Posted by: bschutzgruber | January 5, 2014

Modern Medicine and the Ancient Art of Weaving

Weaver Janet Phillips in the UK has been involved in the project to weave shoulder tendon patches. There is a short news item on the BBC website at the moment.

“I have been doing ongoing research with this team of scientists from Oxford University for five years now developing an internal woven bandage. It has been fascinating and it is great to see the research come to the point were a bandage has actually been made and is about to be used in surgery. The project with Oxford University has been really interesting. It started when I was still living in Oxfordshire. We started weaving 1 cm square, plain weave pieces on tiny nail tapestry frames. It seemed important then to have finished edges on all four sides. Everything went quiet for three years while the scientist looked at other textile methods of producing the patches, but they finally came back to weaving because the textured surfaces helped the tendon cells to adhere to the fabric better than other textile structures.

We then spent quite a bit of time experimenting with different weaves. Plain, 4/4 twill, Satin and Sateen, Huck Lace and Leno were all tried. It was important that the patch should stretch in all directions. It seems that 4 and 4 twill has won the day. Sett also became an important issue. They ended up buying an 100 dent to the inch reed!

It has been great working with these young, energetic, and dedicated scientist on such an important project. It never ceases to amaze me how dependent all mankind is on weaving.”


  1. very interesting

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