Friday, September 2, 2011

I've been working on a rug

I've gotten nothing whatsoever done clothingwise this week. I've been too busy working on a felt rug that I promised to make as a prize for the rapier tourney at Insurrection next week.

Slow going since I am not a group of people.  Lots of manual labor.  But actually pretty fast compared to a similar piece if  I'd embroidered it or something.  This is about 3 feet wide by 4 feet long.  The images I used are the animal virtues from the segno or 7 swords diagram from Fiore de Libri's Flower of Battle   .  I liked the animals more than the swords and since its decorative rather than a teaching tool I skipped the part that is actually important in the diagram and focussed on the animals.  The strangely polka dotted thing up top is supposed to be a lynx with some calipers and stands for foresight and measure.  The lion with the heart is for audacity and bravery, the elephant with his silly toes stands for stability and fortitude, and the tiger (I swear, they claim its a tiger) with the arrow is for swiftness.
The image has absolutely nothing to do with the technique I used, but I thought it would be appropriate since it was going to be a rapier prize.   The technique is one of inlaid felt that is seen in Mongollian/Chinese felts.  I cheated a bit by needlefelting the shapes and then applying them to the background rather than cutting them out of a prefelt since I wasn't sure that I had the technical skill to do it the other way and it was a big risk with a piece this size if it went splat.  I need to practice more when its not something that needs to be given away on a deadline.  I also used a very tightly twisted yarn to define things so they'd pop..  That is a technique seen in traditional felting, but it is usually far less twisted.
The definition that can be gotten by masters of inlaid felt is astonishingz.  My jaw drops every time I go looking at this kasen (it translates to something like wool textile flower) that was made in 756 AD and is part of the Nara find.  Here's a detail of the incredible definition.


  1. This is absolutely beautiful. Whomever takes if home is truly lucky. You have created yet another piece that is truly spectacular and worth covering. Brava!