Monday, April 30

13th century - mid 14th century embroidered tassels

I was working on a few tassels, and I thought that I might as wel write another tutorial about it:

I think most (late) 14th century tassels were adorned with a turkish head knot. However, I saw some examples of tassels embroidered with gold thread too. This type of tassels were used in the 13th and 14th century, probably until ca 1350. You can find pictures of these type of tassels in:

  • Hoving, T., Husband, T., Hayward, J. (1975), The secular spirit: Life and art at the end of the Middle Ages: New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art v
  • Schneider, J. (1975), Textilien. Catalog der Sammlung des Schweizerischen Landesmuseums Zürich, Zürich: Verlag Berichthaus
  • Wilckens von, L. (1991), Die textilen Künste. Von der Spätantike bis um 1500, München, Verlag CH Beck

For online pictures, click here (insert LM 1825 a, LM 1825 b), here or here.

This is how I make these tassels. I used Aurora 2 ply silk for the tassels and Tanja Berlin's Japanese gold K4 (beautiful gilded silver thread!)



Make a basic silk tassel and a roll of linen





Wrap the linen around the tassel head







Wrap a silk thread around the linen core and attach with tiny stitches. And have a lot of patience! For me, this feels more like sculpure than embroidery :-)





Wrap the gold thread around the tassel head and attachit with tiny silk stitches.









The finished tassel

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