Authentic style clothing for 1197

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Loretta
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Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:24 pm

UPDATE: Many thanks to all who have responded to my question. You've given me some good ideas, and I have now decided which way to go. Thanks again, you've all been great.

Hi, I wonder if anyone can help me. I am writing a novel and need to know where my 21st century character can get authentic clothing for the year 1197. She will be playing the role of a medium-high-born unmarried young woman and will need three complete outfits but, because she is a student, she will probably be looking for second hand clothing for at least some of the items.
I have tried everywhere but, apart from a few very expensive costumiers, cannot find anywhere my character could buy from. I know there are medieval markets out there, but I am disabled and can't get to them to do the necessary research. If could get to any of these, I could probably find the names of some suppliers and talk to them or visit their websites. I have tried the LARP shops but they don't seem to be very period specific. If anyone can give me the names of any suppliers I would be very grateful.

Loretta Livingstone,
http://www.treasurechestbooks.co.uk
Last edited by Loretta on Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:41 pm

they don't seem to be very period specific.


This is true of almost any re-enactment supplier, whether it's fire steels, shoes, shields or dresses. Anyone involved in living history will tell you that the process goes like this:

1) Spend a lot of time researching your specific period, social class and locality (contemporary manuscripts, archaeological and academic publications, contemporary literature, linguistic and textile research . . . etc, etc)

2) Spend a lot of time trying to purchase something vaguely similar to the textiles used at the time.

3) Spend some time debating with yourself about the unknown elements that are still subject to conflicting academic views, for example: "Were side-laced dresses widely used in Anglo-Norman England in the 1190s, as they were in France?" The evidence is sketchy and inconclusive for this and many other details.

4) Spend a lot of time finding a suitable pattern and creating garments in the style of the clothing you have researched.

There are sadly no shortcuts and there are many pitfalls - clothing is often sold as generic "12th century" when in fact it can only be associated with part of that period.


Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:58 pm

Many thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. As I mentioned, I am disabled, so it is quite difficult for me, but I shall do the best I can.



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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:58 pm

Just to start you along a reasonable path, this image is from the British Library manuscript Royal 2 A XXII, the Westminster Psalter dated to 1200 and produced either at Westminster or St Albans. It shows Mary and Elizabeth ("The Visitation") and both are dressed as contemporary nobility (click on the image for a much larger version):

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminated ... llID=48008

The figure on the left wears a dress made from woven, striped material (drap de rai) in subtle yellow and green, with straight, tight sleeves; her blue cloak (chape) is circular with a hole for the head offset towards the front; her veil is the wrap-around style; her shoes are of tan leather with embroidery of white silk stitches. The chape is embroidered with white dots in groups of three. The garments are possibly all of silk.

The figure on the right wears what is possibly a short, pale brown dress over a full-length linen shift with tight, straight sleeves, although the apparent "angel" sleeves would be long obsolete by this date - perhaps it is really another type of cloak over a pale dress, draped in a strange way. Her wrap-around veil is blue and her shoes are of black leather, again embroidered with white silk stitching.

The Museum of London book on "Shoes and Pattens" includes surviving leather turnshoes bearing exactly this type of decoration from the same period. John of Garland mentions shoemakers producing shoes of tan or black leather.

Edit: I missed the fact that the light brown garment can be seen draped on the woman's right shoulder, meaning that it is a cloak rather than a dress (the "angel" sleeves would have been anachronistic :roll: ).


Brother Ranulf



"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Medicus Matt
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Medicus Matt » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:42 am

Your character could join a re-enactment society, members of which would either have second hand kit which she could borrow/buy or would help her to make her own.


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Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:48 am

Brother Ranulf wrote:Just to start you along a reasonable path, this image is from the British Library manuscript Royal 2 A XXII, the Westminster Psalter dated to 1200 and produced either at Westminster or St Albans. It shows Mary and Elizabeth ("The Visitation") and both are dressed as contemporary nobility (click on the image for a much larger version):

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminated ... llID=48008

The figure on the left wears a dress made from woven, striped material (drap de rai) in subtle yellow and green, with straight, tight sleeves; her blue cloak (chape) is circular with a hole for the head offset towards the front; her veil is the wrap-around style; her shoes are of tan leather with embroidery of white silk stitches. The chape is embroidered with white dots in groups of three. The garments are possibly all of silk.

The figure on the right wears what is possibly a short, pale :roll: ).


Thank you so much. That is kind of you and has given me a great start.



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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:52 am

Medicus Matt wrote:Your character could join a re-enactment society, members of which would either have second hand kit which she could borrow/buy or would help her to make her own.


That would have been a brilliant idea - except that she has no time to do so. It's a long story (pardon the pun). But thank you so much, it is a really good idea. She might be able to contact a re-enactment society and see if anyone has a second hand kit she could buy from them though...hmm...pause for thought...that could definitely work. Thank you.



nest
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby nest » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:00 pm

ust to start you along a reasonable path, this image is from the British Library manuscript Royal 2 A XXII, the Westminster Psalter dated to 1200 and produced either at Westminster or St Albans. It shows Mary and Elizabeth ("The Visitation") and both are dressed as contemporary nobility (click on the image for a much larger version):


Looks like one the very talented Tanya Bentham made, Brother Ranulf
https://opusanglicanum.wordpress.com/20 ... hed-frock/



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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Brother Ranulf » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:19 pm

Indeed, although from a slightly later source. There are some interesting comments on that link about stripes being worn by the "lower classes" - certainly I have evidence for this among household servants, who were no doubt dressed to impress visitors with their expensive clothing. I doubt the average field worker could dress him/herself in this way; there is a mention in 1250:

De la mer venent les rays


(striped cloth comes from [across] the sea), meaning it was an expensive import.


Brother Ranulf



"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:26 pm

nest wrote:
ust to start you along a reasonable path, this image is from the British Library manuscript Royal 2 A XXII, the Westminster Psalter dated to 1200 and produced either at Westminster or St Albans. It shows Mary and Elizabeth ("The Visitation") and both are dressed as contemporary nobility (click on the image for a much larger version):


Looks like one the very talented Tanya Bentham made, Brother Ranulf
https://opusanglicanum.wordpress.com/20 ... hed-frock/


That's a really interesting website. :)



Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:27 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:Indeed, although from a slightly later source. There are some interesting comments on that link about stripes being worn by the "lower classes" - certainly I have evidence for this among household servants, who were no doubt dressed to impress visitors with their expensive clothing. I doubt the average field worker could dress him/herself in this way; there is a mention in 1250:

De la mer venent les rays


(striped cloth comes from [across] the sea), meaning it was an expensive import.


:)



de Coverley
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby de Coverley » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:12 pm

Just think of the variety of fashion in the 20th century. There would likely have been the same variance in any period. Start by avoiding obvious anachronisms -eg zips and synthetics.



Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:15 pm

de Coverley wrote:Just think of the variety of fashion in the 20th century. There would likely have been the same variance in any period. Start by avoiding obvious anachronisms -eg zips and synthetics.


Lol, yes, thanks. I wouldn't put those in. If I did, I would deserve every bad review I would inevitably receive. :lol:



de Coverley
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby de Coverley » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:13 pm

My point being that you could pick 20 different styles from the 20th century from flapper girl to rock n roller to mini skirt etc. I expect you could pick the same range from any century . So come as close as you can and miss all the obvious clangers -no-one remembers the era with any clarity!



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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:08 am

de Coverley wrote:My point being that you could pick 20 different styles from the 20th century from flapper girl to rock n roller to mini skirt etc. I expect you could pick the same range from any century . So come as close as you can and miss all the obvious clangers -no-one remembers the era with any clarity!


That's very true. No one can say with total authority, can they? Lol. Thanks, I think this is the way to go. Cheers. :)



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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:45 am

de Coverley wrote:My point being that you could pick 20 different styles from the 20th century from flapper girl to rock n roller to mini skirt etc. I expect you could pick the same range from any century . So come as close as you can and miss all the obvious clangers -no-one remembers the era with any clarity!

And that's a great point that I could pick so many styles for the twentieth century and they would still be twentieth century. Even in just an era covering any one of the century's decades, skirt lengths vary from mini to maxi, and clothing from tight and fitted to loose and flowing. Thanks, that is great thinking. Much appreciated.



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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:52 pm

de Coverley makes a good point, although I firmly believe that researching sources from a specific decade (so +/- 5 years of 1197 in this case) will give a reasonably accurate reflection of the various styles worn at that time.

An alternative research source would be a Vita Christi (Life of Christ) produced in York in the 1190s; it originally consisted entirely of illustrations but no text - this was added (with more illustrations) some 300 years later. The images include exactly the same "Visitation" scene I mentioned above, but the dresses worn by Mary and Elizabeth are very different. In fact, nearly all the dresses shown in this manuscript are consistent, being of a solid colour and short, reaching only to mid-shin. This exposes the lower part of the shift worn beneath; sleeves are again straight and tight and necks are round or V-shaped. Belts are shown, but there is no evidence of side-lacing. Shoes are black; both figures are shown embrasing under a single tawny-coloured cloak lined with vair (patches of white and bluish-grey squirrel fur imported from Germany or northern Russia).

short dresses 1190s.JPG


The name used for this type of dress is not certain - perhaps it was a sulipel, curtechense, or one of many other uncertain terms from the time.


Brother Ranulf



"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:38 pm

[quote="Brother Ranulf"]de Coverley makes a good point, although I firmly believe that researching sources from a specific decade (so +/- 5 years of 1197 in this case) will give a reasonably accurate reflection of the various styles worn at that time.

An alternative research source would be a Vita Christi (Life of Christ) produced in York in the 1190s; it originally consisted entirely of illustrations but no text - this was added (with more illustrations) some 300 years later. The images include exactly the same "Visitation" scene I mentioned above, but the dresses worn by Mary and Elizabeth are very different. In fact, nearly all the dresses shown in this manuscript are consistent, being of a solid colour and short, reaching only to mid-shin. This exposes the lower part of the shift worn beneath; sleeves are again straight and tight and necks are round or V-shaped. Belts are shown, but there is no evidence of side-lacing. Shoes are black; both figures are shown embrasing under a single tawny-coloured cloak lined with vair (patches of white and bluish-grey squirrel fur imported from Germany or northern Russia).

Thank you. Again, this is most helpful.



Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:31 pm

Thank you so much for your help, everyone. I have taken everything on board, including the great idea of having her join a re-enactment society. She has joined one on Facebook and advertised that she is looking for 'pre-loved' gear. We shall have to wait and see what happens from there.



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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Annie the Arrow » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:57 pm

She could also have just hired them from Angels. They sometimes have sales and flog off stuff www.angels.uk.com


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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:00 pm

Where to get clothing.

The cheapest ways are either to make it yourself or buy second hand from another reenactor. Most groups sell kit within the group and some markets will have a second hand stall. In both these cases, you need to know what you're looking for, or you might end up with something inappropriate. There are also second hand trading areas on here and on Facebook.

Next cheapest option is to hit the internet. E-bay often has things like this available. Occasionally they're also worth buying, but that is rare. You might also find traders who 're selling off old stock. Prior Attire had a fire sale last year following smoke and water damage to stock and Sarah Thursfield was selling off old kit that she no-longer uses at TORM the other week.

You could look at off the shelf kit from Cloaked & Dagger, Sally Green, Medieval Enterprises and others. These are significantly more expensive than the previous options and my be generic (see Brother R's comment above), but are likely to be near enough for most modern purposes.

Finally you're looking at commissioning kit. Many traders will make clothes to your fit to match a specific design, or even a given picture. If you choose your supplier correctly they can probably offer considerably assistance in identifying what you want. European or American traders tend to be cheaper, but you've got postage to consider and the problems of trying to get custom fitted clothing at a distance. It's much easier to visit British traders for a fitting.

Best wishes

Colin


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Loretta
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Re: Authentic style clothing for 1197

Postby Loretta » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:17 pm

Thank you, Colin. I've found some very helpful answers here. I have now worked out my strategy, but will still be interested to take a look at these sites just because I love the clothing of that era. :)




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