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Cours de Tissage de Saint-Quentin


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Although the identity of Charles Maton is not known, the title of the volume,

Cours de Tissage de Saint-Quentin (Lessons on Weaving from Saint-Quentin), points to a specific setting for this instructional manuscript. The city of Saint-Quentin in northern France has been an important center for the manufacture of textiles since the Middle Ages, and it became a major exporter of many different types of fabrics to Europe and the Americas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Weaving was such an important industry in Saint-Quentin that when the Société Industrielle de Saint-Quentin established a trade school in 1884, it included weaving as a course of study. Instructional books like this one were often prepared by professional weavers for purposes of educating and training trade school students or weaving apprentices. The organization and content of this volume suggest that Charle Maton was himself a professional weaver in Saint-Quentin who may have taught his craft in that region.

United States.Eighth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor: 1892 ; Industrial Education. Washington: G.P.O., 1893. p. 283-284.

This late nineteenth-century French manuscript, handwritten and illustrated by Charles Maton, is entitled

Cours de Tissage de Saint-Quentin and contains technical instructions and diagrams for weaving a variety of textiles on different types of looms.

Written in ink with a clean legible cursive script on graph paper, this manuscript of 76 unnumbered leaves is bound in green half-cloth and marbled boards. Maton incorporates many diagrams and drawings, including 112 pasted-in color illustrations of various cloth patterns executed on graph paper and a painted weaver's pattern pasted inside the front cover.

Maton examines three methods for the manufacture of textiles: weaving by hand, jacquard weaving, and mechanized weaving, with the latter two being combined into a single section. The first and largest part of the manuscript is devoted to weaving on a handloom. It begins with an explanation of warp and weft, then offers instructions for weaving a wide array of textiles, including toile, serge, merino, and many kinds of satins and silks. Each individual fabric type is accompanied by a pen-and-ink drawing of the thread arrangement and a pasted-in diagram of the cloth pattern. The instructions. drawings, and diagrams become more complex as new patterns, textures, and effects are introduced, such as coteline, matelassé, piqué, damask, ribbed silk, velvet, and gauze.

The second part of the manuscript discusses mechanized weaving, focusing primarily on Jacquard weaving. It begins with a brief description of mechanized Jacquard weaving, including a labeled diagram of how the Jacquard loom works, followed by detailed instructions for arranging the threads ("empoutage"), accompanied by precise diagrams of different thread configurations and thread counts. Technical descriptions of mechanical loom operation follow, including a diagram of the weft assembly and illustrations of the settings for various fabric types. Also included are instructions for avoiding flaws in the cloth. A final section, "Mise en Carte," refers to the weaving patterns needed to produce punch cards for mechanized Jacquard looms. In addition to describing how to calculate the number of cards required to print a particular motif, this section offers instructions for making specific types of fabrics or achieving particular effects (Mise en Carte No. 1 through 15).

  1. Item 0169: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, May 2009.

Processed and encoded by Teresa K. Nevins, July 2009.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2009 July 7
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Cours de Tissage de Saint-Quentin, circa 1890.
Item 0169
Physical Description

1 v.

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