Again: my loom was made for me by Reinier, a fellow member of Byfrost. In return I promised to make him a pair of leg windings. There is no evidence from the field of archaeology or other sources that suggest that sprang was used to create leg windings. Still, it was a nice challenge.

The beginning

I had already started the first band but then I discovered how the diagonal pattern was made. Captivated by this new pattern i showed it to Reinier who agreed that it was very pretty. Prettier than the band I had already started. So I began a new, this time in the diagonal pattern. The picture shows the first, simpler pattern.

Long band

Leg windings are basically a long band of cloth that you wrap around your lower legs. It keeps your pant together, our legs warm and it looks pretty. It does required a certain length if you want to wrap you leg from ankle to knee. Setting up the treads is a tricky job because of the length and the risk of knotting.


And there lies the biggest problem with this project. I started setting up a length of 5 meters, knowing that I would loose some length. I hoped to end with 4,5 meters. This is impossible to achieve on my loom so instead of working in a vertical direction, I worked in a horizontal direction and attached to whole thing to sticks that I dug into the ground When the tension on the treads rise as the work progresses, I just move these sticks closer together.


When the full length of the treads have been properly attached the actual braiding can begin. Because of the length the treads and the extra weight that comes with it, the treads will droop a little. This makes the work extra difficult at the beginning. This picture shows the very first inches of the band.

Not easy

After every row I have to put the windings to the other side of the band. Because wool can knit together, this is a tricky business when you are holding 5 meters of woollen band. It make the work uncomfortable also because you stand slightly bend as you work. I have to take regular breaks to spare my poor back or ache for days.

Breaking threads

In these early stages of the work I must be very careful especially if the wool has knitted together. If I pull to hard and accidentally break a tread as I move the windings to the other side of the band it is very hard to repair. (always sucks when that happens!).

Wet wool

This knitting together gets even worse when it starts to rain and the wool gets wet. The wet wool expands and makes then even heavier and the treads end up drooping to the ground. When the wool gets this wet I have no choice but to stop and wait for the rain to subside and the wool to dry.

Try a different way?

There has to be a better way to make long bands like this. There are special looms that allow you to ‘sprang round’ How this works exactly I have yet to figure out. I have heard about these looms and have seen 1 picture but if you know more, please let me know!!! Until then I’ll just have to keep on walking back and forth when making a band this long.


The first leg winding I made in 2006 during e weekend in the Historical Open air Museum Eindhoven. The pictures that Lanula has placed on her site where made then. It took me a year to start on the second. But I’m happy to say they are FINALLY finished. At least the braiding is…The ends have to be done by twining, but that isn’t much work.

As you now know, a hell of a job that still isn’t finished but totally explains why leg windings where not made in the sprang technique! It is simply to much work! So if you do feel like starting a big project like this, make sure that you know what you are getting yourself in to cause this one is for the long haul! But it is very cool to be able to say you made it al by yourself. For the brave souls among you: Good luck!

Want to know more?

Here a short film of Blue working on the legwindings and explaining how she makes this diagonal patern and one on finishing your work. The films are Dutch but you can find some English film explaining the diagonal patern on the page that explaines the sprangtechnique.


1 Comment

  1. Hoihoi! Wilde je even mededelen dat jullie site enthousiast wordt gevolgd vanuit België. Door mij dus…. En dat ik ondertussen aan het Kaartweven ben geslaan. Ook dit vindt ik een mooi projectje, en zou het graag eens proberen.Weliswaar iets korter 🙂 . Kan je me vertellen hoeveel draden je hebt ‘opgezet’ in je warp en in welke sequentie. bv ; 3 draden rood, 2 draden blauw,etc….. (ik weet dat je aan de voor en achterkant evenveel moet hebben :-p )


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