2009 Weave of the week #27: Gold ribbon

Gold ribbon front view

Gold ribbon front view

I don’t have a method for picking a weave-of-the-week subject — I  usually just rummage around till I find something that feels right. This week, since I seem to be having problems making decisions lately, I chose the gold ribbon shown above because it was exactly the sort of bonbon that my spirit needed.

The ribbon is 5/8″ wide, and I bought it years ago when I worked in the Garment Center. The front view is shown above. This is the back view:

gold ribbon_back

The warp is a combination of soft pink, ivory, peach, and turquoise floss (possibly silk), and the wefts are metallic gold and ivory thread woven pick and pick. The weave is an elaborate supplementary warp design with ribbed selvedges, and the central geometric motifs are enclosed in raised metallic gold cartouche-like shapes.

It is beautiful, but looking at it made me wonder why this ribbon “spoke to me” when many other textiles don’t.

As I started to free-associate, the first thing that came to mind was a hand-crocheted party dress that I had when I was six years old.  It was crocheted by my grandmother in delicate peach and turquoise, and although I don’t remember the dress itself very well,  I have never forgotten the colors, which are similar to those  in the gold ribbon. The dress might have been trimmed with ribbons, but it was given to me during a turbulent time in my life and the details have been lost.

My dress’s soft,  pretty colors brought to mind one of my favorite films, Laurence Olivier’s extraordinary 1944 version of Shakespeare’s Henry V, or, more precisely, the scenes of the French Court in the movie. Every shot of the pastel-colored Court looks like a page from an illuminated manuscript. The picture of Renée Asherton as Princess Katherine shown below is unfortunately pixelated (because it came from the 65-year-old movie trailer), but since it is all that I could find online, I hope that it will convey at least a bit of the film’s feeling. For more information, see the article in Wikipedia, but better yet, see the movie itself — preferably on a large screen.

Renee Asherton in "Henry V"

Renee Asherton in "Henry V"

From Henry V it was a tiny step to a fifteenth-century Book of Hours, Les Très Riches Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry, a masterpiece that inspired the film’s designers. The Limbourg Brothers, who made the book, created the pigments for their magnificent paintings from plants and crushed minerals (including lapis lazuli), and a lot of gilt. The page shown below is “April — A Betrothal,” and Wikipedia has a good article with pictures of the other pages here.

"April" from "Les Tres Riches Heures"

"April" from "Les Tres Riches Heures"

I see that, as is frequently the way with free association, I never got back to the ribbon … but the connecting thread is that the ribbon, the dress, the movie, and Les Très Riches Heures are all bonbons — and sometimes one just wants bonbons.

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6 Responses

  1. The back of the ribbon is as beautiful as the front, and just as I was thinking “jewel tones” and (sort of loosely) “renaissance-like colors” (probably because we’ve been watching The Tudors and the costumes are so astonishingly sumptuous and gorgeous, the colors and fabrics enough to take your breath away), you move on to Henry V and the ravishing Very Rich Hours. It’s one of things I like about your blog…. The ruminative thing you do.

    • Lovely comment, Colleen. Many thanks.

  2. Tracy said: “when they publish a book of her blog posts, it should be called ‘bonbons’!” I agree….!

    • Hill, Thank you both very much. That was … er …. sweet : )

  3. I really enjoyed the bonbons, sweet and uplifting. Thanks Fern.

    Eva

    • Hi, Eva, Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments.

      Fern

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