Based on the Seal Bag of Edward I (13th century), this relatively smally bag is an experiment to help me wrap my mind around the intarsia technique.
Intarsia is a form of applique but, unlike applique which lays layers of material on top of one another, it is executed by cutting the design out of a contrasting piece of fabric inserted into the same cut made in the ground fabric. This small bag was done by laying a layer of green wool on a layer of white wool and then carefully cutting the design out of both layers at the same time. I then inserted the white fleur-de-lys in the green ground and the green fleur in the white ground.
In order to give the intarsia a good strong ground so that it doesn't pull out and so the attaching stitches can be very small, the entire design is attached to a backing of linen. This is then stitched on while the insert is being attached to the ground fabric. Without this backing, the insert would need ugly, large stitches to keep it in place.
After everything was stitched together, I made up some cording - three-ply twist - and couched it onto the white fleur. For the green fleur, I experimented with a chaine stitch over the butted edges of the design to see how that would work and hold up.
The bag was then put together, more cord added to the bag edge and a length of lucet cord used for the top closure tie. A couple of tiny tassles and it was done.
This project was specifically tackled so that next month's intarsia project could be done.
The flip side of the Intarsia Experiment.
Seal bag of Edward I. Wool intarsia and embroidery.