Thanks for all your comments on my SOS post! This is my second attempt, in pink and white silk (1200 dernier) from Devere Yarns. This silk gives a very smooth, soft and shiny braid :-). The braid is about 1 cm in width. In the upper row, you can clearly see the point where I reversed the directions of the tablets. It's not so obvious as in my first attempt, but I'm not sure whether I like it: it really disrupts the smooth surface... I also found it difficult to maintain the tension of the weft. I guess that in my next attempt, I have to pull the weft a little tighter, because now it really shows at the edges.
(A reenactors dilemma: reversing the tablets is done in the original work, but the braid looks much better without it. To go for "authentic" or to go for "beautiful"? I'm inclined to go for beautiful...)
I want to use this type of braid to make some 14th century garters. (I've put my embroidery projects on hold and I'm currently focusing on a set of ca. 1370 clothes. )
You can find a picture of the original in
Crowfoot, E., Pritchard, F., & Staniland, K., Textiles and Clothing c. 1150-c. 1450. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London, 4. London: The Boydell Press, p 133 braid C.
A pattern of this braid can be found here.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I'm trying to practice some tablet weaving, using, among others, the great tutorial from string page here.
I'm doing a simplified trial run (sszzss) in thick cotton of the 14th century striped braid described here: http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/3recipes.html
There is something I'm doing wrong, but I don't know how to correct it.
Each time I turn the tablets in reverse direction (e.g. 4 turns backward and then 4 turns forward), the weft shows through the surface. This happens only at the point where I reverse the tablets from one direction to another. (Each of my turns is one quarter of the tablet, so in 4 turns, I'm in "home position" again.) You can see this happening in the white stripe left of the pencil, where the red weft thread is visible in a way that shouldn't be...
I know the weft should not be showing, but I don't know what I'm doing wrong. If anyone knows how to solve this problem, please let me know :-)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Yesterday I visited the Rogier van der Weyden Exhibition in Leuven, Belgium. It was interesting, with some beautiful paintings, scuplture and embroidery.
This blogpost is called embroidered pillows, because my attention was drawn by a detail from The seven sacraments (ca 1440-1445). In the left corner of the painting, where the 7th sacrament is depicted, a dying man lies in bed on a pile of pillows. When I looked at it closely, I thought that maybe the seams of these pillows were embroidered with some kind of interlacing stitch. Unfortunately, the picture of this painting in the Web Gallery of Art is not very detailed:
Seven Sacraments (right wing)
Oil on oak panel, 119 x 63 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
This type of pillow appears again in another painting by (the workshop of?) Van der Weyden: the Madonna of the dyptich of Jean the Gros. (this painting is not part of the exhibition). This time, the on-line picture is more detailed:
Portrait Diptych of Jean de Gros (left wing)
Oil on oak panel, 36 x 27 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tournai
Interlacing stitches were used to sew pieces of linen fabric together in a decorative way. There are some examples of tablecloths, and of course the cap of St Birgitte.
I wonder whether these type of stitches were also used for pillow cases? If you know more about this, please let us know!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Kunera is a database dedicated to the study of medieval badges and ampullae. In their own words:
"The website Kunera offers access to over 15.000 badges and ampullae of religious and profane subjects. The pilgrimage sites and the sites where the objects were found are mapped out visualizing the dissemination of the objects and the travel routes at a single glance."
You can find the database here: http://www.kunera.nl/
I write about this, because I really like the badges in the form of different types of pouches from circa 1375-1425. Search for "beurs" or"purse" and you'll find lovely badges such as this one (object 00818):
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Hello dear readers!
These past months, I haven't been able to write on this blog, for which I am truly sorry.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
This week I visited the museum Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp, Belgium. It's a small, charming museum with an interesting collection of medieval art: embroidery (opus anglicanum), sculpture (wood, ivory) and paintings.
I really liked this panel from circa 1400, because of the colors and details such as the apron and the shoes. (read more about it here, go to "collections" and then "Antwerp-Baltimore")
The picture below and more nativity scenes can be found here. Too bad I can't read it, but the pictures are interesting!
Note: please read the comments to this post for new insights
Bertus from Deventer Burgerscap told me about this nice picture of a 15th century leather pouch, embroidered in gold thread:
The embroidery used to decorate the pouch raises some very interesting questions: Is gold thread used in techniques other than couched work, i.e. techniques in which the thread disappears at the back of the work, such as brick stitch or backstitch? If so, then how is this achieved?
Usually, there are two arguments against the use of gold thread in techniques other than couched work:
1)gold thread is too expensive to be used at the back of a work, where it will not be seen
2)gold thread is not flexible enough to be used in stitches such as backstitch or brick stitch.
Still, it appears to me that in some rare cases, gold thread is used in techniques which involve sewing the thread through the fabric. The pouch above, for example, seems to be embroidered in backstitch rather than couched work.
Other examples , complete with close up pictures, of this particular use of gold thread can be found here:
Takacs, I. (2006), Sigismundus Rex et Imperator. Kunst und Kultur zur Zeit Sigismunds von Luxumburg 1387-1437., J.P. Himmer, Augsburg p 96 embroidered cloth from ca 1830 with unknown purpose/function
Tongeren, Basiliek O.L. Vrouw Geboorte. I Textiel. (1988), Leuven: Peeters. On the cover is a close up from a pouch dating from ca 1300.
See also Isis' documentation on this pouch here: http://www.paperflowergirl.com/patroon2web.pdf
It would be nice to know more about this (rare) use of gold thread. If anyone knows more about it, please let us know!
BTW: the leather pouch is for sale. Please let me know if one of you has bought it! (it's too expensive for me ...)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Red turk's head knots
White satin lining
Red turk's head knots
Monday, June 08, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
I hope to work on some of the following things this year:
* make samples of different types of embroidery to show the public
* make samples of different types of finger loop braids
* make samples of tassels
* finish a couple more purses for display
* tansfer my yarns to replica thread reels
* I could go on for a couple more hours...
But, as I applied as a freelance craftswoman for Stichting Hei (Historical Educational Initiative) I want to work on the educational aspects of my 'performance'.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
ALSO: thanks a billion for all your wonderfull reactions on my last post! It has now become the most commented post of this blog! I feel totally honoured and warm inside :)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Avant 1350 des fichus froncés étaient utilisés couramment dans les Pays-Bas et le plus part des pays Européens. A partir d’environ 1340 devenaient en vogue des fichus bordés avec plusieurs couches de ruches et apparaît une plus grande diversité régionale dans les genres des fichus froncés. A partir de 1350 ce fichu émerge chez la noblesse des Pays-Bas et à partir des années 1360-70 elle pénètre jusqu'à la population ordinaire. Après environ 1460 la coutume de porter le ranse apparaît de disparaître chez la noblesse, par contre que chez la bourgeoisie cette coutume continue jusqu'à environ 1475 ou plus tard. Le ranse était un vêtement coûteux uniquement porté par la noblesse, les bourgeoises riches et rarement par des femmes de métier. Les occasions dans lesquelles les fichus froncés sont représentés sont essentiellement de caractère formel néanmoins pas nécessairement de caractère cérémoniel.
La comparaison de l’art bas Moyen Age avec des techniques de couture et de tissage (post-) médiévales nous permet d’acquérir une notion des méthodes de construction pour les faire. Les données sorties des recherches expérimentales nous ont offert une plus grande compréhension de la construction des fichus froncés, ce qui nous permet de mieux les classer typologiquement. En plus des expériences démontrent qu’on peut créer une très grande variété de fichus avec très peu de moyens et que le fichu froncé était un vêtement très multiple qu’on pourrait accommoder facilement à la dernière mode.
Grâce à une base de données contenant plus de 200 exemples de fichus froncés des Pays-Bas, il était possible de composer une typologie détaillée des différentes espèces des fichus de cette région.
Comparisons between late medieval art en (post-)medieval sewing- and weaving techniques allow us to have some understanding of the possible construction methods used for this headwear. Experimental study has resulted in a better understanding of the construction and arrangement of the frilled veils, allowing a better typological categorisation of iconographic sources. The experiments also show that with limited resources a wide variety of veils could be achieved.Thanks to the compilation of a database containing more than 200 sources from the Low Countries it was possible to construct a detailed typology of the frilled headwear in this region.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I call these my 'silly lasses'. They are illustrations to accompany the typology for my Master thesis. The writing is going slow: somehow these days I seem not in the mood for writing. I had lots of fun making these drawings though.
I made the first drawings like this for my powerpoint that accompanied my lecture in March. Now I am completing the series with the other existing types of frilled veils discusses in my thesis.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The bow shaped thing right a way reminded me of a bow lathe. Bow lathes were used in Medieval (and earlier) times for small turning projects, like bone beads etc. By moving the bow up and down you can turn round the object you are working on. However, with this mechanism your object also always turns in two directions: it will always turn back at you.
When winding up yarns you cannot have a mechanism that turns in two directions, because then the yarn will never be wound on the reel.
So someone with more insight in things like this could throw in some ideas?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Ah, I got work to do!
Friday, April 10, 2009
And now I remember where I saw this type of frills earlier. It was on this Netherlandish statue from the 15th century of St.-Anna-ten-Drieën (Saint Anne, the mother of Mary). It was made by an anonymus sculpturer, and is now in a private collection.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
These sculptures show a very similar style of headdress. On fig. 1 you can see a female head console with a single layered wavy frill on her headdres. Fig. 2 wears to layers of wavy frills on top of each other. In fig. 3 two layers of fabric are worked into one wavy frill.
Here is my reconstruction before starching, hence the pins still being in place. This is just a small sample. I didn't attach a veil part to it, just a small strip of fabric to attach the frilled edge to.
fabric = bleached linen
thread count = 26x21 / cm² (and a coarser linen for the veil-part, just what I had at hand)
width of fabric = 8 cm
length of fabric = 70 cm
length of final sample = 16 cm
pleats = small cartridge pleats of ca. 0.5cm deep, for the wavy frills I used my index finger as a diameter for the frills
Here's how I made it:
1. take a strip of fabric and sew it in tiny cartridge pleats
2. attach pleated fabric to veil
3. work the pleated edge into wavy frills using pins to hold everything in place
More detailed descriptions of all the experiments will be in my final thesis.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
The inventory with frilled headwear is now 72 pages long and nearly finished! YAY!
I also found the time to finally upload the promised pattern/information sheet on the Maastricht purse.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
A tiny bit of progress! I added a touch of strawberry red and I decided the tassels of the purse should be blue. I'm not sure which type of tassels I should pick this time. Tassels with turk's head knots, pompom's with a turk's head knot or maybe even just the knots without tassels or pompoms.
Friday, April 03, 2009
I'm using DevereYarns loose twist 1200 denier silk. It is the first time I use this type of yarn for embroidery (I have been using it in the past for fingerloop braiding and tablet weaving), and I really love it. It is so shiny and smooth and it looks so much like the silk used on original medieval purses. Machteld did a comparison between spun and filament silk some time ago. More recently Kathy from Medieval Arts & Crafts did a comparison between different types of embroidery threads that is interesting to take a look at.
The pattern of the embroidery will be the same as I did on this one, except I won't be adding the coat of arms. the pattern is based on a ca. 1300 purse in the Sint Servaas treasury in Maastricht. the purse originates from the Liege/Maastricht region. I have made an information sheet on this purse in a pdf file, including the pattern and a photo of the original. I will be putting it in the new 'downloads' section on the blog soon, so keep your eyes open!
In the background you can see an image of a console from Diest, Belgium. It dates back to the second half of the 14th century.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
The yarns are, from foreground to background:
I really like to use these yarns for making tassels and braids.
You can also see some late 14th - early 15th frilled veils in the background as well. Fragments of paper with parts of my catalogue are cluttering every table in the house!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
The catalogue will contain over 170 works of art and objects that feature frilled veils. It will be added to my final thesis as an appendix.
I will also put the handout of my presentation last Saturday online this week, so that everyone who wasn't there can download it. It is written in Dutch but is has 30 pictures on only 8 pages to explain the text!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
When you are in the Netherlands and looking for places to take courses or workshops in textile techniques, have a look at the following sites:
Needles4all organizes workshops and short courses in several locations in the Netherlands on a regular basis. Workshops/courses are announced on the Needles4all website and open to anyone who likes to embroider.
Needles4all's workshops and courses include: gold embroidery, needlebinding, smocking, blackwork, and more.
Creativiteitscentrum Boerderij Oud Woelwijck
This centre for creative arts offers a course in gold embroidery, taught by Ulrike Müllners, a professional textile conservater/restorator.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Pleated and frilled headwear in the Netherlands of the Late Middle Ages
Early examples of frilled headwear.
The places where examples of frilled headwear can be found in the Netherlands. Every dot stands for one iconographic example.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Illumination from the "Trojanischen Krieg"
Manuscript: HS 998
Collection Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Germany
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I am working on a new series of experiments with frills.
Here is n°1.
fabric = bleached linen
thread count = 26x21 / cm²
with of fabric = 8 cm
length of fabric = 3 x 70 cm
length of final sample = 22 cm + 4 cm fabric left over
pleats = 6 cm wide
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
3. Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, Frankrijk, c.1475-1500, Glasgow University, MS Hunter 252, fol. 186r.
4. Liturgische kalender uit Kamerijk, 1275-1300, Den Haag, KB, 76 J 18, fol. 211v.
TRANSLATION: About two women who quarreled and ripped each others 'huvete' [= cap] away, that makes five 'marck' [=monetary unit].
TRANSLATION: Of 'huven' [=caps], that she had bought for my lady.