The Draught Book
by Jeremiah Fielding 1775
This book contains drafts assembled in 1775 by a Lancashire weaver named Jeremiah Fielding, intended as a work book for weavers.
There are 59 drafts but some are duplications, and one or two have the draft in a mess, but over 50 remain. Of course, the drafts are in 1775 notation which is pretty incomprehensible to modern weavers. So I set to and translated every one into modern notation. There are introductory sections on the finding of the notebook and the history of the cotton industry at that time but the heart of the book are the drafts. I persuaded weavers of my Guild to do one or two or even more samples from the book and they helped gallantly. Although there were at least two aghast weavers saying indignantly 'This is double cloth'. A bit of research showed that the poor of 1775 kept themselves warm in winter by creating pockets stuffed with fleece. Because of his own samples, we realised that every one was woven in ecru cotton which shows up the texture nicely. Although some drafts have 8 to 11 shafts and those are patterned. So all the samples were woven in ecru cotton. The book is spiral bound to make the drafts easier to use.
There are 140 teeny samples in the original but they show off dyeing and wood block printing and nowhere are they traceable to a specific draft. The book has taken a long time and I reckon at least 30 Guild members helped in one way or another.