Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How to make gimp, Part I

The only things you will need are: a pair of scissors, a reel of fine 120 denier floss (available at DevereYarns, see sidebar for a link to their website), regular silk ebmroidery yarn or linnen yarn to use as core threads, preferably in the same colour* as the 120 denier floss. AND: A LOT OF PATIENCE!

*I don't know wether they used coloured or white cores in medieval times, but the advantage of using the same coolour is that it doesn't really show if you forget to cover a little piece of the core with silk and also when you tie a Turk's Head Knot with it, often a bit of the core might become visible. this effect is reduced by using a core of a similar colour.

Cut several pieces of yarn of the same length. In this example I used a length of ca. 50 cm and cut five pieces of yarn.

When you twist the yarns you will get an idea of the final thickness of your gimp, though the gimps tends to be a even a tiny bit finer because the threads will be compressed by wrapping the silk around.

Tie the (five) yarns together with the silk thread in a small knot.

Take the two ends of the linnen yarn in your two hands, and put the reel of thread between your upper legs, or find another creative way to make sure the reel can't unroll.

The yarns should form a nice T-shape. Make sure to keep the tension right.
Now you can start winding. I did the winding in my direction, but you can also wind away from your body, whatever suits you best. The advantage of this method is that you have both your hands available to control the winding, and to make sure you don't leave any spots of the core thread visible.

After about an hour of winding and winding this should be your result. My gimp is about 1 mm in diameter.


Machteld said...

Thanks for posting!! I'm really going to try that (as soon as I have another day off...:-). It seems like meditation, so maybe it's going to help me to release some stress too!

Tupppi said...

Thank you for the post. It's very encouraging!

But I've seen a short video on Les Passementeries de l'lie de France showing it being done commercially, and I'm sure she is using several threads together, held flat against the piece of copper tubing in her hand. You would need to warp them, but it must be quicker that way! ;)

Isis said...

Hi Tuppi, thanks for linking to that website, they make gorgeous things! Sadly I can't seem to find the video which shows the making of gimp.

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