hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
ILL got this book to me earlier this week:
Viking Artefacts: A Select Catalogue by James Graham-Cambell (ISBN: 0-7141-1354-9)
82. Bone thread-maker
Lund, Skåne, Sweden
Lund (Kulturen): KM 53436:572
Two-pronged implement of hollow bone, with highly polished surface. L 5.8 cm
From the Thule excavations (1000-50). Such bones were used for twining threads; a similar thread-maker from Lund has runes inciced on it with the words tinbl bein (‘tvindeben’) (Blomqvist and Mårtensson 1963, 57 fig. 41: Moltke 1976. 376, 378). Date: LVP.
Lit. Blomqvist and Mårtensson 1963, 174, fig. 179.
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
With much thanks to [personal profile] jillwheezul (thank you!) I was able to get the D. S. Wilkinson “Needlework Tools: The Lucet” article from the June 1997 Needle Arts magazine to review it for more information on the history of the lucet and it’s time period. Here are the excerpts mentioning dates and time periods for this implement:
(pg 16)
“So next time you seek a trim or cord for your project, consider one made by your own hand in the manner of the 17th and 18th centuries using the lyre-shaped implement called a lucet.
“An important utilitarian tool of every needleworker, the lucet has been widely used and known in the Western world since around the late 16th century. Please note that numerous reference books have incorrectly identified the lucet as a thread winder.”
The article goes on to list extant samples of lucets at the following museums. I am considering writing to the curator at the Met to see if they have any that they have dated from the earlier 16th century.
The Chester County Historical Society
The Valentine Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Colonial Williamsburg DeWitt Wallace Museum
I am still curious about that Viking reference, especially with the noted issues with possible incorrect identifications as thread winders. This site listed the following source which I am going to attempt to ILL:
Graham-Campbell, James. Viking Artefacts: A Select Catalogue. London: British Museum Publications, 1980.a
We'll see what this Viking version is all about...
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Well, I picked up "Needlework Tools and Accessories: A Collector's Guide" by Molly G. Proctor from my ILL desk today. The lucet is mentioned in on pages 120-121 (no, not volumes of information, I agree). The section referring to the age of these instruments is as follows:

"During excavations of the Viking settlement at York a broken lucet was found which was easily recognized as the shape has never altered. Lucets were flat and more-or-less lyre-shaped, usually between 3-4 inches (75-125mm) in length, with a small hole near the base and sometimes a handle to assist twisting the tool back and forth in use. Cottagers' lucets were made from bone, wood or horn and there there were finer tools made of ivory, tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl. They were in general use until the 1830's but when cheap machine-made cords became available, lucets were no longer necessary. "

Not conclusive, but interesting. There are no footnotes or end matter about this Viking find at York. And of course, there are no images of dated examples from the 16th C in this book.

So, anyone with Viking research connections have some information they could point me toward? I will be executing a Google search later this week (once I am done with the RMA workshop on Wednesday, wish me luck!).

BTW - [personal profile] jillwheezul, did you ever happen to run across that article on lucets at your library?
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
So in my last post about tracking down the history of the ellusive 'lucet monster', I mentioned that I was going to make another round of ILL requests to check in to the bibliography from Lucet Braiding: Variations on a Renaissance Cord, by Elaine Fuller. Here is what I have gotten back from my university ILL desk:

Goodnow, Kendra and Hilliger, Albert C. "Lucette Cord Made Easy" 1978

Well when my search turned up nothing, I did an Internet search and this was the only link.  I did not locate a library that has it listed under this title or authors.
Your best bet would be to order it.*

ME to the LiveJournal Crew:
I really don't want to have to order this book(let) - even though it is *only* $6: Anyone happen to have a copy and be willing to thumb through it for any 'history' information?

Wilkinson, Dorothy S "Needlework Tools: The Lucet" Needle Arts, June 1997, pp. 16-17

The Monticello Needlearts, "Needlework Tools : The Lucet" by Doroty S. Wilkinson, June 1997, was not searchable either.  I am terrible sorry, but the title did turn up under one library, but it is a book, and it is part of their rare books collection and in processs.  

ME to the LiveJournal Crew:
I attempted a search on WorldCat and a number of article archives - no luck.

Proctor, Molly "Needlework Tools and Accessories: A Collectors Guide" London: BT Batsford, Ltd. 1990

I was able to request Needlework Tools and Accessories.  

ME to the LiveJournal Crew:

Well, one out of three ain't bad....*ttthhbt*
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Awhile back I posted this information...

This Inforamtion right here... )
The following three title came in:

 "The History of Needlework Tools and Accessories" by Sylvia Groves

 "An Illustrated History of Needlework Tools" Gay Ann Rogers

"Old Needlework Boxes and Tools: Their Story and How to Collect Them" Mary Andere

So far, all these sources agree that the lucet was "still around" and in general use in the 18th C - but not one of them has indicated when it *started* being used or if it was around in the 16th C.

The closest I have gotten to a clue thus far is the following from Sylvia Groves book,

"Apart from the garniture of needlework there were numerous other purposes for which cords were needed in both large and small households. In medieval times horn-books, pen-cases, pincushions, pomanders and many objects of everyday use were hung from the waist suspended by cords. Hooks and eyes and metal fasteners, of a type that can be bought easily and cheaply today, did not become generally available until the late Georgian era, so hat both under and outer garments had to be laced up or gathered in with cords, or 'chains' as they were then termed. The closure of bags and purses presented another and more difficult problem; money was carried in a silk purse contained in an outer bag o leather drawn or tied round with strings or laces.

"All these cords had, of course, to be made by hand, usually on a simple but very essential, implement know as a lucet. This is a flat, lyre-shaped tool, from three to six inches in length, with two horns tapering or curving outwards at the ends...."

I just got the Abegg-Stiftung 'Textile Conservation' book in today and thought I would scan the index for the word 'lucet'. No luck, the index is only of pieces and images, not terms.

So I will try to skim the contents while I have it to see if any extant pieces with lucet cords are mentioned....

BTW - I also edited this entry to include my thoughts on fingerloop braiding.

[livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul, you can start the "I told you so" entry now....*grin* 

edited 7/17/08 @ 8:54 AM - 

Since I am returning the above listed ILL titles to the library today anyway, I am going to send in requests for these items to see if they have more details on the lucet/medieval/Early Modern connection:

Goodnow, Kendra and Hilliger, Albert C. "Lucette Cord Made Easy" 1978

Proctor, Molly "Needlework Tools and Accessories: A Collectors Guide" London: BT Batsford, Ltd. 1990

Wilkinson, Dorothy S "Needlework Tools: The Lucet" Needle Arts, June 1997, pp. 16-17

I desided to search the OED (since I found I have access to it via the SF Public Library):

lucet pron: (({sm}l(j)ust) )


      a1650 1858  

a1650 in Furnivall Percy Folio (1868) II. 402 Shee that liues by nille and tape, & with her bagge & lucett beggs. 1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, Lucet, a lady's lace loom, made of bone, ivory or wood.
hsifeng: (Creative)
Ran into [livejournal.com profile] newperspectives via [livejournal.com profile] attack_laurel's petticoat post; She sent me some lovely information on another style of cord making*.  

This got me thinking, I need to post some research on the point making styles I am going to be doing as recontrution work. From what I can find on the net, lucet cording is period for the 16th century (I am making a leap to say that it existed in Germany since I don't have direct documentation). The same appears to be true of fingerloop braiding. 

*Now if I could only find period (16th C) information on the use of whipcording. I am drooling over a set of those lovely hanging bobbins, but I hate replicating a craft 'in person' at reenactment events unless I can document it....

EDIT: I also need to keep this resource in mind for a future book purchase. "Tak V Bowes Departed":A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined by Elizabeth Benns & Gina Barrett, (2005)
hsifeng: (work...)
Yesterday was fun!

Spent all day at a Classified Personnel conference that my District holds every year. There were a *lot* of folks that I had never met there - some that I knew from phone and e-mail contact but many that I had never interacted with. Not a big shock, I have only been with the District for three months. It was really nice to run into an old college mate who is working in DSP&S (disables student services) as their head ASL coordinator and interpreter. I am used to people walking up and saying, "Don't I know you?" and 90% of the time they don't - I just have 'that kind of face' that seems to be like someone they've met before. So it was nice for a change to realize that I *did* know the person passing me a note in the middle of a conference course. Christina was studying sign language when I met her in college about 10 years ago so it is nice to see her working in that field. I remember her as being very nice and very animated - and she still is. *chuckle*

After the conference closed at 4:00 PM I went to Meg's shop and started working on getting my 'hand in' on lucet cording. I will be going back for at least the next few Thursdays. Meg keeps the store open until 8:00 PM on those nights and hosts anyone who wants to sit in for assistance on their project. She had a sock class going last night, but regularly walked around the grouped tables in the middle of the store to 'check in' on what people were working on and answer questions. It was nice to just sit and chat, even with folks I don't know at all! I I have updated my Making a wHole entry with the results of last nights work and will continue to add to it as the project progresses. I am trying to keep all the information grouped for future reference.

The events of yesterday have pointed out something that I have been noticing for awhile. I am not really good at walking into a group of folks I don't know anymore. I used to be fearless - or at least clueless - and run head long into new associations no matter what the situation was. Seriously, no crowd of strangers could slow me down! Now I don't seek interaction with people I don't know as readily and tend to end up feeling awkward more easily. I don't know if my perception of other people has changed or my perception of myself. *shrug* Or maybe I just don't seek other folks for company as much as I used to. I don't know if I like the new situation or not. Weird.
hsifeng: (Creative)
OK, I have a few techniques I am planning on testing out and I am going to document them here for others who might find them interesting. They have to do with the making, binding and filling (use) of point holes for the 16th century.

The scope of the project should be worked out before the first weekend in April (when I plan on my husband using his new Waffenrock with these items in place on it), for the School of the Renaissance Soldier.

Project #1: Point holes reinforced with metal rings ala the examples in Janet Arnold.

Project #2: Point lacings made of lucet cord

Project #3: Point lacing made of fingerlooped braids.

Project #4: Point lacings made of linen (via my new ¼” bias tape maker).

Updates as I make progress…. The Waffenrock should be ready for me to place points on by sometime next week...


Completed 'test holes' in sample fabric work up. Sample fabrics used match the liner and wool outer that are being used on my husbands new Waffenrock: That means two layers of medium weigh canvas and two layers of light weight wool had holes put thru them. A picture of all materials used is included below. These include the sample fabric, a tailors awl, a #4 (5/32") leather hole punch & a variety of copper and alloy 'jump washers' that I flattened using a pair of needle nosed pliers - washer sizes #8-#10.


Discovered that I like the punched holes more (*duh* the threads are no longer there to crowd back in to the voided space - making the sewing much easier), but that the tailors awl holes were almost identical in size so long as I worked them *with the awl in place* to hold the shape until the threads were in place to retain the shape of the opening. The awl also worked well for holding the metal backing ring in place while I did my sewing...hummmmm So, I guess I really don't know which technique - punch or awl - that I will use on my final product. *shrug* I don't have to make a decision 'right now'. *chuckle*

Photos of finished hole included, with close up of metal backing ring in place - this is taken from the 'back side/inside' of the fabric.  Please forgive my late-night-tried-after-sewing-all-day stitch technique. *grin*


Need new photo of finished hole - this first one was too dark...

I will be taking my test fabric to Meg's tomorrow so that I have sample sizes to test my completed points lacings against. With any luck, I will get both lucet and fingerloop braid completed to use as samples.




OK, so I *may* change my mind on this once I get a chance to try fingerloop braiding - but I am pretty sold on lucet cord for points at this time. They are easy to produce - you can make them in multicolor if you want to (still need to learn this technique) and stretchy which would be an advantage when dealing with the points at the back of a man's Hosen/Wams connection. I will upload some photos of my work in progress: Still plan on meeting with Meg again next week to go over finishing the cords and how to do some other styles of laces. I tried four types of fiber: Handspun wool, medium weight wool yarn, embroidery thread and embroidery floss (all six strands). What I learned is this:

Handspun - I need to work on my spinning! *chuckle* Seriously though, I used to think it was soooo cool that I could spin such a fine thread. The only handspun I had to work with was waaaay too thin and wouldn't have held up well. I may still geek out and spin a heavier thread on my walking wheel to lucet and hand dye for points. The thought did wander across my mind that fulling a handspun lucet cord might give a nice stretch while still retaining the overall strength of the fiber. Something to play with later...

Wool yarn - unless you use a *very* small yarn, you are going to get a final cord that is way too big for a point hole. This weight might be good for some other cording applications, but not my points.

Embroidery thread - I think this might work out if my point holes were larger. It comes in a wide variety of colors and is already 'spun' so it would be pretty strong.

Embroidery floss (all six strands used) - this will be what I am using on this project unless something else jumps out at me. The final cord was the right size for my holes; the material comes in a wide variety of colors and has a nice finish and stretch when corded.

Now to get hubby to make his aglets....*grin*





I have been playing with fingerlooping on-and-off for three weeks now. Other than the confusion that comes with interpreting each pattern authors 'take' on explaining the process of their braiding, it is easy and almost mindless once you get into a rhythm.  I have only tried two types of fiber with this cord making technique and here is what I have found:


Wool yarn - This makes some very nice trim work, and can be done (at least in the three loop braid that I know so far) i a manner that produces a flat tape. I love the overall appearance and can't wait to learn more patterns. By far the easiest material to work these projects in - forgiving on the fingers and easy to 'untangle' when necessary. WINNER!

Embroidery floss - This makes a nice, tight cord for lacing (it looks a lot like the four strand braids when done, but easier to do!), and can come out nicely when done in three loop pattern with more than one color. However, it is murder on the fingers! I will learn to endure it because I think I am going to make hubby a brown and red set of points for his Waff (to replace the red only lucet ones that he is using now) - I really like the final product!


All in all, I should learn to just listen to

[livejournal.com profile] jillwheezulwhen she tells me that I "should just use fingerloop braids for points". *chuckle* But then I wouldn't have had a much fun!


hsifeng: (Default)

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