Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finnish band- Egyptian Diagonals

Note: This pattern doesn't match exactly what's in Hansen; you can see an updated version here

White and light green silk
Pattern: Kaukola 'S' motif
Cards: 15
Width: 1cm
Length: 1.1m

I wanted to try a non-brocaded pattern at Canterbury Faire and this seemed like a pretty gentle introduction. This is the band from Kaukola mentioned on page 109 of Collingwood. It is from 11th-13th century Finland. It is covered in Hansen, pattern included. This is the first time I've tried to follow a non-brocade pattern out of Hansen. People had warned me that Hansen's patterns are not the clearest but this was my first personal encounter with them (It didn't help that I was working from the Danish version of the book). In the end I abandoned the pattern and just worked it out from the picture of the reconstruction. The pattern is only 7 tablets wide so it wasn't too hard to work out and would have been trivial if I'd done any patterns with Egyptian diagonals before. Here is my diagram of the pattern, a la Phiala's Snartemo patterns. The red and blue horizontal lines indicate flipping the cards, or changing the direction in which they turn, if that's your preference- but I think flipping them is much easier to keep track of with this sort of pattern.

Once I'd worked out what I was doing the band went quickly at about 20cm per hour. I didn't know what I was going to do with it at the time.

Near the end of the event, I was wearing my blue T-tunic. It's the oldest piece of garb I still possess (so old it's machine sewn!) and it also happens to feature my very first piece of tablet weaving. It was an 8-card chevron pattern just like I was teaching at Canterbury Faire this year, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, and consequently screwed it up quite regularly (I don't think I even had it threaded properly now I look at it). When I came to sew it on to the tunic I didn't quite have enough where the pattern wasn't a complete disaster so at the back of the neck I tried to piece the shorter better-looking pieces together. Here's a picture of the shameful result. I always do my best to cover up the back with my veil or headrail, but a comment from a certain gentle at Canterbury Faire about how she "liked the way" I had hidden the dodgy areas finally alerted me to the fact that this wasn't working very well.

The tunic is still doing fine so it now bears this new band. In terms of authenticity I'm not really sure whether a band in a technique only documented to the Baltic region is an improvement on the chevron that was there before, but it looks much prettier.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Name Change

Well, I think the time has come- the next two bands I will be writing about are not brocaded. So I've changed the name of the blog to "Adventures in Historical Tabletweaving". There will be more brocaded bands, but they probably won't be in the majority any more.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Tablet woven bands in Sakrale Gewänder des Mittelalters

Here are the details on the further tablet woven bands I found when going through Sakrale Gewänder des Mittelalters. In addition there were a few that mentioned tablet woven bands without giving any details on their composition, and many more that mentioned "gold bands" which I assume were probably tablet woven.

5. Two fragments of a cingulum (Augsburg, Diocesan Museum, late 9th century)

a) Red tablet-woven silk band with narrow, yellow-green edges. Inscription, created through different directions of the warp strands: IN NOMINE DOMINI AILBECUND VE ... VXPI (Christ) IHEV (Jesus) NOSTRI IN NOMINE DOME (Domini). The end of the band is bound with gold bands. In the middle of the band are sewn on little silver frames (5x4cm), in which under glass one finds a piece of silk (probably little bits of the sewn-on stripes from b). On the back side of the silver frame, seal impressions. Length 123.5cm, width 3.8cm. Materially and technically belonging together with Queen Hemma's girdle. German, late in the 9th century. Originally formed together with b) a cingulum or a stole. Mounting from the 16th century.

b) Silk band like a). Inscription: .OMINE DOMINI NO(stri). On this band is sewn on a narrow, tablet-woven band of red, blue, white and green warp strands with mythical animals in rectangular fields. One fragment of this stripe is bound in a silver application from a). At the end of the silk band a silver closure of the 14th century - length 35.5cm, width 3.8cm

South German, late in the 9th century. Originally formed together with a) a cingulum or a stole. Sewn-on stripes from the same time or a bit later, possibly Islamic. Mounting from the 14th century

7. Maniple of St Ulrich (Andechs, Pilgrimage church, treasury, 10th century)

Band of linen and silk, white with brown edges. Pattern: Two crosses repeat beside one another, alternatingly filled with a lion and a bird. In between leaf tendrils. In the border stripes yellow zigzag lines with axes (?). At both ends diagonal stripes of lilac silk and with knotted on silk fringe in dark violet, pink, white and brown. - Length 124cm, width 4.5cm. In a statement of the Andechser Heiltüm of 1457 a "Hand fan" of St Ulrich is included. The maniple may actually date from the 10th century. Pattern and material show similarities with a stole in St Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, that is likewise connected with the name of St Ulrich.

This is NOT the Maniple of St Ulrich with the Hand of God on it (That's the one at St Ulrich and Afra) but I assume it is tablet woven despite the description not saying so.

It's a pity there is no picture of either of these!

Catalogue of Sakrale Gewänder des Mittelalters

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, here's a list of the contents of Sakrale Gewänder des Mittelalters, in case it's of use to anyone. If anyone happens to be interested in one of the items here let me know and I'll provide the text and/or picture(s) of the item in question. It's a bit long so it's after the jump. Sorry for any oddities in the translation. Items in italics come with pictures.

While writing this up I found a few more mentions of tablet weaving, which I'll write up separately.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Viking Bobbins

As mentioned in the previous post, theses bobbins were part of the payment for the Birka 6 bands I'm making for Bjorn. They are based on an item in the Swedish Historical Museum (pictured below). In addition, they look a little like the bobbin in the picture at the end of this post, which a scene of the annunciation from a Festal Missal of Savoy (Den Haag, KB 128 D 30, fol. 37r, c. 1460).

The bobbins work well for tablet weaving, having a wide neck making them quick to wind thread onto, but a narrow profile making them easy to pass through the shed. However, lacking any notches or other way to stop them from unravelling, they do tend to unwind when in use which can be a bit annoying.