Tent Hangings

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Sophia
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Tent Hangings

Postby Sophia » Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:15 pm

I want to make some hangings to go inside our Past Tent, both to divide the tent into different spaces and to provide additional insulation for start and end of season events.

I know how much fabric I need, but am not sure of what type of fabric I should use. I would be grateful for advice and suggestions from those with more experience.

A good degree of authenticity is required so here are background details: We are part of Hope's Artillery for some shows, at others I am a travelling seamstress and Peter is my husband/bodyguard. The tent is a Past Tents Campaign tent furnished with a truckle type small double bed and various chests. External furniture is a trestle table a couple of stools and a small firebox. An awning is pending.

Looking forward to peoples comments.

Sophia :D

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Postby seamsmistress » Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:46 pm

Hi

From your last post [crewel] you mention WOTR & travelling seamstress/Kentwell, so going back to the earliest, the hangings should have a base of close weave natural linen. No reason why early embroideries/furnishings wouldn't be used in later periods as they had real value. There are quite a few embroidery techniques that can be applied to the date aswell, cross stitch, counted -thread and drawn thread work, applique, couched work and more. Very wealthy might have used other fabrics as a base [velvet, silk].

A really useful book on the subject is Medieval Craftsmen, Embroiderers. Kay Stanisland. Publisher British Museum Press.

Hope that helps.



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Postby dragonskie2000 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:32 pm

Well having done some hangings for similar reasons in our AS tent some tips I'd suggest are:

1) make sure that the hangings can overlap if there is a centre parting (ours are tab topped and slotted onto the ridge pole as it goes up - the centre ones overlap each other and then there's one at the very end of each side slotted on after the uprights...make any sense?)

2) make sure that they are long enough to tuck under things and keep the drafts out.

3) if you can interline them or make them double thickness - more work but you'll be happier for it.

Calculating the amount of fabric just means that you have to know the dimentions of the tent when up - then add on at the sides and bottom. Be generous! I added on 8 inches at the bottom which was adequate just (ideally 12-18 inches) but should have added something like 18 inches on the sides.

Type of fabric will depend on your period but I used linen from Anwar (Herts Fabric) for the front and then something cheap but thick for the back.

Oh, and pre-shrink before you make up.....



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Postby Shadowcat » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:01 pm

[quote="seamsmistress"]


A really useful book on the subject is Medieval Craftsmen, Embroiderers. Kay Stanisland. Publisher British Museum Press.

quote]


That's Kay Staniland, and it was originally published by the Museum of London

See me!! I have a copy - remind me next time you come.

S



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Postby Sophia » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:35 pm

Thanks folks.

Already have Kay Stanilands book.

Was looking to do something a little less posh than actual tapestry hangings for the moment. Feel that they would not be appropriate for anything smaller than the proverbial big burgundian style tent or large round pavillion. The campaign tent we have, though substantial, is a ridge tent. This is why bed is truckle style, i.e. frame and slats without legs, as decided a full scal bed would be too grand for tent.

I shall probably opt for solid colour linen. Idea is to make two sets of dividing hangings to section of the bell ends of the tent (will use these for storage and occasionally to provide an extra sleeping space if we have a guest. The central area will have hangings on the wall (will deal with slope by tying them on at either side where there are loops to attach dividing hangings). The entrance side one will be in two pieces which overlap to deal with door. The central are will be our display space showing our bed possibly a chest, a charcoal brazier, workbasket, etc.

I am thinking along the lines of a soft green, russet or gold type colour which could easily be obtained with natural dyes.

I have considered wool lined with natural coloured linen, but cost is going to be astronomical - have calculated that I will need almost 25m of 1.5m fabric for this job.

Anymore thoughts?

Sophia :D



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Postby Theotherone » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:45 pm



Because there would have to be three of them.

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Postby Dave B » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:26 pm

Sophia wrote:Anymore thoughts?

Sophia :D


Well, a quick shufti through various medieval artists seems to show plain hangings, hung in a 'pleated' effect soimewhat like curtains that might just be showing off though, the artist deminstrating his rendering of light and shade.

I know that there seems to be evidence of the common use of painted wallhangings in tudor times. there are surviving bits and there is a fantastic picture, I think by Olas Magus, of a weaver spinning cloth about 24 inches wide, whilst next to the loom the rest of the family paint designs on it very much in the fashion of wallpaper and roll it up.

Of course you are really talking about curtains rather than wall hangings, and I suspect that they might be different. medieval curtains seem to look like... curtains. Senior alfonso had very attractive curtains round his bed in 1434...'

Image

so unless you particularly fancy painting or embroidering I would just go for plain linen curtains.

if you need a lot of cloth, perhaps speak to Bernie the Bolt. I have found in the past that if you can catch him whilst he is quiet, and want a lot of cloth, he can be very flexible on the prices of some fabrics.

By the way I checked and Jan Van Eyke is definitely public domain. :wink:


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Postby Sophia » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:48 pm

Thanks for that Dave.

On the copyright issue:

Regret to inform you that though the original painting is long out of copyright, there is copyright involved in the photograph of the painting which you so kindly posted. Control of the right to reproduce this painting and which reproductions may be published actually rests with the National Gallery. This is why many galleries and museums have restrictions on photography and the use you may make of photographs you take on the premises (i.e. difference in fee charged for professionals and general public, etc.).

I know this seems picky, but as I have said before Copyright is an absolute minefield. Personally I would avoid posting any pictures of pictures - now that many museums and galleries have on-line resources where one can view much of their collection it is best to provide a link to their own reproduction of the picture.

Sophia :D



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Postby JC Milwr » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:26 pm

I know it's a bit of a faux-pas on the costume section to suggest modern alternatives, but it's worth popping to Ikea and checking out their tabbed curtains. They sometimes have unbleached linen (or at least linen mix) curtains for silly cheap prices...


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Postby Dave B » Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:06 am

The image and it's reproduction are public domain as part of the Yorke project. (easily googleable)


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Postby Tuppence » Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:32 am

Sophia wrote:Thanks for that Dave.

On the copyright issue:

Regret to inform you that though the original painting is long out of copyright, there is copyright involved in the photograph of the painting which you so kindly posted. Control of the right to reproduce this painting and which reproductions may be published actually rests with the National Gallery. This is why many galleries and museums have restrictions on photography and the use you may make of photographs you take on the premises (i.e. difference in fee charged for professionals and general public, etc.).

I know this seems picky, but as I have said before Copyright is an absolute minefield. Personally I would avoid posting any pictures of pictures - now that many museums and galleries have on-line resources where one can view much of their collection it is best to provide a link to their own reproduction of the picture.

Sophia :D


There is an issue involved with museums and charges.

However, photographs of art works do not carry any copyright, as long as the original art work is not copyrighted, and unless the photograph adds something of artistic value in itself. If it's a straight out and out reproduction of the original in another format, there's no copyright. Stricly speaking, the museums are being a little bit naughty in insisting that reproduction fees are paid (they get round it by supplying images, which is what you're paying them for - it's not a copyright fee). (Source, HM Patent Office (I checked when designing my own website)).



On the fabric though, I'd go for either something plain, or something in a nice diaper pattern (diamonds). You'd be quite safe with that.


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Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:39 am

Some things to bear in mind, that your brodered hanging would probably be worth more than your tent....by way of illustrating the potential disconnect and also might send signals that a travelling seamstress is actually quite wealthy, they don't seem like compatible concepts IMHO.

Hangings appear a lot in imagery and are very well documented, quite humble houseowners could have them as well as the very rich, the key being scale and appropriate type of hanging.

Ignoring embroidery etc, look at stained cloth.

Stained cloths for indoor use seem to be painted with water based paints, gum or size, this is certainly the case in England.

Stained cloths were the lower end of the paint trade spectrum so much so that the Painters guild in London made great efforts to limit the nature of the work that stainers could do, ie only thin washes, water based on cheap cloth. However that did not restrict painters to paint on what they liked!

It might seem that water based hangings would be inappropriate for a tent given the possible damp, but Simon Cuerdon has his whole puppetry booth covered in water based paint and it is an all weather item, short of tsunami the paint is pretty stable and wont run in normal conditions.

Were I to make hangings for a tent in the setting that Sophia sets out I would make it as simple as possible.

Either:
Stencil some common shapes, quatrefoils, trefoils, etc

or paint some simple shapes.

Thin washes, quite well tempered (ie a fair bit of glue) brushed on. Highlights or low lights can be brushed on a bit more densely.

The upside of this is that the cloths are relatively cheap to produce (assuming a measure of skill - not much btw). The downside is that it may not fit with what people's ideas of such things in our modern eyes which are full of images of the very best and most expensive surviving items and a prevalence of really cheap materials, so it is really easy to end up with items that are way too up market, even if we really don't think so.

Ironically this is one area where even humble bods can have some form of decoration that in reality wont cost much but as long as they don't over do it.

Funnily enough textiles feature quite heavly on the horizon next year, wonderful stuff.


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Postby katiepoppycat » Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:45 am

Hi Sophia, I made some curtains for our pavilion last year. I looked at hte Ikea linen tab tops but for the size I needed it worked out cheaper to buy their linen. I dyed it in the washing machine and made tab tops myself - here's what i learned . . . .

for a pavilion, don't do tab tops. You'll spend 20 minutes at every event threading them on and cursing the whole time you do it. tie them on instead. For a campaign where the pole is flush with the canvas i suppose you don't have a choice.

although the linen isn't terribly thick, it does the job of blocking draughts and hiding inauthenticity/people in just their pants. If you were to line it it would be warmer, but the cost just starts going up and up then.

To secure them, I added a loop at the bottom or each corner that you can put a tent peg through and hammer into the ground - if you put one at either end you don't have to take it off ( see first point) and redo it when you realise it's the wrong way around.

A strip of fabric stitched the middle of the end is great for wrapping around poles to tie them together. Again do one at each end - see above point!

And finally don't handsew them. It's just sadistic and your fingers will burn with the pain for weeks afterwards. I must get over my fear of the sewing machine at some stage.

I hope this is of some help!



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Postby kate/bob » Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:46 pm

our curtains are painted, fairly thick linen. I put tabs on them and we just thread them over the pole to hang them. I have hand sewn most of them and it wasn't a problem.

Having them painted has given us another talking point when public look round the tent as I explain that we can't afford woven hangings, but want to have a similar look to those who can!



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Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:33 pm

"that we can't afford woven hangings, but want to have a similar look to those who can!"

bingo.

How very medieval of you.


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Postby guthrie » Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:23 pm

gregory23b wrote:"that we can't afford woven hangings, but want to have a similar look to those who can!"

bingo.

How very medieval of you.

UUMm, dont you mean "How human"? Look at what fashions through the ages.



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Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:09 pm

I meant is exactly for the context of reenactment as it happens, obliquely referring to the fact that it is so easy to over egg the pudding in respects to cheap(er) textiles today.

All part of the difficulty we have (all of us) with distinguishing what is cheap today with what is cheap 500 years ago.


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Postby guthrie » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:05 am

Oh, ok. I read it as being a reference to the tendency to try and dress above ones station, whether by using clothes of a certain colour but cheaper dye, or using metals that look like gold or silver whilst not actually being them.



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Postby kate/bob » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:35 pm

to clarify, we've got a small burgundian with some furniture, but none of our stuff is really posh.

The hangings are all made from heavy linen and the paintings were researched over a long off season, including a visit to the Barley Hall (whose hangings are painted). Yes, we're saying it's keeping up with the Joneses, but it's authentic!!!



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Postby gregory23b » Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:35 pm

Excellent (my original comment was a compliment of course).


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Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

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Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:24 pm

Ikea

cheap linen, good colours. They do a natural, red, blue and green. Go to the fabric section in the market Hall.

Its wide and cheap. Takes paint well too....

Of course I only have purple and gold pomegranate from J Watts and Co for my tent as befits ones status!


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Postby gregory23b » Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:54 pm

Bear in mind that dyed usually cost more than stained cloth....ie if you have expensive dyed cloth paint it accordingly.


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:34 pm

Gideon did a beautiful bit of work for Mike and Toni Bass. Of course they portray yer rich and infamous and not Mrs Workalot like Sophia does. I'll ask him what he did and how he went about it.


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

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Postby frances » Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:21 am

Did you say what colour your tent is? I was in a lovely red Burgundian last summer - lovely on the outside, that is. Everything inside changed colour - noone could see the correct hue at all. And even when I hung some thin cream curtains inside it made absolutely no difference.



Rampant Wolf

Postby Rampant Wolf » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:08 pm

this is a wall hanging that Marcus was talking about of our past tents grand round pavillion(which incidently we got off ebay) showing our pride and joy the wall hanging painted by Gideon.Based on a visit he had to a place in italy where this 'original' medieval scene of 'The Fountain of Youth'was painted directly onto the wall some 20m long. He painted it when he was 'bet that he couldn't paint that!' well he did meticulously in detail taking him nearly 6 months solidly out of his life.I will check out the detail for you of the paints and thinned varnish layer he used to seal the paint.

http://groups.msn.com/HastingsHousehold ... hotoID=175



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:18 pm

Don't forget the best bit "It's ours, all ours. " Cue evil laughter.


OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

Rampant Wolf

Postby Rampant Wolf » Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:31 pm

its the sort of comment one would expect from a ponsy slave to fashion Brugundian mercenary warmongering consultant..... and there just his good points <grin> ps Marcus i have some fancy finnials for you, for your tent next season (take a look by clicking 'next ' on above link)
and before you lot comment ..no jesus is not wearing a pair of sunglasses on his head#*! :shock:




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