I was first introduced to fabric painting by Her Excellency, Countess Brigit of Mercia, at an Atlantian University. Since then I’ve become quite enamored with the idea of painting designs on fabric for use on garb, accessories, largesse, and more. It can be quicker and more precise than embroidery, another passion of mine for which I rarely (unfortunately) have time. Below are some projects that I’ve completed using fabric painting methods.
The Virtue of Chastity
The theme for Spring Coronation 2017 was Vices and Virtues. After being selected as a “team captain” for the Virtue of Chastity, I decided to make a dress based on the writings of the Italian scholar, Petrarch. The final vision for the dress was based on the 15th century painting of Laura de Noves Crowning Petrarch, housed in the Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy. I dressed as Laura de Noves, wearing an Italian cottardita with affrappata (dags), painted by hand with fleur-de-lis or flower of the lily – a traditional symbol of Chastity. My friend, Vadoma, dressed as Petrarch, wearing an Italian mantello, giornea, and hood.
Petrarch, a 14th century Italian scholar and poet known for the Rerum Memorandarum Libri, wrote his work of prose in order to celebrate the cardinal virtues – including the Triumph of Chastity. It is a combination of this work, Petrarch’s Triumph of Chastity, and his personal relationship with Laura de Noves that inspired these garments. The figure of Laura de Noves in the attached painting is the personification of Chastity, crowning the Poet with a wreath of Laurels. For the event, we used a wreath of lilies – as, again, a traditional symbol of Chastity.
Fabbri, Paola. La Moda Italiana Nel XV Secolo: Abbilgiamento e Accessori.
One my favorite uses for fabric painting is in making items of largesse – for donation to the Kingdom and various Baronies or other local groups. Again, I find that stencils are often the quickest and most precise way to create intricate designs for pouches, chalice covers, fans, or similar items made in bulk.
Since becoming more comfortable with the art of fabric painting, I’ve taken steps to spread the love by teaching classes at both Atlantia University and Pennsic.
So far I’ve taught “Make & Take a Fabric-Painted Pouch” at both Atlantia’s Summer University, June 16, 2018 and Pennsic University, August 3, 2018.
I look forward to strengthening my painting skills even further and teaching another class when the opportunity arises!