Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kokoshnik finished!

It's my entry for the September Whiplash competition at Whip Up - category (since the design is not mine, because it's over a thousand years old classic, and I didn't prepare a tutorial): skill.

Maybe you remember my on-going medieval project - the kokoshnik!
It started like this:

Kokoshnik is a medieval Russian headdress, worn by the noble ladies at the festive events (which is exactly what I'm going to do next weekend, I mean, I'm going to be at the festive event - I am the medieval reenactor and we are having an annual feast! ^^).

My kokoshnik is made totally by hand, and of natural materials:
- red wool for the outside,
- white cotton for the inside embroidery pattern,
- red silk for the lining,
- two layers of hemp glued together with flour glue, for the interfacing and sturdiness,
- embroidered using silk and cotton threads with glass and mother-of-pearl beads.

And here it is on my faithful assistant:

close-up of the beaded rim

The most difficult part was embroidery, because I couldn't draw the pattern on wool, so I ironed the transfer pencil pattern onto a piece of white cotton fabric, pinned it on the backside of wool and kept on embroiderying, flipping it from one side to the other, trying to keep the track of the design!
When the front and the back was ready, I stitched them together at the top rim, then turned the kokoshnik inside out, pinned and stitched the back lining, then pinned and stitched the front lining, leaving the part that goes over the forehead unsewn. Then I turned the kokoshnik inside out one more time, slipped the sturdy half-a-circle into its place behind the front panel and stitched the opening.
I finished it off with some beading along the top rim.
Voila! ^^


  1. Oh my, how lovely! You are going to be the queen of the feast in that!
    I was looking at your gardening pictures, very nice! I don't know if you were looking for idenitification on all those plants, but I think I might know a few. The second, third, and sixth photos all look like holly (Ilex spp.). The fourth one down might be honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)...if so, it should have a very sweet scent and if you pull one of the flowers off there should be "honey" at the base of it that tastes sweet. I think the last photo looks like Calendula (Calendula officialis?).

  2. Just watching a programme about the textile workers restoring pre-Revolutionary finery at The Kremlin.I love that head-dress.I have a huge book of Russian fairy Tales with ladies in these fabulous head-dresses.

  3. That is amazing!! You have to win. sooo cool, I'm just amazed.

  4. O cool, that's really neat! Very pretty.

  5. This is breathtaking! Absolutely gorgeous, the detail is so intricate! Amazing work!

  6. What an incredible piece! I love the historical accuracy and your embroidery is meticulous. But most of all it looks so striking and vibrant, it really stands on its own, regardless of its folkloric origins.