Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:34 pm

Will, fustian is not a high value cloth, it is a lower quality, the nap is a feature of it, that does not make it posh. The main thing to do is not assume that lower class cloth was all open and rough, there were many grades at many prices. The modern moleskin is a guess at the probable texture of medieval fustian, which had cotton in it, this was a cheap and inferior addition, not a high quality one, hence the relative cheapness of fustian. It seems, whatever fustian actually feels like, to be the general cloth for doublets, ie most common or very common, although other cloths were used.

An archer is not a social type, it is a job, usually very temporary, the issue is what background does your 'persona' have when not shooting people? That should be the most important indicator of what he wears.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:16 pm

Hi Gregory, thanks for the reply!

The main reason I went for linen in the end was because it's a fairly safe option considering my lack of knowledge in this subject. I've not had enough contact with those who really know their stuff to fully understand materials and their modern counterparts. Linen would have been used, albeit perhaps by the very poor, but when looking at moleskin it seemed to me to have an almost velvet like appearance (this is going on photos, having never touched it!) and to my modern mind that felt too high-class, if that makes sense? I've not really created a "character" yet for any reenactment events, so I wanted to play safe to avoid the "well that's the wrong type of wool" criticism.

I also read on here somewhere that moleskin was used to replicate a certain type of Naples fustian, which again didn't seem quite right for an Englishman working in the period I'm interested in.

If you think moleskin is a safer bet than linen for an average man in the late 14th century/early 15th century, and if there aren't many variations within cotton moleskin (weave type, fineness, colour etc etc) then perhaps getting some would be better than linen before I start?



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:32 am

gregory23b wrote:The modern moleskin is a guess at the probable texture of medieval fustian, which had cotton in it, this was a cheap and inferior addition, not a high quality one, hence the relative cheapness of fustian.

Cotton? My understanding is that cotton was not widely used in England. (I know, it's a point of discussion).
I had heard that some wool was perhaps called "cotton" in England, because of it's look and feel; although I don't know how true that is.

My understanding was that medieval fustian was probably a mix of linen and wool.
(Cotton fustians being more 17th/18thC?)
Based on having seen a weave of linen and wool, and some descriptions of fustian, it does seem likely that there's some post-processing to create a better material, which has the nap sometimes described.
We continue to experiment.

Of course, I'm no expert in any of this; I'm always happy to have additional information if anyone has it.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:27 pm

That's kinda my point :D

With the discussions always going on, and nobody quite sure what is and what isn't suitable/correct, I wanted to aim straight down the middle and go for something that would definitely have been used, while possibly sacrificing a believable "backstory" for any character I end up "becoming" (for lack of a better term)

I did however find some twill weave moleskin (100% cotton) where the nap/weave is plainly visible, so I've bought some of that as well - that should make for a good talking point, at least...

Looks like this

Image

As compared to the more easily found moleskin which looks like this, and which I can't help thinking seems a bit too luxurious and finely woven for medieval fabric makers (but as always, I am totally new to this, and I'm working on a very limited base of knowledge!)

Image



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:06 pm

Hi Foxy, cotton fustians are mentioned in a late 15th century statute, a number of them, mainly as an edict against fustian makers from burning the cotton part of the fustian, as it weakened the cloth. Cotton prices, IIRC Mark Griffin may well have posted the actual statute here somewhere, I have read the original one at the Guildhall Library many moons ago. Around 1495/7 - published Wynkyn de Worde.

Sheet cotton for example for the Blackfriars event in the very early 1500s put it at the same price as linen cloth, not very high.

This is distinct from 'cottoning' as you say the finish on some wools.

There are other fustians, but cotton certainly is mentioned, it also explains the possible link between the modern view of moleskin being a possible replica, I must say, I saw a great helm under hat thing at the Charles the Bold exhibition in Bruges and it looked like brushed cotton, it was not linen, nor was it wool at first glance, who knows?

A trawl on this site might add some more info,

http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/forums/v ... 7&start=30

this link is also a good overview of fustian and the trade.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ok2l737


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:00 am

gregory23b wrote:Hi Foxy, cotton fustians are mentioned in a late 15th century statute, a number of them, mainly as an edict against fustian makers from burning the cotton part of the fustian, as it weakened the cloth. Cotton prices, IIRC Mark Griffin may well have posted the actual statute here somewhere, I have read the original one at the Guildhall Library many moons ago. Around 1495/7 - published Wynkyn de Worde.

Sheet cotton for example for the Blackfriars event in the very early 1500s put it at the same price as linen cloth, not very high.


We're looking for circa 1400 here though, not 1500.
Is there any suggestion for it earlier?

BTB: Thanks for bringing the evidence for cotton fustian back to 16thC; that's very interesting and useful for me in a different context.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:40 pm

Straight down the middle is a dangerous place to be; they come at you from both sides!

Perversely, linen doesn't seem to have been widely used for doublets and is probably a more expensive fabric than the fustian.

When I found all this out about fustian, I did a bit of digging around on Wikipedia. I've seen fustian likened to corduroy, denim and moleskin, depending on the quality. All 3 of thee fabric are renowned for being tough and hard-wearing, which is exactly the characteristics that you want from a working man's doublet.

It is a good idea to work out 'who you are' before you start buying stuff, that way you have s framework for what you need. You can always progress from there in the future.

Best wishes

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:20 pm

Thanks Colin! Looks like I'll never be able to win, but then again it also seems like many people don't really know and it's a lot of supposition at best!

Maybe my character is a heartless b***ard and he stole a nice doublet during a fight... Or won it in a game of dice...

I'm gonna be a heartless dice-cheatin' back-stabbin' doublet-pilferin' b***ard who happens to be half decent at shooting a warbow. Sorted!



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:51 pm

'We're looking for circa 1400 here though, not 1500.
Is there any suggestion for it earlier?'

The cotton in fustian and bomabacina are earlier, check the MEd for a quick set of links.

As for cotton cloth, I don't know of any pre 1500, but I have not really looked for it to be honest, something to contact the author of the article perhaps.


Re fustians, there are silk and possibly linens as well, each with differing prices, mainly to add correction to the 'cheap fabric', not all will be 'cheap'.



Will - you can be pretty safe and eliminate linen, fustian is not the only cloth for doublets, there are other wools mentioned, so a light weight but firm cloth would be good for a doublet as it is a foundation garment.

The whole fustian/moleskin is a new thign in reenactment and is at present a minority interest, most of us, me included use wool for their doublets, it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

FWIW ditch the 'stole it off a battlefield' thing, you don't need to justify it like that, you can easily be one thing and another, remember, an archer is rarely a job description, more a temporary job for a few days, couple of weeks at best, unless you are counting the wars in France and the odd 'professiona' and those are seemingly better paid/liveried - viz Scottish Archer Guard of Charlie the Frenchman. Off the field you can be whomever you want, subject to the kit and on field likewise. On the field I am variously gun crew, gun bastard, pavisier, archer, off the field - steward, painter.

cheers


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:05 pm

gregory23b wrote:Re fustians, there are silk and possibly linens as well, each with differing prices, mainly to add correction to the 'cheap fabric', not all will be 'cheap'.

Yes. Fustian just means different fibre for warp and weft; and it does seem to be used in that context in period documents, i.e. to mean lots of different materials that meet that description.

From what I've understood, cotton might be in use in England prior to circa 1500, but not commonly, and probably not cheaply. If that's correct, you might expect the same to be true for cotton fustians.

As ever, I'm happy to be corrected; this is just what I've come to understand.

BTB, fustian is sometimes described as being used for lining garments.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:12 pm

That's actually a bit of a backwards step for me. The one material I can't seem to find at a reasonable price is wool that looks traditional. I can only find very shiny, super fine wool which I really don't like.

I was hoping that linen (and now moleskin!) would be fine for a 1415 doublet, but now I'm back to square one again! Wool just doesn't seem like an option, as everything local to me is highly modern looking (if I can find any that isn't packed with polyester!) and buying online is too risky as you can never be certain of the weave or true colour.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Where do you live? Getting hold of good superfine wools at a affordable price is tricky. There are a few traders that are used to supplying reenactors so can be more trusted to supply what you need.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:27 pm

Will, you can use wool for doublets, fustian was not the only material.

'If that's correct, you might expect the same to be true for cotton fustians. '

Possibly, but the edict against burning the cotton off the cloth suggests that it was not an expensive additive in that case. That author who summed up the cotton use in the middle ages might shed some light on relative costs.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:38 pm

Colin, I live in Bournemouth. Any recommendations of online suppliers of doublet-suitable wool would be fantastic, as I can use them for a better version if my first try goes wrong!

I think what I might do at this point is use either the twill moleskin or linen as I've bought faded, earthy coloured versions of both. Sarah Thursfield has written in her book on the chapter regarding doublets "use closely-woven linen or furnishing union" and "twill weave linen can be used in place of the medieval fustian" so I think linen should be fine for now (this will just be a test run of fitting, cutting and making up, and almost certainly won't be a finished garment or worn during re-enactment events)

I'll do some more research on moleskin, as if it's suitable it would be great to use something similar to medieval Fustian, but I'll need to show the example I've got to somebody who knows more and see what they think!

It's interesting searching for "doublet" on this forum, as there are lots of threads that all seem to disagree with each other about suitable, accurate materials.

What I'd really like to end up with is a wool doublet, purely because it seems the most widely accepted fabric to use, other than fustian. If I could get some examples/suppliers of genuinely acceptable wool for late 14th/early 15thC doublets that would be excellent, as the variation and types of wool available today is insane! I don't have a large budget at all however, so something cheap would be ideal.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:38 am

The best place to ask for suppliers is on the Costumes forum, you'll get much better answers there. Good suppliers that I know of are Cloth Hall, Benie The Bolt and Hertz Fabrics. Hainswoth's also do remenants which is a cheaper option than their usual range. I think that all can do mail order. You're looking for a worsted for a doublet, it has quite a different feel to normal woolens.

Best of luck with it.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:27 am

Excellent, cheers Colin! Herts Fabrics look really good, nice range of wool there.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:49 pm

Ali at Herts is a hero.


An interesting article on the cotton industry in Italy, lots of information on the range of cotton materials and blends, the emphasis early on is that cotton was a relatively inexpensive item made extensively in the Mediterranean for domestic markets and for export. Of particular interest is the huge cotton fabric and thread industry in Italy and Germany, massive competition struggles and large quantities of cheap material. This article has a lot on fustians, whether cotton/linen, cotton/wool etc. Well worth a read, a big eye opener.

http://tinyurl.com/qf8r7o9


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:23 am

Thanks G23b.

I note the article that says large ammounts of cotton fustians were shipped to England in the 15thC as a cheap durable material. I need to follow that up and get more detail.

Worth remembering, more generally, that Italy is not England; either in terms of climate or raw materials (England was supplying wool not just for itself, but a lot of Europe).



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:42 pm

'Worth remembering, more generally, that Italy is not England; either in terms of climate or raw materials (England was supplying wool not just for itself, but a lot of Europe).'

Yes, highlighting the breadth of European exports from as you say places of different climates, I can recommend that for a contemporary view on the imports to London that you try and get a copy of 'A lybell on English Policy' a poetic piece about keeping the channel free of Flemish pirates who predated on the ships from all over Europe. The book is divided into a section for each country, the range of products is immense, from foodstuffs to raw materials, plus a look at the import accounts for London in the 1480s shows a mindboggling array of things brought to market in England. If we didn't have evidence of English production of anything other than wool, we could be deceived that England imported everything ;-)


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:47 am

Ok, so at the risk of sounding blunt, where are we on a suitable outer material for a 1415 doublet? Fustian, wool or linen?

If each of you guys had to pick one fabric for a doublet from this period worn by the average man (not poor, not nobility/wealthy) what would you go for personally? I know that seems lazy on my part but I'm just getting more confused by the various options!

Sarah Thursfield writes that linen is fine, but in this thread I've been told to drop linen.

Appropriate wool is hard to get, unless paying premium from a medieval specialist - is this necessary?

Fustian according to this forum alone could mean linen/cotton, wool/cotton or any fabric with a contrasting warp and weft - is cotton moleskin an accurate representation of a fustian used in 1415, or only for later periods, and possibly more Italian than English?

:crazy:

Apologies if it seems I'm missing something or not reading replies properly! Trying to wrap my head around all of this!



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Matt The Woody » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:54 pm

gregory23b wrote:Ali at Herts is a hero.



I couldn't agree more... He has some amazing fabrics, i get all my stuff from him.

I've only just found this forum, so I'm sorry if this point was made earlier in the thread but....

My doublet is wool, with a linen lining - War of the Roses, so primarily 1400s. I have seen some pure linen ones at reenactments, but I think they are possibly more of a 're-enactorisum' (is that a word?). The way i look at it: without central heating winter is pretty cold, so for a 'normal working man' spending money on a linen doublet that would only really be wearable a couple of months in the year would not be practical.

Not sure what you the rest of you think?

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:40 pm

Will.S wrote:Apologies if it seems I'm missing something or not reading replies properly! Trying to wrap my head around all of this!


Not at all.
I think what we're demonstrating is for everything we know, it creates lots of questions about what we don't know.

The simple answer is that wool lined with linen is the most common re-enactors interpretation.

Fustian is described as both a lining and an outer material for doublets, but the type and weight for those purposes is likely to be very different (and we may have confused this conversation with that in mind).

Unfortunately, as we've discussed, fustian is simple description for lots of different types of material, and each of those will come in different varieties and weights for different purposes (as wool does too).

Regardless of material, the outer will have to be of a weight and type appropriate for that purpose.

So largely what we're doing next, is speculating.

G23b is doing a good job of bringing me up to speed on latest thinking on imports of Italian cotton and cotton-fustians; although I don't think either of us know what the state of that is in 1415.

So I'm not sure how any of that helps you with your decision about a fustian, fake-fustian or linen outer.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:52 pm

'although I don't think either of us know what the state of that is in 1415.'

indeed ;-)

At a pinch Will, I would opt for a light weight wool cloth, or the moleskin, regardless of which, the weight/thickness is the key.

Linen/canvas is used in garments and not just as a liner.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:19 pm

Excellent, cheers fellas! Again I apologise for being so difficult, and really appreciate all the help! Looks like moleskin will be fine for the first run, and I can take my time looking for a suitable wool as the real deal.

Thanks all so much!



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Grymm » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:09 pm

Have you tried H.E. Box in Weymouth for woollen/ worsted/moleskins etc cloth ... as good if not betterererer than Hainsworth.
Not a bustin' lot on their website but they are good at sending out swatches ... plus they's not a million mile from where you are.

http://www.he-box.co.uk/


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby John Waller » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:03 pm

Back to the original question. It may be worth finding the original to check the translation but I offer...

From the Ordinances of Louis XI of France (1461-1483)

And first they must have for the said Jacks, 30, or at least 25 folds of cloth and a stag's skin; those of 30, with the stag's skin, being the best cloth that has been worn and rendered flexible, is best for this purpose, and these Jacks should be made in four quarters. The sleeves should be as strong as the body, with the exception of the leather, and the arm-hole of the sleeve must be large, which arm-hole should be placed near the collar, not on the bone of the shoulder, that it may be broad under the armpit and full under the arm, sufficiently ample and large on the sides below. The collar should be like the rest of the Jack, but not too high behind, to allow room for the sallet. This Jack should be laced in front, and under the opening must be a hanging piece [porte piece] of the same strength as the Jack itself. Thus the Jack will be secure and easy, provided that there be a doublet [pourpoint] without sleeves or collar, of two folds of cloth, that shall be only four fingers broad on the shoulder; to which doublet shall be attached the chausess. Thus shall the wearer float, as it were, within his jack and be at his ease; for never have been seen half a dozen men killed by stabs or arrow wounds in such Jacks, particularly if they be troops accustomed to fighting."


Sort of what I wear under my jack - a thin sleeveless linen 'waistcoat' to which my hose are pointed.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:08 pm

John, do bear in mind that this is for France, which was beginning to form a national army at this point IIRC. Certainly this can not be taken as evidence that this wad done in England at the time and certainly not for earlier dates. That isn't to say that it wasn't done, just that we have no proof either way.

Will.S, do remember that much of the text in the MTA is getting on for 20 years old now. There have been significant discoveries in historic textiles since then and it has also become much easier to get hold of certain types of fabric than it was. This is one of the reasons why she's working on the MTA2 at the moment.

The doublet that Sarah made for me is cotton moleskin. I don't think that anyone will fault you for a linen doublet. If you go for will, be careful in your choice of wool. It needs to have a 'hard' texture, rather than fluffy so that it has the strength tobstand up to the job.

Best of luck with it.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby John Waller » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:49 pm

Foulkes in The Armourer and His Craft dates the Ordinance above as 1450 'un pourpoint sans manches ne collet'. Manches = sleeves, collet = collar.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:00 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:Will.S, do remember that much of the text in the MTA is getting on for 20 years old now. There have been significant discoveries in historic textiles since then and it has also become much easier to get hold of certain types of fabric than it was. This is one of the reasons why she's working on the MTA2 at the moment.

The doublet that Sarah made for me is cotton moleskin. I don't think that anyone will fault you for a linen doublet. If you go for will, be careful in your choice of wool. It needs to have a 'hard' texture, rather than fluffy so that it has the strength tobstand up to the job.

Best of luck with it.

Colin


Cheers Colin. I've gone with your original suggestion and opted for cotton moleskin after all, interlined with cotton calico and lined with linen. I like the texture, it seems hardy enough and almost has a wool-like quality to it anyway. A good bit of onion dye and I'm ready to get started! I'm hoping to have at least made one attempt before going to Sarah's course in April, as it will hopefully give me a slightly better understanding of the basic principles.

Thanks to all of you for the help offered, it's been incredibly educational and useful!



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Clarence Chris » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:47 pm

As a slight aside:

"I do find it interesting that while strong red and black were the two most expensive colours to dye, there seems to be a huge amount of both colours in most 14th/15th Century soft kit! Lots of parti-coloured red and black hose for example, or deep red doublets and hoods"

Does anyone have any evidence for parti-coloured English clothing in 15C that isn't a livery coat? I've been involved in discussions on this before (although not on this forum) and no-one has yet produced any sources so if anybody can throw some at me I would be both intrigued and delighted! Always liked the diarama kit at the armouries but that's VERY Italian.




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