Tuesday, 10 November 2009

T.O.R.M. and preparing stock

Keeping up to date with this blog is quite hard when working away so much, but I guess it's time for an update!

The heading is T.O.R.M which stands for The Original Reenactors Market. There are two markets a year one in March and the other in November which I wouldn't miss (unless something catastrophic happened of course, she says touching wood rapidly!) They are held at The Sports Connexion, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry. It's a huge sports complex, (I believe it's where Coventry City practice, but not being into football, that may be wrong!) the whole place is taken over by historical traders - you can buy anything you need from any period in time (well it seems like it anyway!) If you have a requirement for pots, swords, muskets, flutes, drums, clothing, cloth...............etc, etc.

For me this is my showcase for historical yarns and cloth, and all John's textile tools. I started this business by chance because I wasn't able to get involved with the "battle" side of reenactment when I joined the Sealed Knot, because the boys were only 5 & 7. They were too young to be left - so I needed to give myself a "character", decided that I'd be a 17th century embroideress and learnt to spin and dye silk to make my embroidery threads. Some kind soul asked if they could buy some and the business was born! I started trading at TORM about 14 years ago now maybe even longer - I've lost count - and love the atmosphere there, and the cameraderie!

What this actually means is that I am madly busy in the dyehouse and hanking/balling/bagging etc, etc! I sell dyes as well as the dyed items - I think customers value the fact that I am selling the dyes that I use - so they can see the quality in my own colour production! I also have a couple of dye kits, one for indigo dyeing and the other is the Mediaeval Dyekit.

John's textile tools are always popular - though I say it myself his braiding disk is the best on the market, and we've produced a booklet with a variety of braids to try! Working from achaeological finds and illustrations in the books of hours and paintings he's also produced reproduction niddy noddy's, spindles, tablet looms, lucettes, distaffs. ......

I always label my hanks with the dye - it means that customers can see straight away what has been used and whether it is appropriate to their period - or they can ask. We can be very pedantic about what a customer can or can't have in terms of dyestuff and their period/status!!! (It also means I don't have to wrack my brains to try and come up with fancy dancy names for the colours!!!

Ah well back to labelling - those silks have been hanked up now and are nearly ready!


Mel said...

Does John sell any of his spiffy wooden things by mail-order? I live on another continent, and while someday I expect I will make a pilgrimage to TORM, it's not in the budget yet...those braiding disks look fabulous.

Mel said...

Nevermind, I see that he does!

Debbie said...

Hi Mel,
Yes he does!!! You've obviously found them! If you have an queries email me - he uses sustainable British hardwoods, principally oak, cherry, ash, beech etc. With the lucettes he had a special going - not sure if there are any left now - but he "rescued" some whisky barrel staves from being burnt - they were lovely and he was very "happy" turning them!!!

madewithloops said...

I didn't know he did 'niddy-noddy's'..I really must come to see you, maybe over christmas stand-down when it's somewhat quieter.
Enjoy TORM xx