Thursday, November 4, 2010

Renaissance Faire

Each year the Northern California Renaissance Faire runs for six consecutive weekends during September and October at Casa de Fruta in Hollister. This venue is transformed into "Willington, a small village in the countryside of western England inhabited by hard working peasant farmers and crafters". When you visit this event, it is like walking through a huge stage play. Some of the costumes and displays are elaborate. The food and entertainment is wonderful.
Each year I sit to watch humorous skits, dancing and listen to lovely music. The live joust is quite a show!
Vendors sell period apparel and handcrafts. Some are "exotic traders from the east" and have wonderful imported crafts.
I have dreams of setting up a booth and selling my handwoven straps and sashes. Not so practical. I have sold some pieces to folks for their Renaissance costumes, however. This year a friend of mine referred a friend of hers to me. The gentleman purchased a pair of handwoven garters to hold up his kilt hose and sent me these photos of him in the outfit. Stunning!

Usually I find that there is something in the "exotic traders" area that I just can't resist. Last year it was Kente cloth and woven bracelets from Africa .

This year it was a cloth belt purse from a Hmong family. This is a beautiful older piece with lots of embroidery, beads, bells and coins as embellishments.


  1. Oh Ren Fairs are so much fun! They had a large one in TX and another in MA. I think the TX is fantastic and enjoyed going every year of the 6 I lived there. Beautiful belt and last years African items are so wonderful and colorful!

  2. The belt is a beautiful piece! Sounds like a fun event.

  3. Oh that belt!!!!I would love to wear it!!I will be looking at this back and forth for a good while.I used to live in California ,perhaps a trip to this fair next year ?!

  4. Ohhhh, yummy textiles everywhere!!! Who could resist! xo Cait

  5. The belt I find really interesting and would like to do some research on this. They had enough of them for sale that I think it must be a traditional part of the dress of the area. I can totally picture myself wearing it as a money belt at my shows. Then I think I should make my own version for my events. Inspirational!

  6. I went to the last Saturday of Ren faire this year - always a good time! Didn't see that belt, but I would have grabbed one too!