Bibliography and Notes

This page is part of the Fingerloop Braids Website.

The earliest instruction manual, Harley 2320, (with no stitched in samples) dates from the late 1400's (Number 4 under "Secondary Sources"). This contains Middle English instructions for 1 and 2 worker fingerloop braids, many of which are included in this booklet.

We also used later period manuals from the first and second quarter of the 17th century. Several of these are in British public collections. Zoe Kuhn Williams went to England to study "FF" and "MS" listed below in primary sources. Most of these fingerloop braids are for two or more workers, and each had silk braid examples still stitched to the pages. Zoe was able to take notes and make drawings and photographs to help in her study of braiding technique. Both "FF" and "MS" were written in a kind of instruction shorthand that had defeated their analysis for many years. Some of the simpler braid instructions in these manuscripts are included in this booklet.

Primary Sources

1. (No title), 86FF3, in the National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum; London, England, circa 1630. This manuscript has handwritten directions and silk examples stitched into the pages. It is very similar to MS, below, and was probably copied from MS. Referred to here as FF.

2. Pursestrings, MS 1-1012-1938 & 86FF4, in the National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum; London, England, circa 1630. This manuscript has handwritten directions and silk examples stitched into the pages. It is very similar to FF. Referred to here as MS.

3. Manuscript Harley 2320, circa 1450. In the British Library, with scans on the web at See Stanley (below) for a transcription. Referred to here as C.

Secondary Sources

4. "Directions for Making Many Sorts of Laces," by E. G. Stanley, in Chaucer and Middle English Studies in Honour of Rossoll Hope Robbins, edited by B. Rowland, pp. 89-103. Kent State University, 1974. In this chapter in the book, E. G. Stanley transcribes Manuscript Harley 2320, circa 1450 (called "C" herein.) He also mentions a few other 17th century sample books.

5. Arnold, Janet: Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd. Washington, pp. 220-221, 1988. On these pages are reproduced 3 pages from the following: To make pursestrings, T 313-1960, in the Textile Department, Victoria & Albert Museum; London, England, circa 1600. Referred to here as T.

In our booklet instructions, these initials in parentheses ( ) stand for these transcribers/translators:

(EGS) = E. G. Stanley
(GL) = Greg Lindahl
(LS) = Lois Swales
(ZKW) = Zoe Kuhn Williams

Additional Sources:

Ackerman, Robert; Dahood, Roger: Ancrene Riwle: Introduction and Part 1. Binghampton, 1984.

Adams, Peter, De Crecy, C, Tremayne, E: "Pens and Points: Medieval Copper Alloy Cones", Tournaments Illuminated. XXVIII, Issue 109, 1993.

Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion, New York, especially pp. 19-25, 1985

Arnold, Janet: Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd. Washington, pp. 57, 136-137, 220-221, 278, 1988.

Ashelford, Jane: Dress in the Age of Elizabeth. London, pp 62, 66, 122, 1988.

Bedingford, H. et. al: Heraldry. Greenwich, Conn, pg 107, 1993.

Bernal, Susan. Scott: "Slentre Braiding", Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot. pg 34, 63-67, 1978.

Bernis, C: Trajes y Modas En La Espana de Los Reyes Catolicas. Madrid, Lamina I, 1978. Lamina I illustrates the only known painting of fingerloop braiding in the Middle Ages.

Cahlander, Adele: "A Detective Story: Unraveling the Mystery of a 7-Loop Braid", The Weaver's Journal, Summer 1985. pp 12-13, 1985.

Crowfoot, Elizabeth, Pritchard, F, Staniland, K: Textiles and Clothing c. 1150-1450, Medieval Finds from Excavations in London. London, pp 130-147, 1996.

Dyer, Anne: Purse Strings Unravelled, Westhope College, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 9JN England, 1997. This book contains translations of manuscripts FF, MS, T, and one other.

Edwards, A., Rogers, K-G, eds: "Picus Works", The Complete Works of St. Thomas More. New Haven, pg 117, 1997.

Egan, Geoff, Pritchard, Francis:Dress Accessories c 1150 - c.1450, Medieval Finds From Excavations in London, London. Pp 137, 220, 227-228, 281-291, 342-349, 1993.

Frere, Jean-Claude: Early Flemish Painting. Paris, pp 36-37,60-61; 79, 90-91, 96, 147, 183, 188, 1997.

Hart, Avril: Fashion in Detail. New York, pp 112-113, 1998.

Herald, Jacqueline: Renaissance Dress in Italy 1400-1500 New Jersey, 1981.

Hogarth, Sylvia: "The Stapleton-Wyvill Marriage Purse", Textile History, 20(1). pp 23-32, 1989.

Kaluza, M., ed: "The Romaunt of the Rose" Chaucer Society, 1st se. 83,(Htrn 409), 1891.

Kinoshita Masaka: "A Braiding Technique Documented in an Early Nineteenth-Century Japanese Treatise 'Soshun Biko'", The Textile Museum Journal. pp 47-65, 1986.

Kinoshita, Masaka: "Study of Archaic Braiding Techniques in Japan -- Guide for English-Language Readers", Nihon Kumihimo Ko Giho no Kenkyu. pp 1-15, assorted plates & figures, 1994.

Kinoshita, Masaka: "Japanese Silk Braids to Make", Piecework, Jan/Feb 1995. pp39-41, 1995.

Kinoshita, Masaka: "The Traditional Silk Braids of Japan", Piecework, Jan/Feb 1995, pp 30-38, 1995.

Kuhn, Zoe: Elizabethan Pursestringes & Poyntes. self-published, 1997. Zoe transcribes and translates 1-3 worker braids from FF & T.

Lacey, Kay: "The Production of 'Narrow Ware' by Silkwomen in Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century England", Textile History, 18 (2), pp 187-204, 1987.

Palliser, Mrs. Bury: History of Lace, Scribner's. New York, 1902.

Rutt, Richard: A History of Handknitting., Loveland, Colorado, Plate 1, 1987.

Schmedding, Brigitta: Mittelalterliche Textilien in Kirchen und Klostern Der Schwei, Bern, pp 29-31, 24-25, 45, 50, 89, 271- 288, 1978.

Smeyers, Maurits, Van der Stock, J: Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts -- 1475-1550. Antwerp, Plate 3, 1996.

Speiser, Noemi: "Unusual Braids Produced by Loop Manipulation", The Weaver's Journal, Summer 1985. pp 15-18, 67-73, 1985.

Speiser, Noemi: The Manual of Braiding, Basel (self-published). pp 72-93, Plate 12, 1991.

Speiser, Noemi: Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding: A Monograph Critically Comparing English Instructions from the 15th and the 17th Century, self-published, 2000. Outstanding source for period manuscripts and heraldic definitions of patterns from 15th century manuscripts.

Spiers, C.H.: "Deer Skin Leathers and Their Use for Costume" Costume, Vol. 7. pp 14-23, 1973.

Swales, Lois: Purse Strings and Lacing Points: Instructions from an early 15th Century Manuscript, self-published, 1997. Lois transcribes, translates, and diagrams one worker braids from C.

Turnbull, S.R.: Samurai Armies 1550-1615, Osprey Men at Arms Series 86, Toronto, 1994.

University of Michigan: Middle English Compendium. 2000 (updated 2008): URL

See also the more general LMBRIC bibliography, which covers all loop-manipulation braids.


1Bernis, 1978.

2Edwards, A, ed., 1997.

3Crowfoot, E., 1996.

4Kinoshita, 1994.

5Ackerman, R., 1984.

6Univ. of Michigan, 2000.

7Palliser, 1902.

8See Bibliography.

9Lacey, 1987.

10Piponnier, F., 1997, Crowfoot, 1992.

11Herald, J., 1981.

12Egan, G., 1993.

13Frere, J-C, 1997.

14Kinoshita, M., 1986 and Turnbull, S., 1994.

15Schmedding, 1978; Hogarth, S., 1989; Rutt, R., 1987.

16Ashelford, 1988 and Frere, J-C, 1997.

17Kaluza, M, 1891.

18Hart, A., 1998.

19Arnold, 1988.

20Crowfoot, E., 1996.

21See Bibliography for entries on both authors.

22Spiers, C.H., 1973.

23See Egan, G., 1992, page 220 for painted examples used as arming points.

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Webbed by Greg Lindahl