An attack of life

Sorry for not posting earlier, but these have been difficult times. My husband and I have stepped down as the landed B&B of our local group and are looking forward to just being civilians!

I would have loved to have resumed posting here but WordPress has decided that unless this blog is a paid account, much of what I used to do is just impossible. Unfortunately, pdfs are now an added app for paid accounts. This was a free blog set up so long ago that it’s quite hobbled me. I will look into options, but I am also open to ideas!

Let me know what you think.

V and A Museum band embroidery

Accession number 1175-1900 at the V&A Museum

The textile can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, dated during the Mamluk era in Egypt. It is plain woven linen embroidered in double running stitch using silk. The Museum states it was found in El-Azam, or Upper Egypt.

I have charted the design for use. In it I have also broken down the repeated main motif, which should help the main complex section. I also put in more of the smaller bands around the main motif, as there is a modern looking cut through the textile at the top & it is very likely the smaller bands would be repeated.

Let me know what you think!

My virtual elevation to the Order of the Laurel

While the plan had been to be elevated back in April, the pandemic put an end to pretty much all in person events from March. Their Majesties Theuderic and Engelin offered to elevate me virtually, which was held last night.

Thank you to all that attended, as well as the Good Peers that spoke for me. My deep appreciation for Lady Amelia & Mistress ffride for running the event too.

I hope that once the danger lifts that I will see all of you in person & get a hug.

Classes I taught earlier in the year

Earlier in the year I taught at the Politarchopolis University online. I taught a class on the history of Mamluk embroidery, and thought to share them here too. I have them saved as pdf documents.

Egyptian Mamluk embroidery pdf
Mamluk Egyptian charts & reading pdf

Happy to answer any questions!

13th century embroidered tunic front

This tunic is plain woven linen embroidered in double running stitch in black and red silk, made in Egypt. Unfortunately there are no dimensions available. There is no round section visible for the neck itself, the textile seems neatly cut across the top. I am unsure of how the decorations would go around the neck, since it is a square design. It is currently in the Cooper Hewitt, Accession Number 1971-50-13

I have charted it up for use.
chtunic13thcent PDF
Have fun!

A personal note

I am aware that I haven’t posted for some time, but mundane life pulled me away from much. I do have a small announcement however!

A few weeks ago Their majesties Theuderic II and Engelin II have graciously invited me to join the Order of the Laurel and I have accepted. I am now deeply in the throws of planning garb. So here are a few items that are currently inspiring my garb research.

Textile is 10-15th century C.E. Linen embroidered with brown silk, in circles, trefoils, vines, leaves, and lines. The textile can be found in the Ashmolean Museum, accession number EA1984.288.

Also 10th-15th century C.E. Linen embroidered with blue and red silk in trefoils, leaves, and arabesque vines. Found in the Ashmolean Museum accession number EA1984.66.

This textile is also from 10th-15th century. Striped silk fabric embroidered with red, blue, and yellow silk with silver wrapped thread. It is obviously a neckline from a tunic, with there also being a backing of linen. Currently to be found in the Ashmolean Museum accession number EA1988.25.

Another tunic neckline from the 10th-15th century C.E. Linen, which had been overlaid with black silk, embroidered with black, blue, green, and red silk along with silver metal thread. Decorated with triangles, diagonals, trees, and medallions with crosses. The textile can be found in the Ashmolean Museum, accession number EA1993.338.

New chart with sample of embroidery

This textile can be found in the Ashmolean Museum, Accession number EA 1984.564.

It is a ground cloth of tabby woven linen, embroidered with red and blue silk in a double running stitch. It is 26.5 cm by 7.5 cm, with a rolled and whipped stitch hem in silk. On the far right of the textile looks to be a pattern darned section, but there is not enough of the design left to see.

I have charted up the design in a pdf format-
ashmoleanzigzagswithhooks PDF

I usually ask everyone who reads this blog to try out the pattern themselves here, but this time I have tried it myself & have pictures to show off! There is a very obvious mistake, left in the middle.

The start.

Reaching the end.

Completed, with obvious mistake in the middle. Not the complete pattern, but I ran out of time.

The pattern was embroidered onto a handkerchief that was given to King Niall III and Queen Sabine I, at the William Marshal Memorial Tourney in Stormhold.

Nishapur ceramics

This pitcher had been excavated in Nishapur, Iran and thought to have been made in the 9th-10th century C.E.
It is earthenware, decorated in in poly-chromatic colours with a transparent glaze (known as a buff glaze). It is 26.7cm high. The pitcher can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 38.40.247.

This bowl was excavated in Nishapur, Iran but was thought to have been made in Uzbekistan in the late 10th-11th century C.E. because of the central decoration. It is also decorated with writing that translates to “Blessing, felicity, prosperity, well-being, happiness” in Arabic, which was meant for the owner of the bowl.
It was made of earthenware, white slip with polychrome slip under a transparent glaze. It has a diametre of 35.6 cm and a height of 10.8 cm. The bowl is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Accession Number: 40.170.15.

Recommended reading
CERAMICS xiv. The Islamic Period, 11th-15th centuries by Ernst J. Grube. Via Encyclopaedia Iranica.

“Islamic Pottery: A Brief History” by Marilyn Jenkins.

Early Islamic lustre from Egypt, Syria and Iran (10th to 13th century AD) by T. Pradell, J. Molera, A.D. Smith, and M.S. Tite.

Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period by Wilkinson, Charles K.

The Glazed Pottery of Nishapur and Samarkand by Wilkinson, Charles K.

Cloud collar!

Sorry for not posting this sooner, but mundane life has been distracting me from the pure research. So I thought to get everything rolling by posting the product of previous research. Having done research into Persian cloud collars in 2015 (the post can be read at “My own Persian cloud collar research”) and having commissioned two Persian Timurid coats through my friend at Mikhaila’s Unmentionables, I finally followed through with embroidery plans.

I decided to do a collar that sat proud of the coat, but was attached at the neck. First step is to create a template.

The third template design, which can be done up & go around the neck.

Having settled on the template, I used two layers of silk and linen which would eventually be lined with white linen.

This is two layers, sewn quickly together and marked out with a soluble pen.

The design itself is quite complex scrolling. The stitch I chose to work in Au ver a Soie indigo silk thread was stem stitch. I eventually regretted this choice, as it was painful on the hands.

This stage took quite a while to get to. I had given myself a deadline of 12th Night.

The final result-

The collar the night before the event. Still damp from preparations.

I entered it into the Lochac Arts & Sciences competition with the topic of “from the Middle East”. I won!

A gift given

Now that the recipient has gotten their gift (and seems to be enjoying it), I can share pictures of a project that took up quite a bit of time.

The Worshipful Company of Broderers in the Kingdom of Lochac has a tradition that the Guild makes a gift to each reigning set of monarchs. It is the choice of those that have reigned what they would like to receive. I volunteered to do a towel, in pattern darning stitch.

Done on linen with au Ver a Soie silk, it is embroidered at both ends.

This piece has been graded as my second Masterwork for the Guild.

My documentation- wcob gift documentation