Saturday, December 22, 2012

Voynich Manuscript: the Dirty Sleeve

Somebody handling the Voynich Manuscript through the centuries had a very dirty sleeve. Strip of fabric decorating the end of the sleeve of mysterious person's garments left marks on folio 11v. So if you are expert in textile technologies and history of fashion give us your insights!


  1. Twill weave. If it were a scribe's sleeve, the fabric may have been hemp thread rather than flax, linen thread. I won't begin to discuss wool!

  2. The experts say these are just stretch marks in the animal skin during parchment preparation.
    I was thinking silk and metal thread, but the stretch mark explanation makes more sense.

  3. Who am I to argue with the experts? What was their expertise? I've tanned and stretched Angora rabbit skins (dry/alum in order to keep the hair from shedding). I recently pulled those furs out of my antique steamer trunk. They are still flexible and show no signs of shedding.
    Song: "Bye baby bunting. Daddy's gone a'hunting. To catch a little rabbit-skin to wrap my baby-bunting in." This song is almost as eerie as "Rock-a-bye Baby". And then we have "Ring-around-a Rosy".....
    You don't mind my somewhat 'side-ways" posts, do you? Please do let me know if you find me annoying!

  4. I'm reading two books which discussion is accompanied by illustrations of 15th century "everyday life" in Europe. You might enjoy them, and can possibly get them from your local library: The Horizon Book of the Middle Ages. editor Norman Kotker, author Morris Bishop (American Heritage/Bonanza Books, New York.
    The second book is "A day in a Medieval City", Arsenio and Chiara Frugoni, University of Chicago press.
    The two books I've referred parallel each other as far as their selections of illustrated manuscripts, of which quite a few are from the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum (New York)
    Some of your favorite historical figures' writings and illustrations appear therein.
    Enjoy the upcoming New Year's celebrations.