Monday, 28 January 2013

The Thomasteppich project

As the Saint Thomasguild, we have the ambitious plan to recreate a Thomasteppich after the 14th century original in kloster Wienhausen, Germany, in klosterstich. Our plan is to make a smaller version, 1.20 m by 2.40 instead of the 2 m by 4 m of the original. It is still a daunting task to undertake by Anne and Katinka. Yesterday we have started with the transfer of the scenes of the Thomasteppich on the linen cloth. We will use three rows, one for each row of scenes. Finally the rows will be sewn together as well the outer border. Whereas the life of St. Thomas will be unchanged to the original, the outer border will be changed to something more appropriate to our trade - woodworking - and city - Nimweghen. Also the text will slightly change from old German to old Dutch, which are in fact very similar languages.  

 First, the basic lines are set on the linen with a ruler and pencil

 Bram is busy drawing Saint Thomas.

The tree on the first scene of the tapestry.

Saint Thomas of the first scene.

At the moment we are still looking for the correct wool to use for the embroidery. We have tried the Appleton 2-thread embroidery wool, but this was found to thin for our use. DMC wool is much thicker but it is only available in strands of a few metres while we need hundreds of meters for the tapestry. If anyone can recommend a specific brand or type of wool suitable for our tapestry, we would be very happy.

On the left of the eastern wall  of the Palazzo Schifanoia (Ferrara, Italy) the Triumph of Minerva has been painted by Francesco Cossa, 1476-1484. On the right side of the fresco a woman is busy with an embroidery frame on simple trestles accompanied by other women doing needlework and weaving.

As woodworkers we will of course make the embroidery frames and trestles ourselves. They will likely look like the frame held by the embroidering lady on the Italian fresco shown above.


  1. Perhaps you could contact the company at this website for their source for Norwegian tapestry yarn?

    this is the name of the company that makes the yarn
    Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk

    1. Thanks, we will have a look at this firm. Do you have experience with them and their yarn yourself?

    Maybe this one will do the job?

    1. Also my thanks to you, This is seems also an interesting option for us. And the same question to you as for Karin Corbin. Do you have experience with the firm and their embroidery wool?

  3. I'd go with renaissancedeying too. I bought there several times. Nice people, beautiful wool. The color matches perfectly each time I order, even if it is from another batch.