Friday, February 14, 2014

Irish Clothing Bibliography: Inaugural Post

As my "inaugural" post, being as I do not have the time at the moment to write up what I would like (build notes for my recent Frock Coat), I have decided to publish the Irish Clothing bibliography I put together some time ago, after seeing many people ask about the subject (mostly on the SCA_Garb pages).

In addition to the links below, I would like to add this image, which is the style I personally use for my early Irish Leine, introspective of neckline styles and exact sleeve length (I prefer close to the wrist and extra long).

Medieval Irish Clothing Bibliography

Roughly sorted by usefulness and quality

General info:
Early Gaelic Dress: An Introduction
Finnacan Dub’s paper on the subject—as mentioned, this is one of my favourites.

Clothing of the Ancient Celts: Ireland, ca. 5th-10th Centuries CE
Overview of some of the characteristics of Irish Clothing of this period.

Insular Dress in Early Medieval Ireland
A paper by Maria Fitzgerald examining styles of dress portrayed in art work from Book of Kells era.  Includes a few tidbits from the laws, as well.

32 Descriptions from Tain Bo Cualgne
A list of clothing descriptions from the Ulster Cycle.

The Irish Woman’s Dilemma - What Do I Wear?
A document divided into three period sections (the middle one being not particularly useful, imho), covering the basics of women’s Irish dress.  It again covers the basics, but does have a couple new things or points of view.

Gael Agus Gall... kit guidelines
Extrapolations of Hiberno-Norse period clothing from artwork from the period.

Gerald of Wales: Norman views on Ireland and the Irish
A partial translation of The Topography of Ireland.  It contains a few notes on late 12th Century Irish clothing, as through the eyes of an Englishman.  There are also a couple of the images from this book, where you can see that the clothing is nothing really new, but has close fitting, extra long sleeves which are rucked up on the wrist. is the full translation of The Topography of Ireland and has about the same information as above (minus the pictures), plus a footnote which primarily describes the brat.  The portion on clothing begins at page 68.

Celtic Clothing
An article from House Barra on 5th Century Irish Clothing—giving, once again, an overview with some information on the colours.

Costume in County Clare
An article By Mairéad Dunleavy on Irish clothing.  Only a few paragraphs are applicable in this case, but provide some interesting points.

11th Century Irish Women’s clothing discussion
Gives the author's overview of the layers.  Not too bad, but there are more useful sites out there.

Irish Kit Guide for Early Christian Period
Covering approximately 450 to 800 AD, it is another overview which touches on some points and subjects I have not often seen before—the cochall for instance.  I would take some of the information here with a grain of salt, however.

A (much) smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland.  Chapter XVIII - Dress and Personal Adornment - Dress
Very much out of date, although this web version has a discussion by Kass (of reconstructing history) on the “Irish kilt”.

Echna’s Celtic Clothing Page
Again, fairly basic overview with an eye towards making basic Irish clothing.  Good starter site, but should be used as an accompaniment to other, more in depth pages.

Weaving an 11th Century Irish Brat
A Florilegium article documenting the process of creating the shaggy cloak of the Irish.

The Early Gaelic Dress, and Echna’s cloak page have some information on wearing the brat.

              Accessories and Hygiene:
A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland: Dress and Personal Adornment
This link covers personal hygiene, including hair/beards, and the marks of aristocracy.  Written in 1906, but the information in this portion may still be good—I haven’t seen anything to refute it, anyways.

Celtic Looks
Very general, basic article on recreating—however, there is some good information on Jewelry and personal hygiene.

Celtic Color and Clothing Traditions
Scroll down to page three, where there is an article on the subject of allowed colours for various ranks, using literary sources.

Irish Viking Silk and their place in Hiberno-Norse Society
Remains of silk found in Viking age Norse settlements in Ireland.  The last page includes a diagram of the Dublin cap (women's headwear).

Glossary of Irish Clothing Terms
A list of Irish terms relating to clothing, production thereof, and materials.

Footewear of the Middle Ages
Marc Carlson’s webpage on period shoes.  If you click the link for Dark Ages shoes, it will take you to the Lucas Types, among others.

For late period Irish, take a look at my article, 16th Century Irish Dress

© 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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