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Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:38 pm
by zauberdachs
Hi everyone, i'm looking for ether information on how to make Braiding for the edge of costumes or somewhere i can purchase such items. :?:

Period wise? Dark age or medieval... but I'd be interested in any general info also :)


Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:33 pm
by craig1459
Tablet weaving's your best bet. I want to have a crack at it but it looks a bit fiddly and complicated for me :lol:

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:41 pm
by Lena
Phiala' string page is quite good and covers many things.

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:26 pm
by Vicky
See Soper Lane. Fabulous stuff!

Mainly 15thC, but worth asking as they know a lot more!

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:29 am
by Uncle Bulgaria
Craig 1459 if tablet weaving seems a little too complicated, start with heddle weaving. Much easier to learn the basic of warp and weft and how it all works. It make understanding tablet weaving a lot easier after that.

zauberdachs, try contacting the Mulberry Dyer at they should be able to give you info where needed and direct you to various people. They are however, a great source for naturally dyed linens, wools and silks.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:40 am
by Heloise
You could also try finger loop braiding - this is very easy when you get the hang of it and you can produce lengths of braid very quickly (minutes rather than hours).
try for instructions.
If you wanted to buy tablet weave (which is never that cheap from anyone as it takes so long to make, I guess), Herts fabrics always seem to be selling whenever I see their stall at markets.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:01 pm
by WorkMonkey


Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:27 pm
by Gracie Tyller
Hi Zauberdachs,
I can make you some tablet woven braids but I'm afraid they will cost you a bit more than £5 a metre. Mine are in pure silk and dyed with natural dyestuffs. A simple pattern will work out cheaper than something with words written in it.
Anyway, let me know if you are interesed and we can talk in further detail.
If not, then good luck with learning how to tablet weave {:o))

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:34 pm
by craig1459
Thanks for the tip Unc - what is heddle weaving?

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:50 pm
by Uncle Bulgaria
Heddle weaving is basically normal warp and weft weaving but without the loom! Don't panic it's not that bad really.

A Heddle is a block made up out of series of slats, each slat has a whole in the middle. The threads are placed through the whole and the gaps between the slats in the order of your pattern and then you seperate the thread through the wholes and those through the slats and take the weft thread through the gap. Next time turn heddle upsaide down, separate and thread again.

Complicated to explain, sorry it's just a natural thing with me now. A know the couple were selling them at the fayre (sorry don't know names) but they had all different sizes.

This has probably been nooooooooo help and just added to the confusion :oops: but it is easier than tablet weaving as a starting point though :lol:

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:21 pm
by craig1459
Hi Unc
Thanks for that - yes I know exactly what you mean. I think remember the couple selling them as well because sara1459 bought some wool from them - Tinctoria

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:52 am
by Tuppence
The usual price for tablet weave (up to about an inch wide - wider will be more) is around 2.50 - 4.00 per foot, depending on the complexity of the pattern. That should cover wools and silks, either chemical or natural dyes, (depending who's doing it and what their costs are).

Inkle is cheaper, but depends on precisely what date, as it's later than tablet.

Also depending on the date, a simple contrast colour in a plain or patterned fabric is another way of decorating.

Fingerloop braid is a v. good one that's not used nearly enough, (there are quite a few different types, usually based on plaiting, and early forms of crochet).

Embroidery is another way of decorating that's not seen on repros nearly often enough.

Generally speaking, the type of decoration, and how much would depend a lot on your social rank - if lower it's better to keep to the simpler, and quicker to make types, if higher then better to use the more costly ones.

Tanya (contactable via John Watson of shields and shoes) does decent, not overly priced tablet to order.
The Goodmans ( sell very good inkle by Julie Rutter.
Herts Fabrics do sell tablet quite cheaply, but it always looks a bit too coarse to me, and in strange colours (but then I'm v. picky).

Am sure the Quartermasterie (who do the ORM) also sell tablet or inkle sometimes (forget which - may be both).

The Soper Lane women seriously know their stuff.

For fingerloop you're pretty much gonna have to do it yourself (unless you can persuade a friend).

Embroidery is availabe from assorted people, by hand and (arrgh) by machine. Obviously embroidery can be expensive, as it's ridiculously time consuming (she says having just spent two and a half days on two livery badges, and they're not done yet :cry: )


Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:44 pm
by mally ley
Miel and TJ trading as Excaliba were selling heddles at NLHF (on the same corner as Phoebe @ Tinctora) they also sell tablets, inkle looms braids and cords made in several different ways.

As a matter of interest - is it possible to tell the difference between a braid made on an inkle loom, box loom or fixed heddle? I know tablet stuff can be told apart, but once removed from whatever contraption was used for production how can you tell the difference :?:

TJ, I and a couple of others whiled away a couple of afternoons at Kentwell this summer making 15 loop fingerbraids - 3 people with 5 loops each and an extra to act as a beater and to pick up dropped loops. It produced a wonderfully thick braid, and was an interesting experiment. The 3 with the loops needed to work as similar speeds to get a decent rhythm going as loops needed to be passed back and forward. I'm working on an American army style chant to keep us all in synch (like the marching ones!) next time we have a go :!:

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:15 pm
by Annie the Pedlar
And me. £1 a foot, so.....thinks, brain hurts....that's about £3 a metre.
Mine are wool (natural dyes) or linen (commercially dyed).
Inkle (same as tabby/heddle/ ordinary weaving), finger looped, lucetted or tablet woven(but only on good days when I haven't got 'flu).
Achoo Annie

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:36 am
by Annie the Pedlar
Whisper - Herts Fabrics get their inkle braids from Alkanet who buys her wool from charity shops - that's how she keeps the price down, that and weaving a little more loosely than most of us do, and using thicker wool.
You do need to pick carefully through her braids to find natural dye look alikes.
On the other hand they make strong belts, bag handles and back pack straps.
And at £10 for 6? 9? feet I thinks they are the cheapest I've come across.

Apart from falling in love with a maid at Kentwell where they are often given to fellows as a token of affection........ :oops:

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:09 pm
by frances
I've had a belt made for me by Tanya and I love it - good quality wool in awfentic colours and a design chosen by me from a wide range she offers.

On the other hand another way to decorate the edge of your outfit is to buy commercially made stuff that looks OK at a distance. Depends entirely upon your level of authenticity. Where can you get such stuff from? try

HI Annie - you missed a very good weekend at the Medieval Textile people talking about using gold thread in brocades and edgings. Some of the fabrics were most impressive.

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:42 pm
by Annie the Pedlar
I know! Spit, stamp and have a tantrum! Why can't I be in 2 places at once!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:26 pm
by zauberdachs
WorkMonkey wrote:I bought mine 5 squid a meter from ... braids.htm
There email address doesn't appear to work, how did you get in touch with them?

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:28 pm
by WorkMonkey

He has it down as on one page, and on the other, it's the yahoo one you want, I did point it out to him 2 months ago but he still hasn't changed it.


Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:59 am
by Gracie Tyller
Annie the Pedlar wrote:And me. £1 a foot, so.....thinks, brain hurts....that's about £3 a metre.
Mine are wool (natural dyes) or linen (commercially dyed).
Inkle (same as tabby/heddle/ ordinary weaving), finger looped, lucetted or tablet woven(but only on good days when I haven't got 'flu).
Achoo Annie
Annie, is that price for tablet weaving or finger braid? I've got a bit confused with it all!!!

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:48 am
by Annie the Pedlar
Hi Gracie - its the price of any of my of my braids up to 1" wide.
When I'm selling as a pedlar I have to hold all the prices in my head and everything is tied into the exchange rate of 50p =1 Tudor penny so if you buy a cord made with slippy yarn that got made really quickly, you are being diddled and if you buy a tablet woven braid made out of sticky wool that took me days you are getting a bargain, but for me it all evens out in the end - and remembering the price doesn't make my brain hurt :wink:

Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:49 pm
by Braidwoman
A really good instruction manual for loop-manipulated braiding is number 102 of The Compleat Anachronist series, published by the SCA. It's really well done, they've gone back to the original 15th and 17th century manuscripts, and produced a really easy-to understand notation. There's a wide variety of braids including two person ones and the notorious three-person Catherine Wheel, which must have started a lot of medieval punch-ups. There's also a section on making and attaching aiglets. The wonderful Soper Lane ladies also produce a good booklet, but with fewer braids.

For the sadly obsessive about loop-manipulated braiding (who, me?) there's an annual newsletter on

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:33 pm
by Type16
Give Gracie Tyller (forum member) a PM.
She can most certainly advise & assist you & likely supply if necessary.

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:57 pm
by Penny Robinson
I have a couple of Gracie's braids and they are fantastic. I have put in an order for a nice hand dyed silk one now and even though I told her there's no rush as it's for next season- I want it now!!!! :D :wink:

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:53 pm
by Gracie Tyller
Penny Robinson wrote:I have a couple of Gracie's braids and they are fantastic. I have put in an order for a nice hand dyed silk one now and even though I told her there's no rush as it's for next season- I want it now!!!! :D :wink:
OK Penny, stop stamping your feet :lol:
As soon as Christmas is over I'll start working on it for you.

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:57 pm
by Penny Robinson
Huzzah!!! :D

(my feet are stilled.......ish......) :wink:

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:13 pm
by Braidwoman
I've just discovered that the SCA publication I mentioned in my posting of Nov 23rd can be found in its entirity on
which is incredibly generous of them!

Even better than that, they have also put on the website the transcript of two original 17th century sources, one well-known (the Bindloss manuscript) and another that I don't think I have come across before, but which has dozens and dozens of instructions, just as they were written, and apparently not so far interpreted by anyone.

So all you need to do is take twelve bowes in the selfe manner departed, and in the selfe manner set on thy hands and on thy fellows, as in the cowpen covert of twelve bowes, save in this the colour that is above on your right hands shall be beneath on your left hands, and in the same manner shall you work as in the cowpen covert of twelve bowes save the bowes shall never be reversed


That should keep everyone busy until the new season!

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:41 pm
by Jenn R
Oooh thanks for that link.

If I might pick your brains, I want to make some silk braids, where do I get the silk from? Is embroidery silk OK to use?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:45 pm
by Penny Robinson
Jenny, embroidery silk is not real silk, its mostly cotton. You can get some really nice filament silk from DeVere's or Gaddums. I'm not sure of the web site, but they are both online and a search should bring them up. I'll see if I can find them fot you.................

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:47 pm
by Penny Robinson