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..

23 August 2009

Brickstitch purse with gold: finished!

Based on the 14th century bag in the V&A Museum's collection, object 8313-1863

Embroidery pattern adapted from A Stitch Out of Time by T. J. Mitchell (aka Richard Wymarc).

Materials: 32-count linen ground, silk (unknown remnant) lining. Embroidery worked in Kreinik silk flosses (1119, 2015, 2017), DMC linen floss, and gold passing thread.

The drawstrings were worked with pairs of individual strands of the Kreinik floss in a broad lace of 5 loops; the suspension loop with individual strands in a lace bend round (braids #1 and #25 in Tak v Bowes Departed, respectively).

The side-stitching was woven with 16 2-hole cards threaded with individual strands of the Kreinik floss.