Getting started

Our project began out of obsessive curiosity. We were intrigued by the bazaars of Vaes Dothrak, the great arcades and latticework markets of Qarth, the Iron Throne’s debt, the spices and silks and sorceries of the Jade Sea and the ubiquity of Myrish lace. One of us became so determined to find out more that she hunted down every mention of Myrish lace in all five books. In doing this she found the bare outline of a world spanning system of exchange. When she presented the rest of us with what she found the search expanded to every other item of Myrish manufacture, great and small. The outline became a little starker and was subsequently expanded by discussions about the Iron Bank, the slave trade in Essosi culture, Asshai by the Shadow, and the world church of Red R’hllor. We realized we were confronted by the portrait of a rich, changing, and extremely interconnected commercial world, one initially concealed from us by its very vastness; a world where Westeros, the center of the story, is peripheral, underdeveloped, and dependent upon a more ruthless and sophisticated civilization flowing out of the Narrow Sea. It is now our goal to uncover this world system as far as possible by piecing together the disparate clues of its workings.

Yet, although our ambitions now span the whole world of Ice and Fire, we recognize that if not for the exquisite lace and countless other manufactures nothing would have been set in motion. Hence our project too was Made in Myr. In recognition of that fact our website’s design has been inspired by Sansa Stark and Margaery Tyrell’s wedding dresses. Sansa’s a lovely work of “ivory samite and cloth-of-silver, and lined with silvery satin,” the deep vee of her bodice “covered over with a panel of ornate Myrish lace in dove-grey” (SoS, Sansa III). Margaery’s “an airy confection of sheer ivory silk [and] Myrish lace” with “skirts decorated with floral patterns picked out in seed pearls” (FfC Cersei III, SoS Tyrion VIII). Two of the loveliest gowns in the book, and made entirely from imported textiles.

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