About This Blog

My current research obsession is centered around purses and pouches from the European Middle Ages, and the accompanying hardware and passementerie. It is my hope to not only study extant items but also learn via reconstructive experiments; these will be limited for the most part to the textile components, however in the future I hope to explore the production of the metal frames.

31 August 2009

Blue, white & gold purse finished!

Based on a late 13th century Spanish reliquary purse; KIK/IRPA object no. 43380. I designed the pattern myself, based on the portion of the extant piece that was generally intact and unobscured. See Medieval Arts & Crafts for a slightly different interpretation. I am currently working on drafting the rest of the pattern, after lots of squinting at those archival photos and a healthy dose of guesswork. I'll post that pattern soon.

Materials for this purse: 32-ct ground (cotton, I think), light blue linen lining (just something I had laying around). Embroidery worked in Kreinik silk floss (1096, 2016, 5013 & 7172).

The drawstrings were worked with pairs of individual strands of the Kreinik floss in a broad lace of 5 loops; the suspension loop with single strands in a lace piol (braids #1 and #14 in Tak v Bowes.., respectively). While I'm very happy with the quality and fineness of the suspension loop—if I may say so myself!—I do think it's proportionally too small for this purse. However, since it took me around 8 hrs to make that length of braid, I wasn't about to scrap it and start again.

The gimp thread for the turkshead knots were also made from the Kreinik floss, plied and wound around a linen core. I'm not entirely happy with the result (at this point, I was just trying to be consistent by using the same type of threads for everything), but the resulting knots are passable for my first attempts. I may replace the first two I made at a later date, since I quickly got better at tying them, and they look noticeably worse than the rest (at least to me!)

The side-stitching, as you can see, was worked in two colors. I was very happy with the result, except for the fact that I should have doubled the threads in each tablet hole; the woven band ended up being slightly too narrow for adequate coverage of the seams and some "blank space" can be seen peeking through, as well as the warp-stitches. Live and learn..


Dena Lenham said...


Racaire said...

Very very lovely!

Kathy Storm said...

This turned out very beautiful, and the finishing details are what really make it more special.

It looks like you tablet wove up one side, the split the tablets and wove across the top of the purse, then rejoined the tablets for the other side seam? That is a really cool way to do it. I once wove up one side, the kept weaving until the strap was long enough, the wove down the other side. I really like what you did. I agree that the yellow and blue cord is a bit small, but it is really pretty, nice pattern and colors.

Your work is always so nice, I hope you have more coming!

Louise Schelde said...

You are to hard on your self! This is absolutly fantastic! You have made me want to redo all my old bags so that they have tablet wowen bands up the sides and the turkish nots. At the moment I´m to affraid to put togeather my newest embroidery to a bag because I will do half as well as you!

Gina-B said...

Totally stunning!
And your first gimp turned out far better than my first gimp!

Is the silk you're using filament silk? It makes a finer covering for gimp I've found.

Tristán Z. said...

Thank you for all the compliments! :-)

Kathy: the split and rejoined tablet technique was actually Gina's suggestion (thanks Gina!). I really like how it turns out that way.

Gina: no, this is actually spun silk. Even though I do have some threads from DeVere now, I'm a bit obsessive about consistency within projects.. so I just made the gimp from leftovers of the 6-ply Kreinik stuff.

Machteld said...

These pouches are so beautiful!!!!

Nuitt said...

I am wondering if you could tell me how do you make those gorgeous tassels (especially this little round thing at the end, sorry but I don't know the exact english name) ? They're the only part of a bag that I just don't know how to make.

Unknown said...

Great blog! I love it!
Can anyone tell me where can i find how to make these knots on the purse?

Isis said...

you can find directions here: http://m-silkwork.blogspot.be/2007/05/tassels-with-turks-head-knots.html