Weaving

L'arte del tessere, formella della Bottega di Andrea Pisano - Campanile del Duomo di Firenze, XIV secolo. Quelle
L'arte del tessere, formella della Bottega di Andrea Pisano - Campanile del Duomo di Firenze, XIV secolo. Quelle
Nowadays sea-silk is normally knitted, writes Jolowicz in 1861. He adds that probably the garments of the ancients were woven: «Es scheint aber nicht, daß die Alten dieses Verfahren kannten; die Kleider, welche sie daraus gefertigt haben, müssen gewebt gewesen sein.»

In the literature we often find reports of woven sea-silk. Little of it has been found. The Natural History Museum in London has a «small fragment of twill-woven fabric with felt backing», but the weave has not yet been investigated.

  • Krünitz of 1805 reports beautiful, woven fabrics that are admired on exhibitions. For example, in Paris in 1801, cloth of sea-silk, or sea-silk mixed with vicugna: «drap de pinne marine, gilets en vigogne et pinne-marine» (Holcroft 1804). In 1806 «tissus fabriqués avec la laine de ce coquillage», and 1855 «drap bleu Marie-Louise, mélangé de laine d'Allemagne et de pinne marine».
  • In 1813 on an industrial exhibition in Aachen, Germany was shown blue and green cloth mixed with sea-silk: «par kurze Stückcher blau u. Grün mit Pinne Marine melirt» (Lenzmann to Scheibler, letter dated 14th Aug 1813). Whether it really was sea-silk, or an imitation of the same name, is unclear.
  • De Simone (1867) also speaks of woven cloth made of sea-silk and mixed with an other yarn: «Si mescola alla seta nella filatura, quando vuolsi lavorare al telaio per drappo.»
In the early 20th century, in the studio of Italo Diana in Sant'Antìoco, Sardinia, wool and linen was woven, but also sea-silk. Margherita Raspa, a former student of Diana, recalls: «Ich habe eine Decke aus Muschelseide gewoben, die in Venedig den ersten Preis gewann: Sie war ganz aus Muschelseide, die ich selber gesponnen und gewoben hatte.» (Flore 2004). «Si fecero anche stoffe confezionate esclusivamente col bisso, ma con una tecnica tutta particolare, a disegni leggerissimi, sempre ispirati ai motivi ornamentali caratteristici del tessuto d'arte sarda» writes Zanetti (1964). This cloth was woven on looms used not only in Sardinia, but also on the continent: «La tessitura ... si è sempre fatta coi soliti telai artigiani, analoghi a quelli tuttora in uso anche nei villagi del continente.»