The Techniques of Sprang by Peter Collingwood

Plaiting on Stretched Threads

Anyone who has worked with any of Peter Collingwood’s texts or who was lucky enough to study with him in person, will have an appreciation of the scope of his writing.

His exhaustive research into a particular technique, combined with his ability to analyze structure, and to convey to the reader the methods to recreate these structures is truly remarkable. Techniques of Sprang is a clear example of what Peter Collingwood meant when he said, “the simple is revealed when the complex is exhausted”.

The book Techniques of Sprang is no different from his other works. For years this volume has been justly regarded as the primary resource for this technique. The book begins by placing the technique in history. He offers a chronological listing of extant fabrics and equipment, pictures, and written records that are evidence of this technique. The book continues on by describing a number of frames that will support the work, as well as other helpful equipment, and offers suggestions on yarn qualities that lend themselves to the technique. He describes a variety of ways to set up these frames, and also a variety of ways to finish the cloth once made

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Collingwood describes the three classes of structures that lend themselves to sprang: interlinking, interlacing, and intertwining. He dedicates one or more chapters to each of these structures, suggesting one or more methods to create each structure, and detailing numerous variations to each structure. The book is amply illustrated with drawings of the structures described. The book features an ample index and bibliography. The bibliography cites numerous references to the technique as well as documents discussing historic sprang textiles.

The book finishes with some 69 black and white photos. These detail individuals working on sprang frames from Moravia, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Rumania, and Pakistan. Also included are photos of a number of pieces of sprang, historic and modern. The caption under each photo includes the page number discussing the pertinent structure.

While this in-depth study may not be a beginners book, to anyone interested exploring sprang techniques to any depth, this book is a “must have”.

Average rating:
(based on 4 ratings)

Customer reviews:

The PDF version does not work. After you buy it, you can't access anything, just get an error message.

By  Mulberry Haugen  on  Apr 04 2024 15:07 PM
Anyone who knows the word Språng knows Collingwood’s book is the most detailed book on the topic.  The question you may have is what the difference between the first and second edition is?  I am looking at a paper copy of the 1974 edition and comparing it to this digital version of the 1999 edition to confirm for you that whatever changes were made were very minor.  Every word of every chapter heading and subheading is identical.  Every page number is identical.  Every figure and plate is identical.  As far as I can tell without checking word by word for 300 pages, the only difference is the foreword to the second edition.  This digital version is absolutely worth buying and I am immensely grateful to all thise involved in making this happen!  My main complaint against this book is that Collingwood should have, in addition to naming locations where språng is made, given the local-language names for the technique in a neat list in the appendix or introduction.  I have started my own list, so far I have the following (if you know others, please add your own review!):

Sprangning = openwork textile

Pinnbandsflätning (process)

Pinnbandsspets (fabric)

Pinnband (narrow band), also Spedeband

Spets (lace)

Norwegian & Danish

Språng (vb, to make plaited thread textile)

Sprangade (vb, made by the sprang process)

Sprangning (n, textile)

Norse sagas (uncertain if sprang)

Norwegian: bregding

Danish: slynging




kykai = sprang cap

pletinya = sprang?


Egyptisch vlechtwerk




India (Punjab)

Azarband (silk drawstring)


Nara (trouser drawstring)j


Pletenie na Krosienkach (frame plaiting)

Krosienok (plaiting frame)




Pleteni na Rámu

“ Slav countries”


By  HaveABall Crafting  on  May 20 2023 10:20 AM

I am really delighted that this excellent book is now available again. For too long it has been out of print. It is written and described by a maker, and teacher, who has hands-on experience and practical understanding,

Most carefully researched, clearly and logically compiled by Peter, it was first published in 1974, long before we came to rely on the internet. This e-book is taken from the second edition 1999, with an additional paragraph in the forward noting how much more research had been done and many more examples of Sprang discovered and identified.


As with other techniques that Peter wrote about, he was very thorough, and even had to develop appropriate language in order to explain as many aspects as possible in words, even if these explanations are long. They are assisted by his crisp clear diagrams that show the anatomy of what is happening, together with how the hands hold and handle the threads. I feel sure that his medical training aided his clear thinking and the ability to analyse the structures so admirably.


The book begins with the simple and progresses through to complex, but he does not regard this as the best way to work. He encourages the maker to refer to the different techniques as required. The very detailed Contents pages, and Index are extremely helpful.


The black and white photographs, so crystal clear and sharp, are grouped together at the back, but meticulously referenced to relevant pages in the text,.as is the very extensive bibliography. In this each book has a note as to relevance to different aspects of Sprang. What an asset for the researcher.


Peter’s own examples of different Sprang structures, some show a range of textures, others using black and white threads, are a joy. He acknowledges all the support and encouragement he had from Noémi Speiser,. Her innovative timeless pieces are amazing and inspirational.


I really recommend this  book. It is a great addition to my library joins other later books on Sprang.


Jennie Parry

President of The Braid Society

President of The Association of Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

By  SprangLady  on  May 07 2023 21:32 PM