What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

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Tod
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What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Tod » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:26 pm

I'm told its meant to have some stretch but all the fabric I've looked at doesn't stretch much at all. Even if its cut on bias I can't see it stretching enough. Plus I don't know much about fabric. What should I look or ask for and any idea where I might get it?



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Captain Reech » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:40 pm

Can of worms time Tod : )

If you're going for totally authentic you might be best talking to someone like Stuart Peachey http://www.stuart-hmaltd.com/historical_fabrics.php

All pure wool has some give in it (In fact almost all fabric will stretch slightly cut on the bias) unfourtunately a lot of the modern breeds of sheep have shorter less stretchy wool fibres so a lot of the cheaper fabric doesn't have the give that a hand spun, hand loomed, long fibre wool would have. You pays yer money....

Sorry, pushed submit before I was ready. The real trick with hose is to get a good pattern and to make sure you wear them pulled up snug, the biggest cause of split hose is wearing them like trousers and putting strain on the fabric between the legs when you squat down (Well, that and wearing off the peg numbers that aren't cut to fit the individual as the originals would have been). Elenna recommends hand sewing (back stitch) with linen thread so, if anything gives, it's likely to be the easily repaired seam rather than the expensive fabric.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Captain Reech » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:59 pm

Dammit! I really should only do one thing at a time!

http://www.laxeywoollenmills.com/cat_Fa ... Tweeds.htm

These guys also do some very nice stuff. I've often meant to ask you what you think of some of their plaids for Jacobite stuff, LWMBR007 for example?


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:05 pm

You're probably best off looking for a 2-2 twill pattern wool. If you pull it on the diagonal, you should find that it stretches quite a lot. As the Captain said, you need to get the cut right too.

The wool's that I'm currently using for hosen come from Cloth Hall.

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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Tod » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:36 pm

Its not the way they are worn or the pattern I have a problem with its getting the right fabric.
TBH I don't know how to recognise a specific weave.



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby steven pole » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:05 pm

Hi there. I have a friend who is selling some new footed hose made by Black Swan. They are 38 waist 32 leg and royal blue.https://www.facebook.com/darren.warrilow



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Sophia » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:55 pm

The type of wool you are looking for is a firm 2:2 twill which is what Kersey also known as hose cloth generally was. It can be recognised by the visible diagonal lines in the weave which are visible at least on the right side of the cloth, generally on both. The firmer and smoother the.surface the better, if the cloth is too soft it will not wear well. The most reliably available stuff to date is that sold by The Tudor Tailor on their website. It is relatively expensive but excellent to work with, I speak from experience.

When it comes to fitting the hose the best thing to use is either a cheap 2:2 twill wool or wool mix (no lycra) or a 2:2 twill cotton cloth. The most important aspect of the fit is getting it high enough in the crotch (you will need to base not pin in the later stages. Remember there is no room in your hose for your cods that is what the two piece cod flap with the curved seam is for, it should be big enough to enclose your shirt/ braies covered cods. An additional long thin triangular gusset can be added in these crotch but should not be so long it is visible when standing and probably not wider than 2" at the front (it should be in proportion to the individual).

Hope this helps.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Tod » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:23 pm

You lost me on the second paragraph. Shoud I go for the TT fabric or cheap 2.2 twill? I don't like using wool mix (if its synthetic mix). What do you mean by base not pin. Other than avoid sticking pins in soft parts.
What I want to get made is early Tudor hose which are the same fit as late medieval but with slashed knees. I have one pair which are skin tight as I put some muscle on my legs and they don't move with me, they restrict how I move resulting in me ripping out the point holes and actaully breaking the points. They were a better fit when my legs were smaller and they were looser.



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Sophia » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:24 pm

I would recommend the TT for the actual hose cloth - I was suggesting the cheap wool/synthetic or a pure cotton 2:2 twill for making the toile as this will be closer to the behaviour of the actual cloth. Always cut on the bias with the visible diagonal in the twill running vertically down the front of the leg.

For the very best fit you probably need to make a plain pair of hose first in in a cheaper wool cloth, making adjustments on the basted garment and taking a pattern from it once you are happy. This has been recommended to me by several Tudor makers I know and I about to do so for Peter as I still haven't got his Tudor hose right and his Medieval hose are a disgrace (altered Sally Green ones) as our household tends to suffer from "Cobbler's children syndrome".

Out of interest which points/eyelets are you breaking. If it is those across the back then I suggest you get someone to do them up when you are bent over as it will reduce the strain on them, you have probably come across this doing Medieval. If your hose are well fitted then they should not sag particularly at the back when this is done, particularly with early Tudor hose which are fitted at the natural waist rather than just the just on the hip bone look of WOTR hose. If you are wearing an early skirted doublet with a hidden lacing strip then this will be almost invisible.

Hope this is clearer, it is the sort of thing that is really easier to show people that is the problem.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby guthrie » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:50 pm

Sophia wrote: The most reliably available stuff to date is that sold by The Tudor Tailor on their website. It is relatively expensive but excellent to work with, I speak from experience.

When it comes to fitting the hose the best thing to use is either a cheap 2:2 twill wool or wool mix (no lycra) or a 2:2 twill cotton cloth. The most important aspect of the fit is getting it high enough in the crotch (you will need to base not pin in the later stages. Remember there is no room in your hose for your cods that is what the two piece cod flap with the curved seam is for, it should be big enough to enclose your shirt/ braies covered cods. An additional long thin triangular gusset can be added in these crotch but should not be so long it is visible when standing and probably not wider than 2" at the front (it should be in proportion to the individual).

Hope this helps.

Whilst the Tudor tailor stuff is most reliably available, it isn't ideal for hose even yet althoug better than many others. I've got 2 pairs made with it, and it does tend to stretch over time with use and get baggy. Mind you that is probably fairly authentic...
It's worth using anyway if you can't find anything else. But as Sophia and others say, it should fit high into the crotch.

Cheap 2:2 twill might do the job, but ideally you'd want to see how it stretches compared to Tudor tailor stuff. If only I'd known, I could have brought some scraps of the latter along at the weekend since I have plenty left over. The blue hose I was wearing are made from it.



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Sophia » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:25 pm

I generally wash all my wool cloth on a 30 C wool wash before cutting it. This means that it can be washed afterward on a cold wool wash which generally helps minimise the baggy bit. For one pair that got really bad I did actually wash them on 30 C again and it did the trick. (If you are half lining them with linen don't forget to boil it first).

I have heard of slashed hose with a contrasting lining being washed by hand but not of ones with padding in them. It may well be one of those things where are ancestors were happy to dismantle them first as labour was infinitely cheaper at the time.

@Guthrie - interested to know why you don't consider the TT cloth ideal for hose, it is no better or worse than many of the cloths I have found which all have their faults. I have regularly found finer woollen twills but they are often far too soft and the fine and firm twills are generally worsted and I have not been able to find any mention hose made of worsted as yet. Occasionally other suppliers (Cloth Hall, Ali, Bernie, etc.) will have a twill similar to the TT cloth.

I am about to experiment with some fine woollen twill from Ali which is all bolt ends with chain roller damage (so will have to cut around, piece and patch), it is softish so will warm wash before hand. Will report back as soon as I have pinned Peter down and fettled the new pattern.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby guthrie » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:56 pm

Sophia wrote:@Guthrie - interested to know why you don't consider the TT cloth ideal for hose, it is no better or worse than many of the cloths I have found which all have their faults.

It isn't quite ideal because of the stretch and bagginess, although perhaps some of that is due to my cutting it imperfectly. Ideal is something to aim for/ comission someone to make. It's certainly better than other stuff I have made hose from, and since tight hose look better and are more authentic, it makes it harder to get away with rubbish cloth.



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Tod » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:33 am

The problem I had was that the hose are so tight on my calves now they wouldn't pull up far enough, We are going to try and let the seam out first that will help. I broke the back and side points at different times, I event tried points with more stretch but that meant the top of the hose moved down. The problem is the fit of the legs and that is due to my legs being bigger.
I've got some boiled wool hose for 15th century (Black Swan or Historic Enterprises) that fit really well, they did go baggy but I cold washed them as per the instructions and that solved the problem. I think the other problem I had was the point holes on my clothing didn't line up well due to different people making it. This is usually solved by my girlfiend making new point holes but I forgot about that prior to this week end just gone. The back holes were spot on but the sides were an inch or so out.
What I want to do is get some hose made that move with me like my boiled wool ones, but as I want slashing at the knee I need the right cloth. The waist on my early 16th century hose is low but then thats what it looks like in the pictures, is that wrong? We are talking 1513. They are the same as my 15th century hose. I think I need to get soem one to show me what the right cloth looks like. It would be so much easier if they were made of leather :wink:



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby guthrie » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:10 pm

There's someone selling boiled wool on ebay who has been used by other people before for cloth for their hose.



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Sophia » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:02 pm

@ Tod - If you can get to me in South East London I have a variety of different twills you can come and look at. It will be better than just having samples as it will get you a feel for the hand of the cloth (weight, drape, texture, etc.)

@ Guthrie - I have not yet come across a modern boiled wool cloth that is not based on a jersey. While they give the right look they are not period correct as knitting was still done in the round until quite late. The extant early knitted garments have all been cut open where they have front openings, a process known as steeking. If you have knitting questions get hold of Beth the Weaver at Kentwell as this is her area of expertise on top of general textile stuff.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:11 pm

Aren't you going to be at one of the fairs? Can some-one meet up with Tod there and give him a qucik 'handeling session'?

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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Sophia » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:59 pm

If I am one of the markets I would be happy to oblige, however given the current cost of diesel from South London to the Midlands we will only be attending if we need to unless things change drastically. We want to save diesel for any events.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby SirUlf » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:58 pm

I'm toying with the idea of making my own hose as well and to that end I've ordered the Sarah Thursfield book. Been through the recommendations in this thread but can't quite see one particular favourite coming out. Should one go cheap, or get the Tudor Tailor stuff? Is it terribly complicated or can any muppet with a sewing machine do it?



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Grymm » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:35 pm

When I machined I found that machines tended to make the cb leg seam too rigid. You could try with a loose zig zag, but I always hand sew hose leg seams with a 'robust' back stitch.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby guthrie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:35 am

Hose are generally regarded as quite hard to make. Or at least proper joined hose are. Ideally you need to make a pattern first, using cheap cloth, then you can fiddle about with getting the height right etc. And always remember to cut on the bias!



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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:05 pm

To get hosen that fit correctly is a real art (but then it was a 7 year apprenticeship). If you follow the instructions carefully and take your time (NO shortcuts here) you should be able to get something passable. I'd make your first pair out of a cheaper wool and then buy the TT stuff when you've got the method and pattern worked out.

Do remember that you will need lots of help from some-one and one of you will be waving scisors and pins rather near your family jewels! :o

Best of luck with it.


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Re: What wool fabric for medieval joined hose?

Postby Sophia » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Hand tack at each stage and use small very sharp scissors rather than large ones. At the crucial stage the hose wearer should lift his cods and almost cradle them in his hand to keep them out of the way (remember that they are contained within the cod flap not the hose). Fit very high (higher than you think you need to) and remember that you can insert a long thin triangle in the crotch which will help (it should be no wider than an inch at the front and go back as far as possible but not visible from the back when the wearer is standing).

Happy stitching and snipping!


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