medieval pressing

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kate/bob
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medieval pressing

Postby kate/bob » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:21 pm

I'm hand sewing my new kirtle at the moment and it has left me wondering about how a medieval person would press the seams. Anyone know?



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:25 pm

How medieval? Early (AS and Vike) there is evidence for using a glass hemishere to press damp linen against a hard surface - e.g. a whale bone plaque - I think the best example is from the Scar find from Orkney.


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kate/bob
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby kate/bob » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:41 am

I do WoTR, but it's all interesting!

I had wondered if warmed stones were used?



guthrie
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby guthrie » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:13 pm

Glass smoothers were I understand more for finishing cloth, but I could be wrong. They were about in the late medieval period, he typed hopefully, not actually recalling where in his library the information is located.



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Colin Middleton
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:10 pm

Do the seams really need pressing? I've only ever done that on doublets, which are very close fitting and multi-layered.


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kate/bob
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby kate/bob » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:38 am

It makes a massive difference. I tried to cut corners by going from sewing the seam to whipping over the raw edges without pressing and it ended up with me taking hours of work out and starting again.

If there wasn't the equivalent of an iron, maybe people used their fingers to flatten the seam down? I've done this with linen before. Not sure how it would work with wool though



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Colin Middleton
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:37 pm

There is a picture of a medieval iron in one of our archeology books, it's basically a rectangle of lead with a handle on top. However I'd be sceptical that it was used in sewing.

Colin


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Alice the Huswyf
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Re: medieval pressing

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:10 pm

At one early Kelmarsh I needed to press a very heavy wool seam flatter for something we were making on site. Clean Iron ladle with a few embers in it, keep it moving quickly and tell the suddenly-interested to move back or let you concentrate so you don't singe the cloth.

It's a modern approach to need special 'things' to get a job done - necessity being the mother and all: court shoe heels make very convenient hammers when needed - accurate ones too, or you scar the heel leather.

Of course if you are making things up with a felled seam instead of an open one, the pressing problem doesn't arise, neatening of frayable items is accomplished as part of the process, two lines of running stitch is quicker done than one of running stitch and whipping the edge/s down and the seam is stronger.


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