Kit: Lucetting
Table of Contents

Lucetting is a form of knotted cord-making. There's quite a lot of debate as to whether the Vikings had lucetting or not. It's certainly around in medieval times, suitable instruments have been found, and there are one or two examples of possibly lucetted cord. Read this blog post for more details.

Lucetting is quite simple, and requires no special tools other than the “lucet”- a two pronged fork. There are Viking finds of such objects, often quite simply made from wood or horn. The prongs should slope outwards slightly, to prevent the thread sliping up and the body should also slope outwards (to stop the thread slipping down). Lucetting can even be done using the thumb and first or second finger instead of a lucet (although it can be hard to maintain the correct tension using this method).
The manufactured cord has a square profile. It is also apparently has little stretch, though the elasticity of the original material appears to give it some.

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Lucetting is quite hard on the thread being used to make the cord, so there is a limit to how thin the threads can be.
To make a thicker cord, out of the same thickness thread, one might simply use multiple threads in the normal way, or one might use double lucetting.

How To Lucette

Look at the diagram below.
The first picture is roughly what your lucet should look like.
The second is the threading diagram.

  • 1. Take the end of your thread and hold it to the back of the lucet handle, then pass the thread forward between the prongs. Loop it around the right prong, then the left prong, then back out from behind the lucet so that it runs across the front of the right prong.
  • 2. Seize the bottom loop on the right hand prong, behind the prong, and pull it to the right. Loop the thread over the top of the prong and pull the thread (colour) right taut. Turn the lucet over from right to left. Pull the thread right again.
  • 3. once again, seize the bottom loop on the right hand prong, behind the prong, and pull it to the right. You will notice that this time the thread feed up from the tail at the handle of the lucet, this is the only time this will happen. Loop the thread over the top of the prong and pull the thread (colour) right taut. Turn the lucet over from right to left. Pull the thread right again. Now you’ll want to pull the new knot you’ve created down onto the original knot. To do this pull the lower right loop down, then pull the top thread right to make the loop taut again.
  • 4. Now repeat this step until you reach the desired length: seize the bottom loop on the right hand prong, behind the prong, and pull it to the right. Loop the thread over the top of the prong and pull the thread (colour) right taut. Turn the lucet over from right to left. Pull the thread right again. Now you’ll want to pull the new knot you’ve created down onto the original knot. To do this pull the lower right loop down, then pull the top thread right to make the loop taut again.
  • 5. To end the lucet cord, cut off the working thread leaving a reasonable length, remove the bottom right loop from the prong, thread the working thread down through the loop and pull it taut but do not remove the other loop until the first loop is completely closed, then repeat with the remaining loop.
  • 6. You now have a completed being of cord. Enjoy.
lucetdiag.jpg

Links

Wayback Machine has an interesting article by Sandy Sempel and Steven Lowe on Viking era lucetting.

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