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#712796 - 09/07/11 06:39 AM Making a Dance Shawl  
Joined: Feb 2008
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Jane - Native American Offline
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Jane - Native American  Offline
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Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
I am up to my eyeballs in this week's article, trying to get three dance shawls fringed by October.

About a decade ago, my husband won a raffle and I got my first dance shawl. It was a little big for me then, and it's way too big now. The fringe is faded, stained, tattered, and torn. It's been sat on, rained on, and used as a blanket. I put it in the washer once. That was a tangled disaster and lesson learned. Now that I have my Creek cloth dress in favorite shades of green and brown, that lovingly worn out, red/white/blue shawl is due for retirement.

I have a lighter and cooler polyester cut and ready for hemming, white fringe, green, brown, and white ribbon on the table, and visions of turtle appliques in my head.

Number 2 shawl will be an earthy red with a beige fringe to match my friend's cloth dress, and Number three is to match my mauve leather skirt with black fringe. It will be a white fabric with black and mauve ribbon trim and black fringe. Inspiration hasn't struck yet for additional adornment, but I'm sure to find some in the beautiful shawls on-line.


Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
#712797 - 09/07/11 06:48 AM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Jane - Native American]  
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Jane - Native American Offline
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Jane - Native American  Offline
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Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
Crazy Crow has a nice gallery of shawl photos, as well as the precision leather punch I prefer over the needle or awl for making holes for fringe.

Here's their instruction article with additional links.

Crazy Crow - Craft Focus - Dance Shawls

Here's the link to their Fancy Shawl Photo Gallery

Women's Fancy Shawl Dance Regalia

Each of these has the sturdier satin ribbon instead of the chainette fringe. The ribbon and applique work is awesome.


Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
#712799 - 09/07/11 07:02 AM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Jane - Native American]  
Joined: Feb 2008
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Jane - Native American Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jane - Native American  Offline
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Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
Little Crow Trading Post has a photo gallery of their dance shawls with both ribbon and chainette fringe. Be sure to scroll down a bit for the achive photos. There's plenty of inspiration at this site.

Dance Shawls

Last edited by Jane - Native American; 09/07/11 07:04 AM.

Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
#714360 - 09/16/11 01:39 AM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Jane - Native American]  
Joined: Jul 2004
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Wendy Tall One Offline
Chipmunk
Wendy Tall One  Offline
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Posts: 1,254
Farmington, NH
#3 hit me with am impression of deer tracks.

I am currently on my second shawl...a large white muslin with thick heavy deep purple fringe. a band of deep purple satin ribbon across the bottom and appliqued flowers in purple and magenta - some stuffed with the sacred 4 - scattered around the edges.

My first was dark purple with white fringe...I beaded a dragonfly onto it with wings embroidered in silver thread. I gifted it to a little girl who fell in love with it. I was a little too small for my 6' frame and I was planning on making a second anyhow.


per aspera ad astra: Through rough ways to the stars...

#714765 - 09/17/11 06:13 PM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Wendy Tall One]  
Joined: Feb 2008
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Jane - Native American Offline
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Jane - Native American  Offline
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Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
Wendy, those sound lovely! What are you using for the purple fringe on your new shawl?

I'm partial to chainette fringe. It's easier for me to get that sway while dancing women's traditional. But if I was making a fancy dance shawl, I'd definitely invest in the satin ribbon.

I'm very interested in how you pad the flower appliques with the sacred herbs. How does that affect being able to wash the shawl? A while back we talked about stains on our regalia that have meaning for us, and are not a sign of neglect. I can guarantee some frybread grease and honey will somehow find its way onto my new shawls smile Knowing how messy I can be, I'll need to be able to wash them.


Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
#714909 - 09/19/11 04:32 AM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Jane - Native American]  
Joined: Jul 2004
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Wendy Tall One Offline
Chipmunk
Wendy Tall One  Offline
Chipmunk

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,254
Farmington, NH
I use chainette...I am not a fancy shawler...especially since nearly busting my coccyx and tearing a knee ligament (all since healed)

I will say though that in my circle there is a woman who wears a short poncho type top with her leather skirt....wish I had taken a picture of her today...the poncho portion ended just below her shoulders all around...then has least 4-5' of leather fringe. It is gorgeous when she dances (she does traditional)

As for my shawl...I do not wash it. Also, when you mention sway...my shawl is BIG, and not just because I am 6' so it has lots of sway...even more at the corners because I weighted them with beading. When I sway, I like to swaaaayyyy. wink

It was told to me that as women dance, in their long skirts and fringe, that we stir up and spread earth medicine, for the benefit of all.

Last edited by Wendy Tall One; 09/19/11 04:33 AM.

per aspera ad astra: Through rough ways to the stars...

#715127 - 09/19/11 11:33 PM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Wendy Tall One]  
Joined: Feb 2008
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Jane - Native American Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jane - Native American  Offline
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Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
My daughter's regalia includes a poncho/yoke. It's a black leather oval with a hole for her head and will be fringed all the way around in dark green leather about 30 inches long. That reminds me, I need to get some new, heavy duty scissors for cutting all that fringe at Pow-Wow.

My yoke is shaped like a small poncho, V-shaped front and back, but the fringe is only a few inches long. I found a lovely brown doe-skin jacket while junkin' recently. It's the perfect style to cut down to a yoke and use the sleeves and excess leather for some long fringe. But that project will have to wait until I finish up these shawls.

My best friend was at a gathering this weekend and someone asked if she had a dance shawl. She'll be getting hers for Christmas, after I get these other three done. I hope someone will have a shawl bag at the Pow-Wow. I have a large trade blanket bag I keep mine in at events.

Wendy, so you have any "care tips and techniques" you can share with us?


Last edited by Jane - Native American; 09/19/11 11:34 PM.

Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
#715135 - 09/20/11 12:42 AM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Jane - Native American]  
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,254
Wendy Tall One Offline
Chipmunk
Wendy Tall One  Offline
Chipmunk

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,254
Farmington, NH
Not really, sorry. I always finger comb my fringe after dancing, swaying can cause knots. I also always fold my shawl and store it with the rest of my regalia...when it is stored over winter it goes into a basket with my bear head and several branches of cedar (come to think of it, I need new branches), along with my tomahawk, spare shawl (printed slate blue satin with white chainette....can be, and has been, used as a wrap for formal events), and possibly my mocs depending upon how everything works out.

Trim fraying fringe ends, nothing I hate more than seeing a beautiful shawl that is ill kept, trimming will lengthen the life of said fringe as well.

If it needs to really be "cleaned" hang it outside on a cold night - waxing to full moon is even better as the inherently female moon's energy is growing stronger.



per aspera ad astra: Through rough ways to the stars...

#715300 - 09/20/11 11:46 PM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Wendy Tall One]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Jane - Native American Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jane - Native American  Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
How do you feel about sealing the chainette fringe? I know it will take much patience and time (I like my fringe thick) but it's something I'm seriously considering.

One vendor suggested clear fingernail polish, but that has to be re-applied after each washing. It probably flakes off over time as well. I've got some scrap fringe strips I can use to experiment with a tiny dot of super glue and some permanent fray check. I do love the sway, but dislike how easily the chainette fringe "pulls" out.

Many years ago I tried knotting the ends to prevent the chainette from pulling on my daughter's shawl. That would have worked, but really messed up the Sway. Using a quality pair of sharp scissors did the trick. For competition she danced traditional, but copied the Fancy Shawl dancers at every opportunity. That little shawl held up nicely over the years.


Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
#715301 - 09/20/11 11:52 PM Re: Making a Dance Shawl [Re: Wendy Tall One]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Jane - Native American Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Jane - Native American  Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,100
Southeast Georgia
Originally Posted By: Wendy Tall One
It was told to me that as women dance, in their long skirts and fringe, that we stir up and spread earth medicine, for the benefit of all.

This is beautiful! Just a few weeks until Cherokee of GA Pow-Wow and this makes me want to dance even more. If the moon is right and the night cool, I'll be sure to hang my new shawl outside.


Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
NativeAmericanForum
Avatar: Feather Dance Bustle - Men's Regalia
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