måndag 22 februari 2016

Embroidery craziness begun

As you may recall I got enthusiastic about patterned 13th century clothes a month ago. One of my absolute favourites was this image:

End of the 13th century 
France Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire 
U 964 - Biblia Porta fol. 240r

While it is likely that most of the striped garments of the 13th century had woven stripes I thought that maybe, just maybe, when there was just one stripe, or a few, but placed at uneven intervals, as on the man's tunic, they might be embroidered. Or applied from another fabric, but I'm going with the embroidery theory here ;) Since her stripe has the same background colour as the rest of the gown.

So, I have started the embrodiery. In chain stitch, which isn't typical of the period, but my split stitch doesn't produce half as nice results.

There will two double stripes like this, maybe 10-12 cm apart, and then something inside that, haven't made up my mind yet. But fleur-de-lys are always nice. Like Edward the Confessor. Whose tunic surely is made from patterned silk.

Edward the Confessor, from "Life of Edward the Confessor" 

I am also justifying the embroidery with the fact that embroidery on wool was rather common for interior decoration. Imitiating the patterns of brocaded silks in a cheaper technique is at least palusible, especially since we know that brocades were imitated in other ways, such as printing. Though probably mostly for interior decaration purposes, since the paint would have made the fabric stiff. The preserved printed fabrics are either on linen or silk (or printed cottons from India, but I'm talking about European production here), I have not seen printed wool fabrics mentioned before the 18th cnetury, but I would love if anyone of you have found it somewhere earlier - it really isn't my area of expertise.

Also, since we know of embroidered bands at the hem, it wouldn't be so far fetched to make one a bit higher up.

But, as as said before, most were undoubtly woven, in the first link above you find several preserved examples, and there are also lots of documents from medieval Flanders dealing with the production of striped cloth.

5 kommentarer:

  1. Embroidery seems like a good choice!
    Have you seen Ingegerd Henschen's "Tygtryck i Sverige 1 - före 1700"? She doesn't seem to mention any evidence of printing on wool (other than a possible wax print found in Crimea, see page 40), but in case you haven't read it, you might still find it interesting. It mostly covers the medieval era and renaissance, including discussions of "säter"/"säterverk" and printing as a basis for embroidery. She mentions that chapter 173 in Cennino Cennini's "Trattato der pintura" (early 15th century) covers fabric printing, and that he says it's used for children's clothes and in churches (Henschen page 66). Most of the early printed textiles have been found in Germany, apparently.

  2. Oooh, I haven't seen that one. Thanks. I know of the printed linen from Germnay, of course, but not printed wool. The reference to the 18th century I found in Kjellberg's "Ull och ylle".

  3. Sorry if this is a double post - Preview messed it up.

    I've only read bits and parts of Kjellberg's book; there's lot's of information there! Berch's collection has some 18th century printed samples that are just labelled "flannel"; presumably the "culgeed flannel" described in "Textiles in America", which was also called "golgas", (apparently produced from 1680 and on, http://runeberg.org/uppfinn/5/0544.html). And if a printed fabric hides behind an non-descriptive name like "golgas" in the 18th century, I'm thinking that possibly there might be other fabric names in earlier centuries that eventually turn out to have referred to printed fabrics. It'll be interesting to see if some serendipitous find of a textile researcher will spread light on this in the future.

    1. Kjellberg is an amazing book. And bound in wool fabric :)

  4. Yes, it's great both inside and out. :-)