Sunday, December 14, 2014

Research Dump: No. 5

This may be the last of the posts on this blog...or not.  I haven't decided.  Anyways, I'm giving a shift to WordPress a try.  My plan is to publish on both for a time, and see which I prefer.  If you have a preference as a reader, please, let me know.
The shift will be to http://matsukazeworkshops.wordpress.com.



7th Century Frankish. 10 9/16ths inches long. The Morgan Scramasax.
The studs are interesting...made of a copper alloy, I would assume that they were part of the sheath
http://metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/465692?rpp=20&pg=1&ft=%2A&when=A.D.+500-1000&what=Copper%7CArms&pos=8


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A Bibliography of Pattern Books in the 16th Century
Exactly that, including free PDFs of period embroidery pattern books.
http://home.comcast.net/~mathilde/embroidery/bibpatbk.htm

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Feasting and Drinking: Proverbs in Early Sixteenth-Century Woodcut Illustrations

Interesting...but ewww.

Proverbs and proverbial expressions addressing peasant festivals are sprinkled throughout German printed books and pamphlets of the early sixteenth century within the context of peasant festivals. Johannes Agricola, for example, described the frequency and popularity of kermis/Kirchweih in his book of proverbs from 1530: 'There is novillage so small that it does not have a kermis once a year' ("Es ist kain dorH1ein so klain/es wirdt des jars einmal kirchweyhe darjnnen"), and 'Germans go together to church festivals four, five villages at a time, [and] as it [sic] happens only once a year,
it is praiseworthy and honorable, because people are created for that purpose, to live friendly and honorably together.'
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=artfacpub&sei

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Was Steenstrup Right? A New Interpretation of the 16th Century
Sea Monk of the Øresund
How very bizarre! A paper discussing the possible identities of a strange creature--dubbed "The Sea Monk"--which washed up on a beach in 1550.
...
http://www.zmuc.dk/…/JOURN…/PDF/Vol29-1/Paxton%26Holland.pdf

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DEGRADATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS
A book discussing the above--the effect of the environment and soil on various types of remains.
https://www.academia.edu/1971368/Degradation_of_archaeological_remains


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Early medieval textile remains from settlements in the Netherlands. An evaluation of textile production.

 Many fragments of archaeological textiles have been found in the Netherlands during the last century. This article focuses on the way these textiles were made and used. How and where were textiles and clothes made and by ...
whom? Was cloth production already a practice of specialists, acting in an extensive trade network, or was it a craft that mainly took place at the household level? To answer these questions 440 fragments of 265 different textiles, from 31 sites have been examined. Without exception these textiles were discovered in settlement context, mostly in the north of the country. The analysis of the remnants has resulted in the distinction of the different steps in the production process and insight in the way the textile products were used. The results show that many textiles are likely to have been produced at a household level. Only in a few cases were they made using special skills and tools or did the production process require much time. Some products, such as the finer fabrics, the fine needlework on several hats, fabrics with a raised nap, piled weaves and a veil-like garment, may be considered as the work of textile specialists. In this article it is argued that these specialists were either working for a patron or in an independent workshop.http://www.jalc.nl/cgi/t/text/get-pdffb8f.pdf?c=jalc%3Bidno%3D0201a02
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FABRICS IN MEDIEVAL DRESS IN POMERANIA

In Pomerania, there is a large number of archaeological sites of medieval provenance where textiles were found among other kinds of manmade objects. The material has been identified and thoroughly exa...mined from the technological point of view and the finds have been presented in numerous publications. The boundaries of the region referred to as Pomerania need to be precisely established here. Because of the relatively broad chronological range of the present paper, including the entire medieval period, the territory marked by natural boundaries seems to be the most adequate point of reference. Thus the region lies on the south shore of the Baltic Sea and stretches out as far as the line of swamps and marshes of the Warta and Noteć rivers. The eastern limits of the region are marked by the Vistula River and it borders on the Oder River in the west.http://www.rcin.org.pl/iae/Content/22988/WA308_35561_PIII348_FABRICS-IN-MEDIEVAL_I.pdf

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MEDIEVAL NOVGOROD LEATHER

A selection of images of leather goods found from medieval Novgorod.

http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/novgorodleatherp.html

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Staraya (Old) Russa: archaeological investigations of the medieval town.

A paper discussing the history of the excavation, and offering a number of photographs of pieces from the finds. 
http://www.novsu.ru/file/995376

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FROM FLAX TO LINEN IN THE MEDIEVAL RUS LANDS

https://www.academia.edu/859238/From_Flax_to_Linen_in_the_Medieval_Rus_Lands

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 Warp Weighted Looms: Then and Now: Anglo-Saxon and Viking Archaeological Evidence and Modern Practitioners

https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/api/datastream?publicationPid=uk-ac-man-scw:229035&datastreamId=FULL-TEXT.PDF

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Fabulous beasts—leather, silk and gold: recent research on and conservation of 12th century footwear from the episcopal tombs in Trèves Cathedral.

http://www.viks.sk/chk/14tmh_90.doc


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GUIDE TO VIKING TURNSHOES
A run through of the basic process of creating your own pair of turnshoes.  It does not really cover patterns, but rather, how to measure and make your pattern, then construct the shoes.

http://www.aidan-campbell.co.uk/PDFs/Guide%20to%20Viking%20turnshoes.pdf   

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MEDIEVAL LEATHER DYING
An article quoting a late period treatise that included dying leather.

http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/ld.html 

Monday, December 1, 2014

14th Century Women's Hood: Documentation

Finished Hood.

Garment Description:
This piece is a 14th Century woman’s open hood, in a style appropriate for the early to mid 1300s.  This style of hood—rather than pulling on over the head as earlier and men’s versions do—buttons up the front, allowing it to be worn open in warmer weather, often folded back.  It is a fairly standard liripipe hood design—fairly fitted and having a short mantle, with a tail (the liripipe) running from the back of the hood.
 

The find and sources:
I decided to not duplicate a period piece for this project.  However, much of my inspiration came from the London Hood, which I patterned the construction off of[i].  In addition, some of the dimensions (most notably the circumference of the hem) and construction is from the Greenland find.  While mid century examples tend to be shorter and tighter than earlier ones, I also took the colder climate into consideration—upon discussing this project with another apprentice--, I tried to design the hood so that the mantle would cover the neckline of the recipient’s dresses in cold weather.
 
 
Pieces of the Garment:
The construction is fairly simple, being only four pieces (times two, if you count the flat-lining).  These consist of: the main body, which is roughly rectangular, with pieces missing for shaping (removed from under the chin, and rounding in at the back of the head); two gores which are set above each shoulder; and a liripipe.  Looking at period examples[ii] you can see that the liripipe is usually cut as a separate piece from the main hood.
 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #22: Menswear

At the last moment, I decided on a cravat for my entry.  Something nice and simple that I needed to wear with my frock coats. 

A cravat--the predecessor of the necktie, is a simple piece of fabric--often a fine linen--which was wrapped around your neck in a number of ways, and tied (usually in the front).  Earlier in the century, it was more or less exclusively white, and eventually other colours worked their way in.  Mine is made of piece of fairly fine white linen (I believe it is a blend--I'm really not sure where the fabric came from) 5.75 by 91 inches, which I hemmed with a rolled hem.  That's it!  The exact dimensions are personal preference, and depending on the knot to be used.

It should be starched for wearing--the amount of starch depends on the how you tie it; my favourite--the waterfall (or Mailcoach)--requires little to no starch.  The oriental requires a very stiff cloth.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Research Dump 4: Post Winter Coronet Researches

Following my being asked to join the court of Queen Violante (West Kingdom) as an artisan, at Winter Coronet (back in January), I went on a research spree.  I spent several days and nights in a row going through and reading various papers I ran across.
By now, I've forgotten exactly what I was looking for.  Personally, I rather doubt I found whatever it was, but I did find the following links.


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Early Irish Manuscripts
A brief paper on the handwriting used in the earliest of Irish writings (7th century).
http://www.penn.museum/documents/publications/expedition/pdfs/21-3/schauman.pdf


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The RUNES of BERGEN VOICES from the MIDDLE AGES
Fascinating article, one you get past the beginning. It discusses pieces of runic notes and letters, often carved on a piece of wood, that show that they weren't too different from us.

 "The belt from Fana makes you still prettier." (p. 6)
Sounds a lot like a text, to me... Brann

http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/40/v40i02p049-058.pdf
 
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Seventh-Century Ireland as a Study Abroad Destination.

A fascinating paper on monastic schooling in Ireland, and the students (often from England) who traveled there to study. In addition to the main subject, there are also hints (or leads) on period descriptions of book satchels. The main sources are Bede, Aldhelm, and the Hisperica Famina.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Research Dump: No. 3

Containing: Medieval Clothing (Including Medieval Garments Reconstructed!), Antler combs, Russian composite bows, 15th Century Italian clothing, and archaeological...stuff.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lorum Ispsum Brain: Secondus


The second of my series of Research Dumps. This issue includes Medieval Metal accessories, BEADS!, a report on a fascinating find, Irish book satchels, Mongolian clothing, and others.

 

 
TIN AND TINNED DRESS ACCESSORIES FROM MEDIEVAL WROCŁAW (SW POLAND). X-RAY FLUORESCENCE INVESTIGATIONS
Abstract:
This paper presents a non-destructive analytical study of selected archaeological artefacts from the Old Town in Wrocław, SW P...oland, by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The analysed specimens included dress accessories that decorated both womens
and mens clothes in the Middle Ages. Several various metallic artefacts were selected for detailed studies: jewellery (e.g. finger rings) to more utilitarian utensil (functional) items (e.g. knives). All of them were made of tin-lead alloys or were tinned. This research was
focused on determining the chemical composition of the artefacts, the identification of similarities and differences between alloys as well as technological aspects of the production.
The obtained results suggest that there are many objects with the same chemical composition. It helps to distinguish groups of artefacts (e.g. rings made with the same alloys) or find the
parts of one object. The next interesting result is the possibility of determining the presence of tin-plating that was in varied states of preservation (especially for badly damaged artefacts).

Included are some photographs of the pieces being studied.
http://www.kirj.ee/public/Archaeology/2014/issue_1/arch-2014-1-57-79.pdf
 
 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Re-enactment Craft Groups on Facebook.

For you textile geeks and sewers out there who regularly use Facebook, I want to share this listing of groups dedicated to recreating various crafts (mostly clothing focused).  I am quite sure there are a number of groups out there that I have missed.  Links do not open in a new window.

UPDATED: 4-14-15
UPDATED: 5-24-16

~~~Clothing groups, Specific Cultures.

Warning: A Ramble on Perfection in craftsmanship.

Going to ramble a bit…and it is a ramble, just so you are warned.

Something I ran across today (not sure where) is this article (have you read it?  Good...now you can continue the paragraphs below.  Read this one too, if you haven't before.), which talks about the difference between the real idea of handmade (where every possible detail is attended to with the utmost discipline) and the modern (and this article was written in ’59) idea of handmade (which is that it is full of flaws).  The keyword here is discipline—not settling for anything less than perfection in every step, starting with the base product for the craft; in the fit of the product to that exact customer.  Thinking about this, I believe it started with Beau Brummel, and his beginnings of focusing on the exacting details of his clothing.  When the gentleman shows his quality by the extremely finicky details of his possessions, and not settling for less, it rolls down to the craftsman (who has to figure out how to obtain the results), and the levels of apprentices; and thus, with every generation, the knowledge base of the details grows.  This is even still happening, with the finest bespoke tailors, who have a tradition of perfection; I believe that the majority of the knowledge has not been lost.  It is just inaccessible to everybody unable to take a traditional seven year apprenticeship, probably in foreign countries.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Research Dump the First

It was pointed out to my (by my own brain, no less) that it would probably be an excellent idea to share the assorted links I find on my researches here, as well as on my personal and Linkspage pages on the Book of Face--just so they do not get lost, as they have been.  So, every so often (when I've actually been doing serious research), I will gather the links up and dump them in a post here.  For those who are not familiar with my habits, I often share the abstract and/or a personal synopsis of the article, and sometimes my opinion on its contents--it is not a bibliography (annotated or not), since I typically come across and post things which may (or may not) be in the same culture...but that about it.

This is the first, probably of many (hopefully, I will go back through my Linkspage and dig up many of the publications from there), and contains Norse related stuff (axes and jewelry, it seems), and 16th Century Persian clothing (at least, that is what I was searching for).
Enjoy.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

G63 Coat Reconstruction

Rough Description:
This piece is based on one found in Herjolfnes, Greenland, as part of the Viking settlement from the 14th century.  It is a knee length, loose, coat like garment with set in armscyles and a short collar. 


Construction:
The main body is made of eight trapezoidal pieces, four in front and four in the back, with a front buttoned down to the waist (conjecture).  The original garment had buttons about every ½ inch, and probably 30-40 originally[1].  The sleeves were made of four pieces, consisting of a funky shaped upper arm with a gusset in the back, and a lower sleeve with an elbow gusset; the sleeves are only about arm length (not much, if any extra length) with a deeply curved armscyle.
Seams, decoration, and fabric:
The back seam is 1.08% longer than the front seam and seems to have been decorated with a backstitch.  The seams also lay towards the back.  The garment is constructed in such a way that each of the eight pieces has a straight and a bias edge, and all of the seams are constructed with straight-to-bias, limiting stretch.  It also seems to have been decorated and re-enforced along all the seams with stab stitching.
 
The fabric used in the original was a 2/2 wool twill, originally very dark brown.  The garment is believed to have been trimmed around the neck and down the front opening (on the left side with the buttonholes) with a thin material woven in 2/1 twill, originally madder colored.  There are also traces of tablet woven edging on a piece believed to have been the bottom hem.  The thread used for the stitching was likely finely spun wool or goat hair.

Goals:
My goals in making this garment are to make a working garment based on the original, as close to the original in patterning as possible (while still making a garment that fits me and my sense of aesthetics) and learn about seam and finishing techniques of the period.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

16th Century Irish Dress


 
 
           I feel that claims that Irish clothing changed very little over time are completely false.  A 4th century Irishman did not wear the same thing as 10th, who didn’t wear the same as 14th, which certainly wasn’t the same as the 16th—which is what I will cover in this article.
 
           There are common elements throughout—such as the leine gel, the white or saffron dyed linen shirt; the wearing of the Irish Brat, or large, fringed, cloak—a garment which seems to have been truly omnipresent[1]; and the predilection to wearing tight, or no pants.  In addition to the Irish styles of dress, English and Continental fashions were also slowly adopted (often with the addition of the brat), and were more prevalent in major cities (particularly port cities), among the upper class, and later in the century.
 
           Throughout this period the English rulers (Henry VIII…) attempted to enforce freshly created laws forbidding Irish modes of fashion, and haircuts—this is one of our prime sources on the essentials of Irish clothing.  Articles targeted were the glib hairstyle, women’s headwear, the dying with saffron, the  amount of cloth used in the leine, and ,particularly, the Irish Mantle (with its fringe).
 
 
 
Men’s Clothing
 
Leine:  This (in various forms), along with the brat, was one of the two main articles of Irish dress throughout the ages.  The leine was invariably made of linen, likely a heavier weight, tightly woven type than is commonly available today.  The colour by this time was almost invariably saffron dyed yellow (a bright yellow)--or natural for the destitute.
 
           The leine was usually long—ankle length—and bloused over the belt in order to pull it up to knee level and allow greater freedom of movement.  Necklines seem to have been roughly ‘V’ shaped and often fairly deep.  I believe that they were probably rounded in the back, making the neck opening a loose teardrop shape when laid out flat during construction.
 
The sleeves of the leine were very wide at the cuff, often hanging to the knee—but were narrow at the top[i].  An interesting evolution on these is that though the sleeve itself is very wide at the cuff—they were not necessarily very long.  Several images show the sleeve stopping just below the elbow, presumably to give greater freedom of movement and reduce the chance of entanglement I believe that at least occasionally the sleeves were full length, and in the “bagpipe sleeve” style.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pluderhosen: Some assembly required

Pattern Traced from Patterns of Fashion, by Janet Arnold.

Continuing on from my last post--A Road To Madness--I believe I managed to rectify my mistake, by extending the dart into a seam going the full width of the piece.  This will result in the back panel being slightly shorter (around 1/2 inch, since I'm using as small of a seam allowance as I may), but that should be acceptable---that piece 1/2 inch shorter than it should, should not be noticeable.

Here, you can see the modified dart (left) and the original plan (right).

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The (A) Road to Madness: Take the exit marked...Pluderhosen?

Over the last two days I managed to fully assembled the Sture doublet, with two major differences off of the original: It untrimmed (for now.  Strips of silk will eventually be applied), and I left off the shoulder wings because I quite honestly do not like the things--I don't like drafting them, I don't like wearing them, and they add a fair amount of thickness to the seam (at least with these fabrics)
There were a few issues in the making up, with ease (which was remedied once I got the bright idea to measure off of my existing doublet), mainly.  These were summarily overcome, and all that is left is the hook and eyes (and someday trimming)


But that is not what this post is on.  This particular post is on the Sture Pluderhosen, a maddening pair

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sture Suit: Thoughts on restarting.

Coming back from the Three-Barons Renaissance Faire this weekend, I got the...urge...to have a new suite of clothing for the second weekend.  The best bet, of course, is my shameful example of an UFO--an UnFinished Object
......My Svante Sture Suit.
Source: Patterns of Fashion, by Janet Arnold

Friday, June 6, 2014

Drafting a Frock Coat, part II: The Sleeves

Drafting sleeves--one of the banes of my existence.  Like in the first part of the tutorial, I am going to translate and provide step by step photographs of the process.  To find the measurements needed to draft the sleeve pattern, you need to have the body pattern drafted...or, as I am using, made up in halves (I recommend the first).

Page 13 of the Cutter's Guide
Page 14 of Cutter's Guide



















Page 15 of the Cutter's guide...the last of the instructions.


Start off by measuring the width of the scye.  This is done by placing the ruler horizontally (or squared to the back seam) at the side-body seam.  Like Thus.



Measure down from point 'O' by this amount.



Here, it starts talking about finding the pitch.  Mark point 'A' 3/4 inch above the bottom of the scye (Forearm seam).  Mark point 'B' (Hindarm seam), the back-sidebody seam, or to taste.  Because the difference between the front and back is so drastic on mine, I decide to put 'B' one inch above the shoulder seam--actually on the front piece.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Drafting a Frock Coat, Part I: The Body (and Skirts)


The Orders are as follows. 



Start by marking off a straight line (Line 1).  Mark points at 1/3 depth of scye (plus 1/2 inch, to taste), at depth of scye, natural waist, and fashion waist (which is 1-2 inches below the natural waist--no lower than the hip bone).



Mark in 1inch at the natural waist, and draft a line from point 1 (the top of the line), to the waist.  Then straight down to the fashion waist.



And other Things: plotting a Transitional Frock Coat.

Historically Accurate?  No, not so much.  I do, however, need an outlet, where I do not have to worry about documenting nearly everything.  Steampunk(ish) things are that outlet as--even if there are no local events--I can wear the clothes daily without attracting stares (more or less, anyways).  In this case, while watching the 10th Kingdom, I noted one of the coats being worn by Wolf--a shortish (low thigh length) frock coat, in blue velvet or corduroy (no good screenshots available).  Of course, this immediately got my gears grinding, whether I wanted them to or not.  In addition, I ran across this image...


Wanderer above the Sea of Fog.  1818.
I just discovered this painting, and love it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Norlund 78, or D10606 Hood: part 2...Mockup

Warning: Contains far too many numbers.  Continued from Part One


With the rough pattern figured  out, it was time to draft out the full scale mockup.  I decided that the best way to do so was to start with a straight base line, to the left of what would become the pattern, measure to the right from that, and essentially connect the dots.

Edited to add, at 11:33 5-5-14


The process was to draw a straight line, 405.9mm long (the height of the hood, plus the extra little bit for the "horn"). 
320mm from the top, I made a mark 15mm from the line--this is the chin, where it slanted in slightly.  Another 95mm in, beyond the chin, another mark was made, and the two points get connected (as does the front opening of the hood).
Going back to your baseline, at the bottom I marked in by 45mm, and connected slantwise to the mark above.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Norlund 78, or D10606 Hood: part 1...First Draft

I woke up today with a project (two, actually) working through my head...one of the hoods found at the Norse settlements of Greenland.  This hood--labeled D10606--is a liripipe, Norlund type II. 

It has an extremely short cape, only a few inches wide, with the gores over the shoulder.  Unlike some examples from the main land, it does not button close to the neck.  The extant hood is 400mm tall (from hem to top seam), with a 695mm long liripipe.  The fabric, while now Bog Trash Brown (or a variant, anyways), was sewn in a vadmal which was light grey with a white weft.  The hood, like many of the ones found, rises to a "horn" in the front.  Norlund 78 is in excellent condition, with most of its original seams.


One of the first orders of business, once I decided I wanted to make this hood, was to figure out my fabric.  I found this far more difficult than I expected...first thinking of (and discarding the idea) using a beautiful light grey wool, interlined with a heavier grey wool--this was not a real option, since there is no evidence of D10606 being lined.  Following that was the option of a heavy wool in another colour (the same I used for my frock coat), or the light grey wool of an old army blanket.  Eventually, after much discussion with other artisans on Facebook, and some research into the dyes used in Herjolfsnes, I decided on the fabric below.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Huntsman's Frock Coat

Being interested in the steampunk genre, as I am, I decided one day I wanted to make myself a frock coat.  After browsing around the costumer's manifesto, with its scanned cutting manuals from the period, I found the Huntsman's frock coat pattern.
Made of wool melton, and lined with a plaid wool flannel (or supposed to be), it was a loosely fitting frock coat made for the Hunting master of a large Noble estate...and my brain started firing.  Here was a practical, working coat that I could wear, and I felt would make a good start to a Steampunk outfit.
 
 
 
I started off by drafting my pattern, as per pages 14-15 of the costumer's manifesto--the ones for the double breasted coachman's overcoat.  When you do this, read through the instructions very carefully, perhaps translating them into your own words; and when you actually draft, check off each step, before going to the next one.
 
Coachman's Overcoat.  Source link above.
 
I had to use this particular pattern instead of the one for the huntsman's coat because the planned coat has no information on drafting.  I did, however apply the ease as for the huntsman's frockcoat.
Obviously, I drafted it as single breasted.

Tarsoly

Photo log for a simple tarsoly. 

The tarsoly is a form of belt pouch found mainly in Magyar Hungary (and surrounding regions); however, at least one made its way up to Birka and was found.  They are often a rounded square in shape, narrower at the top--or a simple rectangle--, and have a single piece belt strap going over the belt and through a latch on the front (which in turn goes through the front flap).


This style of belt purse was typically heavily ornamented with metalwork--to the point of the entire face being ornamented with repoussé, or cast pieces of metalwork. 


Found at Birka.  Replica castings are readily available online. 

So the first step was to draft my pattern.  I decided on something which is only slightly larger than the above photo, and approximately the same shape.

 



Because I didn't have enough of the 5oz leather, I had to make due with a piece of saddle skirting (12oz or so), which becomes the flap.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thoughts on the Chivalric Virtues


The Following are my personal views, and beliefs, and are not necessarily indicative of how things really are.
 
Chivalry: There are nearly as many versions of the Code of Chivalry as there were orders—perhaps even practitioners.  Some of the virtues, the ones I will be addressing, are Prowess, Loyalty, Largesse, Courtesy, Truth, Temperance, Justice, Faith, Courage, Honor.  My goal is to discuss the place of the various virtues in the SCA, and how the various ideals relate to each other.
 

Prowess:

              Prowess has always been important to the Chivalric ideal.  It is a way to gain renown, status, and even a means of support (by means of the ransoms gained with prowess).  Prowess is typically measured by skill in various forms of combat; whatever the current fashion is. 
              While you cannot particularly support yourself in the SCA by means of your prowess (unless you’re smart about it, like Sir Gemini with his school, or various craftsmen who sell their wares) the other two are quite common.  Renown is fairly simple—if you are known as a good fighter then people will talk about it and eventually you will become known for being able to defeat (or skewer) your opponents.  Likewise, status may be gained in the form of winning a crown tournament or earning a knighthood.
              However, unlike in period, I think that Prowess can be more than “just” fighting (I suppose you could gain fame and renown by being a famous armourer or poet.).  You can also gain renown by means of becoming skilled at various arts; or, on the service side—perhaps by your skill at herding assorted sizes of cats…  It is, however, a bit more difficult to gain status by means of arts or service—there are just less options (Barony of the Far East withstanding). 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Moselund Kirtle


The Moselund Kirtle


Top, Extant Garment; Bottom, My Reconstruction


Crafted and documented by Tiarna Bránn mac Finnchad


The Find
The Moselund gown was discovered in a bog 1884, in the Moselund Region of Central Jutland (Denmark), on a male bog body.  The body is stated to have been 180cm (6 feet) tall, and has been radiocarbon dated to between 1050-1155AD.  It does not seem like there has been much in the way academic studies on the findjust about every page I have found refers to Ancient Danish Textiles from Bogs and Burials by Margrethe Hald[1]. 
The original museum reconstructionsince the threads had dissolved and the garment was in all of its separate pieceswas as some kind of strange trouser suit with a matching cape[i].  In 1938-1939[2] it was re-examined and sewn together in its current configuration. 

Central Jutland
 
Description
The Moselund find is a tunic, corresponding to Nockert Type 2[i] or Nørlund Type Ic[ii], with front and back slits.  It is a fairly loose fit, though with close shoulders, and semi set-in sleeves (complete with S sleeve heads).  It appears to be mid-calf in length (approximately 49 inches in length, according to my calculations).  There appears to be little to no signs of wear before it ended up in the bog, with its unfortunate wearer.
It has been declared as the only surviving example of the blaðakyrtill (of the Icelandic Sagas)[iii].  Looking into the term, kyrtill does mean kirtlenothing odd therebut blað means leaf, blade, or skirt (of a kirtle).  Blaðra can also mean to flutter to and fro, which may be an apt description of the skirts of this garment when being worn in the wind or whilst riding.[iv]
 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

16th Century Irish Brat

Shaggy Brat

 

Photo From McClintock's

The brat was one of the quintessential garments of the Irish.  For a while now I have been wanting to make the shaggy variety with the thick layer of fringe at the neck and along the straight side.
 
 
Description of the 16th Century Brat
This form of brat, or cloak, is semi-circular(ish) or rectangular, and has a layer of fringe along the straight edge, with the fringe being thicker towards the neck.  It seems that it was also often either dagged or ragged along the bottom edge, in addition to, or instead of the fringe.  Something I noticed (after finishing mine) was that the fringe in at least one case appears to be set on the inside, and the fabric is turned back while it is being worn.  The length of the brat seems to have run the gamut from barely knee length, to nearly brushing the ground.
Photo From McClintock's
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Wound Man


The Wound Man Illustrations
 
The Wound Man is a form of illustration which appeared in late 15th through 16th century medical texts.  This poor, illustrated fellow is covered in various injuries—arrows and swords stuck in him, clubs and hammers imbedded in his skin, and spears perforating various parts of his anatomy—all of which were (theoretically) treatable by a learnéd surgeon.

The Wound Man, from the Feldtbuch der Wundartzney by Hans von Gersdorff, 1517.  Oil on Canvas.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Henrican Men's Shirt, 1530s


Henrican Shirt, 1530s


This project is creating a new men’s shirt for Etain.  She’s after something from the later Henrican period, and likes the tall, pleated collar with small ruffles.  I finally found a excellent article on the subject of how to make these shirts (first in the bibliography), allowing me to have more options than the one Elizabethan style I used previously.
Portrait of a Young Man, 1530s, Flemish.  Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium
           The style is characterized by having a standing collar with a substantial amount of fabric pleated into it, and sleeves that were not pleated into the cap (but were at the wrist—usually).  They may or may not have had the pleats sandwiched between two more pieces of fabric, and small ruffles at the top, although the ruffles are more common now than they were previously.  The sleeves are drawn up, almost to the neckline.  The neckline is open in the front, although also at this time, and earlier, a side (or no visible) opening was common.

Often there was some form of embroidery, usually blackwork (whether it was actually black or not, there are examples of red, and gold) worked embroidery at the collar.  Other types used would have been pattern darning and forms of smocking.  If the embroidery was stitched directly onto the shirt, the individual pleats would have been used instead of individual threads for the counted work.

Leather Costrel Documentation


Leather Costrel




A leather costrel embellished with the West Kingdom populace badge.  Submitted for judging in the Heraldry in any Mode Competition at Oerthan Winter Coronet, AS 47.




A costrel is a barrel shaped bottle used for carrying liquids—water, or possibly wine and beer.  Costrels were often made of leather and sealed with wax or pitch; although ceramic examples have been found[i].  Examples exist from the late 1300’s at the latest, and was used up through the 18th century, at the earliest.  They ranged in size from tiny ones holding maybe a cup[ii], to gigantic versions which may have been used to collect wine taxes[iii].

In addition; the Oxford English Dictionary has this to say about the costrel: “A vessel for holding or carrying wine or other liquid; a large bottle with an ear or ears by which it could be suspended from the waist (whence the antiquarian designation “pilgrim’s bottle”) or small wooden keg similarly used, in which sense it is still in dialect use.” The earliest reference to costrels in the OED was by Sir Ferumbr, in 1380.