Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Since wootz has no relations to the city of Damascus, insisting on "wootz only" being a true Damascus is of dubious validity. Alex and Alan are right: it is just a matter of appearance, and sometimes it is even difficult to distinguish between wootz and pattern welded blades. Damascening is a well established technique, and refers not only to the above varieties, but also to etch-induced surface, incrustation with metals of different color etc.
It is just a general unifying term. Within it there are varieties of prettifying the object.
Wootz and pattern welding are two different birds, but birds nevertheless: inhomogeneous steels.
Partly, the confusion is due to the accepted usages ( as also shown by Tatiana): in the English usage wootz ( fulad, bulat) is a part of a broader group collectively called Damascus Steel, whereas in Russia pattern welded blades were traditionally referred to as one of the "bulats".
Manfred Sachse knew a thing or two about blades:-), and addressed them together in his book on Damascus Steel.