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Medieval Reliquary Bag

Medieval Reliquary Bag

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Published by Brenda Gerritsma
Written description and lots of pictures, links to extant pieces that inspired the piece, and links to explanations of processes.
Written description and lots of pictures, links to extant pieces that inspired the piece, and links to explanations of processes.

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Published by: Brenda Gerritsma on Feb 04, 2013
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11/04/2013

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Medieval Reliquary Bag (plain red silk)
10 cm long x 9 cm widesilk, linen, copper alloyIt's a plain red silk (it's actually the buttonless cuff of an old silk shirt I'd cut up for trim!), with silk finger-loopwoven drawstrings, silk loop-braiding sewn to the edges to close them, and linen finger-loop woven hangingloop, with copper alloy bells.It's inspired by these reliquary pouches:http://m-silkwork.blogspot.ca/2012/03/embroidery-in-exhibition-splendour-and.html-BELLS! 14th century, German(?)http://www.kikirpa.be/www2/cgi-bin/wwwopac.exe?DATABASE=obj2&LANGUAGE=0&OPAC_URL=&10069284=ON&LIMIT=50-13th century, found in Francehttp://www.kikirpa.be/www2/cgi-bin/wwwopac.exe?DATABASE=obj2&LANGUAGE=0&OPAC_URL=&10069287=ON&LIMIT=50-with draw-strings and hanging strap still attached, 13th century, found in France
 
 Because I was using bells, I decided to thread them directly onto the silk thread I used for the loop-braidedseams, and stitched down the loops to the pouch. I may go back and do some extra stitching to make sure thebells are really secure.It's a little tricky to start the braid with the bell attached, but not bad.The stitching of the seams is done in a spiral, over both sides of one of the loops (here looped over top tobottom), and through the edges of the fabric the opposite way.I'm sewing the opening at the top in this picture, which is why I'm not sewing the two edges together. As thiswas a sleeve cuff, the outside and the 'lining' were already sewn together, but... eh. I wanted the look right.Pull the stitch tight over the loop...
 
 And bring the loop you just stitched through the other loop, and bringing the other loop down to be stitchednext.If this isn't clear, there are better instructions here:http://m-silkwork.blogspot.ca/2007/04/finishing-seams-of-14th15th-century_29.htmlYou can stitch the ends in or use longer loops and sew all the way around the pouch. I was using left over warpends from a tablet weaving project and the loops were only long enough to do one side with short ends, but Idecided they were big enough for wee tassels! Since there were two sides to the opening, I did them inopposing directions so two braids would finish in each corner.And the bottom of the pouch.

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