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Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 2:18 pm
by The Admiral
I was wondering if anyone can help - I've had a go at making the points for my OH's doublet (with leather thonging and the metal ends (I forget what they're called), but they don't seem to last very long. Does anyone know where I could buy some ready made ones. I've found some at Black Swan Designs in the States, but they have a minimum order cost to post overseas - so is there anyone who makes them in this country??

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 2:26 pm
by Nigel
Willow is the man in Clarences

he makes top banana ones they even hold strong for me

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:27 pm
by John Waller
Metal ends are aiglets (perm any number of spellings) or sometimes called points on their own or lace chapes. As they were made by chape makers.

I can supply aiglets in brass or tin with or without rivets. Don't do completed points as yet - watch this space. Hopefully soon may be able to supply gold plated aiglets.

As Nige says Willow's points have a very good reputation.

When you say yours don't last what do you mean? What's the problem? Aiglets dropping off or the lace snapping?

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 5:55 pm
by The Admiral
Thanks for the responses - does anyone know how I can contact 'Willow' as he seems to be the man who can!!

My aiglets are the problem they don't stay on for very long :oops:

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 5:59 pm
by gregory23b
TA have you attached them with pins? or just glued them on?

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 6:05 pm
by The Admiral
Sewed would you believe - but my sewing skills are somewhat lacking!

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 6:08 pm
by gregory23b
smooth the holes in the points to reduce abrasion or better thread, or use small pins to hold them on, (weeny nails effectively).

Gary Smedlee makes lovely points, I have some that I have borrowed off a friend, the b**ger will most likely want them back this weekend, grrr too nice.

Alternatively you could learn to finger braid and make yourself a ready supply of line ones...

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:24 pm
by Vicky
gregory23b wrote:Gary Smedlee makes lovely points, I have some that I have borrowed off a friend, the b**ger will most likely want them back this weekend, grrr too nice.

Indeed he will, Jorge! :roll:

PM me if you want Gary's email - though he is likely to have a long waiting list. Likewise, I can send you Willo's contact.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:48 pm
by gregory23b
But my hose will fall down.

ok send me Willo's contacts damn you

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:13 am
by Lady Phoenix
Just wanted to say I recently bought some of John Waller's aiglets, and they are top banana :D


Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:24 am
by Nigel
As well as Willo I bought some silk luccetted ones from a lady who used to be in Fauconbergs is now in Savilles dont recall the name though

These are indestructable even by me

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:32 am
by John Waller
As Jorge alludes aiglets were usually fixed to the lace using a small soft iron rivet. Many are excavated with the rivet still in place though the lace has rotted away. They may have been sewn on as well, it seems probable, but I would like to see evidence for stitching from surviving points if anyone knows of any.
Fixing with rivets is a fiddly technique but when you get it right is very strong. The MOL book on dress accessories notes that many excavated rivets show faceting at the ends and discusses how this might have been done and why, including the possibility of some sort of tool being used to 'crimp' the aiglet to the lace.
Many recommend a belt and braces approach and use glue as well as stitching / rivet.
I have been unable to source iron rivets so far but can supply 1/32" (.8mm) diameter round headed brass rivets which work very well.

PS. I have noted aiglets for sale at markets recently cut with a zig-zag top. They look great, but is there a historical precedence for this style? Or are they as inaccurate as those sold made from solid brass tube? Or, God forbid, those gastly modern ones sold by haberdashers and much loved by the SK. (OK I have some on my old buff coat but I never wear it these days. Much.)

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 11:52 am
by Shadowcat

According to Ruth Singer of Soper Lane, lucet braids were not in use before the 16th century. The comment came in a private conversation after a lecture, when I explained that my 1469 houppelande was laced with a lucetted cord from Annie the Pedlar, and Ruth winced. So although it is strong enough to lace me in (and I need all the help I can get) apparently I am wrong to wear it!! (But I can't afford a braided one from GinaB - waah!)


Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 12:46 pm
by Nigel

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 1:13 pm
by Sophia
I have heard the comment about lucet not being correct before. For the moment I am continuing to use it until have perfected my fingerbraiding technique.

Having now thoroughly read "Tak V Bowes" I am confident that the simpler ones are manageable. :D

On the points issue I have found that the rivetted leather points sold by Lindy Pickard (Cloth Hall) are excellent for Peter's everyday garb. When I have time and have done some for me I will do him some posh ones. :lol:

I have experimented with rivetting my lucet points and can report that very fine brass panel pins are a good source for the rivet wire and cheap. :wink:


Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 2:09 pm
by Nigel
Lindy stocks willos I beleive

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 6:34 pm
by gregory23b
But there are lucets dug up in Beverly that date to the 13thC

thanks John, that was the word I was looking for and didn't find.

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 7:41 pm
by Shadowcat
All I know is what I was told by a lady who is researching narrow wares. Maybe GinaB would care to comment, as Ruth and she are both members of Soper Lane. (London's silk women.)


Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 9:56 pm
by nickthegreek
Hi All,
could i get their contact details as well please. As I will have my doublet finished in a couple of weeks, and will be needing some points.

Many thanks,

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:05 pm
by gregory23b
I know they are, I know Ruth, but the Beverley dig in about 1990 threw up loads of stuff, one of which was described as a lucet.

A sheep metacarpal apparently, pronged and late 12th early 13th, you are right though I should pass it on to them for their consideration.

I have no axe to grind on the subject, for what it is worth I only heard of a lucet last year (a returnee and not my subject really) as not being late medieval but found reference to one that was - apparently, hence the mention.

Also the dig was centred around the dyers' quarter which also threw up loads of info on that.

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 8:50 am
by John Waller
A bone artefact that has been interpreted as 'possibly a lucet' has been found in a viking context. It could however be a double pronged nose-picker.

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:29 am
by GinaB
Thanks Gregory for giving me the heads-up in on this topic.

Way back in 2002 I wrote a small article regarding the lucet and its use in the 15th century. You can find it at the Soper Lane site - (Or click Research - Laces - then article heading). The following will be a shortened version!

What Ruth should have said was there is no real evidence for its use in the 15th century - However, to sum up my small article - there does seem to be some evidence before (tools which could be), and the actual term (and it being fashionable to use) happens later. This could imply that its use continued through the period for which we have no evidence.

The real problem, and one which occurs all of the time with narrow wares, is that the majority which survive are not analysed for their technique. Usually, a description is simply 'a silk braid', a 'wool braid', etc. This means that until every one is, no-one can say with certainty what technique was, or wasn't used.

This brings on another point when discussing the lucet cord. If you were to make a lucet cord, a round lace of 5 loops, and an 8 strand plait, of the same weight thread, you would see that the structure appears very similar in all three. In fact, if the ends were encased (such as in an aiglet, or a tassel, etc) and the item had aged, anyone would be very hard pressed to be be able to identify the technique used without actually taking apart the item - and of course that isn't going to happen. So, there could be purse strings for instance, which use the lucet technique, but are to precious to cut apart!

To that end, using a lucet braid on your kirtle - with the ends nicely encased in aiglets - will look (and possibly be) totally accurate. But, using the tool at 14c or 15c events, therefore implying it is an everyday item in a work-boxof the period, should, in my opinion, be avoided. That will then avoid confusion with Mops.

I believe that research such as this should always be classed as on-going. I can remember beginning re-enactment and being told that only the Vikings used multi-coloured fingerloop braids, but never in the 15c...

I hope this has helped a bit. Any other references to possible lucets closer to the 15c would be greatly appreciated.


Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:36 am
by Shadowcat

Thanks for the timely clarification. I'm giving a talk tomorrow (to the same people as Ruth!!) and will be demonstrating my medieval (1460's ) costume, laced with a lucet cord and finished with aglets. So I can make the point that you do, with permission of course. I will also be showing the blue belt you made for me at the same talk (so you know who I am!)

And thanks Gregory for mentioning the finds so the topic could be opened up. It's never safe to say never in our business, and I should have known better, even if I was quoting!


Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 11:04 am
by GinaB
So I can make the point that you do, with permission of course. I will also be showing the blue belt you made for me at the same talk (so you know who I am!)

Yes, do please use it!

Aha, its nice to know who you are! Will you be at the Study Day in June by any chance? it would be nice to meet....

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 11:36 am
by Sophia
Do I hear rumours of a Study Day in the Costume field - what organisation and what subject.

Keen beginner here :D


Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 11:46 am
by gregory23b
Pleasure, SC I will send you a copy of the article/description if you pm me some details.

I have a braid that I finger-looped some 13 years ago, for attaching to my pen case that I brought it out of retirement over a year ago and early last year someone said 'ah that is a lucet braid' I didn't have a clue what she was on about, I just said I did it with my fingers...and they raised their eyebrows - which kind of proves Gina's point (excuse the pun) as no endings were visible.

Nice to learn new things, got to re-learn the round braid...arrgh

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 12:41 pm
by Shadowcat
Gregory23b have pm'd you.

Gina, I have a feeling I am in the U.S. in June - more details please.

Sophia, I am giving a talk to the Richard lll Society tomorrow (20th May) on researching medieval costume. I am sure you would be welcome as my guest. PM me for details.


Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 3:51 pm
by GinaB
hi all,
What I mentioned to isn't costume - but is the Richard III Society, which I correctly guessed who Shadowcat was referring to! :-)

The East Midland branch of RIII is having a study day on the 10th June - "Women of Power and Influence during the Wars of the Roses" with numerous speakers, and all looks/sounds very interesting.

The closing date for tickets was the 10th of May, however, if anyone is interested I can send you the email address of the organiser if you want to check available places, just pm me.

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 9:48 pm
by Shadowcat
Ah, that is a great series of talks - done at York a couple of years ago - well worth a visit. I, unfortunately, will be at the Colchester Oyster Fayre! Gina, we will meet one day, honest!!


Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:28 pm
by Lena
Shadowcat wrote:And thanks Gregory for mentioning the finds so the topic could be opened up. It's never safe to say never in our business, and I should have known better, even if I was quoting!

"Lucet" bones (there have been heated arguements whether these bones were made for 'luceting' (?) or some other craft on viking mailing lists) are not _that_ uncommon artefacts. But as one usually have to go through a lot of excavation reports to find them, I'm not surprised they are less well known.

Anyway, the point of this: I googled and found these (IIRC from Sigtuna, a medieval town not far from Stockholm). Tinbl-bein is the swedish name for them, after a find from Lund which had 'tinbl bein' carved into it in runes.
More info on tinbl-bein finds here Scroll down to the English bit, or use Babelfish for the swedish and danish parts.