Hey, I was wondering if you could recommend resources on Chinese textiles? I’m making both Song and Ming dynasty outfits and I want to make sure the brocade we want is accurate, but I can’t seem to find anything on the patterns.

Oh boy, DO I.

Chinese textile designs, by Hanyu Gao
WorldCat (find it in a library near you!)

When silk was gold : Central Asian and Chinese textiles, by  James C Y Watt et al
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Corpus of Chinese Fabric, Embroidery and Finery: Dying & Weaving
Corpus of Chinese Fabric, Embroidery and Finery: Embroidery
Published by 

Tianjin People’s Fine Arts Publishing House
Library of Congress (all volumes)

Treasures in silk : an illustrated history of Chinese textiles, by 

Feng Zhao

Chinese textiles, by 
Yueh-Siang Chang
Victoria and Albert Museum


History of textile technology of ancient China, by 

Weiji Cheng

Exquisite fabrics : traditional weaving and embroidery patterns in China, by Chunming Gao

Chinese Silks, by Dieter Kuhn, et al.

Additionally, please join us over at SCA China on Facebook. We’re great at sharing resources.Happy hunting! <3




We challenge you to decipher the plot of this
but there are no prizes because we’re not sure ourselves. 



This is Meshal haQadmoni, a book of animal fables written between 1281-1284 by Yitzhaq ben Shlomo ibn Sahula, a Sephardi writer, poet, and Qabbalist from Guadalajara (although this copy was clearly written in Germany at a later date). There’s an English translation of Meshal haQadmoni but it’s unfortunately not online… The first one is labelled “The Bear beheads the Fox,” the second on that page is “The Lion and his friends celebrate, eating and drinking,” etc. 

What a fun manuscript! I wonder if anyone has done a study of the iconography?

Names of Jews in Medieval Navarre (13th–14th centuries)

Names of Jews in Medieval Navarre (13th–14th centuries)




Traditional Chinese hanfu in Tang dynasty style | 齐胸襦裙qí xiōng rú qún (Chest-high ruqun) | Photo by 霜序映画

Oooh, I’ve never seen a plus size woman in hanfu, she looks beautiful!

hey @scareferencedesk

Maybe not modern hanfu, but being “plus size” was a major awesome thing in the Tang Dynasty.

How strictly enforced is the Rule of Tincture and/or can you give me advice on whether my idea for personal arms is acceptable?

In the SCA? Very.

[EDIT: Herald buddy says – “there ARE corollaries to the rules so we need to judge items on a case by case basis to take all of them into account.”]

I can certainly look at your idea and give you some advice. I can also reach out to the SCA Heraldry Chat Facebook group and get thoughts/input from them.

Let me know what you’d like to do. I’m happy to lend a hand.

Your Friendly Neighborhood SCA Reference Librarian
(Who isn’t a herald but knows some pretty awesome ones)


I’m working on creating a vector database that houses every common heraldic element uniform to the standard SCA device blank, as a free resource to anyone looking to build their own device.

(Eventually I would like to code a flash ‘game’ sort of thing where you can actually build a device by picking your tincture/ordinary/charges with SCA rules built in so that it won’t allow you to build devices that break any rules.)

((For further example of this, to make my device, I would click the ‘Base, blue’, the ‘Per Pale, red, right side’, then the ‘Cresset, gold, center’. Each element is on a transparent background, so they get layered on top of whatever element is chosen previous))

But for now, I’m just creating the vector database, so I would like to ask you all for your help.

What is your device blazon?

What charges would you like to see included?

Or, two squirrels rampant addorsed and a portcullis sable.


Illuminated manuscripts were products of encounter, exchange, and exploration in the Middle Ages.

Interested in the Global Middle Ages? This weekend, April 16 and 17, come by our free interdisciplinary symposium that examines artists, patrons, and audiences as agents who desired real, imagined, or exotic representations and narratives about the world and its peoples. 

These artworks are currently on view in Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts at the Getty Center through June 26. 

Keep reading

Everything You’ve Heard About Chastity Belts Is a Lie | Atlas Obscura

Everything You’ve Heard About Chastity Belts Is a Lie | Atlas Obscura




Nüshu (literally “women’s writing” in Chinese) is a syllabic script created and used exclusively by women in the Jiangyong County in Hunan province of southern China. Up until the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) women were forbidden access to formal education, and so Nüshu was developed in secrecy as a means to communicate. Since its discovery in 1982, Nüshu remains to be the only gender-specific writing system in the world.

Read more here.

I really had to reblog this, guys.

This is really cool.