Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Narratives & Conversions: Proceedings of the 10th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, October 11–14, Toronto, Ontario


Copyright 2006 by the author.


Despite not being an historian, I can agree with others that the study of ancient textiles cannot help but be bound up with the history of “fléché” (making braided arrowhead-design sashes) and that such study necessarily involves the archaeology of textiles. While such research is naturally specialized, it is particularly valuable when talking about a product and a “perishable” concept, like the classification of textiles in history. Over and above the terminology aspect, I have studied the confusion concerning the classification of “fléché.” Given the lack of guidebooks in French dealing with key topics like the three Supercategories of fabricmaking processes, the four types of braiding and basic textile structures, the urge to “break new ground” in this regard became a motivating factor.

I then embarked on an attempt to define the basic analytic structure of “fléché” and its pattern structure, as well as address the issue of the lack of related nomenclature by publishing a monograph specifically on “fléché.” Admittedly, this was a huge challenge, but a recent discovery in textile archaeology has proved to be a major addition to our knowledge.


From the outset of my practice of “fléché” in 1975, I became aware of a lack of nomenclature to describe its structure. While I was already convinced that the vocabulary used for weaving was not appropriate, my research led me to the discovery of researcher authors. Special care was crucial in selecting the best reference sources for preparing coherent didactic material. As a result, some authors were chosen and others rejected because of their ambiguity.