Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Vadmal Bag

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And I use the word "vadmal" loosely..it may not be actual or true vadmal (wadmal).
 
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According to the little bit of information I was able to find online, Kerstin Gustafsson explains in her book Ull (Wool) that there isn't any given measurement, but cloth will be called vadmal when it is so tightly stamped that no warp or weft threads can be pulled out of a cut edge.
 
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Gail Lambert writes in her thesis (The Taxonomy of Sweater Structures and Their Origins) that valmal is a woven and then felted fabric, and was once accepted internationally as currency.
 
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I was able to find a page that indicated that in medieval Iceland and Norway, wadmal was a standard item of barter.  Six ells (or about 6 yards) of wadmal were equal to 1 eyrir, 24 grams of silver: 8 eyrir made a silver mark.
 
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I found out that wadmal cloth was woven on the warp - weighted loom..my bag was woven on the triloom..so...I guess it isn't really historically correct...sorta faux vadmal..
 
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Project notes:
 
The fiber for this bag was spun from Icelandic Sheep raised by Susan Mongold Briggs.  Purchased in the form of a batt from Tongue River Farm.  This fiber could not be nicer, I was extremely happy with the quality.  It was so beautifully prepared, that it begged to be spun on my Great Wheel.  I spun singles on the Great Wheel, and then plied the singles on my Ashford Traditional.  I then wove 5 triangles on the 3 foot triangle loom.  Four of the five were woven normally, with the fifth triangle using a closer sett.  This was achieved by doubling the strands on each nail.  Then the triangles were positioned in the fashion of the bag.  The pieces were then slip- stitched together.  The size before the fulling process was a 23 inch square, and afterward it measured 13 inches by 14 inches.  I then scissor trimmed the flap to a size and shape that I found suitable.  The straps were made by spinning the double ply in Navajo ply fashion, and then fingerlooping a braid that was handstitched onto the edges of the bag.  The button was fashioned from a branch of a maple tree, that I shaped and hand finished.  A smaller piece of fingerlooping that was braided with the double ply, serves as a button hole.

6 comments:

Karen said...

Beautiful bag!

And an excellent understanding of vadmal! (as far as I know, anyway....not an expert, just an interested viking re-enactor textile geek) ;)

Was the tog and thel separated before you spun the fleece?

Oh! and let me know if you ever decide to try the warp-weighted loom - I'm quite simply craving the company of other weavers who use it. There's so much to learn in the practice of it.

Karen

Judy said...

I loved the bag. It was good to see you today, I just wish we had more time to get together like days of yore! I think we all need a day to get together and spin..now if time and obligations would just allow it.

Dawn said...

What a beautiful bag! Your work is lovely! Thanks so much for the education on vadmal. :-)

Judith said...

Incredible. Your bag is beautiful and looks connected to the earth to me. Not being a spinner or weaver, it is a joy to learn from you. The button is in perfect harmony with the bag. Lovely, Cyndy!

judy said...

The bag is beautiful, organic in appearance, geometrically appealing. The little maple twig, used as a clousure was a perfect choice. I need to learn to finger weave. You are quite an inspiration. Hope your weekend is as lovely as it is here.

Tery said...

Love that bag! And thanks for the history lesson as well. Nice!

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