This post is part of a series on the Costume of The Wheel of Time world. A previous post was on embroidered Tairen Mazes and included a panel from one of Mat’s sleeves.
Now I’ve turned to embroidering samples from Rand’s coats in materials and colours consistent with what would have been available in Jordan’s world.
Moiraine had several coats made for Rand in Shienar including this one:
The heron (shown right, click to enlarge) is in thick silver thread sewn down (couched) onto black silk fabric with fine thread. Such thread consists of thin strips of silver wrapped around a core of silk (these days usually all synthetic). It is not drawn in and out of the fabric because it would damage the fabric and strip the silver from the thread. There would have been one heron on each side of the standing collar.
After a moment, he chose the black coat, to suit his mood. Silver herons stood on the high collar, and silver rapids ran down his sleeves, water battered to froth against jagged rocks.
- The Great Hunt, On the Scent
I sewed two designs for the sleeve panel. In the first (shown left, click to enlarge) the water was two strands of silver couched onto the black silk with fine silver thread. The water contours would continue around the bottom of the sleeve, encircling the cuff. Two strands of thick silver thread outlined the rocks and then one strand of silver thread in seeding stitch gave them texture.
Rand's coats are usually embroidered in metallic rather than in coloured silk threads. Such metalwork embroidery was common on the coats of nobility in Europe and even more so in China. Gold was the usual metal used, and in fact Rand has many more coats embroidered with gold than with silver.
In the second sleeve panel I emphasised the water frothing over the rocks. A detail is shown right; the fall of water is actually longer, but this is the limit of my scanner.
The curling pattern of the churned water is a traditional Chinese goldwork pattern, appropriate since the heron and the waterfall (and the dragon!) are motifs in Oriental embroidery. At the base of the sleeve the water pattern would continue around the cuff. The water was sewn in two strands of fine silver thread couched down with a strand of grey thread.
The rocks were couched with two strands of thick silver twist thread and filled in with two strand of thin silver thread.