Wife of Bath costume re-creation question

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Wife of Bath costume re-creation question

Postby werewelsh » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:14 pm

I want to try and recreate the houppelande that the Wife of Bath is wearing in this illumination Image

Can anyone give me an idea of what the detailing on the ends of her sleeves might be? Is it more likely to be embroidery or some kind of decorative tablet woven band?

Also, I've been assuming that the garment is probably laced up the front but that that is hidden in the folds of the fabric. Do you think it might have pulled on over the head? (this would save me some lucet-ing...)

Thank you wonderful people :)

ETA - curses! Image isn't working...it's this one - http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=h ... CDkQ9QEwAw

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JC Milwr
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Re: Wife of Bath costume re-creation question

Postby JC Milwr » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:39 pm

At first look I would have assumed it just pulled on, as there are plenty of folds under the belt.
Could the sleeves be fur-edged? She's all wrapped up against the weather.

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Re: Wife of Bath costume re-creation question

Postby sally » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:13 pm

I'd agree with fur, likely the whole thing is fur lined to keep her warm when riding, she's got one of those cunning bag-over-the-saddle things over her legs too, always wondered how practical those were in use.

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Re: Wife of Bath costume re-creation question

Postby Drachelis » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:20 pm

Yep I would go with fur trim on the arms. Houppelandes were over the head garments- no lacing at all - voluminous garments needing about 8 meters of cloth. It was all pulled in by the belt and the folds arranged to give the pleated effect. The houppelande was an overdress and would have had kittle underneath as well as a shift


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Alice the Huswyf
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Re: Wife of Bath costume re-creation question

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:10 pm

High collared gowns of the C14th sometimes had buttoning down to the high waist area (as you can see she is wearing a high collar, but there appears to be no fastening at all.), but that is rather high status stuff. Alison was well off and liked to show it (the huge hat and the horse trappings), but would not have been well off enough to seriously flaut the dress codes that way (and face the fines she could incur). After all, she thinks that with Jankin, she is finally the biter bit, as he is working her and her fortune as she worked her previous five husbands. Walking that fine line between conspicuous consumption which is clearly stated and avoiding legal censure will, I think, will be the interesting part of the work.

Afterthoughts edited in.

Is it 'coz I is middewl clarse, aih?

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