Heraldic Tabard for the Shire of Iron Bog


I made this when my husband, Barak Raz, was the shire herald. The tabard was passed on with the office, and the only record I have of it are this pictures taken when it was entered in a competition:

Heraldic Tabard

Detail of Tabard

Velvet appliqué on synthetic, embroidered with stem stitch and couching using pearl cotton.

Photographs of a series of heraldic tabards for four territories of the Dukedom of Burgundy can be found in Neubecker (pp. 24-25), which were presumably made in the 15th century when Burgundy was at the peak of its power, and for all practical purposes was an independent territory. Unfortunately, no further information is given, however, the tabards appear to be done in appliqué using silk and velvet, and with additional embroidery for the edges and details.

Several other medieval pieces of heraldic embroidery that also use appliqué are pictured in Staniland (pp. 33 and 34). She mentions that documentary sources indicate the technique was widely used, despite the scarcity of surviving pieces. Staniland's discussion of the technique of applique mentions the use of candle-wax as a method of reducing fraying. By the 17th century, some sort of paste was being used for this purpose by professional embroiders (Arthur, p. 22). After finishing much of this piece, I realized that that some such method is in fact an absolute necessity when using velvet, and glued down as much of the completed work as I could. Using glue from the beginning would have produced much better results, as can be seen on the sleeves.

Bibliography:

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