A Tudor Knot Mystery Part 2

Experiment #2 Individually Cut Purls

I almost gave up before I started because the knots look so continuous and compact on the original.  The ends of the purl aren’t really visible and it didn’t seem possible to put the purls in, tucking all the ends under other purls.  I took another very close look and decided it might be possible and the logical place to start would be the four pairs in the centre.  Below is the result… a bit loose and wonky but it was promising.

Above left, the centre was a bit too open and the larger loops on the outside tended to lift.  In the picture on the right, I closed the centre up by making the four pairs into a pinwheel and then (below) I tried a series of two knots to see if the join would help the outside loops to sit a bit flatter.  It turned out better than expected!

Below, using the same sequence of stitching, I tried to make a series of four knots equally spaced.  I started by marking the centres at one centimeter apart. To keep the centres square, I began each pinwheel with an “X” to help place the pairs of purls and kept the cut lengths of purls uniform.  I was trying to establish a rhythm of stitching by doing the same action down the row and then moving on to the next step. 

Somehow, this knot looks more like the original – a little less perfect and more compact – but it may simply be that the experiment #1 knot wasn’t pulled tight enough.  Determining which method was used will have to wait until the 16th century embroidery can be examined.  Hopefully, the back of the little panel will be accessible to see the stitching on the underside. If not, it may be possible to tell from a close study of the front. Next week: A Tudor Feather…

2 thoughts on “A Tudor Knot Mystery Part 2

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  1. This is really interesting. I’ve never heard of “purls” in this context, only in knitting and perle cotton threads. It is beyond my comprehension to sew with metal ‘springs’ or even to do embroidery with any kind of wire. Awesome!

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