I need to tack down the last of the trim, finish the cap sleeves, and make new undersleeves and a new partlet, but I’m quite pleased with how it is coming along.
Posts Tagged With: SCA
I’ve been working on another kaftan (with help from a friend) and salwar for the hubby for our Baronial Investiture. The kaftan is silk lined in linen. The salwar are ‘art silk’ lined in linen.
What is Samite?
Samite (samit, samitum) belongs to a category of fabrics called compound weaves. Any type of woven structure which involves more than two elements is a compound weave (two or more warps and/or wefts).
More specifically, samite is weft-faced compound twill weave. The textile uses a main warp, binding warp, and a weft composed of two or more series of threads. These weft threads work in combination to produce one weft pick on the face of the cloth. The other or others are kept to the reverse. The ends of the binding warp bind the weft in passes, and the ground and the pattern are formed simultaneously. The entire surface is covered by weft floats, which hide the main warp ends. From the front, samite looks like a weft-dominant twill weave.
Where/When was Samite Produced?
Use of this weave was very common for a long part of the medieval period, and from early on was the primary weave for polychrome silk textiles. It is believed this weave originated in Sassanian Persia no later that the beginning of the 7th century C.E. It is commonly associated with Byzantine silks, as the greater part of these were woven in samite until the 11th century. This is true for almost all of the Mediterranean areas. Burials at Birka and Oseberg contain thin strips of samite silk, which is not surprising given Norse contact with Byzantium. Samite remained popular in North-Western Europe throughout the 13th century.
What is Taqueté?
Taqueté belongs to a category of fabrics called compound weaves. Any type of woven structure which involves more than two elements is a compound weave (two or more warps and/or wefts).
More specifically, taqueté is weft-faced compound tabby weave. The textile uses a main warp, binding warp, and a weft composed of two or more series of threads. These weft threads work in combination to produce one weft pick on the face of the cloth. The other or others are kept to the reverse. The ends of the binding warp bind the weft in passes, and the ground and the pattern are formed simultaneously. The entire surface is covered by weft floats, which hide the main warp ends. From the front, taqueté looks like a weft-dominant tabby weave.
Where/When was Taqueté Produced?
Taqueté was probably one the earliest compound weaves produced, and appears throughout history. I can’t give a full account of where and when it was woven and worn, but here are some notes.
- Believed to have evolved from Chinese jin silk (warp-faced compound tabby) which was known in Han Dynasty China (206 B.C.E. – 221 C.E.).
- Near East (Roman): 1st century C.E., though likely earlier, in wool. 4th C.E. century in silk.
- By the 10th or 1th century weft-faced compound weaves began to be replaced by lampas weave, which was more efficient to produce.
- Several fragments exist from 13th century Spain.
- Produced in Ottoman Turkey (where it was known as seraser), where it was usually woven with metallic threads.
The tabs are on and the skirt is attached. Now I am embroidering down the front of the skirt.
The common weaving technique for Ottoman silks was kemha, which is a type of lampas-weave. Lampas produces a thick, heavy textile, as the woven fabric is essentially two layers joined as one.
Lampas weave as defined by CIETA vocabulary of 1964 is ‘a figured weave in which a pattern, composed of weft floats bound by binding warp, is added to a ground fabric formed by a main warp and a main weft. The ground may be tabby, twill, satin or brocading wefts; they float on the face as required by the pattern, and are bound by the ends of the binding warp in ordinary tabby or twill which is supplementary to the ground weave’.
In less technical terms, lampas consists of two warps (a main warp and a binding warp), and at least two wefts (a main weft, and one or more pattern wefts). In the non-pattern-weave areas these form two separate layers of cloth, one on top of the other, like doubleweave. Unlike true doubleweave, the patterned areas interlace with each other to create one layer of cloth. Note that in this case, the ‘patterned area’ refers to the area of interlacement rather than a design element. In some cases the pattern area actually makes up the ground of the fabric – rather the inverse of what we think of as the pattern.
Kemha, in particular, is defined as compound satin with supplemental twill lampas. All of the extant examples I’ve seen that offer a close enough view to identify the weave (example 1, example 2) this looks to be the case. For those who like diagrams, the Weaving Library has a partial draft of a compound satin with supplemental twill lampas and what (I’m guessing) is a picture of the finished textile (even if it’s not the actual textile, the colours match – a red ground with white, blue-green, and orange-pink patterning wefts – so it’s good enough to get an idea). While kemha commonly utilized metallic threads, there are many examples that do not.
Read more about Silks from Ottoman Turkey at the Met Museum.
I’ve made some progress on the hubby’s kaftan design. The key point of the fabric was to incorporate his badge: Argent, three crescents purpure one and two. This is the three purple crescents on the white background. The rest of the design was built around that.
Along with the purple and white, we’ve decided to go with blue and yellow for accent colours. Blue is another colour in his heraldry, and the yellow added a nice contrast. I’m doing an ogee pattern, which was a common design motif in 16th century Ottoman fabrics, and using this textile as an inspiration for the filling design.
The design is not complete. I’d like to add some more filling pattern in the plain white and blue sections. I have time – I won’t be getting the equipment to actually produce the fabric until next year sometime (at the earliest). But I’m enjoying the process.
The main doublet couching and spangling is completed. Now I just need to add tabs and shoulder wings.
Basic Elizabethan breeches for the hubby.
My spangles (they’re like sequins) have arrived, and I’ve sewn a few on the front panel to see how they look. They catch the like and shine like little jewels.