The Fibreguild award cord project:
This project was insipred and based upon (with permission) a project undertaken by the east kingdom guild of narrowworkers. It aims to supply royalty each reign with enough pieces of cord to string all the award tokens given by the kingdom. Prior to inception of this project many award tokens were given strung on cheap craft ribbon or unbraided string, which was not elegant and very quickly became shabby and broke if the recipient did not restring the token.
Royals give a lot of awards which have strung tokens each reign, although a saving factor is that a number of awards are given other tokens of honours (eg embroidered pouches for the lochac order of grace, the title of exellencey for court barony, a scroll for an award of arms). The number of tokens which are strung every reign ranges from 30 to 60. The fibreguild aims to meet that need, but realises that even if a fraction of these are strung on nice strings, this is a good thing. Because of the number of cords required, this project aims for quantity over quality. All a person making a cord need ask is “does this look better than tatty craft ribbon?”. A second project making seal tags for award scrolls produced by the scribes guild
exists, and as this includes peerage scrolls, some very elaborate cords (as well as simpler ones) would be welcome there.
Traditionally we’ve given these as gifts at a new crowns coronation. Cords are collected prior to each coronation event by any guild member who will be attending the event (generally advertised on the fibreguild mailing list). This member normally will present the cords in court to the incoming royalty, thus gaining a bit of publicity for the guild too.
Any member of the guild, or anyone at all is welcome, and indeed encouraged to make cords for this project. As coronation is every 6 months, now is always a good time to start making cords.
The cord may be made in any method (eg lucet, plaiting, fingerloop braiding, fingerweaving, twisting, knotting, chaining, ply spliting, crochet, nallbinding, etc ). Period techniques are appreciated, but not required, although the end results should look plausibly medieval. Any medieval looking material may be used. Many are currently made in crochet cotton or cotton perle as this is easy to braid and widely available. Silk is probably the material we would be aiming to use for most techniques if we had infinite budgets, but remember that sufficient quantity is the aim of this project, not low volume high quality.
Cords in any colour will be accepted, but most appreciated will be cords in the kingdom colours of red, white and blue. The cord does not have to incorporate all three colours – It may be monochrome. A small number of cords in green and red are also required for the order of the nock.
Cords should be able to be easily, elegantly and quickly slipped over people’s heads in court. This could mean a shorter cord (eg 40cm) that is very easy to tie, a longer cord that will fit over a coif (eg 70cm), a very long cord to fit over a hat (eg 90cm), a cord with a fastening (30-40cm), etc. 70-90cm cords are probably the easiest for royals to use.
Award tokens need to be able to be easily added to the cords. This could be an attached jump ring (loose or woven in is fine) or the cord could be thin enough to fit through the award tokens, or some other kind or arrangement could be supplied.
Preferably each cord will be accompanied by a tag/piece of paper saying the makers sca name, technique, and material used. Neatly knotting or securing your cords so they don’t tangle, but can be easily undone will probably be appreciated by busy royalty.