MCML Workshop: Introduction to Sprang with Carol James

Introduction to Sprang

Sprang is a technique that first appeared in the Bronze Age. It recurs again and again in human history, associated with human remains in Scandinavia to Egyptian mummies to European laces to military sashes. An adaptable technique, it is time to re-visit this textile method.

Explore a low-tech method for producing very stretchy cloth. Participants work on a small frame (included in the materials fee) to learn the basic stitch, how to hold the threads, how to manipulate them to create cloth. We also explore variations, which will include, cables, and twining, and lace patterns. Irregularities (mistakes) are viewed as an opening into diverse decorative elements. Pattern reading and pattern writing are introduced as a vehicle to understand and record structure. Participants will learn two different manners of warping: flat warp and circular warp. We will discuss shaping techniques required to create diverse garments: bonnets, bags, vests, mittens, socks, leggings, shawls and sashes. Participants leave with several items of their own making, and a frame warped for a future project.


Workshop runs: This is a 4 week class running on Saturdays from 12:30-3:30 PM

  • February 29
  • March 7
  • March 14
  • March 21


Registration deadline: Friday February, 21, 2020


Registration Fee: $180 (MCML members); $200 (non-members)

Kit fee: $40


Register Below:

Sorry, this workshop is currently full. If you would like to be placed on the wait list, please contact us at or call us at 204-615-3951.


Meet your Instructor:

Carol James

Carol James has been exploring sprang and other low-tech, easily transportable textile methods for the past 30 years. She has examined sprang items in collections across North American and Europe. Collaborating with researchers on experimental archaeology projects she has written patterns and made samples to better understand items, which include sprang bonnets, shirts, sashes, and leggings. She has made replicas for clients such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the German Archaeological Institute, the Canadian History Museum, the Arizona State Museum, and the Norwegian Army Museum. She has also made modern wearables, which have more than once graced the stage at Handweavers Guild of America’s Convergence Fashion Show.

Her students describe her as gentle, patient, extremely knowledgeable, and passionate. She has taught in Canada, the US, Europe and New Zealand, including at conferences such as HGA’s Convergence, ANWG, Intermountain Weavers in Durango, Colorado, Fibre Week in Olds, Alberta, The Braid Society Conferences, as well as for diverse local guilds. She is the author of numerous articles and three books: Fingerweaving Untangled and Sprang Unsprung and Sprang Lace Patterns. Most recently she has created two DVDs.