Fabric Painting

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 inspiration for the final dress. A painting of Laura de Noves Crowning Petrarch. 15th c. Laurentian Library, Florence, Italy

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, Petrarchโ€™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.

Sources
https://fleurtyherald.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/sartoria-storica-historical-tailoring/
Fabbri, Paola. La Moda Italiana Nel XV Secolo: Abbilgiamento e Accessori.

A progress picture of the fabric being painted. I used a stencil and gold acrylic paint. If I were to make the garment again, I would have cut the pattern for the dress first and then fit the stencil to the pattern, rather than attempting to mimic the look of block-printed fabric by the bolt.
The finished garment, with Vadoma and I attempting to recreate the pose from the original painting.
A less serious pose!

Largesse

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.

A dozen of these pouches were made and donated to the Barony of Stierbach in 2018. The stencil was made by hand, inspired by the Barony’s populace badge. I used red acrylic paint on white linen. I also finger-loop braided the drawstrings using DMC Pearl Cotton.
A dozen of these pouches were made and donated to the Kingdom of Atlantia in 2017 at Pennsic. The stencil was purchased, inspired by our Kingdom’s populace badge. I used blue acrylic paint on white linen. I also finger-loop braided the drawstrings using DMC Pearl Cotton.
Progress pictures from the fabric painting of the Kingdom pouches. I’m a big fan of assembly lines!
A dozen of these chalice covers were made and donated to the Kingdom of Atlantia in 2017 at Pennsic. The stencil was purchased, inspired by our Kingdom’s nautical themed imagery. I used blue acrylic paint on white linen.

Teaching

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 โ€œMake & Take a Fabric-Painted Pouchโ€ 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!

The Beginning

A portrait taken by Mistress Celia of Rosedale at All Saints Church in Maryland, during the 20th Anniversary Concert for Laydes Fayre.

I first learned of the Society for Creative Anachronism in 2007, while attending the University of Florida in Gainesville. Growing up, I had always loved Renaissance & Medieval Fairs. My parents had taken me to the Sarasota Medieval Fair every year during middle school and high school. When I was old enough to drive, I dragged my friends to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa. Then, after I left home for college, I would go to the local Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville. One year, the local SCA group set up a pavilion and demo at Hoggetowne and I was thus introduced to the world of recreating Medieval life.

Despite my introduction to the SCA in 2007, I didn’t reach out to my local group for another six years. Then, in 2013, after I had relocated to the Washington DC metro area, I found the Barony of Storvik in the Kingdom of Atlantia.

And that is where my story begins.

This site will be ever-changing, as I write new blog posts on events I’ve recently attended and also catch up on posting about past events and projects that I’ve already completed. Feel free to scroll through and post questions & comments as you like.

Baroness Margaret Lad