Monday, July 13, 2015

Tassels&Co: How to do a basic tassel

I have just realised that in all the years this blog exists, I have never done a tutorial on how to make basic tassels. Of course, making a basic tassle is quite easy to do and it's something you can figure out yourself or you can find tutorials elsewhere on the internet.
However, I want to show you a little trick for quickly making multiple tassels of the same size and thread. Most extant medieval purses have at least two or three tassels, so this short-cut is really great.

Start with a good quality silk for making tassels (I prefer Devere 36 thread). Pictured are two spools of 50 metres with which we'll be making 5 tassels of about 6,5cm long.

I don't want to wind every tassel seperately trying to remember how many times I wrapped the thread around to make sure my tassels will be evenly sized. So, I'm wrapping my five tassels in one go.
To do this, we first need to know the length we need. So, for a tassel of about 6,5cms long, the total wrap circumference has to be 13cms. If we want five tassels, we need 13*5=65cms. Add a few cms extra, so that afterwards you can trim the tassels nice and even.

Normally you would wrap the thread around two fixed points, for instance glue clamps fixed to your table, but I found that my 'Woven into the earth' had exactly the circumference I needed.
When done wrapping, tightly tie a string around the wrapped threads at intervals of 13ish cms. Take the tassels-to be from the clamps or remove your book and cut through the wrapped threads right in the middle between each pair of knots.

Then you get this:

Fold your tassels. The simplest way is to do it like this:

Another method, which is preferable if you do not want the knot to show, is this. However, since most medieval tassels heads are covered by turk's head knots or other decorations, I don't bother with the second method.

To finish off, you tie a thread tightly around the body of your tassel, so that your tassel gets a head:

That's it! Making all your tassels in one go saves so much time and so much headache! Once you master making this simple tassel you are ready for some of the more advanced tassels I hope to post soon.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Thank you. I am making a large "medieval" (my own extrapolations from period images) bag for an event and was planning on tassels on the bottom three "corners" -- this helps greatly! Thanks again!

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