Mittwoch, 28. November 2007

Three pairs of gloves

I've being pretty busy gloving the last days and finished three pairs of gloves.
First pair is a pair of three fingered mittens - working gloves. These mittens were pretty common in 13./ 14. th century.
The material is sheep leather, sewn with linen thread.

The Luttrell Psalter, c. 1320-1340
Next is a pair of gloves is a pair of "falconry" gloves - gloves like these are seen in the illuminations of the 13th and 14th century, worn by noble men and women.
I used very fine goat leather, sewn with linen thread. The tassel is made of silk thread.

Taymouth Hours: Lady with falcon, (British Library, Yates Thompson 13, fol. 74), c. 1325-1335

The last pair of gloves were very common in Italy during the end of the 15th, beginning of 16th century. The gloves have very short, folded back cuffs to allow elaborate sleeves.
Materials for these gloves were black and brown goat leather and linen thread.

Paolo Cavazzola: Portrait of a Lady , c. 1515

Montag, 19. November 2007

Swabian Gown - Dress Diary

I felt in love with a Swabian gown after seeing them at Myra's website

Ursula Greckin, ca 1500

Barbara Wespach ca. 1500
See Grizel's bead pages for more beaded sleeves and dresses:

This dress is going to involve lots of embroidery. I just love the asymetric style of the one embroidered sleeve (and - it's less work to do one sleeve than two :-) )

Progress so far:

Started with the embroidery: Beads, silk velvet oak leaves and gold thread.

The gown itself will be made after the pattern of the "Master of the housebook" or Nuremberg dress.

Young Girl and Old Man, ca. 1475-80
This pattern also has the "grande assiette sleeves" which I always wanted to try for a female dress (my husband has one and will get another one soon ;-) )

Two Card Players, 1480
Way to go!!!

Dienstag, 30. Oktober 2007

Stella's purse

As a birthday present I made a pursefor Stella matching her laurel cloak.
I had a "left over" beaded flower (one, I made myself - the ones on the laurel cloak were made by Elslin and Eleanore), so I decided to do a purse with a circle opening.

The star has the beaded flower in the center, with glass beads and golden sequins, and is embroidered with couched gold thread and applique (purple silk velvet).
Materials used for the purse:
Embroidery: Silk velvet, gold thread, gold sequins, silk thread
Wool fabric, silk fabric (lining)
Roboam and his subjects in the Speculum historiale (BNF Fr. 50, fol. 88), 15th century
Torture of a profaner, Speculum historiale (BNF Fr. 51, fol. 440v), 15th century
The Visitation by Master M S, 1506.
Mary embraces Elizabeth, c. 1510Elizabeth and Zachariah have pouches suspended from their belts.

Mittwoch, 24. Oktober 2007

The Holledoublet aka doublet from hell

Yes, this is an insane project - but it's finished.
The doublet has quilted sleeves, but they are in my husband's armour bag... (Pictures will follow).
First: My husband didn't asked me to do it - it was my own idea. But he loves it. And he likes the feeling. I cannot recommend to do it as a armouring project, because it took me 2 1/2 years to do it - and I would never recommend to do such stuff!!
Secound: It's called "doublet from hell" because it's one of these "projects from hell" - time intense, work intense, suffering (got a tennis elbow from doing the quilting!!)...

Holle doublet - full view

Holledoublet - details


1. What is a “holledoublet”?

A “holledoublet” is a doublet “full of holes”, an “eyelet gambeson”. It is described in a mid-fifteenth English manuscript titled “how a man schall be armyd at his ese when he schal fighte on foote”:
“He schal have noo schirte up on him but a dowbelet of ffustean lyned with satene cutte full of hoolis.”[1]
Some of these fantastic gambesons have survived and can be seen in museums worldwide (Coburg, Bern, Würzburg, Brüssel and New York). The German names for this piece of armor is “Lentner”, and the fabric, which emerged from sewing the layers of linen together with eyelets, was called “Panzerstoff” (bullet proof fabric). This is the right description for this fabric, as ”the stitches touch and make a reenforcing web of threads, the eyelet holes let the air pass”.[2]
The existing pieces are hard to date, but “may have been quite common. […] Nothing can be judged about the popularity of an item by how many survive today. It is usually rarities that are treasured and preserved. Common everyday objects are usually used to death.”[3]
a.) Coburg: horseman - holledoublet, and it is preserved complete.
It is made only of linen 3 to 4 layers. The material for the holes is also linen.[4]
(sorry, no picture...)

b.)Bern: Four layers of linen with inserted rings.[5]

c.) Holledoublet for a dog/ Veste Coburg: Made from several layers of linen. This armor was used for the boar hunt – a very good example of the strength of the material! [6]

2. Materials

Comparing the Materials I used to the one in the Original pieces
Originals: White Linen fabric, white linen thread;

Some pieces without metall rings, but found in two pieces (Würzburg, Bern).
The piece in Würzburg has brass rings in it, but I couldn’t find out how they were manufactured. The could be made excactly like the rings for a chain mail (from a brass wire) or punched from a sheet of brass foil

My work: White Linen fabric; Linen thread – natural dyed with onion skin to make the eyelets visible (I wanted my hard work to show and liked the pattern of the little “stars”); Brass rings, modern manufactured. I decided to use modern ones, because of time (this project took me nearly two years to finish WITHOUT making the brass rings myself) and as there was no way to find out how the originals were made (museums don’t like it when you take apart your museum pieces. And there was no chance to see it through the glass or handle them)

The arms were not preserved. But if you compare them to other period gambesons “period choices of materials were usually two or more layers of linen stuffed with tow, rags or other material."[7]

Quilted arms: linen, woolen fabric, linen thread. See Maciejowski Bible for quilting pattern:[8]
As the fingings are not finished except the Coburg one, it is hard to guess which way of finish they used in period. Some of the Coburg seams are finished by folding the layers to the inside and sew the seam allowances together with a running stitch.
Linen ribbon for finishing neckline, armholes and seams
My aim was to stop any fraying from occurring. As decribed and pictured in the London finds I used a ribbon for facing.[9] I chose linen because of its strength.

3. Manufacturing process

I mesured my husband and made a pattern. I did a simple tunic shape, just slightly narrower at the hips and with shoulder seams for a better fit. I cut the parts in three layers of linen, a white one and a natural coloured one.
I sewed the shoulder seams with a running stitch and reinforced the seam by opening it and fixing it with hem-stitch.[10]

inserting rings (example)
Sewing the holes in the doublet was very time consuming. I found out that the best way to do it was inserting several rings at one time and fixing them with pins. This helped as the fabric didn’t stretched that much. I pushed the awl in the middle of the ring and then sewed around it in eight stitches.
See the example piece!!

finishing neckline and armholes with linen ribbon, side seams
I sewed the linen ribbon to the right side of the arm and neck lines, then turned it over and fixed it with hem stitches. I uses white linen thread for it.
I closed the side seams and covered the seam allowance with the linen ribbon.

quilted parts (arms and hips)
I decided on vertical quilting as I didn’t want to distract with complicated quilting designs from the eyelets. I used a linen thread that is a little darker then the one used for the eyelets.
The arms were contructed of five layers of linen and two layers of wool. First the pieces were quilted. Then the shoulder and hand seam were finished, inserting ten rings for eyelets at the shoulder to attach them to the doublet. The arm seam was closed and the seam allowances were hem-stitched to the sides of the seam.

The remaining pieces have no closure. So I decided to insert rings in the attached band to strengthen it, as the main power will tear on the closure points. The closure piece was worked with linen thread (same colour as quilting) on a folded piece of linen. I inserted one length of the linen ribbon at the front seam to reinforce it.

4. Literature - Discussion on Mailinglist of “Company of St. George” about the holledoublet

Die Ritter. Katalog der Burgenländischen Landesausstellung 1990 auf der Burg Güssing vom 4. Mai bis 28. Oktober 1990. Harald Prickler. Eisenstadt 1990.

Alles Jagd. Eine Kulturgeschichte. Kärntner Landesausstellung im Schloß Ferlach vom 26. April bis 26. Oktober 1997. Günther Hödl und Hartwig Pucker. Klagenfurt 1997.

Gefährlich und schön. Eine Auswahl historischer Waffen aus den Beständen der Kunstsammlung der Veste Coburg. Alfred Giebig. Coburg 1996.
Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight. An Illustrated History of Weaponry in the Middle Ages. David Edge and John Miles Paddock. Crescent Books 1995. - Maciejowski Bible, Leaf 4

Textiles and clothing. 1150 – 1450. Elisabeth Crowfoot, Frances Pritchard and Kay Staniland. London 2002.

[1] Arms and Armour p. 117
[2] G. Embleton, Company of St. George mailinglist
[3] G. Embleton, Company of St. George mailinglist
[4] Gefährlich und schön p. 256
[5] Die Ritter p. 267
[6] alles jagd...eine kulturgeschichte p 584.
[7] Arms and armour p. 57
[8] maciejowski_images_4.htm
[9] Textiles and Clothing p. 159
[10] For sewing see Textiles and Clothing pp. 156

Freitag, 19. Oktober 2007

Manchester City Galleries - Costume Collection

England 1640-60, 28 cm
Materials: leather, silk , lace, silver thread, horsehair
Kid gloves for men or possibly women, with slit cuff lined with fawn silk, linked with two bands of fawn ribbon (faded salmon pink), edged with silver gilt bobbin lace; cuff embroidered, on bright mauve-pink silk satin in a pattern of snails padded with horsehair and additional padded circular motifs in yellow and blue; surrounded with within border in padded work in silk, silver thread, coil, in satin, laid and knot stitches; edged spangles and silver bobbin lace , with spangles attached to points (left thumb missing); degraded silk embroidery shows padding underneath - very good source for process.

England, 1580 - 1620, 41cm
Buff leather gauntlet gloves. Cuffs (lined with brown and green shot silk) embroidered in formal floral design mainly in coiled metal thread over silk thread worked in satin stitch, open at outside to wrist with gold fringe round side and bottom edges, outside edges connected by three leather strips lined brown silk with looped edging of gold thread and embroidered in meandering design in laid metal thread and spangles, rest of glove, except side pieces of fingers, lined leather, side pieces of fingers shaped into point on back of hand, applied leather band with formal floral embroidery round base of thumb, rectangle beneath with similar embroidery joining band of gauntlet

England, 1640 - 1660, 12.75 inches
Material: kid leather
seamed at outer hand and round base of thumb, v-shaped sections between fingers with small gusset at base, extending half way up forearm to form gauntlet, open at seam, connected by three pieces of brown silk ribbon, gauntlet lined brown silk, forming binding at edge and showing through cut-out embroidered geometrical decoration worked in chain stitch, overcasting, buttonhole stitch and herringbone stitch, similar but without cutting out at base of fingers on back and round thumb, cut-out decoration at base of fingers on palm with needlework fillings and decoration in chain stitch and buttonhole stitch

England, 1580 - 1600, 41.5 cm
Materials: Kid leather
Fawn leather, embroidered with silk thread, metal lace and spangles. Lined with white kid. Gauntlets white satin embroidered over stiff foundation, lined with red silk, seamed at outer hand, sewn-in thumb, v-shaped sections between fingers, gauntlets, widening towards edge, trimmed at join with wrist with ruched red silk ribbon with gold lace trimming, gauntlet edge cut into long rounded tabs connected inside by red silk gussets, and edged gold lace with spangles, embroidered with shells, the pelican in her piety, and birds and flowers, with silk and metal thread worked mainly in satin stitch and laid work, the shells and the pelicans raised.

1640-1650, 11.5 inch
Materials: Leather, metal, silk, Kid
Gauntlet of beige silk, backed with white kid, and partly lined with lime-green silk twill. Embroidered in coloured silk threads, metal thread chain stitch, couched metal strip and metal sequins. Edged with looped silk and metal thread picot braid. Design consists of naturalistic birds and full blown flowers with smaller stylised fruit motifs.

Europe 1640-1660, 31.5 cm
Materials: Kid, leather, gilt, silk
White kid. Vent in outer edge of cuff. Cuffs worked with broad band of embroidery in gilt thread and silks, mostly blue, yellow and orangey-brown, showing birds and flowers. Bound and faced with orangey-brown plain weave silk and edged with a gilt fringe.
The embroidery of this glove was used as a pattern for Stella's gloves

Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2007

WiP - Melissa's Elizabethan Gloves

I'm working on these gloves for quite a while now - Started them in Summer 2005, but I was never very content how the shape of the glove turned out. My goal was to make "real" Elizabethan gloves for ladies, with the very slim, longish, pointy fingers, like all pictures and artifacts show. More than to add just a wonderful embroidered cuff in Elizabethan style to a modern leather glove...
O.k., so the first version of the leather part sucked. Didn't looked like the thing I intended at all. After having a hard time with the embroidery (o.k., needle painting is not easy at all, but please try needle painting on silk velvet!!! It's NOT funny... And it looks like... not good at all), I just gave up and stopped the project.

And I didn't like the look of the wool thread on the silk velvet - while the velvet shimmers, the embroidery looks... matte.

So I got myself a really nice looking silk thread of unspun silk (au ver a soie, soie ovale - I bought it here: , a fabulous thread store in Frankfurt/Main, they have an online shop) . After some try outs I decided on chain stitch, which is period and looks nice (and is easy and fast to do :-)
I already started the embroidery - at the top paatern in the picture if you stare really hard, you might see a hint of green :-)
The design for the embroidery is based on a Swiss tablecloth in Zurich (1612), that I've found in the book "Mit Nadel und Faden" (great overview of embroidery andtextile arts). The design on the tablecloth is the edge surronding a religious motive, I've added the leaves and roses at the bottom.
Back to the correct pattern of the glove:
After slipping on the left glove, already finished, but not good looking, I was feeling very brave and silly, I took a scissor and started cutting. Didn't cut my fingers, took the slit-up glove as a mock up, created a new pattern and FINALLY suceeded!!! It just looks like the Original Elizabethan glove that's on display in museums!!! Yeah!!!
To show the different form of the gloves I've put my14th century glove (my first glove!!) besides it and laid it on top. You can see the difference very easy, as the fingers on the Elizabethan glove are longer and more pointy. The gussets (inserts between the fingers) are extra long and pointy, too. I will try to take some pictures later (not so easy with the leather being dark blue...)

Gloves/Cuffs for Michael and Moira

Pictures from the Pennsic War 35 (2006) Opening Ceremony showing the gloves and cuffs I made for Michael and Moira

Based on these Originals

Gloves: 1220, Gloves of the Holy Roman Emperor. Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna
Sicily, beginning of the 13th century Red silk, embroidered in gold; rubies, sapphires, pearls; enameled gold; L 15.5 cm and 17 cm respectively The gloves were presumably made for the Emperor Friedrich II in the royal workshop in Sicily before 1220, the year of his coronation.

Cuffs: 1130 or later Dalmatic sleeves, Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna
Palermo, Royal workshop, between 1130 and 1154 Purple silk with trimmings in red silk, embroidered in gold, gold filigree, enamel, and pearls; H overall 141 cm