Mdieval Fingerloop Braids

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GinaB
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Mdieval Fingerloop Braids

Postby GinaB » Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:25 pm

ADVANCE NOTIFICATION

Tak v Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined
by Elizabeth Benns and Gina Barrett


Tak v bowes departed is an in-depth study of Article 4, British Library Manuscript Harley 2320. This treatise, which dates to the fifteenth century, gives instructions for making forty different braids of varying complexity.

Braids such as these were used for a variety of purposes during the medieval period; lacing clothes, purse strings, decorative trim and seal tags. This book discusses the background of the original manuscript; who may have owned it, how it was made, and compares the spelling and language with other similar documents.

Tak v bowes departed concludes with modern instructions to make each of the braids; original errors have been corrected and noted, and each braid is clearly illustrated for reference. The instructions are provided as both text and diagrams, and include a detailed overview of the technique of 'fingerloop braiding' for those new to this skill.


For further information and to order your advance copy, visit
http://www.takvbowes.co.uk



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Penny Robinson
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Postby Penny Robinson » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:23 pm

It looks great!!
I've ordered mine :D


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Vicky
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Postby Vicky » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:30 pm

Me too! :D



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Postby gregory23b » Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:39 pm

Ordered it.


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DomT
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Postby DomT » Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:12 pm

me too


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Postby Jenn R » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:29 pm

Yep and me.



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:33 pm

me as well :D

WW 8)



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GinaB
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Postby GinaB » Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:46 pm

And thanks to you all!

Do get in touch if you you need to.



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Norbury's Wench
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Postby Norbury's Wench » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:25 am

:)

Question - would these types of braids have been used in the late 14th Century? Any help please?


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DomT
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Postby DomT » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:33 am

Traditional they were used to attach aiglets too and make points, so yes!

Not yer arming points so much perhaps but certainly fancy coloured ones for posh kit.


"Sir, I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. "



"To hear one voice clearly, we must have freedom to hear them all."



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GinaB
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Postby GinaB » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:46 pm

Question - would these types of braids have been used in the late 14th Century? Any help please?


Some, yes. Although the original manuscript is from the 15th, fingerloop braids are found both earlier, and later. As a 'safe' bet, you are better to go with the plainer ones, as no-one can be really sure when a particular pattern was developed until one is found. Of those which are written down, you find that some designs from the 15th c have been replaced by others in the 17th. There is also an argument that the Harley manuscript is in itself a copy of an earlier text of about 50 years. (noted in our book).

I do have some sources of earlier braids, I will dig them out tomorrow and post what I can find.

Gina



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GinaB
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Postby GinaB » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:04 pm

as promised, a few sources
There are numerous fingerloop braids found on purses, dating from the 12th through to the 15th centuries, which can be found in Tongere: basiliek van O.L.-Vrouw geboorte, 1. Textiel van de vroege middeleeuwen tot het concilie van Trente. Publisher: Peeters Leuven 1988. I have not translated the whole of this book, so cannot say for certain which braids are used on which purse.

Museum of London Textiles and Clothing lists fingerloop braids from the second half of the 12th c through to the first half of the 15th. 5, 7 and 10 loops braids are the most common.



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Fri May 05, 2006 11:16 am

Just arrived, hurrah!



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Sophia
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Postby Sophia » Fri May 05, 2006 2:46 pm

Got my copy this morning - all I have to do now is get some cheap modern embroidery thread to try it out (not wasting good stuff until I know I can get it right). :lol:

Congratulations to both Gina and Jane and thank you for your hard work. :D

Sophia



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DomT
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Postby DomT » Fri May 05, 2006 2:46 pm

Likewisr. Arrived today.


"Sir, I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. "



"To hear one voice clearly, we must have freedom to hear them all."



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Wiblick
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Postby Wiblick » Thu May 11, 2006 12:40 pm

arrived on Monday, 8th, here in Dublin.

Lovely book.

Nervous laughter though at the thought of my making any of the braids.



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Postby Lady Cecily » Thu May 11, 2006 1:08 pm

Mine also arrived at the weekend and I too have been nervously laughing at the thought of making them.

My daughter called me a textile nerd. I am so proud.


Caroline

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Lady Phoenix
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Postby Lady Phoenix » Thu May 11, 2006 1:35 pm

My lovely book arrived on Friday, and I share the nervous laughter! I know it will all make sense once I start but other projects have got in the way just yet (knitting, sewing, new recorder, aargh so many projects!!!!!)

Nix


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Drachelis
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Postby Drachelis » Thu May 11, 2006 3:04 pm

My book arived last week too. Ming(huby) grqabbed it straight away muttering evenings, telly and points :D y :D et another skill that looks as if it will be aquired by my own personal medieval tailor's assistant. ( he already has eyelets, button loops, button holes, buttons and stitiching aiglets to cords - oh yes and has a groovy thonging tool to makes lots of leather thonging from my offcuts)

When we are in a rush to get a graments out we have been known to sit side bye side , him doing one row of eyelets and me doing the other. aren't husbands wonderful? :D ( well he will be when he finishes getting all the images up on the web site)


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GinaB
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Postby GinaB » Mon May 15, 2006 12:10 am

Very glad to hear they are arriving safely.

Nervous laughter though at the thought of my making any of the braids.


Please don't be daunted!
If anyone still is by August, please remember Elizabeth and I will be at Bosworth, and will be happy to help out.

him doing one row of eyelets and me doing the other. aren't husbands wonderful?

Well, mine managed to learn the braiding so that we could test the two-person ones, so they can't be that bad! :wink:



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Sophia
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Postby Sophia » Sat May 20, 2006 10:33 pm

Completed my first 5 loop round braid this morning after a couple of first starts. Tension a bit patchy but sure will improve with practice. Going to try thin 5 loop braid next. :D

Currently using spun silk 3 ply type yarn (laceweight) but hope to eventually move onto filament silk given time.

Gina - Can you recommend a source for reasonably priced pre-plyed and dyed filament silk?

Also threatening Hubby with learning to braid as dying to try some of the two person patterns :twisted:

Will admit he was very helpful when I got myself tied in knots trying to set up this am. :wink:

Go ahead and have a go

Sophia



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Postby GinaB » Sun May 21, 2006 3:02 pm

Hi Sophia,

A good company for filament silk is DeVere's http://www.devereyarns.co.uk/

Their 1200 and 1440 (low twist) denier weights are similar to embroidery cotton (the whole six strands) and they have a really wide range of colours. It is easier to begin with one of these slightly heavier weights.

If you want to be able to do finer braids than these threads result in (for instance fine purse strings or even finer rosary strings), the 120 denier floss is the best to use. As it is floss, you can increase the ply by simply preparing more loops, to build up to the weight you need. For instance, an 8-ply, 5 loop braid would require 40 loops to be warped up. Then just put 8 of these loops onto each finger as directed. The first two or three repeat moves can be a little slower, but then the threads twist as you work and you end up with only one loop on each finger. Using the 120 is actually more economical in most cases as well.

I'd avoid any of the ones labeled 'high twist' as highly twisted silk isn't really seen on extant fingerloop laces (there probably is some out there, i just haven't seen them yet!).

Also threatening Hubby with learning to braid as dying to try some of the two person patterns


Yes, my hubby was roped into it as well. And without having done any of the single person braids himself, but managed quite well!

With the two person braids, most are actually quite straightforward if the more experienced braider is 'Self'. On some, the 'Partner's' moves are quite simple, and like dancing, one person 'leads'.

I hopet hat helps!
Gina



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Sophia
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Postby Sophia » Mon May 22, 2006 9:36 pm

Thanks Gina - I shall get a shade card and plan my shopping carefully :lol:

BTW managed a short length of 5 loop thin braid with a few kinks in this pm BUT 7 loop braid (single colour) defeated me. It came out roundish and even when flattened doesn't match your illustration. Think I know what is wrong so will try again. :)

Finally - you give all the instructions for starting, but I haven't yet found any for finishing. These may not have been given in original MS of course, but can you recommend for the modern practitioner?

Sophia :wink:



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GinaB
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Postby GinaB » Tue May 23, 2006 5:19 pm

Hi Sophia!

BUT 7 loop braid (single colour) defeated me. It came out roundish and even when flattened doesn't match your illustration. Think I know what is wrong so will try again.


This one is a bit tougher - firstly because as you create it is 'folded' which can make you think its all going wrong! But the tension is quite important with the 7 loop ones or they spread apart oddly. But this one makes a lovely necklace ribbon.... :wink:

Finally - you give all the instructions for starting, but I haven't yet found any for finishing. These may not have been given in original MS of course, but can you recommend for the modern practitioner?


Neither starting or finishing knots are included in the ms, but of course starting is so important to avoid feeling like its never going to work! And some of the complicated ones won't without first securing the threads.

The easiest way - a simple knot. (which then makes a great foundation for a tassel!) The strongest - another constrictor knot as you began with, but this can be tricky to do until you're more practised.

A neat way is to cut one loop, about a quarter down. Wrap the longer length around all of the other loops (including the short edge from the cut loop) and tuck it into itself. Do this again, but with the second wrap above the first. Tighten. This won't hold forever, but is nicely smooth if you want to add aiglets to your braids.

(If that description doesn't make sense, let me know!)

If you are using the braid to string beads onto, I'd dip the end into beewax (or glue, you can cut it off later) which will keep the braid together, and give a smooth end for threading. All of the knotting methods will make stringing really difficult, unless the holes are alot larger than the braid. You can then decide on the finish afterwards. (This method also works for finishing with aiglets.

And, if you are using them as trim, you'll probably also find that you don't want any form of finishing, and will remove the constrictor knot from the beginning as well, as they will interfere when you are sewing a braid into place.

I hope that's helped!
Gina



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Wed May 24, 2006 5:46 am

Yay, my first finger braid, I'm so proud! Really quick too (although the tension is a bit dodgy).

Is it me though, or are the diagrams for braid 5 (the double one) the same as the diagrams for braid 2?

The instructions are for an unreversed pickup, the diagrams for a reversed one.

It's possible I'm losing it, it's very early! (Baby woke up at 4.30 and wanted to play).



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GinaB
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Postby GinaB » Wed May 24, 2006 10:28 am

Thank you JC - you are right, steps 1 and 3 in the diagram are incorrect (the text is correct however).
:oops:

When the book went to print we were told by a very experienced author,"there is not one book that has ever been published that is error-free. All you can do is hope that yours has as few as possible!" - wise words indeed!

Corrected version below (the site reduces this somewhat - a larger version should anyone want to print it out can be found at http://takvbowes.et-tu.com/errata.htm)
Attachments
no5correction.gif
Corrected diagram, pg 45



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Wed May 24, 2006 12:38 pm

Thankyou ever so much for the email too, much appreciated :)

Absolutely true about no such thing as error free.

Now I've started making the braids, the book is lovely and clear, so here's an extra thankyou 8)




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