Thanks to Mistress Katherine Kerr, who in the lead-up to Canterbury Faire was organising a quest, I now have an aglet obsession. I can give up Any Time I Want To.

The quest involved people at CF finding items which belonged to a foundling, according to a will and a large pile of other documents found in a chest. One of the items was some points, and I was asked if I would like to make the aglets to go on the ends. This sounded like a fun challenge for me (something I'd never tried before), so I said yes first and then figured out how to do this later.

This page is (for now) a collection of links and thoughts of mine about how to make aglets. I suspect I'm going to change my mind a few times along the way as I find more and more resources, and experiment with different techniques.

Images of aglets/lace chape making:


Aglets with a twist:'anonyme-lecurieux-portrait-of-a-bearded-man-half-length-wearing-a-slashed-doublet-french-about-1575/?dz=0.6760,0.9708,2.54


Master Llwellyn introduced me to this guy, who has some stuff on how to make them:


Current thoughts:

  • I think aglets were made in-situ (ie, on the cord, and not in advance) because the images of the ones in the Museum of London book Dress Accessories are a) often butted (rather than overlapped) at the seam, and b) many of the later ones have rivets through them. But the rivetted ones are still round... if you tried to put the rivet/pin in afterwards, I think you'd end up flattening the aglet, and there's only one example which looks squashed.
  • Aglets are quite effective at staying in place when work hardened; if you just shape them around a mandrel, I don't think they harden enough. Might have to experiment some more with this.
  • The Gustav II... ones mentioned above look like they change from overlapped to butted seams at the point where the cord ends; this makes me suspect the aglets were cut rectangular and then the pointy end was overlapped to make a cone.


Things to try:

  • Test pin/rivetting an aglet after attaching it to a cord, and see how much it deforms. Work hardening of the aglet during manufacture _might_ alleviate this.
  • Find people/museums who have photos (or better yet, extant aglets) who can give me more detailed profile information. Are they at all squashed (esp if rivetted)? Is the seam continuous butted, or does it change to overlapping partway along?
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