Marguerite’s Trim

 

 

I’ve been weaving some. It feels good. I wanted to do something with a little more “OMG” factor than the plain black and white cotton I’ve been doing the past few warps, so I went for some silk sewing thread ribbon. The pattern is on 25 tablets, plus 3 tablets of plain border on either side. The pattern is worked in double-face technique, with all the tablets threaded the same – two holes carrying the copper thread, two carrying the silver. The finished trim is just over half an inch wide, yielding an effective density of about 250 EPI (ends per inch.)

I graphed out a chart for this trim for a dress a friend of mine in the SCA made back in the early nineties. It’s based on a portrait of Marguerite de Valois by François Clouet.

Looking at the portrait, the original trim is probably either couched cord, or trim of couched tiny beads. Either way, it rendered really well into tablet weaving graph.

 

 

The silk I’m using for this is a very glossy machine embroidery thread. I like low-twist, high-sheen thread for ribbons like this; they are supple and glossy, more so than regular garment sewing threads. This is the band before a wash and a hard steam press; you can see how much the silk flattened out in the first picture.

 

A turn-of-the-seventeenth century book on sericulture, translated into English by Nicholas Geffe, refers to the”glosse wherein consisteth the chiefest bewtie of the silke.” Still photos just don’t capture it, you have to see it move. Depending on your browser, this might be a moving image.

 

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