Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Adventures in Fingerloop Braiding

Almost forgot to share.... I entered the narrow wares competition at June Crown and won (grin).

I had been doing some fingerloop braiding - nothing complicated before we went to England. Then part of the class was doing some fancier loop manipulation with Jacqui Carey who is one of THE experts. Lots of things went "ding" during that portion of the class. She also introduced us to a new, for me, source - Lady Bindloss's manuscript - 2nd qtr. 17th C.

Part of my problem with reading Spies or the CA#108 by Swales and Williams was, it didn't click for me. Their way of walking you through the moves didn't line up with the way my brain works. Tak Bowes I can use easily. Carey I understand easily. Once I saw through Bowes and then Carey "the how", I could return to Spies and the CA and understand most of what was being said. It no longer was a foreign language.

When I returned I wanted to do some more fingerloop braiding to cement the knowledge. Spent a couple weeks reviewing the materials - including scans of and redactions of period books. Some of the books have samples of the braids glued to the pages of the book.

For the entry I "created" a "book" of samples (bound the pages together with a braid). I started with reviewing the sources. Then showed half a dozen braids - the source, identified if there was a redaction from a printed source and if not gave my own, what the braid would have been used for, how the ends would have been finished, and then put the braid on the page (using a whole punch to make a place for the braid - versus glue). I did 5,7 and 8 loop braids including one with "split loops" (loops made from 2 colors). I also did "staff and crowns" on the marudai, and identified it as such; since it requires 2 braiders. Each example was done with a 2 ply silk which is about the right weight for the braids from the London finds; although it was probably a finer finished silk than I used for the examples.

It was fun to do. Met my need to "cement" the technique. The win was a great bonus.

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