Here is my first shoemaking video. I shot this from a tripod looking down over my right shoulder so I couldn’t measure out long lengths of thread without knocking the camera over, but this shows the basic ideas of breaking linen or hemp thread into a taper and laying up those tapers so when you ply the thread up you get a taper on the plied cord.
For instructions on building threads of longer lengths look at D.W. Frommer’s videos on the crispin colloquy. These are videos of a real master at work, shot at much higher quality than I can manage. He uses dacron thread though, which you taper differently to linen, and he shows different methods of attaching bristles than the one I settled on. What works for you will depend a lot on how your hands work and what you find easy. Mechanically they all work fine as long as you have good code/hand wax.
- Tapering dacron thread
- Waxing the thread
- Preparing bristles
- Mounting split bristles
- Mounting wrapped bristles
You need some code to do this. If you don’t have any, there are instructions in this post.
I wanted to get this online so people could watch it before heading out to festival in case any of those people who I taught to do this at Canterbury Faire wanted a refresher. I hope the video makes sense if you haven’t seen that class, but if it doesn’t, fear not, more complete instructions are coming once I get the photos and text finished. Typing time is very much reduced right now owing to my having an even-more-buggered-than-normal shoulder.
I will reshoot this sometime when I have an actual cameraman and I’m in a big enough space to do it with a proper length of thread. I’d also like to do this with an actual video camera. This was shot on my Canon G9, which does pretty good video but not as good as an actual video camera would. I reencoded it using mplayer, which is heinously complicated to drive so this could probably be smaller. It’s about 80MB at the moment, so be aware of that if you suffer from bandwidth caps.
Anyhow, with all that said, on with the show!
Edit: The second part is here