Finger-loop Braiding

I first learned to finger-loop braid when I hosted a Newcomer’s Fiber Arts class at my home on January 15, 2017. Since then I’ve found it to be an incredibly useful skill to have, as finger-loop braids can be used for practically anything – medallion cords, lacing, ties, loops, etc.

A close-up of some braids that I made with DMC pearl cotton that were later used as drawstrings for pouches.

Most of the braids I’ve made have been used for drawstring pouches and garment laces – from early period Roman garb through late period Tudor.

Revenge of the Stitch

On April 28, 2018 I had the great fortune to be a member of a team of people competing at an event called Revenge of the Stitch. The parameters of the competition dictated that an entire period ensemble be made in 24 hours by no more than six people. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, we decided to get ambitious.

In November of 2017 we started planning to recreate the garment worn by King Henry VIII in his famous portrait, painted by Hans Holbein the Younger.

What I lovingly referred to as our Tudor Vision Board.

The results were as follows:

  • 6 crazy people
  • 10 pre-event meetings
  • 6 yards of hand-couched embroidery
  • 150+ hours of prep and research
  • 52 yards of fabric
  • 108 fabric pattern pieces
  • 74 post-it notes
  • 60 hand-cast and hand-decorated jewels
  • 52 hand-stitched puffs
  • 24 hours of constant sewing with 4 hours (on average) of sleep
The inspiration.
The result.

One of my many contributions to the project was the creation of some dozen or so finger-loop braided lacing cords, made of silk hand-spun by another member of the team, Lord Stephan Grimm.

The final braid with measurements.

For instructions for the lacing cords that I made, please visit:

http://fingerloop.org/patterns.html

I used Pattern 29: For to make a lace endented — c. 1475

Sources

Primary:
Manuscript Harley 2320, circa 1450. In the British Library, with scans on the web at
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=harley_ms_2320_f052r

Secondary:
Arnold, Janet: Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d. Washington, pp. 220-221, 1988. On these pages are reproduced 3 pages from the following: To make pursestrings, T 313-1960, in the Textile Department, Victoria & Albert Museum; London, England, circa 1600.

http://fingerloop.org/bibliography.html#T

Published by

ladymargaret86

14th Century English Noble woman with a passion for archery, embroidery, and service.

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