During the latest session we had made enough progress on the plaited braid that
we could do some calculations. Because the gold thread was made specially for
the project, we needed to know if there was enough to ﬁnish the project or if
another round of thread would need to be made.
So we went around on Friday and counted gold coils that needed to be ﬁnished
and those that were done. The count was 62 done and 155 needing work. We
counted the jacket pieces along with the coif and forehead cloth. Then on to the
spools of gold thread. We have been careful to use a spool fully before opening
another spool and keeping the empties all together, just for this purpose. So we
had 16 spools that were empty and another 48 left that were full.
Putting on the math hat, we were 28% done with the plaited braid coils. Wow. That
made us feel good! The gold coils are obviously the part of the project that we
have stressed about the most. I am happy to report that all that hand ringing was
for nothing. I have been surprised by how fast the stitchers have become very
competent at the plaited braid and how the hand is not easy to identify. One added
bonus that we will be able to see soon is what types of variations we see in the
hands and therefore go back and review existing embroideries to see if we can see
the subtle differences and therefore the number of professionals.
But back to the numbers, we have 28% of the coils done with 25% of the spools.
Phew. We still have extras to do, the tendrils and centers of ﬂowers. But I have a
small stash of nine spools from the manufacturing run in reserve and so we think
we are ok. Now I hear all you out there who want this thread. I will do
my darnest to try to get some more made – but at least we don’t fear running out of
thread on the project.
The progress per spool was validation of our thread estimation methodology. If you
look back in the blog, you will see how we counted coils, measured a few and then
came up with the number of meters of a coils to work. Then worked an inch of
plaited braid and measured how much thread we used. The estimate is holding
Now how did they do it in the 17th century?