20 000 little holes – a silk hairnet from the 1350s

15.11.2018 by Rotschopf in Clothing, Material culture, Textile work

3 years. That is how long I brought this stupid project along with me on every holiday and every event, doing a few loops at a time, then loosing motivation again, throwing it into a corner and picking it up again some time later. Now it is finally finished with a bit more than 20 000 knots.

The material is real silk from Marled Mader of Archäotechnik Textile Fläche, which I warmly recommend to buy for all your netting, embroidery, knitting and weaving projects. The thread size is 40/2 NM, but the originals are often made with even finer threads. The silk is dyed with Reseda/dyers broom.

I started with 50 loops per row and after 3 extention rows, the final rows counted 400 loops each.

You can see that there is also some smaller mistakes and unregularities in the net. I hope that most of them will still resolve over the wearing time because the loops still slightly move and will even out a bit.

I am not particularly fond of the middle part, where the start loops are held together. Although many of the originals show a fairly lazy finishing of the middle part, I am still thinking about how to finish it in a more esthetic way.

All in all it was not that much work. I calculated 40 hours in total at a rate of 7 seconds per loop if you just kept on knoting. But I probably won’t make another net in that fine loop size, the work is just too much for one project.

A bit more information on netting can be found in this article of mine.

It is bound with a fingerlooped silk nestle at the moment, but I intend to make a tablet woven edge for the net as in this extant hairnet from the Germanischen Nationalmuseum Nürnberg.

And I will also embelish it with embroidery since there is loads of extant originals that have that. It can be a very simple design as in the net from Germanisches Nationalmuseum, but also in a Bling-Blingy was, as in this find here which at first sight is pretty unspectacular, that is embroidered with gold -and silverthread (use the Zoom function!). How amazing must that have looked when the metal thread was still polished and glittery??

But for now, I am just happy with what I have and that my citzen’s wife has a suitable underpinning for her veil and the next project for more accessories for her is already in planing.




Zum Weiterlesen: 

A men’s hair net from the 14th century

Filet knitting or netting explained

Some ressources on netting

My pinterest collection on the topic

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