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Justin Lee Hunt




Location: North Baltimore OH
Joined: 28 Jun 2011

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Period decoration techniques for surcotes.         Reply with quote

I have a surcoat being made for me, but I wanted to decorate it my self. I know embroidery was commonly used, but does anyone know of any other methods for emblazoning your arms onto a surcoat? Needle work isn't my strong point, and I don't want to ruin the seamstress' efforts.
I opperate a website for my reenactment troop it's www.orderoftherouseclan.org Be sure to check out our forums www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com
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Tristán Zukowski




Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined: 29 Oct 2009

Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You'll want to supply the forumites with a time period and locale for more specific answers Wink

As someone who studies medieval embroidery as a hobby, I can't say that I've run across very many garments that were decorated with embroidery/beadwork/etc except for church vestments (which are usually completely covered in embroidery/beads/jewels/gold spangels/etc.) or specifically heraldic garments (e.g. tabbards). In other words, not necessarily something you'd be wearing day-to-day, in battle, at court, etc. One notable example that springs to mind is the 16th c. pourpoint in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, which is decorated with silk floss as well as silver/gilt gimp. Then again, the decoration is hardly heraldic.

Something you may look into—and again, I haven't seen specific examples—is applique. That is, taking chunks of fabric cut out into heraldic motifs and sewing them onto the surface of your garment. I've seen some flags/banners worked this way. Another historically-appropriate possibility is paint.

Look forward to seeing what others have to say on this topic!

Tristan P. Zukowski
Longsword (KdF) Instructor, New York Historical Fencing Association
Longsword (KdF) Instructor, Sword Class NYC
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Justin Lee Hunt




Location: North Baltimore OH
Joined: 28 Jun 2011

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips. The surcoat in question is for my late 13th C English portrayal. It has applique shields on it and I was wanting to put heraldic charges on them.
I opperate a website for my reenactment troop it's www.orderoftherouseclan.org Be sure to check out our forums www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com
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