Teleri (telerib) wrote,

Brocading and Embroidering

It's just an artsapalooza around here!

I'm making new, bigger garb for Spud in advance of Sapphire Joust. The Beautiful Failure tunic is too huge (but I can hem it or cut it down), sports two decorative buttons where they'd interfere with his car seat straps, and has the first embroidery I've ever done on garb. Nothing fancy, just some chain stitch vines. Difficulty: I did them on the yoke, after it was sewn down, so the reverse of the embroidery will be against the skin. We are going to do a "test wearing" around the house to see if it's uncomfortable or scratchy for him.

I found online an older article on gold brocaded Anglo-Saxon woven bands (Crowfoot and Hawkes). They sounded beautiful, so I decided to try making one. I picked one of the simpler designs which could be done on on a band seven strings wide. I bought some red pearl cotton and some gold "stuff," not the super-shiny mylar, but something thread-like.

First, I originally miscounted and warped up eight wide instead of seven. Okay, better than the other way around, right? Got back into the tablet-weaving groove pretty quickly, turned out several inches of neat red band. Then I picked up needle and gold thread and tried brocading.

There was a lot of fail. Hard to get the gold threads to tamp down, too much space between the very narrow threads. Very hard to just put the thread in the right places - spacers between the tablets might have helped.

I tried a little post-weaving brocading, as the authors suggested might have been done. There's still the problem with each "stitch" of the band being 3-5 times wider than the gold thread. I can get a nice 'hint of gold' effect, but not the pretty, clear geometric designs from the paper.

Now the plan is to finish a plain red band and figure out what to do with it later. A thicker gold thread might help.
Tags: sca
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