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1 Introduction

We already have some Gothic tracery and a Tudor Rose on Woodcarving Workshops; with 'linenfold' we have the full set!

Rhythms and dances. Linenfold - literally swathes of folded linen, perhaps based on altar clothes - is a lovely, rhythmic ornamentation with flowing lines and pulsing ends. Linenfold didn't exist in solitary units such as we are making here but as frames within multiple panels covering walls, doors, chests etc. You'd have found linenfold throughout Northern Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries. Along with tapestries it was an expensive way of covering and insulating the walls of a prestigious house. And here's some carving trivia for you: The term 'linenfold' was coined in the early 19th century, the time of the Victorian Gothic Revival. It is first recorded as 'wavy wood', lignum undulatum.

I hope this short series of lessons introducing linenfold will help you understanding how linenfold carving 'works'. Research linenfold online and you'll see a huge variatation in the number and widths of 'S' curves; the spacing and widths of channels, and the convolution of the ends, which sometimes even loop around sticks.

I keep feeling linenfold deserves to be resurrected today. I hope you are inspired to make your own panel for a cupboard. For subscribing members, below is my working drawing & tool list for the Linenfold Project.

Note: all linefold is carved with the 'folds' along the grain.

Subscriber download: Linenfold Working Drawings (PDF)
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