Anne Blinks Textile Study Collection
Exploring the Roggeband
Inspired by a beautiful Roggeband found in the Anne Blinks Collection, the Braids Study Group of Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild took on a project during 2005-06 of weaving and researching these rigid-heddle bands found in Hordaland, Norway. Here is an introduction to the band written for our display at the Conference of Northern California Handweavers in Modesto, CA, May 2006.
In Hordaland, Norway (west coast, just north of Bergen) through the 19th century, women covered their hair whenever they went out of the home, particularly to church, and for festivals. Married women wore a black bonnet with a lace edge; unmarried women wrapped their braids with a narrow red-orange band, arranging the braids around their head like a crown, with red-orange or black tassels at the nape of the neck. The orange band with tassels is called a Roggeband.. To rogge your hair means to wrap your braids with a band in this fashion.Anne's source of information was the above mentioned book written in Swedish. The original book was written in Norwegian by the same author and published as Vi Vever Band, (Ernst G. Mortensens Forlag, 1966). Anne also published a short article on the Roggeband in Interweave. Spring, 1968, p. 16. Any of these publications give good instructions for weaving a roggeband. However, in the text below, we do include a brief description of setting up the warp in the two rigid heddle frames, and of obtaining the sheds used for weaving.
|Our project started out with Barbara Boone showing us how to weave a Roggeband, as Barbara has replicated each band in the Bands & Braids Group of the Textile Collection. We each wove a Roggeband with warp stripes of the thicker yarn and a fine cotton warp that deflects row by row and only shows on the backside. We wove with two rigid heddles on a rigid-heddle or Inkle loom, or with a backstrap setup. We discovered it is also possible to weave the band with one rigid heddle added to an Inkle loom; or with a backstrap setup with two heddle leases.|
The band has an unusual structure created with two sets of warps. One side looks like a warp faced tabby, but actually the thicker warp threads float over three weft picks and under one. The under side shows alternating horizontal rows of the thicker warp and of another system of deflected fine warp threads, shown above in the photo (orange linen as upper side warp and white sewing thread as deflected warp). After weaving the structure, one could imagine the band was designed to emulate satin ribbon which would have been brought back home to Norway by Medieval traders who traveled widely. The solid linen surface would be the 'satin' side of the ribbon. The structure of the this side creates the floats on the 'satin' surface (over 3/under 1). The ingenious aspect is that it was invented to be made on the rigid heddle loom, using local fiber.
The back rigid heddle is warped beginning and ending with a hole. The
thicker warp goes into each hole and each slot. In addition, two thin
warp threads go into each slot, never in a hole.
The front rigid heddle is warped beginning and ending with a slot. The thicker warp threads reverse the threading from the back. Each hole thread now goes into the slot in front of it; each slot thread now goes into a hole in front of it. The thin threads go into the front rigid heddle starting with one in the outer slot, coming from the first slot in the rear, then two in each slot, but re-pairing those threads from the rear heddle. The front heddle warping ends with one thick and one thin thread in the slot.
When warping, the back heddle has one more thread in holes than the front heddle. Hence, on the back heddle, the first and the last holes are threaded. The thin warp sits inside the two outer thick threads and is always in slots of both heddles. There is one less thin warp thread than there are thick warp threads. An example would be 14 thin threads, 15 thick threads.
The information Anne gives in her article tickled our minds to find out more and we began researching the history and use of the Roggeband.
First, what does Rogge translate to in English? We did not find it in the Norwegian dictionaries available. It is from a dialect that is not found in the official dictionaries, (which are based on Oslo Norwegian). We looked in Danish, Swedish and German dictionaries and found the word associated with 'rocking' (including treadling a spinning wheel), and 'grain'. We found online an article on rigid heddles with extra sets of holes, translated by Ingrid K. Hanssen, who is Norwegian. She responded to our request to help but was also not able to find a translation of the noun Rogge. She was able to tell us that as a verb 'to rogge' means to wrap the braid round you hair in the fashion shown in the photos. So, at present, the translation of the noun Rogge is still a mystery to us.
What is the context of the hair band? We looked on the Internet and found a website with an article on folk customs in Hordaland, in Norwegian that is no longer up on the internet. Hanssen graciously translated the section on the Roggeband for us. She also pointed us to a website http://www.histos.no/eihovudsak/bruk.php?tema=sivstatus, on the history of head coverings in Norway, for museum photos and more information.
We learned that women's headcoverings were important in the countryside culture through the 19th century, and that the Roggeband was part of the unmarried women's costume in Hordaland. A book published in 1949 by the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm, Swedish Peasant Costumes, shows the countryside dress in their collection. On pages 22-23, the unmarried woman's head-dress is described:
One may also read in the sagas the rule that unmarried women should be bareheaded, but should wear ribbons in their hair … In Western Vingåker, for instance, with festival costume, unmarried girls wore an arrangement of [red] ribbons which were wound around long strands of flax, and the resulting long 'pad' was itself formed into a kind of flat spiral, forming a kind of crown to the head-dress.This sounds similar to the wrapping of hair or braids with a Roggeband in Hordaland, Norway. Is this way of decorating the hair called rogge [the verb] in Sweden as well? Rogge could refer to the wrapping of any ribbon around hair or braid-like elements to create this type of hair-dressing – not just to the one found in Hordaland,
Dana Thompson found an article on "Double Weave on a Rigid Heddle Loom", Suzanne Gaston-Voûte, Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot, Summer 1977, pp.70-77, 97-99. This author describes the use of two rigid heddles for double weave.
Ingrid K. Hanssen has translated an article about band weaving on rigid heddles with extra sets of holes ("Double Hole Rigid Heddle Weaving – part 2", found on the website http://fiberarts.org/design/articles/rigidheddle2.html, 1999). The original article is from the 1985 Yearbook from Nord-Österdalen Husfliden in Norway (Röros-trykk a.s., Norway ISSN 03333140, http://fiberarts.org/design/articles/rigidheddle1.html) and describes traditional rigid heddles with extra slots, and extra holes – in one case there are 3 set of holes. These extra holes are used for the pattern threads and make pick-up easier.
In the Anne Blinks papers are photocopies of three articles similar to the above,
by Barbro Gardberg, on adding slots or holes to a single rigid heddle to aid in
pick-up pattern weaving:
"Pirtanauhoista", Kutiteollisuus 4, 1980 – a introductory article on rigid heddle band weaving in Finnland with extra sets of slots and holes;There may be some overlap between these articles and the one from the 1985 Nord- Österdalen Yearbook listed above. While these three articles are written in Finnish, the illustrations are clear enough that English speakers may be able to follow the directions. The Finnish-English Textile Glossary published by The Unicorn (1976), or online Finnish- English translation services, can provide the needed identifications of pattern, ground and border threads.
We had help from Ginna Hartzell who provided the orange and white linen for the two warps for the 'replica' and Jill Sanders who provided the model for displaying the band at CNCH 06.
It has been a pleasant and satisfying journey for us all. Thank you, Anne.
on rigid heddle loom, left, and Carole Beckett, on Inkle loom, right.
If you weave a Roggeband from reading this web page, we would like to
hear about your experience and would enjoy seeing photos.
If you have any information/stories of Anne's studies of
the Roggeband, or about the Roggeband in general, please
them to us.
A project of the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild
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