On the hunt for Diamond Twill

Some of my purchases from Historiska Fynd

Some of my purchases from Historiska Fynd on blue/blue diamond twill

After scoring some gorgeous blue diamond twill during my trip to Finland last summer, I am still on the lookout for MORE. I know that the chances of finding more of it on my next summer trip to Finland will be slim (though you KNOW that I will look…) so I thought I’d look elsewhere too. (Since the seller didn’t have a website)  

I tried looking for the fabric while I was in Vancouver – and found nothing. I am looking locally of course, but have had little luck. I found this 100% cotton diamond twill, but it’s a bit heavy for an apron dress (more like coat weight) and cotton isn’t ideal either. I’d strongly prefer wool or even linen. (I’ll still find a use for this mind you!)

I decided to look online… (the conversion is as of January 21, 2018… this will obviously vary depending on the rate – but at least lets me compare things)

I decided to make this chart for myself to figure out where I wanted to shop, but figured I’d share it instead other costumers were also looking. Maybe if more people buy this weave for their costumes… more fabric sellers will stock it and more weavers will make it!

 Company Width Content   Price per ? Converted Price (CAD$) per Meter Notes
 Handwoven wool   126 cm  Australian Wool  29,00€/m  $44.29  242 grams per meter, soft green/green colourway
 Handwoven wool 78-80cm  handspun wool 31,00€/m  $47.35  415 grams per meter, natural brown, diamond weave is not distinguishable
 Handwoven wool  140 cm  machine woven wool  37,00€/m  $56.51  265 grams/m. Red/white colourway, weave is very obvious
 Handwoven wool  100 cm  heavy wool  33,00€/m  $50.40  480 grams/m. Grey/white diamonds. Rough looking fabric but clear weave.
 Yorkshire Fabircs  150 cm  wool  £42.00 GBP/m  $72.78  395 grams/meter. Brown and black, rough looking fabric, but clear weave.
 Nornilla  140cm  merino wool  CA$61.80/m $61.80/m 200g/m. off white and raspberry, clear weave .9 x 1.2cm lozenge “like in original textile finds from Viking period”
 Nornilla  140cm  merino wool  CA$64.97/m  $64.97/m  250g/m, off white and raspberry, 1 x 1.5 cm lozenge  “like in original textile finds from Viking period”

Also available in indigo

 Nornilla (also on Etsy)  114cm  Eri silk  CA$61.80 per half-meter  $123.6/m  100g/m
Deep and light blue
Deep blue + fuchsia
Blue and lime green
Gold and brown
Gold and green
Gold and red
Gold and blue
 Wooltrade  150cm  100% wool  400.00 /m  $24.05  blue & grey “light” thickness
Also available in green/grey, green/white, blue/blue, brown/green, burgundy/black, red/white, nut/green, green/yellow
 Loricamos  150cm  100% wool  43 €/m  $65.67  white or natural grey. Only available in 20m orders (or groupings of such)
 Medeltidsmode  150cm  100% wool  SEK 290kr  $44.99  370 gr/m Green/yellow and dark grey/black shown… website all in Swedish. (Some of their brocades are also gorgeous..)
Green, blue, red, and grey with darker also shown
 NaturTuche  145cm  100% wool   30,00/m  $45.82  350g/m. natural brown/white diamond
 NaturTuche 145cm 100% wool   32,00  $48.87  460g/m blue/blue – weave is not distinguishable Other colours include white, and a drop down for more white.. lol (or more colours I guess as they get them)
 NaturTuche  150cm  100% linen   23,00  $35.13  300g, natural linen and bleached  – square diamond clearly decernable
 Handelsgillet  150cm  100% wool  SEK 296 kr/m  $45.92  260g/m. White with blue, also green and red with white available – looks like the whole thing is NOT all diamond twill though, but a varied weave?
 Ardalanish  not listed  100% wool  £75.00/m  $129.96  variety of natural tweed colours. Weight not listed. Lengths up to 4m.
 Faserhaus  147cm  100% wool  26,40 EUR/m  $40.32 320g/m. white/white. Weave is clear on close up.
 Faserhaus  164cm  wool/silk  23,80 EUR /m  $36.35  220g/m, grey/white/black
 Faserhaus  165cm  100% wool  23,00 EUR/m  $35.12  200g/m. Listed as very thin, and that it crinkles when washed. Black/white.
 Faserhaus  158cm  100% wool  21,80 EUR/m  $33.30  270g/m. white/white
 Faserhaus  n/a  100% wool  varies  Faserhaus also carries 200 x 66 cm shawls, 225cm x 155 cm blankets, and pieces.
 NorthernHerbs (on Etsy) 150cm  100% wool  CA $64.66/m  CA $64.66/m  150 x 200 blankets, various colours CA$129.33 for the blanket
 SartoriaLongobarda (on Etsy)  55cm  100% wool  CA $142.61/m   CA $142.61/m  various colours available
 RunfridrCostumes (on Etsy)  135-140 cm  100% recycled wool  CA$37.03/m  CA$37.03/m  red/white and yellow/green available
 Mood Fabrics  55″ – ___  100% cotton  US $34.99 / Yard  $43.63/yard  white and light tan – sounds like a heavy weight, recommended for upholstery, headboards, etc.
Beige colourway sold out.
 Mood Fabrics  54″____  72% Acetate, 15% Linen, 13% Polyester  US $39.99 / Yard  $49.87/yard  Black/grey, medium weight. totally the wrong content. Currently sold out
 Textile Express  155cm  “Wool Mix”  £8.50 / metre  $14.73  2.5cm repeat
Black and white
Brown and white

See comments below

 The Wool Company  70cm  85% wool 15% silk   £15.00/m  $25.99  70 x 200 cm scarf. all tone/tone diamond weave, not particularly discernible. Multiple colours. some on sale, some not.  £17.40- £29 for the finished product
 Marthas  140cm  unknown  NZ $50.00/m  available in black and white only, no content listed, no scale listed
 Wood -n – woven  23-26″ wide  wool or cotton  US $30/yd  The Google Drive with inventory is not currently available.

Although she doesn’t currently have any in stock, the Etsy seller
WovenbyElspeth has sold Hand woven Wool in a Lozenge (Broken Diamond) Twill. Her current handwoven cottons are approx 22×17″ for about $20.
Othala Craft also sells their handwoven wool diamond twill, but are currently sold out. It is 150cm wide, and sold by the half-metre. It previously sold for €16.50/0.5m or €33.00/m.

Hand vs. machine woven

Now a lot of the higher priced fabrics are handwoven… which would certainly up the authenticity game… however since that’s not something particularly important to me at this time, this isn’t something I’m going to focus on. I don’t want to discourage anyone just based on cost though… pricing things out was as much about finding good sources as it was to see the huge variation in cost for such an apparently rare weave.

I did go ahead and order a sample from Textile Express – which I was quite happy with! It wasn’t 100% wool, and the company didn’t offer the content, but I was still happy with the weight, and was willing to compromise on the content as long as it was mostly wool.

I then ordered from them – which I later regret. I asked them about shipping, and they said they’d be sending the fabric via Royal Mail, which I was fine with. I paid a fairly steep price for shipping, but understood that entirely because of the sheer size/weight of the goods. Apparently though they DON’T ship through Royal Mail, and instead used a very fast handling company, which charged me nearly the cost of the goods AND shipping in additional “handling charges” and duty.  In all – the fabric ended up costing far, far, far beyond the price I thought I’d be paying.  Huge regrets – I do not recommend. 

Additional fabric sources

Diamond twill like fabric in black and white - from the 2018 Grandmother's charity fabric sale in Calgary

Diamond twill like fabric in black and white – from the 2018 Grandmother’s charity fabric sale in Calgary

I also recently picked up a piece of not-quite diamond twill weave fabric at the Grandmother’s fabric sale, and saw some acrylic diamond twill weave in blankets at Winners. Obviously these aren’t super repeatable for later.

(I have some friends with wool allergies, so acrylic might be a good compromise to get the LOOK… without the hives..)

Weave sources

A bit about different weaves from Viking Age sites, including where diamond twill was found is on Viking Age.org.
Textile fragments from the Uppland boat-grave
More information on the sett of the weaves.
More information on historic weaves from a weaver.
A new theory on the costumes of the Oseberg Queen and her attendant


One comment on “On the hunt for Diamond Twill

  1. Kate Lord Brown says:

    Hi – just came across your post researching a length of vintage twill fabric I’m selling. Really interesting, thank you! I had no idea the pattern was so ancient. Thanks again – kind regards from the UK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.