HNW - Re: Beading

janis jesa at
Fri Oct 10 12:02:50 PDT 1997

Donna Hrynkiw wrote:
> Greetings from Donna,
> On Thu, 9 Oct 1997, janis wrote:
> > Greetings All:  Thank you to all who replied regarding the questions
> > I had about beaded fringes and beadwork on fabrics. It was much
> > appreciated.  Unfortunately, it appears that not many people are
> > involved or interested in fabric beadwork or the history.
> I've been keeping an look-out for bead-decorated clothing during the
> earlier Medieval period for quite a while now (10+ years) and have uncovered
> only a very small handful of examples.
> >From that I deduce that bead-decoration on clothing was not a common
> practice during that time (that, or my bibliographic wanderings havn't
> taken me to the right places). It seems that beads were far more often
> used in necklaces, earrings, or as talismens.
> The instances I -did- find usually involved small pearls or amber. That
> large red coronation mantle of (I'm drawing a blank on the name -- Roger
> II?) that shows a tiger attacking a camel, and palm trees -- if you
> can find a close-up of the pattern, you'll discover that the white edging
> around all the lines is actually seed pearls, and the gold colour is
> either gold tube beads or some sort of gold bullion/cord. (Wasn't clear
> from the photo.)
> There's a belt from a Spainish tomb (14th or 15th C, I believe) which is
> decorated with small heater (shield) shapes with heraldic devices worked
> in glass seed-beads.
> There are, of course, all those Elizabethan gowns embellished with pearls.
> There are also some examples of Eastern European seed-beading on parchment
> -- images of saints and such. But that's not clothing.
> > Any early Celtic/Norse beadwork on clothing research,
> > and then Byzantine beadwork and beaded fringing or 700 to 1500 AD
> > Russian beadwork or beaded fringing would be greatly appreciated.
> > I am working on the beadwork and fringing anyway but it would be so
> > lovely to be able
> > to research and document what I am doing.  Thank you so much.
> >                                       Sine     (jesa at
> Perhaps rather than following the classic SCA method of research (doing and
> then attempting to document), you might find it more fruitful to research
> and then do.
> (Sine -- Sine of Ramsgaard? Is that you?)
> Donna Hrynkiw
> SCA: Elizabeth Braidwood
> donna at
> Currently reading: I, Claudius by Robert Graves
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Thank you for the information M. Elizabeth. Yes, it is Sine from
Ramsgaard.  I have, indeed, been very lucky to have found a number of
research items in my travels regarding beadwork (in period, etc.)
from years ago and started my beadwork projects on that. In other words
the research was before the work.  I am now trying to get more
information just to fill out the spaces.  It was heavily used in Russia,
and in Byzantium. Pearls and other beads and jewels.  I also have
sparce information on beaded fringes from early celtic peoples but not
enough for my liking.  Lovely projects and lovely to talk to other
around the world - thank heaven for computers. Thank you for your time.

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