Thursday, June 19, 2014

Belts. I mean, girdles.

I know, I know -- women wore girdles, not belts, but the word makes me giggle every time. In the interest of keeping a straight face, all the encircling straps of the waistline are belts to me. Call it a strike for equality. And so, belts.

I have two belts. One is the popular leather ring belt that every medieval-hobbyist has worn at one time or another. It is functional and reasonably attractive and performs its duties sufficiently, but it's a bit plain and everyone has one like it, for good or ill. The other was featured about two years ago on this blog and is made from a broken rein and twisted wool. I like it but it needs to be retied often and the metal doohickeys I put on it always snag on things.

Time for something new, yes?

I got some leather the other day and was thinking I could cut a belt from it. Maybe I could punch an openwork design in it with my leather hole punch, or get some pewter decorations to attach. As I wanted something decorative -- a bit pretty, if you will -- I clicked around on the internet museum sites to see what I could find in the way of extant inspiration.

I could not find a single openwork belt design. Shoes, yes, plenty, but no belts. Either I'm not looking in the right places, or they weren't prevalent -- at least not enough for any to ever find their way into a museum. Bit of a disappointment, really. Ah, well.

Then I found this belt from the Musee National du Moyen Age, Clunny. Is that velvet? Yes, I think it is! And look at the shiny!

(Sorry it's in two bits, but that's how the pictures were on the site.)

This is a bit more fancy than I was thinking, and the big round bits stick out a fair way so I know they'd be catching on things and scratching chairs and getting dented and causing no end of nuisance to me. But I do like that velvet idea. It looks like it's on a even-weave linen backing, and would certainly be easy enough to make. Another nice feature is that I can cut it all in one piece, whereas with the leather I have, I would have had to join up two or three pieces to make the length I want. 

Once I get the blue dress done, probably over the weekend, I'll start work on my new belt. Between now and then, I can put my mind to where I can find decorative pieces to finish it properly. 

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