Page 1 of 1

linen shirt

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:52 pm
by sewmaid
Hi
Could someone tell me what linen weight I should use for a shirt. Is it lightweight or medium weight?

regards
sewmaid

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:56 pm
by sally
what sort of shirt, what date, how posh, with or without frills, etc etc etc.

It really depends, a plain shirt for a labourer will be pretty hefty at most periods, a posh shirt for a fashionable aristocrat could be very delicate in fineness indeed. Frilly bits need fine fabric, shirts to be wshed and worn over and over again need a bit of toughness though. Will vary slightly with every scenario.

shirt

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:59 pm
by sewmaid
Hello Sally
It will be a plain shirt, 17th century and to be worn under a doublet style coat. If this helps.

regards
sewmaid

shirt

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:00 pm
by sewmaid
just a thought would calico do?

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:06 pm
by sally
what sort of status? I would probably go for a fairly fine linen if the person is of any rank, but not too transparent. Have a look at some of the extant shirts in the various museums and books to get a sense of how they should look

shirt

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:15 pm
by sewmaid
I would say middle to lower class. What do you think about using calico, would this work?

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:19 pm
by Merlon.
Calico is not used for shirts at this time, the few instances of its use are for sheets.
Establish exactly what the status of the individual is, middle to lower class is very vague. What exactly is the person or exhibit supposed to be doing?

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:19 pm
by sally
As I understand it calico does start to be traded with Europe in the seventeenth century, but I honestly don't know how likely it is that it would be turning up in shirts of that class straight away, what date exactly are we looking at?

(edited cos I can't spell)

Re: shirt

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:24 pm
by Merlon.
sewmaid wrote: to be worn under a doublet style coat.
There is either a doublet or a coat they are entirely separate items, there is no such thing as a doublet style coat. Sorry

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:47 pm
by X
Go for linen. You can get nice shirt-weight linen for £5 a metre, or less if you go to one of the roll-end shops; I have one near me that sells linen - quite nice stuff sometimes - by weight, not length. It can work out at £2-£3 per metre, which is comparable to calico.

Calico as a cheap substitute for linen is becoming less justifiable now that linen is so easy to get hold of. Calico passes muster at a distance, so OK for re-enactors who aren't expecting the public to get very close. However, if this is for your museum project, and if it's supposed to be reasonably representative of the historical reality, use linen. People will get close enough to be able to tell the difference, and people do tend to believe what they see in museums.

But in the end, it's down to you (and your client): how serious are you about 'getting it right'? Do you want it to be as accurate as possible, or are you more looking at putting something together that looks more or less OK, as long as nobody looks too closely, for the cheapest price possible?

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:26 pm
by Calendula
I've done quite a few shirts in unbleached linen from Ikea, which is about £3 a metre. Wears well and stands up to lots of washings, but is not posh wear!