Pattern-darning, as I have touched on before, is not to be confused with darning. Pattern-darning is concerned with surface creation while darning is concerned with surface repair. So, a few questions need to be asked. If all these shawls were being produced, how many tens or hundreds of girls such as the the Little Norwich Shawl Worker were required to pattern-darn them? Did they leave no traces at all except for this one engraving? How were the girls trained for the work? Was there a conscious production of locally trained girls to meet the demands of the town's manufacture? How did the girls present their credentials for employment (if any)? Did they work from home as piece-workers, or were they taken into a factory and housed together like the silk girls in Lyons? And like the silk industry in Taulignan, was this work considered to be useful sponge for mopping up orphaned girls? What about the shawlmaker's counterparts in France where there was also a fashion for shawls? What was happening in the Netherlands at this time? Is it a just a coincidence that patterned-darned samplers seem to spring into being at the same time as the boom in manufacture of these shawls?
And when Jacquard looms did replace the pattern-darner, who would mend the loom-produced shawls when threads were snagged in the weaving. A silk and fine wool shawl could not be rejected for a few defects, easily rewoven by a needle in appropriately trained little hands. There is so much more still to be discovered, let's never fall into the trap of thinking all the answers are known, nor the pit where it is better to follow existing texts than to risk asking why the Empress has no shawl.