The last few years we have put together an Advent calendar during december. Out plan is to do the same this year. But since the new plague hit our world we have not been traveling at all. And we might lack a bunch of “new” historical textiles to show you. We are doing the best we can to show you hidden gems in our photo collections. It’s possible that we bring up new angles of a piece that we have shown you before. Hope you can find joy in a recycled textile too.
Our first post is an embroidery: The peacock on the Masku coverlet, Finland. Intarsia technique. Wool fabric in green ( now with a blue tint since the yellow dyestuff have faded), dark blue, white and red. Also thin cotton or linen fabrics as decoration on the top of the antennas. The silvred/gilded leather have fallen off in the majority of places. The stitching shows where they were placed.
The coverlet is in the collections of the National Museum of Finland. Dated to 15th century. / Amica and Maria If sharing photos: please cred us.
We have gotten questions about how we manage to get such bright red color with madder on wool. We thought we would should share the recipe that works for us.
100%! We use as much madder as the weight of the goods we dyes. If we dye 100g of goods (goods = yarn or fabric) then we use 100g of madder. In order to get a good color, you need to plan your dyeing.
1. Good madder- buy madder that is powdered. It simply gives more colour than the cut root pieces. There will be a lot to clean up, but it’s SOOO worth it.
2. Soak the madder in lukewarm water. A minimum is 24h. If possible, let your madder soak for 3 days. It can go moldy but this does not affect the color. However, be careful not to inhale the mold spores. Soaking over time can start a fermentation and then the colour will get a more cold red tone and pull more towards the blue direction. Do not filter off the bath, keep everything in the dye bath. Also add one beer to the soaking bath. If you like you can also have a beer to drink.
3. Mordant. We use only alum as a mordant. 30% of the weight of the goods. Pre mordanting is the thing, don’t put dyestuff and mordant in the same bath, this will dull the colour.
The dyeing 1. Insert the soaked madder solution and your gods into the dye bath. Heat slowly up to 68-69 degrees. Maintain this temperature for at least 2-3 hours. Stir frequently. The madder powder sinks to the bottom of the tub! It will also get stucked in “pockets” in your fabric.
2. Let the goods cool down in the bath, preferably overnight- but watch out for pockets!!
3. Take up the goods. Shake out excessive madder back into the dye bath.
4. Allow the goods to dry before washing.
5. Shake the dried goods to get rid of your madder powder. We usually do this over a big plastic sheet. Preferably outdoors! Make sure to cover your mouth and nose. It’s dusty!! The madder is put back in the dye bath.
6. Rinse the gods until the rinsing water is clear.
Use the dye bath for the after bath. You can dye as long as you think it gives color. A lightly dyed fabric and be over dyed with a fresh madder bath, starting with a apricot dyed fabric, instead of a white, will give you a stronger red.
Today, 24th of December, we celebrate Christmas ( Jul) in Sweden. That means this is the last calendar post. We hope that you have enjoyed this years calendar and that you have seen things that you haven’t seen before.
Todays post is a Swedish embroidery. Wool on linen. Dated mid 15th century.
We have analysed the embroidery and a full report will come soon.
Merry Christmas and a Happy new year! / Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles- please cred if sharing.
Today we travel to the north of Sweden. All the way up to Resele church in Ångermanland. The medieval church was demolished 1841 when the new church was built. Today’s textile is an antependium from the old church.
It’s a wool weave and it has got one warp system and two weft systems. The birds are a common motif during the later part of the Middle ages and the antependium is dated 1350-1500, it is dated by style.
The textile is part of the collection at Historiska Museet in Sweden. / Amica and Maria
Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing
The Fogdö embroidery is made with long armed cross stitches. It’s dated to early 16th century.
St George is often depicted in late medieval art. Here we can see George with a lovely jousting shield fighting the dragon with a very long sword… The embroidery is very well preserved, but on some places you can see that the wool yarn have worn off and the tabby linen weave is exposed. Today it is found in the collections of Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. / Amica and Maria
Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing
Plant dyed fade over time. The more light they are exposed to the faster the fading goes. What was dyed on a large scale in historical times was wool and silk. Linen is difficult to dye, unless it’s blue.
Sometimes you are lucky and can see the backside of an old textile. The backside have often been protected from light and are therefore of stronger colours then the front side.
Here- a gilded leather embroidery dated to mid 15th century. Skokloster 2, today in the collections of Historiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden. To the right you can see the front, and in the middle the backside. Compare and see for yourself.
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