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Getting Started
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Pattern Development
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Sewing Tech
- Gores, Gussets, and Inserts
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- Hand Bound Eyelet Holes
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Trims & Embellishment
- 5 Cross Cultural Embroidery Stitches
- Appliqué Techniques
- Passemaine (hand made trims)
- Trims requiring very little equipment
- Complicated Trims
- Cardweaving
- Buttons
- Making Felt

Western European
- Underwear
- Shirts
- Farthingales
- Corsets
- Stockings
- Collars and Cuffs
- Partlets
- Gloves
- Hats
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Eastern European:

- Shirts
- Pants
- Coats
- Shoes
- Boots
- Hats
- Jewelry

Ancillary Arts
- Fans
- Pouch Hinges, Part 1
- Pouch Hinges, Part 2

Demonstrations>Trims and Embellishment>Trims Requiring Very Little Equipment

Hook Techniques -

The following technique uses a crochet hook but can also be done with just the hands. A crochet hook makes the process much quicker. While Crochet as we know it today was not practiced in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a type of braid was made using a hook very similar to a crochet hook. A beautiful example of extensive use of this technique can be seen on a man's cape in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The braid, carried out in a lovely gold is then attached to a cream satin cape in various rectangular designs and along the seams. This braid is simply a crochet chain. The advantage is that it can be worked while it is being attached to the garment so that you only make as much as you need. To work the chain, place a loop around the crochet hook, catch the thread and pull it through the first loop to make the second loop. Repeat the process until you have as long a cord as necessary.

The Lucet -

Lucet cord is a very strong, very dense double looped cord which was used in period for every thing from ties to embellishment. The 'knitting nancy', which has four prongs instead of two, as in the case of the lucet, produces a four looped cord and is really a form of knitting. The common lucet looks like the illustration to the right, is approximately four to five inches long and two to three inches in width, and is usually made from wood but realistically can be made from any rigid material. In period, bone, ivory, wood and even cardboard were used. Theoretically, you can make lucet cord on your fingers as well but, again, an actual lucet makes the process much quicker (at least it did for me). The hole at the base is placed there so that, as the cord is being worked, the finished length can be threaded through the hole to keep it out of the way and from getting tangled.

Lucet cord is worked in one of two ways. The first, shown below does not require that the lucet be flipped at every looping. I learned to loop over the right hand prong, flip the lucet, and then loop over the left hand prong which had become, in the flip, the right hand prong. Sound confusing? Try the process below and it should become a bit more clear:

Step 1: winding the cord. Start from the left and keep that end stationary. Step 2: first loop. Pull the first loop on the right up and away from the lucet, keeping the left end stationary. Step 3: the pull-through. Take the first right loop over the second right loop and pull it down. Step 4: the pull-down. Do not pull too tightly. Place the cord to the back of the left prong to form the second left loop. Step 5: the second loop. After forming the second left loop, take the first left loop and pull it up and away from the lucet. Step 6: the second pull-through. Take the first left loop up and over the prong and pull it down in the same fashion as the first right loop.

When pulling the loop tight over the other cords, do not pull it too tightly. You will need a bit of play to be able to pull the first loops over the prongs of the lucet. This particular technique takes a bit of practice to work but is well worth it.

I've made a couple of lucets out of craft wood from a local craft shop by taking a coping saw and cutting the shape out of the wood, sanding the edges down and finishing the wood with a light, protective stain. If you don't have the resources or inclination to do this, try Lacis online store. They sell a very nice lucet at a good price. It is listed under "tassels and cords".

Cording Techniques -

Cording uses simple twisting to force single threads together into a complex corded structure. The simplest method is to attach one end of your thread to a stationary object and the other end to the middle of a pencil or a hook which has been inserted into a drill. Twist the thread until it is fairly taut and begins to "buckle" together in little twists. At this point, find the middle of the thread and keep it stationary while placing the two ends together. Gently release the middle end and encourage the threads to twist together. A variety of cords can be made this way but physical limitations are a problem. Many craft stores and some fabric stores carry a cord maker and most tassel supply companies carry a device which has several hooks that can be turned at the same time. Lacis, in it's online catalog under "tassels, cords" has some very good equipment for cord making which is also fairly inexpensive.

More Complicated Techniques -

These last two techniques require rather simple equipment which can get fairly pricey. If you know someone who has wood working tools such as a lathe and table saw, you can probably get them to make the required tools for you. Or, you can get creative. One person I know of, who has taught bobbin lace for many years, still uses the bobbins she made from tinker toys, which had been glued together. However, if you are able to afford the equipment, try Lacis online catalog. Bobbins, cards for card weaving and some looms. Lacis also carries the Candace Crockett book, Card Weaving, which I highly recommend.

Bobbin Techniques -

A Gimp or guimpe (Fr) is a flat trimming of silk, wool, or other cord, sometimes stiffened with wire, for garments, curtains, or upholstery. The word is an abbreviation of the term "guipure" (Fr) which, in period, denoted any of the various braids made using bobbin lace techniques. These were often heavy, made of linen, silk, built cords or heavy threads, metal threads or combinations of the previous, with the pattern connected by brides rather than by a net ground. The brides were often twin pairs of threads running down both sides of the trim.

This technique really requires its own demonstration. For examples, visit the upholstery section of a fabric store and look closely at the construction of some of the braided trims for sale. Most of these can be accomplished with just a few bobbins and various threads. The best text that I have found (so far) for getting started is Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace by Bridget M. Cook. Not only does this book offer good advice on lace making in general but the section on how to construct gimps is easy to understand and contains good illustrations.

Card Weaving Techniques -

This is also a technique which requires its own demonstration. Card weaving is ancient and extensive. It was used throughout Central Asia and all over Europe as a means of decoration. Card weavings can be found in Scythian and Pazyryk graves, Norse burial sites from the tenth century, and on Arabic and European clothing from the late sixteenth century.

Card weaving is really a hybrid between twisted techniques and weaving techniques. The required equipment can consist of very little; a number of cards, usually between 2" and 4" square with holes drilled at each corner is the minimum. Cards can be square, hexagonal or even triangular and made from actual cardboard, very thin wood or thin plastic. The threads pass through the holes and are anchored on both ends. The cards, when turned, act as sheds, lifting the various threads so that the weft thread may pass through. Depending on the colors of each warp thread and the patterns, the number of turns and the number of holes in the card, the pattern of the final weaving can be very complex. For a look at this technique, click here.

For an excellent text on card weaving, I recommend Card Weaving or Tablet Weaving by Russell Graff I also recommend Cadace Crocket's book, Card Weaving, which is currently not stocked by either Amazon or Barnes & Noble but can be found at Lacis in their book catalog section.

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