Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fingerloop braiding

Making a 15th century doublet also implies making laces to lace the doublet up. One lace for the front, and in this case also two laces for the sleeves.
Fingerloopbraiding is a technique based on the exchange of loops held on the fingers. The braids can be made by one person, but there are also variations that need more workers (depending on the lenght of the braid and the amount of loops used).

There are some medieval depictions of the practice of fingerloopbraiding.
The oldest known depiction dates to the 13th century, and can be seen on a wall-painting in Konstanz, Germany.
There also is an Italian fresco (Florence) which shows the Virgin Mary and the little Christ working on a two-looped braid, that is being used to edge a piece of clothing. Although the date for this fresco is not known, it seems late 14th or 15th century to me. More information can be found in this issue of the LM BRIC News.
Probably Mary is using this technique, described by Frieda Sorber in "Tongeren Basiliek O-L-Vrouw Geboorte. Textiel. Uitgeverij Peters, Leuven, 1988." Which is quite interesting. So far I only know about this technique being used on purses, but now it seems it can be used on clothing as well. I have suspected this for a long time, but couldn't prove it.
A drawing of late 15th century altar piece in a little curch somewhere in Spain can be seen here. I had a black and white scan of a photo of this piece, but can't seem to find it at the moment...

Basic instructions for the making of fingerloop braids you can find here:

Information about medieval fingerloop braids here

Another very interesting website is this one: Loop-Maniputlation Braiding Research and Information Center. They have information about fingerloop braids from all over the world and from different periods.

You can discuss fingerloop braids here.

1 comment :

Shasha Kidd said...

Thanks much for sharing these resources. I'm compiling a handout for a Fingerloop Braiding class and these helped!

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