Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wheel Of Time Embroidery Collection #2 - Rand's Coat Sleeve Embroidery 1

By Linda

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:

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

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.

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.


old salt said...

Great work Linda. As someone who is massively challenged by a missing button, I am in awe of sewing and embroidery talents like yours.
I now have a much better visual picture of what Rand's coats looked like.

Old(impressive display)Salt

Linda said...

Thanks Peter!

If I had your expertise on the camera, I might be able to take photos of these pieces without the silk reflecting so much light that its colour is distorted. The scanner gives a better reproduction of colour - but still not perfect! and it limits me to an A4 area.

aprildmoore said...

Linda, I commented over on the thread at Age of Legends, but this is beautfiful work! I wish my own embroidery skills were at this level -- can't wait to talk to you at JordanCon. :-)

--April (TnSabregirl)

Linda said...

And I you, April!

Thanks for your compliment; :) I plan on bringing my WOT embroideries to JordanCon.

Aubrey Longley-Cook said...

Amazing work! I've been reading through the series and love all the references to embroidery. I am just starting a WOT embroidered piece. Thanks for the inspiration! Keep up the amazing work!

Linda said...

Thanks Aubrey! How great that you are inspired by the books to do your own WOT piece. :)