Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Other Next Project; Wild Irish

I'm also starting another project this week--just waiting on thread.  I've been planning it for quite a while...even bought the fabric almost a year ago.

 And that is: 16th Century Wild Irish.  I figured it is time, especially since I wrote the article on 16th century Irish clothing more than a few years ago.  The outfit is really quite simple; the basis is the leine of golden yellow linen, the inar of red wool, and that is essentially all.  A fringed woolen brat is also a requirement, but I made mine a good 4.5 years ago (and use it every day).  No shoes, pants, or hat required.

All the leine pieces, neatly stacked.  Not yet trimmed to shape, though.
As said, the leine is and always was of saffron coloured linen, and was essentially a tunic.  You may see references to pleated sleeves, or a pleated body elsewhere...this is wrong.  There are no pleats of any kind (never mind drawstrings on the sleeves)--the effect of pleats is caused by the full body and skirt of the leine, being bloused over the belt.  As a general rule, it would have been approximately ankle length, and with extremely wide, bagpipe style sleeves--a possible holdover from the houppelandes of the previous century.  Sadly, there have been zero archaeological finds of the Irish leine, and it's unlikely any will appear (linen doesn't survive well in the acidic ground of Irish bogs).

I've actually already started in on the leine--it's all cut out, at least...I'm waiting on my linen thread to handsew it (I'm really not sure why I'm not using a machine, other than it feels right.  And/Or I'm a sewing masochist).  Something I've already found is that the measurements would have worked perfectly with the possibly 16-22 inch wide linens of the time (ignore the layout above, since it is for 56" wide fabric)--and that is a possible reason for the short to full length bag sleeves, with the length of the sleeve is going selvage to selvage, as it has to given the two yards of fabric required for each sleeve.  All in all, I used about 4.3 yards of modern 56" wide linen.

The inar, on the other hand, will be a bit trickier.  Thankfully, we actually do have an extant example, from a bog in Kilcommon.  The construction appears to once again be mostly rectangular, with an extremely short waist, and a heavily pleated skirt.  It is important to note that the sleeves are only around eight inches wide, and open along the bottom--that width is just about right to fasten around a man's wrist.

I already have the wool for this project--a lovely scarlet broadcloth from Wm. Booth.  It will be handsewn, of course.  Currently, I am being rather ambitious, and want to to the floral patterns above (at least on the body; probably the striped sleeves)....as appliqued gilded leather.  And gilding the leather myself.  As I said, ambitious, and we'll see.  I will also have to tablet weave some heavily fringed bands, which appear at the high waist, and on the horizontally striped sleeves.  All that will likely come after I have it at least cut, if not partly sewn.

© John Frey, 2017. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.  Photographs of my work may not be duplicated.

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