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RE: [Authentic_SCA] Table Linens

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  • Kammy Chinnock
    Thank you all for the helpful hints about table cloths! That has saved me researching authentic designs for decorating them! I can just spend my time hand
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 3 8:41 AM
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      Thank you all for the helpful hints about table cloths! That has saved me
      researching authentic designs for decorating them! I can just spend my time
      hand hemming them!



      Kammy Chinnock





      From: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of Chris Laning
      Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 8:59 AM
      To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Table Linens





      Yes, it's very disappointing to the embroidery-minded that the "best" table
      linens were usually quite plain ;)

      The quality of the linen and, sometimes, the elegance of a woven-in design
      were apparently the things that mattered most for social status.

      On Apr 1, 2013, at 7:26 AM, Laurie Clarkston wrote:

      > Kammy,
      >
      > As far as decorating go, the linen tablecloths would have very little in
      the way of decorated items. It would be the plates, cups, silverware, and
      candlesticks--you will see this in some of the pictures Karen sent you.
      >
      > As far as decorations go: If the house/castle/manor were having important
      guests, enough to bring out the bright-white linens, they would also have a
      sideboard or table displaying all of their silver plate and/or gold plates
      (platters, plates, bowls, candlesticks, pitchers, etc...) lined up to show
      off.
      >
      > A lot of wealth would have been in plates, platters, and other objects and
      not used other than to display before important guest. It would be placed
      out in a noted location (much like putting a collection of family pictures
      on the fireplace mantle, or on the piano for display--that we do today).
      >
      > If they fell on harder times, these items would be sold off, or melted
      down and exchanged for coin or goods, since "banking" was not around then,
      and having a bag of coins was not always a good thing to keep around, let
      alone display...grin.
      >
      > Cairistiona
      >

      __________________________________________________________

      O (Dame) Christian de Holacombe, OL - Shire of Windy Meads
      + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...
      <mailto:claning%40igc.org> >
      http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
      __________________________________________________________





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    • Janis James
      You know - I still like working a little embroidery on my table linens though. While not entirely authentic - a nice embroidered border makes me feel very
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 3 12:55 PM
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        You know - I still like working a little embroidery on my table linens though. While
        not entirely authentic - a nice embroidered border makes me feel very happy and
        having matching table napkins with a little embroidery in one corner to identify
        each user - also makes me feel good. I do tend to use a pattern/design from the
        time period with correct period colours and correct fabrics too. I might not enter it
        in an A&S competition, but when setting out a feast table I love the look.
        Cheers, Sine

        Sine Gunnsdottir
        Tir Righ/ AnTir




        To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
        From: klchinnock@...
        Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 09:41:32 -0600
        Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] Table Linens





        Thank you all for the helpful hints about table cloths! That has saved me
        researching authentic designs for decorating them! I can just spend my time
        hand hemming them!

        Kammy Chinnock

        .





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      • Karen_Larsdatter
        I ve gone ahead and set up a new linkspage with some more of the 16th century damask linen tablecloths I ve found; you can find it at
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 4 12:31 PM
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          I've gone ahead and set up a new linkspage with some more of the 16th century damask linen tablecloths I've found; you can find it at http://larsdatter.com/damask-table-linens.htm

          Sine wrote:
          > You know - I still like working a little embroidery on my table
          > linens though. While not entirely authentic - a nice embroidered
          > border makes me feel very happy and having matching table napkins
          > with a little embroidery in one corner to identify each user - also
          > makes me feel good. I do tend to use a pattern/design from the
          > time period with correct period colours and correct fabrics too.
          > I might not enter it in an A&S competition, but when setting out
          > a feast table I love the look.

          Embroidered table linens are certainly not non-period, but it's less common, even in wealthier households (where, if we're in the 16th century, the damask linen could be custom-woven for the household's needs, anyway). There are examples of embroidered table-carpets from the 16th and 17th centuries -- one of the most well-known of these is the Bradford carpet, which you can find at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_carpet or http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O78745/bradford-table-carpet-table-carpet-unknown/ -- though again, these are table carpets and not really table linens, so it's unlikely that food would have been served directly on top of this.

          There's a rather nice little textile photographed in "Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers" that seems to be an embroiderer's interpretation of one of the Perugia-style brocaded linens (again, see http://larsdatter.com/perugia-tablecloths.htm for several examples). I've done an embroidered table-covering in this sort of style as well. It's easy to re-create the Perugia brocaded ornamentation with a needle and thread in a monochromatic embroidery technique.

          Speaking of monochromatic embroidery, another style that I think would be eminently suitable for a southern Italian table would be the voided-work styles; most of the extant examples that remain are just the embroidered strips, but IIRC there are sufficient examples of 16th & 17th century Italian household linens with this style of embroidery that it would not be completely out of the question. This is the form of cross stitch that modern embroiderers often call Assisi work; you can see several period examples at http://www.larsdatter.com/voided-work.htm too.

          Also in terms of Italian textiles, there is the lovely (and potentially embroidered) table-covering in this mid-16th century portrait by Bacchiacca: http://www.getty.edu/museum/research/provenance/provResearch?handle=plid&id=777
          Like the table-carpets in various portraits at http://larsdatter.com/carpets.htm this also seems to be used as a table-covering in a non-culinary context.

          It does make sense, though, if you think about it; as with undergarments, tablecloths would need to be cleaned very regularly, preferably bleached white to indicate their quality and cleanliness. (See http://www.larsdatter.com/laundry.htm for some images of how sun-bleaching linens was done.) For a household tablecloth that would get used under food, white linen would make quite a lot of sense. :)


          Karen Larsdatter
          www.larsdatter.com
        • Kammy Chinnock
          The information is awesome! Sine, that is what I was thinking of, that I just wanted the table to look pretty. Setting a beautiful table always makes me feel
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 6 6:30 PM
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            The information is awesome!



            Sine, that is what I was thinking of, that I just wanted the table to look
            pretty. Setting a beautiful table always makes me feel good!



            Karen, the links are wonderful! Thanks for research work. Your knowledge
            is so appreciated!



            Kammy Chinnock





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