The Fabric of the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is an ancient cloth that entered recorded history in the year 1357. This is the date of the first known exhibition.
This cloth is a long, rectangular piece of fabric that measures 14 feet and 5 inches in length and 3 feet and 7 inches in width.
Imbedded in its topmost fibers is the faint image of a tortured and crucified man. This has lead some to believe that it may be the burial shroud of Jesus. Even though this has never been proven, the image itself is of such an unusual nature that a lively debate continues to this day as to the authenticity of the Shroud. Did it actually wrap the body of Jesus? Or is it a medieval work of art? Either way, efforts to reproduce the image and its subtle characteristics have, to date, not been successful.
The cloth is made of linen thread, and linen thread is made from the stems of the flax plant.
In order to transform these stems into workable fiber that can be spun into thread and later woven into cloth, a long process of preparation must be carefully followed.
The plants are pulled from the ground and tied into bundles. They are then laid down in the fields until the non-fiber parts rot. The remaining fiber, once dry, is pounded and cleaned. The final step before spinning is combing the long, lustrous fibers into bundles.
At this point, the fiber is twisted (spun) into thread. During Jesus' time, all spinning was done by hand with spindles. The spinning wheel wouldn't be invented for at least another 500 years.
In the spinning process, the spinner twists the fibers in one of two ways: clockwise (Z) or counterclockwise (S). Because the structure of the flax fiber has a natural tendency to twist itself in an S twist, spinners over the millennia have spun it in this S direction, as if not wanting to "fight" the fiber. Curiously, the yarn that makes the Shroud has been spun in a Z twist (clockwise).
The yarn used to weave the Shroud of Turin is of very high quality, evenly spun, and it has been woven into an unusual, fancy weave for the time, called 3 to 1 herringbone twill. The resulting cloth is very fine, with a density of 35 threads per centimeter, or about 89 threads per inch. To give some perspective, the finest surviving Egyptian mummy fabrics are 30 threads per centimeter (75 threads per inch), the thread is spun in an S twist and woven in simple plain weave - one thread over, one thread under.
The Shroud of Turin would be of limited interest as an ancient artifact were it not for the fact that the gospel of Mark mentions that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth for burial:
- Nov 7, 2017 MINIS - Jesus Portraits in Miniature Frames Nov 7, 2017
- Sep 8, 2017 New Jesus Portrait - THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM Sep 8, 2017
- Sep 7, 2017 Shroud of Turin: Blood and Sweat Analysis Sep 7, 2017
- Sep 7, 2017 New Jesus Portrait - O MY FATHER Sep 7, 2017
- Sep 7, 2017 Jesus in Art - Jesus Ministered to by Angels Sep 7, 2017
- Sep 5, 2017 Jesus Locket Pendant Sep 5, 2017
- Mar 30, 2017 The Fabric of the Shroud of Turin Mar 30, 2017
- Dec 1, 2016 Why Was Jesus Born in Bethlehem? Dec 1, 2016
- November 2016 4
- October 2016 4
- Aug 3, 2016 Jesus Alive Again, Official Selection at CLIFF 2016 Aug 3, 2016
- Aug 2, 2016 Plants of the Time of Jesus: the Fig Tree Aug 2, 2016
- Jul 8, 2016 Jesus Portrait, Framed in Gold Jul 8, 2016
- Jun 28, 2016 "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" Papyrus - Likely a Forgery Jun 28, 2016
- Jun 14, 2016 Earliest Painted Representation of Shroud of Turin Jun 14, 2016
- Jun 6, 2016 Jesus Calls His First Disciples Jun 6, 2016
- May 2016 3
- April 2016 3
- Mar 21, 2016 Mary Magdalene - What We Do Know Mar 21, 2016
- Mar 19, 2016 The Shroud of Turin in an ancient manuscript? Mar 19, 2016
- Mar 18, 2016 Scientist Believes Shroud of Turin Enveloped a Real Crucifixion Victim Mar 18, 2016
- Mar 8, 2016 When is Easter? Mar 8, 2016
- Mar 7, 2016 Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Scribes, and High Priests Mar 7, 2016
- Mar 4, 2016 Dust on the Shroud of Turin - Pollen and Human DNA Mar 4, 2016
- Mar 3, 2016 Attempts to Arrest Jesus before Holy Week Mar 3, 2016
- Feb 22, 2016 Holy Week in the Gospels Feb 22, 2016
- Feb 16, 2016 The 3D Information on the Shroud of Turin Feb 16, 2016
- Feb 15, 2016 Pontius Pilate - Prefect, not Procurator Feb 15, 2016
- Feb 9, 2016 The Two Images on the Shroud of Turin Feb 9, 2016
- Feb 5, 2016 Jesus' Last Supper and the Feast of the Passover Feb 5, 2016
- Feb 1, 2016 How Old are the Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane? Feb 1, 2016
- Jan 28, 2016 Caiaphas' Bones Jan 28, 2016
- December 2015 2
- Aug 21, 2015 Rembrandt's Face of Jesus Aug 21, 2015
- May 6, 2015 The Last Supper May 6, 2015
- April 2015 2
- Mar 27, 2015 Crucifixion and The Use of Nails Mar 27, 2015