fredag 19 november 2021

Textile talks on saturday

Tomorrow I have the honor of talking about sprang at Historical textiles Textile talks. 

You find a link to the facebook event here.

Questions that will be answered 8I hope) tomorrow are "How old is sprang? How did people use it during the historical times? Is it difficult? What kind of tools you need and what kind of yarn should you start with?" 

I see you there!


lördag 28 augusti 2021

The tree of life sprang of Lengberg

In november 2020 I tried to make the big Tree of life sprang from Lengberg for the first time. I was, however, wrong in my assumption about the pattern and the sprang that I made was not according to the extant finds. That first try ended up though with me getting in contact with one in the team around the Lengberg finds, thank you R for not just getting annoyed with me... 

She showed me pictures of the headwear, not available online, which helped a lot. I tried the pattern out again in late 2020 but it was to complicated for me and I lost track somewhere in the middle. I thought that I needed to do a little more sprang-training before trying it out again. 

For you that does not heard of Lengberg here is a short background. During a restoration of the Lengberg castle (East Tyrol, Austria) in 2008 a filled vault was detected below the floorboards. More than 2,700 textile fragment were found in there. This part of the Lengberg castle was probably finished by 1485 so the finds is most likely predating this. Among the finds there were a couple of sprang woven fragments, in different conditions. They are all made of undyed linen z-spun s-plied two-ply thread. The largest one is still attached to the garment, a headwear, first thought to be a bra. It consist of four pieces of natural linen. In the middle, from the forehead to the back of the head, is a beautiful piece of sprang. It has a decorative patterns made up by holes. The sprang is 27 cm long. 

The sprang pattern is that of a tree, the tree of life, and is repeated one and a half time. I assume that they had a pattern of the tree of life and needed to get to 27 cm for the piece to be long enough. So they worked it until they got 27 cm and that was one and a half time. But what do I/we know, maybe it was according to plane to use it one and a half time... 

Anyhow, I have done a lot of sprang this past year and always got back to the big sprang of Lengberg in my mind. It was time, I was ready to try it out again. The pattern still scares me though...

The pattern comes from the article Enigmatic Beauty_Headwear of Lengberg castle. Carol James have made it from looking at the original piece. I dont have a printer so last time I was trying the pattern out I drew it from looking at the article on my computer.  

Here is what it looks like. Scary!

The sprang patterns made by Carol are, in my opinion, easy to follow though the different turns of threads has different colours. The purple means two up one down, the orange means two up two down and the green means one up two down. So while working I dont need to count, I just look down and see a colour. The threads between the special turns still need to be counted though. So a row can start with a purple turn and then ten ordinary turns and than a green one, and orange one, a purle one, and than 18 ordinary ones. Maybe not the best explanation from my side...

I used a white linen two-ply thread made in Sweden. Where 100 grams is 420 meters (1377,95 ft). I wanted a little bit more than the 27 cm that is the original sprang. I tried that out and thought it was to short for my 57 head-size. I made a Lengberg cap out of the sprang with the wrong pattern last time and it came out really small. So I made this piece 31 cm.

This is probably the most difficult sprang pattern I worked with so far. Last time it was beyond my level. This time it worked out fine, even though I forgot to breath during the work...

I wanted to end up with a minimum of 30 cm long piece. With this yarn and the tension I managed I only repeated the pattern one time. But the tension look good, nothing wrong with it and its going to look so good on someones head.  

And here is the result! 

I will however, try to focus even more on the tension next time. It might be a little more me than the yarn. Even though the pattern still scares me I cant wait to put up another warp and do it again. I just need to make a couple of ordered hairnets before that. 

While writing this, actually right about now, it hits me, the original was not white, it was undyed linen. How could I forgot that?! I need to buy more linen yarn... I would have thought that a pattern this complicated would have been made in a more expensive material than undyed linen. This is one reason this hobby is so interesting, you learn, all the time.

I already have a Lengberg cap, the small one, and I dont even do 15th century. This piece will be sold on etsy if anyone is interested.

tisdag 17 augusti 2021

Hairnet on the go

During medieval week in Visby, Gotland, Sweden, the best thing with creating stuff happened to me. To see my creations worn by people. As soon as I saw a net I made on someone I was running after them, asking for a picture. And this is actually true...

 I wore one myself too. A copper one with white stripes and a black board. Underneath Im wearing a wulst in grey linen on a wire. I want it to look like my own hair and not show a haube. The hair you see at the temples is not mine, Im not that blond, and I dont have enough hair to get that 16th century german look.


And here is the beautiful E, wearing a silk net in white with black stripes and a black board. I think it looks so good on her! She took the picture herself but Im allowed to use it.

E is wearing the net with a wulst underneath, or is it her own hair, I dont know, it migh be. If so she is wearing it with her braids up. The nets can also be wore with your hair down, as you can see in the picture below. M is wearing the same net, trying it out for me when it was just finished. It look good but in a different way. She has thick beautiful hair, it would never look like that on me for sure...

The closingline in the middle is clearly visible when wearing the net like this.

E is wearing one of my very first striped silk nets, in blue with orange stripes and an orange binding. She is wearing it with a white wulsthaube underneath. When I made them I didnt think of this way of wearing them, but it looks really good too. Some wulsthaubes are to big for the nets and it can be difficult to know beforehand. A good thing to know if someone is thinking of purchase one of my nets.
Here is me and E together with our nets. I saw her in a distance at the market and felted truly happy. It looked so right! We are both wearing it with a wulst, she also has the haube. And filted bonnets.

When I made these I pulled them together at one side, and that created the eye in the back. If you look at the black and with net abbove I did not, and that makes the stripes go straight down, without the eye. With the drawstring you can create that effect anyway, if you like it.

I also make male hairnets. L is wearing a green linen net with a darker green binding and string. Here together with E, looking spiffy together!

At the front, and at the back!

By pulling it higher you get that typical pointy 16th century look. And that is why Im making the male hairnets in linen instead of silk. The silk is to soft and wont create that pointy shape. The linen does it by itself. Its not that common among male reenactors in Sweden to ware hairnets and that makes me even happier to see L in his net. If I get it my way more male 16th century  outfits will be complemented with a hairnet!

They made an oven in their camp, really cool.

And here is J in a net that I made and his friends bought him for his birthday. A very good gift if you ask me ;) It really suits him! Its made in linen and has the same wool binding as the rest of my nets, in black this time. Jenny Drakenlind took the picture and she let me use it here. Thank you for that!

And here are G and E. E actually made her net herself, with me hanging over her shoulder. So pretty! The male net is made by me.

Here it is clearly visible that the eye in the back is missing, that the stripes goes just straight down. This blue one, worn by the lovely K, and the white and black one, are made like this.  I like both variations. K is not wearing a wulst, just her own hair. When the net is placed on hair it tend to slide. But for me it worked just fine when I placed it just at the hairline.

And here is the net K is wearing. As the rest of the female nets its made of silk with a wool binding and a silk string.

The female hairnets are made of 72 loops that are 46 cm long. The male net is made out of 56 loops 40 cm long.  If anyone wants to make their own net. 
This picture is taken by Anna Malmborg and show us in her lovely garden also during medieval week. Im making the black and white net and J is making a filet net. Such joy to be able to sit among friends and talk nerdiness again!

onsdag 14 juli 2021

Device registered, finally!

So, my device is finally registered. It took me long enough... I have been a member of the SCA for 15 years but it is actually just the latest three that I have been thinking about registered both my name and device. My name, Marlein Eberlin, was registered a little over a year ago. 

In the society you are free to choose your own name. A proper name to your persona can make the game richer, the dream more visible and vivid. My clothing has more or less always been German. I have tried others countries and times too, but I always ends up in 16th century Germany. Its were I belong. So I took a German name. A name that was used during the late 15th century. I always imagen that my persona was born around 1490-95 so that felt suitable. And it turnes out that my last name, Eberlin, means wildboar, Eber. So of course I needed to use that in my device. 

And here it is!

Per fess gules and argent, three pairs of scissors Or and a boar´s head erased close sable.

The wildboar is there together with a white and red background. My great grandmother was born in a noble family and their colours where white and red, so I wanted to use that, to make it even more me. And of course, the scissors, its what I love to do, what I do every day, sew and make handicrafts. More clear than just a needle I thought. 

Im looking forward to start putting it on stuff. I need to make a baner! Im grateful to my household for the support and cheering that I have got. Thank you.

måndag 7 juni 2021

Some thought about male hairnets

I have been working on my sprang hairnets. For the first time I have tried to work with silk instead on linen. The extant finds of hairnets are in silk. So, that semse like the natural choise. I started working with the Lengbergfinds and they are in linen, so for me it was natural to keep on working in linen. But to change the material to silk was kind of the next step in the process. The female nets worked fine in silk. They are soft and follow the shape of the head and wulst beautifully. But then I tried to make the male hairnet in silk too. And Im not satisfied with the results. 

Here are my second male hairnet. Its made in linen with a wool binding in wool and a fingerloop braid in linen. 

You see the pointy shape that are so typical for German male hairnets seen in paintings from the 16th century. With the eye in the center. 

That it gets this shape on its own. No padding needed to make this shape.

And it appear both in the front and at the back. 

And here is my first attempt of a male hairnet in silk. In my opinion, the silk is too soft. It does not get the pointy shape Im after. It will probably look right on the top of the head of someone dressed in 16th century clothing, but...not what I had in mind while working on it.  

This net is in silk with a wool binding and a fingerloop braid in silk.

Here we see a hint of the ponity shape, but it is not as clear as in the linen one. 

Its alright. It is a fully functional hairnet made in the material the extant finds are made of. Just not exactly what I wanted...

So, is it wrong to keep working in a material that is not among the extant finds? No, I dont think so. It looks totally right with the linen sprang nets. And hairnets were seen on all kinds of people, from the rich to the soldiers and executioners. And all of them could probably not afford silk. So I will keep working in linen for the male nets. When it comes to the female versions I think I will keep working in both, depending on what I have at home. 

torsdag 6 maj 2021

My first 16th century ceramics

They are fired and photographed, my first 16th century ceramic replicas. The original is for food storage, in yellow clay and glaced only on the inside. I made mine in grey clay and therefore I glaced them on the outside too. And they are made for drinks, not food storage. 

The original has a brown glace, only on the inside. But as I worked in grey clay I thought I should glace them on the outside too. And obviously I put it on unevenly, so they became patchy. But they turned out quite nice anyway. I guess that happened during the renaissance too.

 Here is the original. Its found in Uppsala in Sweden and is 16th century. As you can see it has a small shelf for a lid. I decided not to make that, to be able to use it as a mug.

So the glace isnt really right. But I think I got the shape right. When I made them I had not yet seen the picture in colour, so I did not know about the colour of the clay. But next time I can improve with clay in the right colour!
This picture is taken right after I put the handle in place.

 Photos by Anders Ragnarsson. Thank you!

söndag 2 maj 2021

16th century silk garters in sprang

More sprang...I know, I cant help it! Its fun. 
This time, garters. I made pairs both of wool and of silk. And I will show you pictures. But first, some more information. According to Dagmar Dinkler, Die Rekonstruktion von eng anliegenden, antiken Bekleidungsstücken, sprang is actually a Swedish word, meaning "open work". I didnt know that, even dough Im Swedish. 

To the good news! There actually is a pair of extant garters from the 16th century. They are Italian, not German, close enough. They are dated between 1575-1600 and are made with silk. 145,9 cm long and 6,5 cm broad. 

And here they are!

Pretty, right?!
They are a bit over my level yet, but Im working on it. 

According to Maria Collin, Fataburen 48, there is information of sprang being spread all across Scandinavia during the late medieval ages. No garters in sprang from this time are found in Scandinavia. But I figure, it is a quite easy technique so if sprang as a technique is well know up here, they most have been making garters. In the same source there is information about a Karine Gyldenstjerne, born in Denmark 1542, at the age of seven made to live in a convent where she learn how to do sprang. It is also said that the word sprang is coming from norther Germany, so much for being a Swedish word! But a lot of German and Swedish words are very alike. 

And here is my try at a pair of silk garters! They are made of hand-dyed silk, tiny tiny threads. And they are so tightly woven, you wouldn't believe its actually sprang!
I have not worked in silk before so I played around with some holes and flower, just to try it out. The pattern are really hard to see, with such small threads and tight weave, but its there. The only socks I had, fancy enough for silk garters, are a bit to short for me, so the garters ended up underneath the knee. 
The texture of the silk made it possible to make the weave really tight, which was a fun experience. A big difference from the wool I have been working with, the wool thread stick to each other much more. 

Next pair need to be much longer, compared to the extant 16th century ones. They are only 7 dm long. And I have no tassels, needs to make those. Everybody needs tassels on their garters, right?!
I also made wool garters, much simpler, suitable for common people I imagine. I used a dark red wool that I already had at home. They are without pattern and with just one colour.
These types were used in Sweden up until the 19th century and had two or three colours and small tassels at the ends. Many of these kind are still existing in museums and being worn with the folk costumes. During the 19th century women often use garter much more simpler than the ones men used. In a book about 19th century clothing in Svärdsjö och Enviken in Sweden, Dräktbruk och Linnetradition, it is said that women used efsingar, warpthreads not being used in the end of a warp, as garters. It is also said in this book that the garters where made by "sprang, a technique used for making ribbons sense the middle ages". These ribbons are probably made on a board. The board have a nail in each end and the sprang is being worked between these nails.  
I did not have a sprang-board while doing the wool ones. I used my frame and a circular warp. The frame is to short to make them in just one regular warp. It was not that complicated with a circular warp once I got the hang of it.
They are 89 cm long and 1,7 cm broad. But with tassels!

All the rows are visible as lines in the fabric.

When making a warp this narrow and long the ribbon is starting to turn, its quite difficult when a warp full of sticks is turning...

Here you see the whole warp. Circular, stretched around the frame. 

When the weave is done the warp is cut into two ribbons and the end secured with knots. The ribbons are soaked and laid out to dry over night. 

I actually made my own sprang-board, after these where done... 

Here you see the silk ones on the frame. Im trying to show the pattern.