10th to 15th century - medieval islamic inspired embroidery,  Bayeux Stitch,  Embroidery,  Embroidery Links,  Embroidery Patterns,  Islamic,  Islamic laid and couched work,  Materials,  Medieval Art,  Medieval Embroidery,  Medieval Embroidery,  Museum,  Museum - Online Collections,  OvO - Order of the velvet Owl - pouch,  Projects,  Refilsaum,  Wool-Silk Thread

Gloria’s OvO pouch with medieval islamic inspired embroidery – my period inspiration :D

2017-05 - Racaire - Glorias ovo bag - medieval islamic inspired embroidery - SCA - Order of the velvet owl pouch - ovo pouch - islamic laid and couched work - bayeux stitch - refilsaum - hand embroidery - medieval embroidery - islamic embroidery - arabic inscriptionMy previous posting, “super secret project revealed: OvO pouch with medieval islamic inspired embroidery“, already contained a sneak peek at this very special embroidery project. And today I am going to show you the period inspiration for my medieval islamic inspired embroidery project. 🙂

But let’s talk about the project first. When I took on this project, I was already aware that it wouldn’t be a simple task for me. Being so close to the recipient – Gloria, my beloved mother-in-law – made this embroidery project easier but also much more difficult at the same time.

First the project appeared so much easier because I knew my mother-in-law quite well. But at the very same time I realized how much more difficult it would gonna be as I hadn’t taken on an medieval islamic embroidery yet. And to make everything even more complicated I had to struggle with a very limited amount of time and two more scrolls on my to-do list. Well, you might remember my husband’s Knighting scroll & vigil book and the scroll for the Rose Tournament which I had to finish before Gulf Wars

However, my personal goal was very clear: I wanted to finish the medieval islamic inspired embroidery for her pouch, as much of the pouch as possible and all the scrolls before Gulf Wars – come hell or high water. And in retrospective I can say – I made it! …or at least came pretty close to finishing all projects before Gulf Wars. With one single exception: I was still sewing on her pouch during our drive to the event, at the event and still didn’t manage to completely finish it. Gloria had to finish the shoulder strap for her pouch herself… *lol* But she assured me that she didn’t mind… 🙂

Yeah, this project was my very first medieval islamic inspired embroidery project yet. Not that I haven’t thought about starting a similar project during the last years. I actually admire medieval islamic art quite a lot. I even have several extant medieval islamic embroideries on my “if I ever find the time, I’d love to do…” project list. But when you are sprinting from one project to the other – may it be because of too much inspiration or just because you and your husband need some new garb – than it is hard to find some time for special projects like this. Especially if this projects require a certain amount of research in advance…

Apropos research – it took several hours until I found an extant medieval islamic embroidery which I deemed suitable as inspiration for this project. It definitely helped that I already knew a great online middle eastern art collection before I even started with my search. However, I still had to literally dig through hundreds of textile pictures. And as you can imagine, once I found my inspiration my actual research work began… 😀 

And now let’s take a look at the inspiration for my medieval islamic embroidery – enjoy! 😀 [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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Here is the link to one of the most amazing middle eastern art collections I know:

The Ashmolean Museum
-> Eastern Art Online Collection

And here a picture of the extant medieval islamic embroidery which inspired me as well as a link of the object within the eastern art online collection of the Ashmolean Museum:

Copyright Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford; This item is from Eastern Art Online: Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art, jameelcentre.ashmolean.org, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Textile fragment with lion and inscription, possibly from a bag or pocket

  • Object title: “Textile fragment with lion and inscription, possibly from a bag or pocket”
  • Date: 10th – 15th century AD
  • Place: Near East
  • Material and Technique: Linen, embroidered with red and blue silk; linen backing; with stitching in flax
  • Dimensions: 13 x 12 cm max. (length x width), along length/width 21 / 21 threads/cm (thread count), ground fabric 0.05 cm max. (thread diameter), ground fabric 0.03 cm min. (thread diameter), additional fibre, embroidery 0.06 cm (thread diameter)
  • Accession number: EA1984.87

Please visit the object on the website of the Ashmolean Museum, klick on the picture showing the bag/pocket and enjoy the embroidery details via the Zoom function. The Zoom function button is hidden at the bottom left underneath the picture that pops up as soon as you klick on the picture on the website. It’s really worth to look for it as the details are truly amazing!

If you are already familiar with the medieval laid and couched technique, like the so-called Bayeux Stitch technique (as used on the famous Bayeux tapestry*) and Refilsaum** (as used in the North European Countries like Sweden,…) you will find a quite interesting difference concerning the placement of the couching stitches in relation to the laid threads. But I won’t reveal more at this time as this difference will be covered in one of my next postings about this project. 😀

(* here the link to the Wikipedia text about the tapestry as well as the text about Couching per se)
(** though it seems like “Refilsaum” is just another name for the same laid and couched embroidery technique, I decided for myself to divide both techniques – into “Bayeux Stitch” and “Refilsaum” due to a quite different usage when it comes to the embroidery itself…) 

I hope you enjoyed todays posting about the period inspiration for my medieval islamic embroidery project. Stay tuned my friends, more about this project will follow soon… 😀

Best regards Racaire