An Inkling About Inkles

While writing this main post on inkle weaving it made us at BeWeave It wonder whether "inkle" was related in any way to the "inkling." (We also thought that regardless of whether a relation was found, we should start using inkling to refer to inkle weaving because it is such great fun to say.) According to the book Rigmaroles and Ragamuffins: Unpicking Words We Derive From Textiles by Elinor Kapp, the actual origin of the word inkle is unknown, but is quite possibly Dutch. It also went through a few different spellings including our favorite, ynchull (which sounds a bit like saying inkle with your mouth full of marshmallows). While we think of inkle as the loom, it actually originally referred to the band created by the loom, so there were professional inkle weavers who wove inkles. Somewhere down the line the term became associated with a whisper or hint (the author's theory is because inkle weaving tends to be quite thin) and led to the term, "I haven't got an inkling."   

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