All posts tagged: terminology

Brocade and jacquard – what’s the difference? (or, the history of the jacquard loom, and all the weaves it can create)

A long time ago, when I posted the difference and between muslin, voile, lawn, and batiste (among other fabrics), someone asked if I could explain the difference between brocade and jacquard.  I took a deep breath, and say “Yes, but it will take a while.” It certainly has, because it’s actually quite a big question, and there is so much confusion around it! A lot of the confusion come from the fact that while the appearance of brocade has stayed very similar throughout history, the method of creating it has changed drastically.  Prior to 1801 brocades were woven on hand operated draw-looms by master weavers, who manually created the elaborate brocade patterns as they were woven in with the help of a drawboy, who stood on a perch above the loom.  Then, in 1801 Joseph Marie Jacquard demonstrated a new invention (albeit one based partly on a series of inventions from the 1740s-60s) – a loom which ran on cards with holes punched in them.  Each card represented one line of a pattern, with the holes allowing threads to pass through …

High heels for kings, empresses and Nana

For my Historical Sew Fortnightly ‘The Politics of Fashion’ challenge I present a carry-on from my Art submissions.  I’ve knocked off another little bit of Manet’s Nana’s outfit by making high heeled 1877 evening shoes. Like Nana’s shoes, mine feature very high Louis heels, a black velvet or suede ground (mine are faux suede), and gold decorations on the toes – I went for gold lace with gold beading. I made my shoes by taking a pair of 1990s shoes that had the right basic silhouette, and (most importantly) the right heel: a high Louis heel. Unfortunately, they were cut far too high in the foot, so I had to cut them down. Then I bound the edges (an endeavor that required pliers to pull the needles through, bent one and broke two) where I had cut them. Next, it was time for the lace.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any suitable gold lace in the stash because I de-stashed my 1990s gold bridal lace bits because (duh) they were 1990s gold bridal lace bits, and when was …

The HSF ’14: Challenge #16: Terminology

Of all the challenges in the HSF 2014, Challenge #16, due 1 September, is probably the one I’m most excited about.  The theme is Terminology: pick something that’s been defined in the The Great Historical Fashion & Textile Glossary, and sew it up! Terminology posts aren’t the most popular things I write, but they have been my favourite things to write the last few years.  I’m a serious history nerd, so I always want to know exactly what something means in a historical sense, and why it means that.   I’ve really enjoyed researching each of the terms, so that I could not only define it, but understand where it fit into the societal context of the day, and how the term would be used in relation to similar items of clothing.  I’ve also really enjoyed the guests posts which usually explore a term and a textile from an era I don’t usually work in.  Whether through my own research and posts, or through guests posts, I’ve learned so much in researching each term, and hopefully some of you have found the …