LOG Pouches

The following article was written by Mistress Rowan Perigrynne to provide background documentation for the Worrhipful Company of Broiderers.

Designs for the Lochac Order of GraceLOG_device

The Lochac Order of Grace was established while Lochac was still a Principality and was retained by the new Kingdom. The award is given only once each reign to that person whom Their Majesties find most gracious amongst Their subjects. The symbol of the award is a favour or pouch, bearing "Gules, a hart courant Or between three mullets of six points argent", registers to the Kingdom of Lochac. The emblazon is shown to the right.

The token of the order is a favour or pouch bearing this device. Since the inception of the Order, there has been no traditional method of sourcing these pouches or favours, so many recipients of the LOG have never received a physical token. The Worshipful Company of Broiderers has offered to repair this omission by presenting a supply of pouches for past and future recipients. 
Since the Company strives for historical accuracy, it is important that the designs of the pouch, the materials and the embroidery style are all historically accurate. Since the recipients come from many times and places, it would be nice to provide a range of pouch designs to suit the various personae.
Accordingly, I have researched a set of 7 designs, covering a range of times, places and embroidery styles. The following links (when clicked on) will load a two page file, containing background, materials list, construction guide and pattern for that particular period/styles LOG Pouch. The files are in Adobe Acrobat format. If you don't have the reader for this software, go to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

With the exception of the Viking pouch, the pouches are all of the drawstring style. The drawstring pouch was in use by both men and women throughout our period, so the style is universally applicable. Many other pouches or purses were also in use, but most of these were made of leather and were not embroidered.

General instructions for making a drawstring pouch are given below, together with variations for gender and time.

Drawstring Purses

 This was the most common style worn by both men and women across Europe from 1200 on (and probably before) and was still being worn in 1600. From mid 14th c on, men started wearing flat pouches, but women continued to wear the drawstring pouch as the main - if not only - style for several centuries. Men continued to use drawstring pouches, but not as frequently. Apart from being worn as an accessory, drawstring pouches were used as a "money purse" within a larger pouch, as a purse to hold gaming pieces, as a sealbag to protect seals on documents, or as a burse - the official sign of office.

 The size was generally small, varying from 10 to 20cm long. The pouch might be made of leather or cloth and was often embellished with tassels on the base (from two to seven, with three the most common). Fringe, buttons, beads and other decorations are also seen. Embroidered pouches in various styles are found across a number of periods - many preserved due to their embroidery. Most fabric purses were lined in linen or silk to reduce wear - highly recommended for a pouch that might actually be used!

 The form of the pouch is shown below. Note the double cords used to draw the pouch closed. These are threaded through slots or eyelets in the top of the pouch or (rarely) through a sewn channel. The ends are on opposite sides of the purse mouth - you pull both ends to draw the bag closed. If the fabric was solid, or covered in embroidery, the cords might be pulled through holes forced in the fabric with an awl (without cutting the threads) to make an eye. Otherwise, these holes might be reinforced with embroidery, as shown. Both cords could pass through a single hole, or a pair of holes might be worked above each other.  

13th-14thc purse, Museum of London

13th-14th English Embroidered purse, Museum of London (Museum of London p161) 

14thc silk purse, Museum of London

Late 14th c English, Museum of London . Half silk velvet with tablet-woven edges (Crowfoot, Pritchard & Staniland Plate 16)

The hanging cords are separate and often sewn up the sides of the pouch, although they could also be attached over the draw cords. This is a much more secure system than hanging by a draw cord. It is also much easier to use - you need not remove the purse from your belt to open it, and can use much shorter hanging cords (common for men). The hanging cords might be attached at the sides of the mouth of the purse, or sewn as decorative reinforcement down the sides, perhaps ending in a knot or tassel. If the pouch is meant for a sealbag, moneypurse, gaming purse or burse, it does not need handing cords.

Another edge treatment (with or without hanging cords) was to make a tablet woven edge, sewing this into the fabric as it was woven. This treatment was also used for the top edge. Particularly suited to 14th c work.

Working en eyelet Tablet woven edges

Eyelets (Crowfoot, Pritchard & Staniland p164)                                Tablet woven edges (Crowfoot, Pritchard & Staniland p161)


(This bibliography relates to all the above designs)

Bain, George Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction Book IV - Zoomorphics William Maclellan (Embryo), Glasgow, 1982

Beck, Thomasina Gardening with Silk and Gold Reader's Digest, Devon, 1997

Beck, Thomasina The Embroiderer's Flowers David & Charles, Devon, 1992

Bise, Gabrielle (Tr J Peter Tallon) The Hunting Book by Gaston Phoebus Regent Books, London, 1987-1984

Bologna, Giulia Illuminated Manuscripts Weidenfield & Nicholson, NY, 1988

Brid, Harriet and Druny, Elizabeth Needlework: An Illustrated History

Brown, Michelle P Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts J Paul Getty Museum / British Library, 1994

Cavallo, Adolph S Needlework Cooper-Hewitt Museum, USA, 1979

Clabburn, Pamela Masterpieces of Embroidery Phaiden Press, Oxford, 1981

Crowfoot, Elizabeth, Pritchard, Francis & Staniland, Kay Textiles and Clothing c1150 - c1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in : 4) HMSO, London, 1992

Digby, George Wingfield Elizabethan Embroidery Faber & Faber, London, 1963

Egan, Geoff and Pritchard, Francis Dress Accessories c1150 - c1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London: 3) HMSO, London, 1991

Fox-Davies, A C A Complete Guide to Heraldry Bonanza Books, NY, 1909 Reprinted 1978

Harris, Jennifer (ed) 5000 Years of Textiles British Museum Press, London, 1993

Levick, Ben Christian Clothing - Men's Clothing http://www.angelcynn.org.uk/clothing_christian_male.html

Mitchell, Timothy J A Stitch out of Time http://www.flash.net/~wymarc/asoot/stitch/cover.htm

Museum of London London Museum Medieval Catalogue, Anglia Publishing, Suffolk, 1940 Reprinted 1993

Priest-Dorman, Caroline Viking Embroidery Stitches and Motifs http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/vikembroid.html

Priest-Dorman, Caroline Viking Embroidery http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/asvembroid.html

Regia Angolorum Publications Monastic Life http://www.regia.org/church4.htm

Shorleyker, R A Shole-house for the Needle Shorleyker, London, 1624 Reprinted as Microfilm Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1986 (Early English Books, 1475-1640; 1155:01)

Speirs, Gill & Sigrid Quemby A Treasury of Embroidery Designs Colporterns Press, Balmain, 1985

Staniland, Kay Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers, British Museum Press, London, 1991

Wark, Edna Metal Thread Embroidery Kangaroo Press, Kenshurst, 1989

Wilson, David The Bayeaux Tapestry Thames & Hudson, London, 1985