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Philip Melhop




Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 5:18 am    Post subject: Scabbard stitching         Reply with quote

I have been looking at a number of modern scabbards and noticed the common use of the XXXXX style of stitching when finishing the leather scabbard covers. Is this a historical method or not??
Phil
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've handled scabbards with XXXX stitching as well as the simpler ///// stitch.
All from different periods.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Newer research is showing that a saddle stitch may have been more prevalent on European scabbards than first believed, more so than the cross stitch or the spiral stitch. Which means that Museum Replicas got one right for once (it's a "monkeys + typewriters + sufficient time = works of Shakespeare" kind of right though).
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
Newer research is showing that a saddle stitch may have been more prevalent on European scabbards than first believed, more so than the cross stitch or the spiral stitch. Which means that Museum Replicas got one right for once (it's a "monkeys + typewriters + sufficient time = works of Shakespeare" kind of right though).


Jonathan,

Would you be so kind as to point me to some "newer research" on this? Always good to keep up to date!

Thanks!
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Philip Melhop




Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yes please Happy This topic suggested itself after reading a link from a discussion on myArmoury regarding making scabbards.
One site carefully explained the XXXXX stitch and the other claimed it was not correct to use it Confused
Phil
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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to see some examples of these various stitches on real finds. There are several methods for both stitches out there. Does anyone have such pictures?

Regards,
Thomas

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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Jonathan Blair wrote:
Newer research is showing that a saddle stitch may have been more prevalent on European scabbards than first believed, more so than the cross stitch or the spiral stitch. Which means that Museum Replicas got one right for once (it's a "monkeys + typewriters + sufficient time = works of Shakespeare" kind of right though).


Jonathan,

Would you be so kind as to point me to some "newer research" on this? Always good to keep up to date!

Thanks!


My friend, Bob Charrette, had brought this to my attention a few months ago: a book called Sheaths, Scabbards and Grip Coverings: Use of Leather for Portable Personal Objects in 14th-16th Century Turku by Janne Harjula. The information can be found there.
ISBN-13: 978-951-96801-4-9

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611


Last edited by Jonathan Blair on Fri 11 Feb, 2011 11:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ben Anbeek
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hi

this a picture from the Veertiende Eeuwse Zwaardscheden Uit Leiden (a 14th century sword scabbard from leiden)
its a small publication by C. van Driel Murray.
the scabbards in this publication have a saddle stitch on the back.
the scabbard in the Leger Museum Delft (dutch army museum Delft) also has a saddle stitch on the back.
and a friend of mine who is a archeologist in leather mentioned the saddle stitch is the most common stitch in the netherlands for scabbards

ben



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Veertiende Eeuwse Zwaardscheden Uit Leiden.jpg
Veertiende Eeuwse Zwaardscheden Uit Leiden

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are many ways in which period pieces were stiched, but what I just have started to realise is that there are regional differences in this.

In 'Knives and scabbards' (London), most pieces were done with a whip stitch and many others with a saddle stitch done to allow the leather to butt joint, so not with a raised seam.

It appears from Bens local knowledge that in the Low Lands it was common to saddle stitch but with a raised seam and from his comments in his own scabbard making thread this is what he has seen on all or most of the local scabbards.

I have just been reading 'sheathes, scabbards and grip coverings' which is about Finland, so the same sphere as the Low Lands and England and here it was very high use of saddle stitch with raised seam (I think from memory 90 something percent) basically the same method as the Low Lands.

So between England and these other two places quite a difference.

Whip stitch was common, saddle stitch was common, running stitch was common, but less so. I have not seen a cross stitch used historically but I would say it almost certainly was simply because it is simple, decorative and could easily be done, but obviously not common. Most of my stitching is done with a slightly unusual whip stitch because I find it quick, strong and it pulls the edges of the leather together butt to butt and I like that finish, sometimes I use a saddle stich, depending on the application and leather thickness. I don't suppose it was very different then - use the tool for the job combined with the makers personal preferance.

Tod

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are there tutorials around for those various methods of stitching for scabbards? I think that Ye Olde Gaffer's tutorial shows a cross stitch. But what about the other types of stitch?
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Philip Melhop




Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Feb, 2011 2:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To be honest I think it was reading Ben's posts and then seeing Ye Olde Gaffer recommending the cross stitch that pushed me to make this thread. Are there any stitch demos out there??
Phil
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Ben Anbeek
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Feb, 2011 2:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hoi Sander

here are some examples of the different stitches after a quick search

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c8_8wD_mnc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i23RIp2OO9o&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFBAwFjLhHo&feature=related

ben

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Philip Melhop




Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Feb, 2011 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Champion fellow Big Grin Big Grin
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Feb, 2011 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Ben! I missed those video's during my search (I normally skip Youtube because I don't have Flash on my laptop, but I will have a look at these on my desktop machine).
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 17 Feb, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
My friend, Bob Charrette, had brought this to my attention a few months ago: a book called Sheaths, Scabbards and Grip Coverings: Use of Leather for Portable Personal Objects in 14th-16th Century Turku by Janne Harjula...


For those who are interested, full details about the book that Jonathan and Tod refer to - as well as the cheapest place to buy it - can be found in this thread from back in December. Happy

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Time for a little topic revival. Zach Luna mentions in these pictures of the scabbard of the Sword of St. Maurice of Turin that it is stitched up the side instead of up the back. Any idea how that could be done?
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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 26 May, 2011 1:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sander,

I can't comment on how that one was done specifically, but Harjula has some really interesting lists of different stitching types, placement, techniques, and so on, including some information of side-stitching. While that text says that most scabbards were stitched at the back, I think a lot of its general discussion would be of interest ... I can't recommend it highly enough ... although it probably is a text for 'enthusiasts'. Big Grin

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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Thu 26 May, 2011 2:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sander,

Sander Marechal wrote:
Time for a little topic revival. Zach Luna mentions in these pictures of the scabbard of the Sword of St. Maurice of Turin that it is stitched up the side instead of up the back. Any idea how that could be done?

That looks to me like a flesh-edge whip stitch done from the inside of the leather. Tricky, but by no means impossible and when the scabbard was new it would have been almost invisible.

--
Al.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 26 May, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sword scabbard leather covered in the official book on the York finds seem to include all types of stitch, though none of the linen thread remains and the leathers are all loose from the wood core of the original scabbards, perhaps having been salvaged for new use. The book is free to download from the site that once sold it. At least it was when I got my e-copy.

Item 15894 suggests outward ended saddle stitch as it has left a crease running along the seam wher it tends to turn up on saddle stitched scabbards.
Item 15896 seems to have inward ended saddle stitch with a similar crease but turned the other way.
Item 15548 and 15895 seems to have been X or /// stitch. The rest could be either but are really too fragmental to show anything conclusive, most of them are missing one side of the leather where the meeting stitch holes were originally.

Note that these are drawings of the finds I'm analysing out of the book, not the finds themselves or even photos and they may be misleading. For instance a piece of maille also drawn in another chapter seems to be magically consisting entirely of solid rings with none riveted. Perhaps the piece is really like that but I doubt it.

Well worth a look regardless, the book has a huge amount of finds presented.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 26 May, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks all.

@Johan: I found the e-books. Very interesting. Thanks!

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