So a couple months back I find out a dear friend of mine is getting elevated to Master of Defense. This is super awesome and well earned. I offered to help out with anything that needed doing. A hot minute later I got asked to make regalia, specifically gloves.
I’ve only ever knit gloves before, but I didn’t have time for that.
I had never worked in leather before (my bog shoes don’t count here.)
He’s late period, which means super fancy/sparkly. I don’t generally do super flashy.
Of course I said yes without thinking this through. You guys know me well enough to know that by now.
From the beginning I’d known I’d wanted the gloves to be list legal. MoD is a fencing peerage, so regalia should be able to be fought in (in my opinion, I do not speak for or judge anyone elses views on the subject). So I researched late period leather gloves. And by “researched” I mean “asked someone with a late period persona what the hell I should be looking at.” They pointed me at a pair of white gloves with cutwork and emboridery with beads and couched embellishments.
Using that as a jumping point I decided to get red leather gloves sent to me (his MoD paid for the gloves since surgery two months back has me pretty cash strapped). Using those as a base I’d line the cuff with white linen, cut his arms into the red so they showed white, and add gold and silver where appropriate. I had the linen, 14ct gold thread, and sterling silver thread.
Note: metal threads are really just metal foil wrapped around a paper or silk core. This means they are for couching only, not actually embroidering with. If you try to actually sew with them you will strip the metal off.
So here is what I started with. Plain red leather gloves. First step was to get the excess dye out since I was going to be backing the cuffs in white. And I wanted that to stay white, not turn pink as I worked or as he wore them. So I soaked them in plain water, wrung them out, and let them air dry. This had the added bonus of making the leather super soft and easy to work with. The next step was to void the non-existent warranty and rip the seams out that held the cuff to the hand, and held the cuff in a circle. No turning back now guys.
Now for the cut work. Effingham’s heraldry involved 6 white crosses, and a white slash, with a gold orobouros in the center. That means the cut work is going to be 6 crosses and a slash per glove. I had husband help me for this part since he’s much better than me with a knife.
Now I added the linen since couching the embellishments on would have the effect of securing the linen to the leather.
Note the linen edging at the bottom. MoDs get a white collar as part of their regalia and I wanted to echo that in his gloves. So now we come to the part where I started carrying these around and got less reliable about progress shots.
The original plan was to couch down the orobouros in gold, then put the three crossed swords of the MoD symbol on the back of the hand. However someone who was doing a different part of the regalia mentioned they were putting the crossed swords inside the orobouros. Which was a cool idea and I clearly needed to match that. Unfortunately I didn’t get that memo until I was almost done with the linen patches I was going to sew to the back of the hand.
Orobouros roughed in.
One cuff “finished”. I put it in quotes for a reason. Just wait.
No. Why no? Because the day before they were due I decided I wanted to outline the crosses. Note! There is a strand of silver down around the linen edging AND down the cuff seam. I just didn’t get a picture of that.
Actually done and how they were presented. All hand work aside from reattaching the cuff.