Repairs on Extant Medieval Garments

 Note:  This is a work in progress, which hasn't been touched for some time.

v  Herjolfsnes
Ø  43.  Much patched, including a large patch on the lower edge suggesting a sword being worn with it.  S1
v  Uppsala Gown
Ø  the front skirt has two nearly invisible patches in the front skirt—suggesting it had been stepped on.  S1
v  The Moy Gown
Ø  Was patched and there are holes at stress points in the garment.  S1
Ø  There was a small patch covering (re-enforcing?) the point of the back gores. S5
v  Dava Moor, Cromdale, Morayshire.  Presumably in Scotland.  May be post period.
Ø  Unknown dating.  Clothes are ragged in the extreme and contain at least 29 different cloths (fabrics?).  S2
v  Shetland. (NA 249.) 
Ø  Felt skullcap with two tears roughly mended with thick 2-ply brown wool, and a hole near the edge roughly patched with two pieces of cloth.   S2
v  Dungiven Costume
Ø  All the garments were tattered and had been lined with patches.  S3
Ø  The doublet was lined with patches
Ø  The trius were a mass of patches by the time of burial, something like six layers deep in places. S6
v  Skjoldehamn Find
Ø  The shirt was heavily patched on (as worn) the underside of the right sleeve; underarm (towards the front) of the right sleeve; the right side in the area of the hip covering front and back side (this one looks like it’s been patched a couple of times—there’s definitely two separate patches, one overlapping the other); a large one on the left side, more towards the front and slightly higher than the right side; just above it there is another patch; there is one at the inside intersection of the other two left patches; there are two other patches in the front and underarm of the left side.  S4 p.83-84
§  All the patches are irregular in shape, I believe that most of them used a whipstitch (wool thread—almost looks white), but one or two may have used back/running stitch.  I believe that most of the patches have been turned under, but one in particular (right underarm) looks frayed on one edge.  Most of them as well are on the outside of the material, but the three small patches near/on the left arm are actually done from the wrong side of the material—on one you can actually see the outline of the patch in a way that suggests that it was fastened with a whipstitch.  S4 p.82
·       In light of some new information, I found out that all of the patches were roughly overcast with a variety of yarn types, Z2S being the most common.  On some at least, an overcast stitch was used to stitch the raw edge of the hole to the patch it’self, making the repair more solid. S4 translated by Asfridhr
v  Bernuthsfeld Tunic
Ø  A bog find dating to the 7th century in Germany, it was found at the beginning of the 20th century, and is composed of 45 pieces of different wool fabrics, sewn together in a patchwork. S7.
§   Personally I don’t believe that it was made as a patchwork to begin with, and is the result of extensive repairs—perhaps over a couple of generations.  Looking at a colour image of the tunic, I agree with myself--several of the pieces are attached slantwise and are quite obviously layered.

From Here.

Schlabow2376, Bernuthsfeld Tunic.  Front.
Schlabow2376, Bernuthsfeld Tunic.  Back.
v  Robe of St. Francis of Assisi 

v  Lendbreen Tunic (250-340AD)
Ø  Two patches, in the same area.  The first, square patch was placed on the wrong side, and the edges of the hole (probably trimmed) were whipstitched down.  The second patch was lain over the first, on the inside, sewn down with a running stitch (probably along the edge of the hole), and had the edges whipstiched down. (S9)
§  The second patch is of slightly different material, and sewn using different thread than the first one.
Ø  Seam repair on the right sleeve.  Whipstitch.  (S9)
S5) Reconstruction of the Moy Bog Gown.
S6) The Dungiven Costume, Reconstructing History article
S7) The conservation of an early mediaeval patchwork-style tunic.  This is the paper information.
S8) The Robe of St. Francis of Assisi.  There is a photo, although I believe the white patches may be modern.
S9) Lendbreen Tunic.

Note: This piece is under construction, and will occasionally be updated.
4-16-15: Edited Bernuthsfeld comment.  Added Bernuthsfeld and Assisi pictures.

© John Frey, 2014. 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. 

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