A History of Damask Raven Silks; Or Why I Love to Play Dress Up

Summer of 1987 my family made a pilgrimage to Washington DC. Being tourists in our nations Capital, we did all the touristy things; Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Mount Vernon, and of course The Smithsonian.

1987 was the 200 year anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (September 17, 1787).  To mark the occasion, The Smithsonian was doing a huge Revolutionary War retrospective. Museums LOVE to get kids involved with displays when possible.

My younger sister, being very cute, was who they tried to cajole in to joining them in their discussion of the Minute Men. My younger sister, being 7, flat refused to dress up.

So me, being a middle child and suffering from a perpetual state of the Jan Brady’s, volunteered. Ten minutes later I was fully decked out as a Revolutionary War era Minute Man. And I’ve been playing dress up ever since.

Fast forward….many many years.  Many Renaissance Faires, many SCA events, and much Belly Dancing later.  I have now joined a local costuming group, Great Basin Costuming Society, which led me to the dilemma of fabric.

In my attempts to locate exquisite silks for my now experienced costuming abilities, I realized that finding quality silks in period appropriate designs was…difficult.  And costly.  Silk, is by no means, a cheap fiber to begin with.  But when vendors are charging $50 to $100/yard…  Well, that’s outside the average geek girl’s budget.  So what’s a girl with Silk tastes but Cotton budget to do?

I started Damask Raven.  Damask for the original luxury item brought back with the Crusaders to Europe by way of Damascus, Syria.  Raven for Hugin and Munin, Odin’s Ravens in charge of Thought and Desire.  Thought went in to this creation, and Desire will bring you back through the ages, recreating fashionable fabrics of the past, helping you create the styles you seek from ages past, or from futures present.