history and “how to” of sprang, an ancient method of fabric construction.  This is the technique used in some of the oldest evidence of humans making cloth. Caps dating to the Bronze Age, clothing on Egyptian mummies, iconography from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and medieval European paintings all depict the use of this textile method. It is argued that this method was used by people along the Red River 1000 years ago.

Sprang is technically described as a braiding technique. Threads are organized on a frame, and every row of work yields two rows of cloth. The method was well-known around the world until the early 1800s. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution the method has almost been lost.


Over the past several years Carol James has been exploring this technique, and its potential to create bags, hats, mittens, sweaters, pants, and more, thanks to support from Manitoba Heritage, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council. With any luck, sprang will be the Next Big Thing.
Carol James is an internationally recognized textile artist, focusing on ancient off-loom techniques.
A teacher and author of two books, her works have been exhibited across Canada, the US, the UK, in Japan and Korea.
This event is a co-presentation of the Manitoba Craft Council and the St. Boniface Museum.