Medieval Pattens

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Bobfrance
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Medieval Pattens

Post by Bobfrance »

Wonder if anyone can help with the type and thickness of wood for medieval pattens?
I have been told that they should be of Alder as it is light in weight but fairly robust.
I have tried with some softwoods and they split after one of two uses.

Many thanks

Bob

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Colin Middleton
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Colin Middleton »

I think that mine are made of Ash. I seam to recall Poplar being used too, because of it's weight. Lighter woods are easier to walk in, but come appart quicker. It depends how often you want to replace them.

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John Waller
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by John Waller »

Poplar was popular but there was at one time an ordinance against it being used for footware as it was needed for arrowshafts. I made some from pine - don't - they split.
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Sophia »

IIRC from MOL Shoes and Pattens book they are mainly Alder, Poplar and Willow, i.e. lightweight wet foot woods. I have an excellent pair of working patterns (split sole with leather hinge) in Poplar that I bought about 6 years ago from Kay Rouse. She does them off the peg in size range but didn't charge me any more for a pair based on drawing round my mediaeval shoes I just had to wait for them. They cost £50 and she trades at TORM.

The I have just started to have problems with the leather straps, one of the nails pulled through so it go moved and they have stretched quite a lot but I do tend to wear them all the time as it protects my expensive hand sewn turnshoes. I will probably shorten the straps soon. It has to be exceptionally liquid and deep mud before my shoes get wet on the soles. What is really satisfying is that they are showing the same wear patterns as those in the archaeological record.
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Bobfrance
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Bobfrance »

Thanks for this I've tried making them in hardwoods and they are heavy and crack but not poplar or alder will do so when I can find a supplier!

Best wishes

Bobfrance

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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by cloudy-cola-corp »

i was told by a lady who makes period shoes that she used willow as that was the second most common wood used in preserved patterns because its lightweight and the water actually helps preserve the life of the wood i think she said alder was the main choice but can't remember

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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by lucy the tudor »

Alder and willow grow with their feet in the water, when working on nature reserves we were always told that this was why they were used for the soles of clogs.
Alder in big enough pieces can be hard to find commercially. Or expensive.
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Colin Middleton
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Colin Middleton »

Some good tips there, thanks for correcting my stupidity.

The leather parts will streach with wear, it's just what leather does, especially when it gets wet. It's easily fixed though, if you're any good with leather.

Has anyone else found that when walking in hinged pattens on very wet ground, you get a spray of water out of each side of the hinge every time your foot goes down? Cool or what!
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Sophia »

Yup - worst bit is when the ground is really churned up and you get clumps of grass and mud stuck in the hinge. Its "fun" trying to balance on one foot and poke it out with your knife. :wink:
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by paul bennett »

poplar is pretty easy to find from commercial timber yards that hold hardwoods as well as softwoods. It is also called tulip wood if that helps
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Bobfrance
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Bobfrance »

Will get some

Thanks

Bob

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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Mark Griffin »

tulipwood is not poplar, its an entirely different species from china and east america. The tulipwood trees look a wee bit similar and happen to grow to a similar size so seem to have got confused somehow.

Poplar is a pretty versatile wood, the indian stuff forms one of the constituent parts of the plywood they made and the French use it for band boxes, especially Camembert. Yum Yum. It falls into the 'whitewood' category and the bark was often used in the tanning industry, more so in Europe than here though.
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Bobfrance
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Bobfrance »

Thanks Mark

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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Mark Griffin »

just had a thought- Poplar/alder/willow etc are all in the similar grouping of trees used for this kind of thing. My clever thought is you could probably re-carve old cricket bats, good bit of re-using there, rather than go and source new wood. They will certainly be straight grained and well seasoned.
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Re: Medieval Pattens

Post by Charles13 »

I made a pair recently from a piece of ash that had been sitting in the garden for about 2 years - so very hard work, but the result is great I'm actually very pleased. I also applied some linseed oil to them (as you would a cricket bat). Been used in mud, tarmac, loose gravel and so far very little wear. As far as I know most commercial ones are made from willow. As discussed above there is a lot of choice but it needs to be hardish wood but not too heavy and remember to keep the grain running front to back not side to side.

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