Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pouch Trim

Warp: Perle cotton
Weft: DMC embroidery cotton
Brocade: Kreinik jap
Pattern:
15ht century chasuble neckine, Braunschweig (EPAC p. 137)
Cards: 15
Width: 1.3mm
Length: Approx. 40 cm
What's new: Cotton ground, Kreinik jap brocade. No reversal of card turn direction.

This was just a "filler" project while I waited for the materials for my next plans to arrive. The pouch is of green wool with perle cotton lucet cord strings. Perle cotton is not a period material for brocaded tablet weaving but it is a good stand-in for silk for the cheap of heart (actually, the silk I'm using is cheaper by the metre than the perle cotton, but you have to buy twenty times as much). I used the leftovers from the lucet cord for the warp. I think it is DMC perle cotton #8, which is quite a thick thread. The brocade is Kreinik jap. For most of it I used a double thickness of #5, which is pretty thin, but near the end I ran out and switched to a single thickness of #12, which has a pretty similar effect.

I got the pattern from EPAC. It is from the band of a neckline of a 15th century chasuble. The original changes the orientation of the diagonals now and then, but I don't like the effect very much so I just kept going in the same direction all the way along.The weaving went alarmingly fast after the experience with a linen warp. I decided to do the whole thing without changing the direction the cards were turning, although I don't think this made any significant difference to the end result. Speaking of the end result, it is pretty striking. And by striking I mean garish. This is probably an inevitability when your warp is pink, but I also think the gold jap looks quite a bit tackier than the Anchor silver lame. I don't know whether that's a modern sensibilities thing or whether it's just unnaturally shiny.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cuffs on Linen Tunic

Warp: Linen
Weft: Linen
Brocade: Spun silver
Pattern:
Birka 21
Cards: 17
Width: 1cm
Length: Approx. 70cm
What's new: Linen warp

Coloured linen tunics are pretty iffy for the 12th century, but they're cool, so I wear them anyway. Likewise it's probably a bit early for linen tabletweaving, but I wanted to give weaving with a linen warp a go. I had a light brown linen tunic that was as yet unadorned.

The pattern I used was another one from Egon Hansen's Tabletweaving. It is a simplified version of Birka 21. The fylfots are omitted, although honestly I don't think anyone would have noticed if I'd included them, and there are only two scrolly things between each repeat of the tooth motif.

The ground warp and weft are both green DMC embroidery linen. The brocade weft is (again) Anchor silver lame.(The pattern doesn't exactly leap out at you on the band but this photo isn't helping)

I'd been reliably informed it wouldn't be a pleasant experience, because linen breaks very easily under tension. And yep, it isn't much fun. The first thread broke when I was about 4cm in and then they just kept breaking. Here's a picture showing all the broken warp threads sticking out the sides (it's especially bad on the left there, which is where I stopped):It isn't too hard to replace a broken thread. The part of the thread closest to the weaving I draw through the shed and out to the side. Then I thread a new length of the thread through the appropriate card and (using a needle) up into the weaving about where the original thread came out, and through the band a way and out the back where I tie it off. Then I peg the cards up and untie the other end of the warp, pull out the other end of the broken thread, add the new thread and tie it back up.

It does really cut into your progress when it starts happening regularly. Also, the newly added thread doesn't have the same twist in it that the ones that have been there all along have, so you can't just turn the cards the same number of times forward as back to end up with the warp untwisted. After a while you can start re-using the broken warp threads again (they almost always break between the cards and the weaving) but nevertheless you go through the thread you're using for the warp pretty quickly, which is more depressing than actually having to replace the broken threads.

In the end I had to stop sooner than I wanted too, just because I ran out of linen for the warp. I had been intending to do collar trim for the tunic as well as cuffs but in the end there wasn't enough.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Birka 2

Warp: Silk
Weft: Linen
Brocade: Spun silver
Pattern: Birka 2
Cards: 17
Width: 10mm
Length: 114cm
What's new: Doubled-up spun silver brocade, linen weft

This project is for my friend Iarnulfr, in return for a chest he made at Canterbury Faire. Originally it was for the cuffs and collar of his brown Russ coat, but when coat and trim were finally in the same place it was determined that the colours clashed so its final purpose is now unknown.

The pattern is Birka 2 (chosen by Iarnulfr). I got it out of "Tablet Weaving" by Egon Hansen. Iarnulf wanted the ground to be red, so I dyed some of my white silk red with Dylon- unsurprisingly it turned out sort of orange. The brocade weft is two strands of Anchor lame silver thread, which is basically a very fine jap. The original Birka bands used drawn silver, but I don't have any, so the jap will have to do.

The weaving went very smoothly although again there was a fair bit of variation in the band width.