So, after I posted yesterday about my new pocket kit, I read the included instructions, and my heart sank a wee bit. To be able to sew this in a period correct manner (i.e. while in my kit at the historic crafts day), I would need a slate frame. Otherwise, doing it at home on a round hoop is acceptable. Well, I have round hoops (I bought them as a cheap screen-printing method and never used them for that purpose), but what the heck is a slate frame?!
The short answer is it's a type of frame for holding the fabric with tight tension so that the work is done cleanly and precisely. From my quick Google search, it's a fairly advanced and serious method of embroidery (check out the crazy threads!). I am no advanced needleworker, so it seems a bit hardcore for me to order an expensive slate frame for a little pocket. Realistically, how many pockets will I be making? I don't think more than a couple. They're rather expensive, too, and I can't justify the costs (plus shipping) to get one for a single pocket. Then, I had a thought:
What about a modern equivalent that would pass for period?
It makes sense. We modern people do have to use modern accoutrements occasionally in our reenacting, and sometimes we are surprised that a modern thing could pass for 18thc. It doesn't even have to come from a specialty sutler. So, I set out on a quick search before nixing the pocket embroidery anywhere but at home.
If you looked at the link above, it's actually a scroll frame dressed like a slate frame. Hmm, okay. So, I looked for scroll frames at the commercial arts & crafts stores, and hit the motherload on A.C. Moore's site. Most are definitely out of the question, as they include lights and big honkin' screws. But there were a few that caught my eye, and as far as I could tell from the photos there were no screws, and no sewing or tacking down to the frame (which may make it not-period, but we'll see). The scroll frame I looked at is here, and I'll post the photo below.
The dowels have slits in them to keep the fabric taut. I'll have to measure my working space on the pocket to see if 4"x8" is enough, but they also have other sizes if it's bigger.
So, my embroidery-inclined readers, could this pass for period? Or am I doomed to just embroider this pocket at home?