Tag Archives: Appliqué

A Knight’s Hood – 14th century appliqued hood

I have been honored  for the last few years by a good friend to serve as his consort in tournaments for the Society of Creative Anachronism,  in the East Kingdom. This past summer, Jibril al-Dakhil became a Knight of the Society. I had promised him that I would make him a gift befitting. As with many projects, this one had it’s challenges.

He did not have a preference between a hood or a cloak. He has fairly simple tastes and did not want anything too over the top, but that being said it had to kick ass:)

His persona is that of a son of a Spanish woman who fell in love with a moor (son of a nobleman).  He turned against his faith when forced to choose between family and service. He grew up in southern Spain, and went off to the crusades and became a squire to a European knight. While he still remains true to his roots he is a Christian warrior. As befits his somewhat humble background he prefers simple accoutrements, and in fact as a new knight he is still building his estate and his wealth.

This was  my second item entered in our Kingdom’s Arts and Science competition this past weekend. When I was asked to talk about the hood I brought his persona into my explainations of material and design choices. I think my favorite moments were when I was discussing  access to the fabrics ( Merino wool from Spain because his mother was Spanish, and the Cashmere wool, that he likely “aquired” during the crusades) and when I explained that unlike the elaborate hoods described in wardrobe accounts, he was still a lowly knight and had not yet made his fortune, so he would not have been able to have a garment dripping in pearls and precious metal. The documenation linked below talks more about this. 

My goal was to completely hand make a hood, representing his new order, incorporating his personal heraldry, make the garment as period accurate as possible, but also keep it practical for SCA use and his desire to keep it somewhat simple. In my opinion I accomplished this goal and also somewhere during making of it, I fell in love with it. I am very proud of how it turned out, and I only hope the recipient loves it as much as I do.

PS, as of this writing he has still not seen it:) Yes, I am mean that way. Enjoy, and please, I would like to hear from you on what you think.



Pearls pearls pearls

It’s been a little while since I posted, but not for lack of making progress on the gown., well the sleeve.

I finished the very frustrating chore of appliquéing down the sun. A few things I found out:
1. By tucking the linen up underneath it naturally curves the appliqué very much like many extant examples of goldwork applique.This is a great finding.
2. The very pretty tightly spaced gold ends up with gaps after the linen is tucked under. It’s also very hard to get it right to the bottom. Could be why so many were edged in something. This was frustrating.
3. My nice pretty pointy ends of the rays disappeared. Points on linen don’t tuck we’ll.
4. If I did it again, I would probably put the gold right onto the velvet or use a fabric that didn’t fray so much, do a period fray check and just trim it close, and cover the edge.

Anyways it’s pretty.

Now I am laying out the stems. Leaves and the ribbon. I am finding it challenging to Kep a balance between the modern and medieval eye. So I ended up adding more leaves. The large stems will be a row of pearls with a line of #1 gilt purl on either side. For the smaller stems I am going the opposite way. A strand of super fine gilt purl with seed pearls on both sides of the gold. The pearls will also completely outline the leaves.

The ribbon wrapping around the sun and stem is the silk ribbon I found. Saves cutting out silk bits however it is much thinner than the silk I am using for the leaves. It does challenge me to actually think about the movement of the ribbon winding around things vs making shapes to fit.

On the inspiration gown the ribbon was outlined in a bead of possible similar color, so I will be outlining mine in coral beads I found.

So cutting out tiny leaves from silk is a pain. Does it shred. So I am doing a slightly deeper stitch and hoping crouching pearls over everything will stabilize it.


That is a picture of where I left off last night. It’s very slow work and I do worry about my set deadline which is February. But one thought I will leave you with: couching pearls is very relaxing. It sets a rhythm like knitting or counting worry beads. And this way I am catching up on shows that I wanted to watch on Netflix :)


So I decided to experiment during my lunch hour yesterday with the appliqué.

I tried a thin row of back stitch along the edge and it failed as expected. It will not hold up to the strain, the silk shredded.


Small whip stitches held up to me pulling on them.


Added some wool roving under the silk to see if I liked it padded, ( jury is out still ) and tried out the medium size of the seed pearls.

Overall happy with the outcome, and somewhat relieved it will not take an eternity to do the appliqué.