Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > making your own clothing Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next 
Author Message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri 11 Mar, 2011 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So they may have been used for torture?
Going with white or off white for linen is certainly a safe bet for re-enactors, and to avoid the rack... Wink

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri 11 Mar, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found this paper on the web: litklum Coloured Clothes in Medieval Scandinavian Literature and Archaeology, by Thor Ewing

Link: http://www.dur.ac.uk/medieval.www/sagaconf/ewing.htm

About finds of wool clothing:

"Like the clothes of the sagas, these clothes were undyed; instead, the cloth was typically woven from two contrasting shades of naturally pigmented wool."

-Very interesting!


Here's another quote about linen from the same page:

"Linen survives less well in the ground than wool, and where it has been preserved it is invariably through the action of metal salts from a nearby dress accessory, most frequently from an oval brooch. These metal salts can colour the fabric, but evidence of dye has not yet been detected in the laboratory on linen cloth. Instead, linen, if it was not simply left in its natural colour, would typically have been bleached. Bleaching would have involved boiling the cloth in lye (a solution of wood ash) and spreading it out in the sun. Bleached cloth would have varied in quality, so that in Orkneyinga saga 55, Earl Haraldr covets a linen garment which is described as white as snow (hvtt sem fnn), and is presumably noticeably whiter than the shirt and linen breeches he is already wearing, while according to the Byzantine Leo the Deacon, the shirt worn by the tenth-century Rus prince Svyatoslav was noticeably whiter than those of his retinue."

So Anders is certainly right, at least for viking age. Wink

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Kramer wrote:


an other Golden rule (for recreating Medieval clothes) is to always use blesched (White) linnen when you use linnen. I know of no examples of the use og unbleached linnen.

Oh, and no colored linnens!


Since bleaching linen is a slow and tedious process we can safely assume that unbleached linen was common, in all likelyhood far more common than bleached fabric. Evidence from later periods in time (up 'til the Industrial Revolution) suggests that fine bleached linens were commonly reserved for the Sunday Best among the less wealthy classes.

Medieval dyed linen is known from both written sources as well as from extant finds, notably the red smock from Uvdal Church in Norway.
View user's profile Send private message
Andrew W




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 14 Oct 2010

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I disagree with the comment about wool overheating in the summer. It is true that wool over linen is warm, and I sweat a lot when I wear it in the heat, but wool does a very good job of regulating the evaporation of that sweat so that I feel cooler in sweaty wool than I do when I only wear linen. When a breeze blows, I actually feel chilly. Linen on its own just gets clammy and gross, and doesn't do as good a job regulating sweat evaporation and body temperature as it does when paired with wool.

I live in Florida, and have worn light-weight wools in the 90s (F) with high humidity. As long as you drink lots of water, you shouldn't overheat.
View user's profile Send private message
David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 12:24 am    Post subject: Making your own clothing         Reply with quote

Hi Nathan,

Your Hiberno - Norse impression's clothing is very likely to be generic 10th Century and I would advise you to look here for this http://www.regia.org/members/basclot.htm. To refine the impression to an Hiberno - Norse I would advise that you consider a fringed cloak held together by a 'thistle' penanular brooch. Also look at Viking Age finds from the Isle of Man, Dublin etc and reproduce the belt buckle types, mounts etc from here.Try to keep things local rather then regional avoiding direct Scandinavian and Russ type reproductions and you won't go to far wrong....Don't forget too that Jorvik was also very much a part of the Hiberno-Norse world with trade links and was ruled for some time by Hiberno - Norse Kings. Again avoid embellishments that display later viking age styles, Borra style decorated artifacts would be a good one though.

Take a look here for a typical thistle brooch bottom of page.
http://www.asgardcrafts.co.uk/brooches_cloak_pins.html

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I want to second Andrew on wool clothing. First, while I'm sure there's lots of linen clothing, and while the find results are skewed by survival rates, I think I'm safe in saying that MOST outer wear in the 14th c. and later is wool. Cloaks, cotes, etc. Second, I wear wool --uniform coats and small clothes--in 100 degree (F) heat all summer--to run, to fence, to ride a horse, to carry a musket and pack.

It is a purely modern notion that to be comfortable you should be "dry". In a linen shirt under a wool waistcoat and coat, I sweat--into the shirt. On a very hot day I sweat through the waistcoat. But I'm never uncomfortable, and in fact the whole outfit breathes and works. Medieval clothes seem the same--in fact, I'm finding the braes/hose combination to be superb for fighting long sword--so good that I won't go back to "sports" pants. And I fight in a wool cote... wool has some miraculous properties... Warm when wet, cool when wet...

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Kingsmirror (1250) spesifically states that it is not seemly to wear visible linen or hemp, and that you should take care that your shirt does not show under your tunic.
So, by consequence, all your outer wear is wool. Wool underwear is also known, but linen is the favoured choice.

The kingsmirror also describes the seemly clothes to wear when introduced to the king; a brown, red or green tunic and hosen made of brown or scarlet wool (or black hide). You should bring your best cloak, but not wear it before the king, a point which the writer explains in length, as it would be deemed foolish under normal cirumstances as the cloak is a very prestigeous item.

Clothes where expensive, but then again, the medevial upper class was extremely rich as compared to regular people. Their households would have economies comparable to modern companies or corporations. Having a set of fine clothing would be akin to wearing an executive limmo, in terms of value.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a fair amount of evidence for linen outer clothing from period that is colored.

There are a few western European accounts that seem to promote linen clothing for children but I cannot recollect them ath this moment. Perhaps someone more familiar with medieval families can think of it.

That said here are a few.

A Bishops cope (cap like vestment) of fine linen at St. Pauls. Hustings Wills of London vol. 1 January, A.D. 1350.
Roll 78 (248).

Coats produced in large numbers of linen. Hustings Wills of London vol. II July, A.D. 1434.
Roll 164 (46).

One is Hugh Despencers inventory from shortly after he is executed lists several linen tunics of various colors.

We also have several fairly complete tunics and dresses in Spain that were of colored linen in their museum of medieval textiles.

I have also posted I believe on this very board an account from the city of London during the 14th century regarding statutes for non-woolen dying and manufacture that incorporates this. So where as it seems wool was more common people that like nice and tidy categories will be disappointed.

Of course there likely are regional, social level, situations more or less likely to see them but finding these out is usually anything but straight forward.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 4:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, I'm sure there was a great deal of linen outer clothing. But the average, I think, was wool. I THINK that's all we're maintaining.

It's all I'm maintaining, anyway. There are no neat categories in history... LOL. So right there. But as reenactors, I think it's our duty to represent the average until we have enough of a body of "average" material culture--whatever class or social level we portray--that we can start portraying the exceptional.

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian,

For the most part I agree but I think there is enough grey area here that if we are to portray the average we must be cautious. Where as I feel wool is more common I would be very wary to claim it was by the evidence as there are too many variables involved.

Most inventories and sales records simply mentions cloth or clothes. Those that have more detail often simply state linen or 'woollen clothing' with no clear lines written to say one way or the other. Those that are more clear do seem to indicate wool was more common but since some 60-70% of these records are totally ambiguous and another 20% leaving both on equal footing with all his/her 'woollen and linen clothing' I do not know. We also have the last group that at times is more clear that indicate, at least in England, wool was more common as outer wear, using terms like 'body wear' for linen and such for the most part nonetheless including evidence for the opposite argument as well. These are based on literally all the inventories and wills that are currently available for London, York, Southampton and some from the counties of Yorkshire, Sussex and Lincolnshire so still more space for further advancement.

The archeological side of it is just as complicated as remains of textiles themselves are rare but linen fiber is much more likely to be destroyed than wool because it is a base and wool and acid structure so most soil types easily destroy linen while wool is more likely to remain.

I do think wool was a more common outer garment as having gone over a great deal of documents and remains I get that feel but I think there is a danger in limiting what is used material wise. My brief look into a few places like Southern France and Spain seemed to indicate some possible different trends. The fact Spain has a more dry climate for much of the country and has remaining outer clothing made of linen might be a very positive factor in the likelihood of regional use of materials.

During the 14th century for example there are several records of linen hose being brought to the English army as their Irish soldiers used them over wool. There is also indications that there were types of linen over clothing in use there.

So I still feel my original conclusion is that there is too much evidence to simply say linen was not used as some are arguing. Further it is highly probable that there are areas where linen was as common if not more common than wool clothing. As well it is that some tiers of society or positions might have used linen very often. So in the end I think it comes back to the level of detail and research people can afford to place in their persona and its development.

Now I think going on another tangent on our use of wool as reenactors. One issue people have with wool is finding the proper wool. Medieval wools, just like linen and other fabrics, went from thick to thin and soft to course. My traveling tunic is heavy and much more rough than something I'd wear if I were portraying my persona at home. It is lined with linen but even if it were not it would not be so rough as to be uncomfortable but it can (and has) kept me very warm and dry. And of course washing wool before wear helps as much wool is a bit itchy pre-wash.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What do you folks use for thread? Just waxed linen cord?
View user's profile Send private message
Andrew W




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 14 Oct 2010

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For sewing wool, I use either thread that my wife has spun on a drop spindle (not as difficult as it sounds at first - she's teaching me right now so I can spin my own sewing thread) or commercial 'lace weight' wool yarn (Malabrigo brand has been working well for me thus far, with other brands it's best to handle it in person at a yarn shop for knitters so you can tug on it and make sure it's strong enough for sewing). I've also unraveled the scraps from the fabric I'm sewing and used those threads for sewing, if they're strong enough (sometimes they're too weak to work well).
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, that's very interesting info about the colored linen clothing. Are these wills printed in or part of a book or other available work I can study?
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Hustings Rolls of Deeds and Wills 1258-1688, by Reginald Sharpe.

You can find it here
http://www.archive.org/stream/p1calendarofwil...t_djvu.txt

or here

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/place.aspx?region=1

To be fair I have gone through so many sources the last decade and found so many accounts that include colored linen for whatever purpose it seems likely to simply pick one and eventually you will hit some examples.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

15th century tailoring is a quite different animal than it's high medevial counterpart. Where a 5th-early 14th c tunic is a fairly loose fitting construction of squares and rectangles, a 14th c dublet is a form fitted garment made up of several layers of cloth, typicaly a liner, interliner and facing.

Such a garment might be made of linen, since the thickness of the construction makes it viable outerwear. A linen high medevial tunic would simply be a shirt. Surely, there can be colored linen tunics, and people might wear them as their only garment in hot weather, but it is not a piece of propper outerwear. Colour aside, it is neither warm, waterresistant nor durable enough for a northern european climate.

But linen doublets, or 15th c arming gowns made in a similar fashion, sure.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling,

I just do not see the evidence that way. Well before the 15th century we find accounts of linen tunics or a variety of colors. Now coupled with known evidence they are a minority of cases and likely used by the well off but this is far from rare and should therefore be up for consideration if the persona fits the evidence provided.

14th century tunics by the 1320s, 1330s are often not loose. In fact by the late 13th century you can see increasing form fit designs in the clothing. Doublets and the likes are simply the next step.... how do you get sleeves tighter and still get your arms through, buttons, and lots of them.

I have gone through every inventory I can find in some of the largest cities and towns in Britain and into France and think there is enough evidence to shrug off this concept so entrenched in reenactor circles. If the person researches it well and knows its use it should be available.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A form fitted tunic is still at tunic; the difference lies in the use of liners and interliners, and a construction made up of panels rather than a square with arms and gores attatched.

As for research, I'm in the privileged situation to have a source from my time period, in my location (down to about 50 meters from where we train), spesifically stating that linen is not seeming for public wear.
Of cource, this could be seen as akin to "Secret service agents shall not wear t-shirts on duty." which does not automatically translate to "nobody wears t-shirts in public".

As for colouring linen, it can, and probably was done even in the early/high middle ages. But the resulting garment would still be a fancy shirt. That somehting is considered tacky does, as one knows, in NO way mean that it was no done Wink

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But why do you assume it is tacky or frowned upon in society? Just because one person said so? How do you know it is not his own personal opinion or that it is founded in reality. I'll stick with inventories, simple and direct evidence undiluted by personal opinion.

Most of the people with linen outer wear are some of the wealthiest class of English nobles, officers, merchants and tradesmen and had ties to much of Europe, hardly seems likely they would be taking on anything less than what was in vogue or at the least acceptable for the time. Logically it just does not make sense.

Edward III in 1334 gives his Keeper of the Hall, Master John Powys two robes one of linen. (CPR EdIII, VOl. III, pg. 28. This is not an isolated event either as Master Simon de Neylond who was the Warden of the King Richard's Hall was given two gowns a year, one of the linen (CPR 1377, pg. 23). A Royal officer.... not likely to be dressed in a way that is tacky or out of the norm for the period.

The case I mentioned before, Henry Skinner had tenements in three different wards and random messuages throughout much of London, not even getting into his lands outside the city. Hardly the type of person to run against the grain. He owned and gave away more velvet and gold than most knights owned at this time.

One account from Henry VI's reign actually indicates different materials were used for winter from that of summer liveries (CPR, Henry VI, vol. 5, pg 474). One from Richard II's reign actually indicates linen as the material for summer wear by the ladies that accompany the Queen (CPR, Richard II, vol. VI, pg. 535).

So no matter how you slice it or dice it the idea linen was not used as outer wear or by only the tacky or poorly mannered is incorrect. There is no way on earth royal officials or the filthy rich of England would in so many instances be violating such a norm. I am not trying to say linen was more common than wool. The evidence points far from such a conclusion but I see no reason to assume it was tacky or out of the norm from the dozens of inventory accounts.

We know linen has been dyed. Heck there are even Egyptian linens that were dyed reds and blues. Sure it is harder than wool for the most part. Who cares, you make up the top 10% of wealth on the planet and you can afford it..


RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jun, 2011 1:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The simple answer would probably be that what was considered "tacky" at the early 14th century Norwegian royal court was considered fully acceptable at other European courts at about the same time.

Anyhow I interpret the passage in the King's Mirror that showing a piece of your underwear was considered indecent because it was underwear, not because of the specific material use. If the under-shirt and braies would have been made out of - say - light wool it would in all likelyhood have been frowned upon as equally immodest to flash in front of the royal court...
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jun, 2011 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The kingsmirror is from the mid 13th century, and is a manual for the king's sons. The passage sounds, in translation;
"Your linen should be made of good linen stuff, but with little cloth used; your shirt should be short, and all your linen rather light. Your shirt should be cut somewhat shorter than your coat; for no man of taste can deck himself out in flax or hemp."

This use of "linen" as synonymous with underwear is common in the other norse texts as well. For instance, the laws stated that one could plunder a slain enemy "to the linen". One can't have naked dead guys laying around, can one?

Then again, there is linen, and there's linen. Plain canvas weave linen is suitable for underwear, a fine diamond twill or other advanced weave might be suitable for outer wear, or just a very luxurious shirt.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > making your own clothing
Page 2 of 3 Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2019 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum