Copyright © Stephen E. Jones
This is "Weave," part #4 of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!"
Herringbone. A herringbone weave has a v-shaped or chevron pattern formed by regularly reversing with offset the width-wise woof (or weft) thread as it is drawn through the lengthwise warp. The result is a broken zigzag pattern which resembles the skeleton of a herring fish.
Twill. A twill weave has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs (in contrast to a satin or plain weave). This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a step or offset between rows to create a diagonal pattern
[Above: Image side of the undated and presumably not pre-treated Shroud sample, "split from one used in the radiocarbon dating study of 1988 at Arizona" retained by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory.]
[Above: Non-image side of the above Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory piece of its Shroud sample.]
Both show the Shroud's combined herringbone and twill weave (see next). Note that this sub-sample, which presumably is as it was cut from the Shroud in 1988, is obviously not 60% or more contaminated with non-original carbon, as required by all contamination with younger carbon theories, including a bioplastic coating and cotton from an invisible repair, thus refuting them. Except for sample-switching fraud (which is highly implausible) and the neutron flux theory which entails a deceptive miracle by God, this leaves my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker [#10(1) & #1] as the only remaining viable explanation of how the 1st century Shroud had a 13th-14th century radiocarbon date. See "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail."]
The Shroud's herringbone 3:1 twill weave was formed by passing each weft thread alternately under three warp threads and over one.[Above: The Shroud's complex herringbone three-to-one twill weave (a) compared to a plain weave (b).]
Each successive weft thread begins at an ascending point in the warp one thread earlier, the direction being reversed at regular intervals by repeating the process at a descending point, thus producing the diagonal "herringbone" pattern.
The Shroud's weave was expensive and rare. Because of its complexity, the Shroud would have been an expensive, and therefore rare, fabric. Especially so in the first century when fine linen ranked in value with gold and silver. No example of herringbone twill weave in linen from first or early centuries has been found, although examples of that weave have been found in silk and wool. There are no examples of herringbone twill weave from France up to and including fourteenth century. There is in fact only one known example of a medieval herringbone twill linen weave fabric, a fourteenth century, a block-painted linen fragment with a 3:1 chevron twill weave, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Further evidence of the extreme rarity of medieval linen cloths with a Shroud-like herringbone twill weave, was the fact that the then British Museum's Dr. Michael Tite was unable to find any medieval linen with a weave that resembled the Shroud's, to use as a blind control sample for the 1988 radiocarbon dating.
The Shroud's expensive weave is consistent with it being the linen shroud bought by the "rich man" Joseph of Arimathea in which to bury Jesus' body. The Gospels record that Joseph of Arimathea, a "rich man," bought a linen shroud and wrapped Jesus' body in it (Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-42). The Shroud's expensive herringbone three-to-one twill weave is consistent with it having been that linen shroud bought by the rich man Joseph of Arimathea in which to wrap and bury Jesus' body.
Problem for the forgery theory. That the Shroud's weave is expensive and rare is another (see previous #3) problem for the forgery theory. The primary motive of art and archaeological (including relic) forgery is financial gain. According to Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Professor Edward Hall (1924-2001), that was the motive of the claimed forger of the Shroud, "There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century' so `Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged [sold] it":
"Such total involvement got its reward especially in his [Hall's] participation in the dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988 ... `There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century,' he bluntly told a British Museum press conference. `Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it.'".That the secular press shares Hall's view that the unknown, hypothetical, forger of the Shroud was motivated by money is evident in that it uncritically repeats Hall's uncritical assumption. And in a sense Hall was right! If the Shroud were a medieval forgery, then the forger, to maximise his profit, would have "just got a bit of linen." That is, he would have used the least expensive "bit of linen" he could find that would still deceive his prospective buyers (and that wouldn't require much-see #3). But the Shroud is not just any "bit of linen." As we have seen above the Shroud would have been expensive and rare in the first century. And it would have been even more expensive and rare in the 14th century, of which there is only one known other example, but in fragments as opposed to the ~4.4 x 1.1 metre Shroud. So the medieval forger would have been most unlikely to have obtained a fine linen herringbone twill sheet the size of the Shroud in the first place. And if the forger did have the opportunity to obtain the 8 x 2 cubit (see "Dimensions #3") ancient Syrian or Palestinian fine linen sheet that the Shroud is (apart from that would mean the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud's linen was wrong - see part #3), he would not have bought it for the very high price it would have been, as that would have severely reduced the profit margin on his planned forgery of the Shroud image upon it. This is yet another of the many problems of the forgery theory which I will collect through this series and present them all together under the topic, "Problems of the forgery theory."
Continued with part #5, "Sidestrip".
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Face Only Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.69; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.68; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.74-75. [return]
4. "Herringbone (cloth)," Wikipedia, 3 June 2015. [return]
5. Ibid. [return]
6. "Twill," Wikipedia, 7 July 2015. [return]
7. Ibid. [return]
8. Copied and cropped from Figure 1 in Schwortz, B.M., 2012, "Report on the STERA, Inc. - University of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Macro Photography - 30 August 2012," Shroud.com. [return]
9. Schwortz, B.M., 2015, "RE: Arizona Shroud sample: which is the image side?," email reply, 20 July 2015. [return]
10. Freer-Waters, R.A. & Jull, A.J.T., 2010, "Investigating a Dated [sic] Piece of the Shroud of Turin," Radiocarbon, Vol. 52, No. 4. [return]
11. Wilson, 1979, p.68; Wilson, 1998, p.68; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.108. [return]
12. Wilson, 2010, p.75. [return]
13. Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, p.12. [return]
14. Wilson, 1979, p.69; Wilson, 1998, p.68. [return]
15. Drews, 1984, p.12; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.98. [return]
16. Wilson, 2010, p.75; de Wesselow, 2012, pp.108-109. [return]
17. Dickinson, I., 1990, "The Shroud and the Cubit Measure," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 24, January, pp.8-11, p.11. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, p.69; Drews, 1984, p.12; Antonacci, 2000, pp.98-99. [return]
19. de Wesselow, 2012, pp.108-109; Wilson, 1998, p.69; Wilson, 2010, p.76. [return]
20. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.110. [return]
21. Wilson, 1998, pp.69-70. [return]
22. Extract from, "Weaving, block printing: Techniques: Facets: V&A Spelunker by Good, Form & Spectacle." [return]
23. Wilson, 1998, p.68; Wilson, 2010, p.75. [return]
24. Wilson, 1979, p.68; Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, p.52; Iannone, J.C., 1998,"The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.12; Wilson, 2010, p.296. [return]
25. "Archaeological forgery," Wikipedia, 1 July 2015; "Art forgery," Wikipedia, 6 July 2015. [return]
26. "Obituaries: Professor Edward Hall," 16 August 2001; Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.12; Wilson, 1998, p.7; Wilson, 2010, p.2. [return]
Posted 16 July 2015. Updated 25 December 2015.