Calon Scrolls
Clothing and Clothing Accessories: Oct 2007. Vol. 2 Issue 1
11th Century Finnish Dress
By Lady Isobel MacDonald
In my second year of naalbinding, I have
continued to challenge myself with new
stitches and new applications for this
craft that I enjoy so much. I have continued to search for other ways that naalbinding or principles of naalbinding can
be used in conjunction with dress, since
seamstressing is my other skill and love.
After last year’s competition, I asked my
sponsor, HL Marcella the Unknown,
what she suggested for this year and her
response was "Do Viking again, only do
it better". With that encouragement, and
my own drive, I started looking for a better way to bring in all of the components
that I wanted to demonstrate. I decided
on a Finnish dress due to their predominant use of naalbinding in decoration and
functionality and their use of "spiral ornamentation", more commonly known in
the SCA as Viking Wire Knitting.
The earliest known extant examples
of naalbinding are from c. 6500 BC
and were found in the Judean desert.
The very nature of the art, worked
with short lengths of wool, lends itself to the
belief that it pre-dated the spindle. It is believed that wool was spun between the palms
and used for naalbinding. It is the predecessor of modern day knitting and crochet and
examples have been found throughout the
world, but the art itself is most commonly
associated with Viking Culture.
There are over 30 naalbinding stitches that
have been identified. Throughout this project, I choose to represent three different
stitches that are most commonly found in
Finland and surrounding areas. My socks are
done in the Mamman Stitch, I used Blanket
Stitch as decoration on my Apron and I used
the Suomeksi Stitch as decoration on my
Peplos Overdress. The "spiral ornamentation" used on the Apron is also a form of
In the spring of 1969, an excavator constructing a sewer in the area of Eura, a parish
in south-western Finland near the cities
HRM Caillin gave Ly Isobel
of Rauma and Pori, lifted a silver ornaQueen’s Choice at Queen’s
mented swort in its bucket.
Prize 2007 for this entry.
Continued on page 5
Greetings from our KMOAS, Master Mellitus of Rouncivale
Queen’s Prize will be held in the Shire of Amlesmore January 26, 20008. This year each sponsor will
be able to sponsor up to five entrants. Each entrant can enter one entry. Entries will be judged against the Novice Criteria. If you would like to enter but can’t find a sponsor, please contact me. I will be helping entrants
find sponsors as needed. If you would like to sponsor someone and need help finding the lucky artist(s), contact
me as well. Sponsors need to have one prize for each entrant they sponsor. For more complete information see
the Calontir Arts and Sciences web page.
As winter looms ever closer to Calontir, I remind everyone that long cold nights are a great time to work
on projects! Then you can bring them to events and show off! Better yet, you can teach a class or demo!
Page 2
Letter from the Editor
pg 3
Greetings from our A&S Champion
pg 4
The Tailor’s Practicum
pg 4
11th Century Finnish Dress
pg 5-7, continued from page 1
The Most Interesting Hefneryn Dress
pg 8-9
These Times We Live In
pg 10
Answers to the Last Quarter’s Question
pg 10
Calontir’s Big Project: the Coronation Copes
pg 11-12
A Pair of 16th Century Punto in Aria Lace Cuffs
pg 13-15
Viking Women’s Garb in Art and Archaeology
pg 16-18
Book Report: Before the Mast
pg 18
1545 Italian Courtesan Clothing
pg 19-25
Head Cloths and Aprons
pg 26-28
Color and Dyes in Medieval Russian Clothing
pg 29-33
Queen’s Prize 2008
pg 33
Middle Eastern Garb Do’s and Don’ts
pg 34-43
Look it up! Good Sources
pg 44
You Know You’re an Artisan When
pg 44
Artisan Row: Kingdom Guild information
page 45
How to Submit Stuff to the Calon Scrolls
page 46
Release to Publish Form
pg 47
Upcoming Issues of the Calon Scrolls
January ‘08 Miscellaneous Arts
April ’08 Miscellaneous Arts II
July ‘08 Metalworking
Page 3
Letter from the Editor
Mistress Cassandra di Capelletti
to the new Calon Scrolls
Whew! This issue almost did not get done...darn
these modern editing tools…
didn’t like that. So it tidied itself up again.
So my husband fixed it again.
Give me a quill and a sheet of paper and I’m good,
but computers, well, I earn my living on a computer
but that doesn’t mean we have to get along…
Now the Evil Genius got really mad. It threw out
stuff completely. So now my Husband Genius got
really mad.
As of this writing, it is November and the Calon
Scrolls is a month behind its issue date. I sincerely
It was a battle of wills. Fierce and terrible to see.
apologize to everyone who has been looking forward
to reading the October Issue, but hopefully the words Thankfully, it was the human overlord who won. He
“better late than never” apply in this case.
tricked the Evil Genius into thinking it was moved
into a nice new place with tidy files and everything
My hard drive apparently thought it was too cluttered was new and clean and shiny. So now the Evil Genup with files and artwork and decided to do a little
ius is gone; I’m sure just waiting for the day my clutfall cleaning. So as it tidied up, it thought to itself,
ter corrupts it’s new shiny home so it can rear its ugly
“Self, what does she need all these useless files for? mophead again…
They’ve been hanging out for over a month now. If
she hasn’t used them by now, she doesn't need
How did the Husband Genius do it? Don’t ask me.
Like I said, if it’s not a quill and paper, I’m clueless.
And so it deleted everything over 30 days old. Got
rid of, threw away, put the kibosh on, all the artwork
and files and articles everyone had sent me. Threw
away the issue I’d already started on. Yep. Gone.
Vanished into the ether will all the socks from the
This is the first year anniversary for the Calon
Scrolls! Thanks to everyone for their support and
their submissions. I apologize to anyone whose efforts may not have been recovered and is missing.
PLEASE email me and we’ll get your article in the
January ’08 issue.
I think it’s karma for tossing out my husband’s “old
useless things” that he really wanted to keep…
You may notice a few changes in this issue. Hopefully they’re good positive changes.
Luckily I’m married to a guy whose hobby is comYou may also notice typos, etc., (well, more than
puter stuff. Silently laughing at me for the karma
usual) in this issue too due to its hurried state, and I
payback, he recovered all my files and data so I could apologize for those as well. The errors are mine.
at least get my work done.
I look forward to the next year of editing the Calon
Well, the Evil Genius, also known as the Hard Drive, Scrolls!
Upcoming Issues of the Calon Scrolls
January ‘08 Miscellaneous Arts April ’08 Miscellaneous Arts II
July ‘08 Metal and Wood working
Page 4
Greetings from our A&S Champion
L a d y
A n n i k a
d i e
R a u s c h e r i n :
P u n t o
i n
A r i a
l a c e ,
E f f i g y
C o r s e t ,
P a i n t i n g
I started on my research the week after last year’s Arts
Greetings Calontir,
I am writing to call for entries to Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship.
and Sciences Championship was over.
So this is just a short letter to the populace saying "get
Its time to get started on those projects. Why not go to
the library or bookstore today and checkout books for
your documentation for one of your projects?
Lets make this next year wonderful.
Entering the Championship is fun and exciting, and also
nerve-wracking and scary. But if you start now with your YIS,
research you’ll be able to work all winter, spring, and
Summer for the competition.
The Tailor’s Practicum
Barony of Forgotten Sea, December 1, 2007
The Barony will be hosting this event based around the Brian MacThomas; and Cotehardies, taught by Misclothing depicted in “The White Painting”, also known tress Magda.
as “Hunting with Falcons in the Court of Phillip the
The second block of hands-on classes will begin
around 2:20 and include: Geometric Construction,
The site is the Wyandotte County Lake Park, and the
taught by Lady Ypolite de Montbeliard; Houppelands,
event opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. Site taught by Master Jack Banyard; and Hosen, taught by
fee is $7.00.
Master Angus of Blackmoor.
There will be morning classes on the Clothing in the
Painting, given by Master Jack Banyard, and on the
Fabrics of the Time Period given by Mistress Luciana
della Ridolfi.
After a dinner break (an Inn will be on site) there will
be an open sewing workshop until the site closes.
Bring your own supplies, including thread, needles,
fabric, scissors, tape measure, etc.
Starting around noon will be the first block of hands-on
classes which are: Underwear, taught by Mistress
For the shoe class please bring your own leather and
Diana MacLean; Shoes and Accessories taught by HL leather working supplies if you have any.
Continued from page 1
Page 5
11th Century Finnish Dress
For this project, I have chosen to construct a
Smock, Underdress, Peplos Overdress, Apron,
Stockings and Shoes. I also made Spiral Bracelets, Brooches, a Glass Bead Necklace to complete this ensemble. All of the garments are cut
in a geometric period fashion, sensitive to loom
width and were hand sewn using appropriate period tools.
I learned that there was a preponderance of certain colors in certain geographical areas. Purple
and blues were most common in northern countries. Woad and Indigo tin were known commodities in Finland during this time period. For this reason, I chose a indigo blue for my Peplos Overdress and
Wool trims. The color of my Underdress and stockings
could have been easily achieved by natural colored fiber
or by dying with a variety of barks or other plant matter
that would have created the pale beige color that I chose.
My pale beige wool stockings are made from the Mammen naalbinding stitch in a completely period manner. I
used a wooden naalbinding needle as my only tool during
construction. The wool was gently broken and then
felted to my trailing thread as a new piece of wool was
needed. One of the errors that I made in last years project was to use separate spiral heels on the stockings I did
at that time. This year I did it right, using short row heels
as would have been appropriate for the time period of my
dress. This was my first experience with short row heels
and overall, I was pleased with the outcome. Because of
the short row heels, however, I did make a serious mistake on these stockings. I made the stockings "building"
them at the same time, so I would have a pair that were
close to the same size and shape, and as I did so, I increased stitches more on one side than the other to five a
nice "foot" shape to them. When it came time to do the
short row heels, due to my inexperience, I failed to make
them a mirror image and so, they look like they were
made for the same foot. I don't believe this will show
after I felt them and it does not effect the comfort or
wearability of the end product. As I write this, these
stockings are only a little above the ankle, by personal
preference, I will increase the height, but I am not sure
how high they will be by the time of the judging. I will
also felt these stockings for warmth and water resistance
after they are the height I want them. I did attempt to use
the Suomeksi stitch for my stockings, I brought the
resultant toe. I believe that this particular stitch
was more often used for decoration. It didn't make
a very nice stocking.
The Smock or Underdress is the innermost garment
that a Viking woman would have worn. This garment would have protected the outer garments from
being damaged by body oils and sweat, and would
have protected the wearer from the coarser weaves
of the outer garments. My research shows that in
the tenth century, these under-dresses were pleated
in a tube around the body, however, I didn't find a lot of
documentation for what might have been worn in the
11th century, so I opted for personal preference and used
a geometric cut. This garment would probably have been
made from fine linen, however, funds did not allow that
for this project and I used a soft cotton for my smock.
Believing that the smock was also the Viking women’s
sleeping garment, I chose a cut that was fuller with more
room for movement than some of the patterns I researched. I chose a pattern that was sensitive to period
loom width, would be cut geometrically, and offered the
most comfort and freedom of movement while still providing the base I wanted for my outer garments. This
pattern was completely drafted and drawn directly on the
fabric with chalk, as would have been done in period.
There was less than a square foot of waste from this geometrical cut.
I sewed this garment by hand using a flat felled seam in a
period appropriate fashion.
There is not much that I would have done differently with
this garment. Some of my hand sewn seams are a little
rough. Had finances allowed, I would have used a linen
The Overdress I chose to construct is made from the
same geometric pattern as the Smock. This geometric
pattern was also drafted directly on the fabric with chalk
and sewn by hand. The pattern I used was also sensitive
to loom width and fabric usage and I was happy to only
have about a square foot of wasted fabric when all the
pieces were cut. I chose a key-hole neckline and did
Continued from page 5
Page 6
11th Century Finnish Dress
something a little different with it and really liked the
results. Rather than cutting around the neckline for a
facing, I made the facing the same width as the center
section of the dress and made it more like a lining.
Since I used a very fine linen for this dress, this worked
very nicely adding a little more substance to the bodice
area of the dress. I chose close fitting sleeves, since the
textile remnants on the inside of the wide bracelets tell
us that our Finnish lady actually wore her bracelets on
the outside of her garments, over the fabric. Linen or
light weight wool would have been used for this dress
in period and I was lucky to find a nice linen blend with
a high linen content. I used flat felled seams except on
the hems and side seams. I chose to just blanket stitch
the side seams to prevent raveling rather than flat felled
seams because of weight fluctuations and the hopeful
need to reduce the size of this garment in the future.
Overall, I am extremely happy with this dress and I
don't see much that I would do differently. I probably
should have also flat felled the side seams of this garment, this technique really completes the look of the
garment and I did feel that this detracted from the overall look I was trying to achieve, but practicality won
may not have been lined. In the interest of our climate,
and with the intention to actually wear this dress, I
chose not to line it. This presented a problem when it
came to hemming and I chose to just turn the hem at the
top of the dress under, in the same fashion as the bottom
of the dress, and then applied Naalbinding as decoration
and to hide this hem.
I was quite happy with this very simple and yet very
functional dress and the only thing I would do differently would be a little additional trim work that I will
probably do in the future when time allows.
Because the apron found in the Luistari grave site was
so ornamental, it is believed that this was probably a
ceremonial or "dress" apron that would have been lavishly trimmed and worn for special or religious occasions. A more utilitarian apron was probably worn for
everyday use. I chose to use the same fine linen for my
apron that I used for my Underdress. I lined the apron
because of how fine the linen was, I wanted a sturdy
base for the "spiral ornamentation" that I planned to
apply to the hem. I used the simplest and most base of
the naalbinding stitches, the Blanket Stitch to adorn the
circumference of the apron. The apron in the Luistari
grave shows that there had originally been nine applied
spiral ornaments on the apron hem. These were made
from Bronze, however, obtaining wire in that metal was
a challenge to me and copper was readily available in a
variety of different gauges. For this reason, I used copper for all of the metal work in this project. Because
the grave was partly destroyed at its foot end, only five
of these ornaments were preserved. This is what the
archeologist noted: "All five of these figures differed
from each other, but all of them are made of "long
woven spirals", straightened in several parts. These
have been placed crosswise with each other so that the
straightenings meet. The different forms of these applications have been brought about by varying the length
of the spiral tubes and placing short spirals in corners in
different ways. The color of these ornaments has been
accentuated by using a red finger-struck band inside the
Peplos Overdress
The grave findings in this case only contained textiles
remnants on the insides of the metal artifacts. The
alignment of the brooches, the way that the remaining
metal portions of bead lay and the textile remnants lead
to the belief that the overdress worn by our Finnish
woman was a mantle dress made of a rectangular piece
of cloth, folded double at its upper edge and held in
place with a brooch on either shoulder. No portions of
the sides of this dress were preserved, so we do not
know if the sides were sewn closed or left open, when
textile archaeologists in Finland attempted reconstruction, they soon found that a closed dress with wide folds
was not especially becoming, but an open dress held up
with shoulder brooches was both handsome and surprisingly comfortable to wear. For this reason, I chose to
leave the sides of my dress open and found that this was
a good solution. I was quite pleased with the overall
effect of this dress. In period, this dress would have
been made from a wool or linen and I chose a fairly I attempted to do this by making lengths of Viking Wire
heavy weight linen in a indigo blue. This dress may, or Knitting which is probably what the archeologist was
Continued from page 6
Page 7
11th Century Finnish Dress
describing. I chose to do only three ornaments because of
time constraints and the difficulty of working in finer wire
and with shorter lengths of wire knitting. I have not done
finger weaving and did not have time to learn this skill on
top of the wire knitting and the new Finnish naalbinding
stitches, so I just filled the wire knitting with a length of
indigo blue wool. I cut these lengths to measure and finished the edges by wrapping them with wire. On my test
piece, I used a finer wire. When I did my wire knitted
pieces for the project, I used a little thicker wire which I
thought gave a better look, however, this heavier gauge
did not seat as well in the fabric as the finer wire did and
so I was not as happy with this ornamentation as I thought
I would be. I did not take into account the fact that Viking Wire Knitting is very stretchy and I also did not take
into account the fact that going over the flattened areas
brought the ends up shorter than I had planned. Because
of this, I felt that this ornamentation was not as exact as I
would have liked....and actually looked somewhat messy.
The "spiral ornamentation" turned out to be a bit of a disappointment to me. I was so excited about this technique
and I did to a test project to make sure it was going to
work the way that I wanted it to work; however, I did
learn not to change something as fundamental as the
gauge of wire you are using without doing another test
project to make sure it works the way that you want it
to!!! Were I to do this again (and I will) I would use the
finer wire, probably not over a 24g. I frankly don't know
how they finished their edges and exactly how they managed to keep their ends all the same length. I plan to do
more research and testing over the next year and see if I
can perfect this skill.
As stated above, this grave site was rich with metal artifacts. In the image above, you can easily see the spiral
bracelets extending from the earth. I chose copper for my
bracelets and brooches because of its easy availability. I
used a heavy gauge wire commonly used for electrical
wiring. For the Brooches, I rolled this wire into a tight
spiral and then pounded it flat. I also pounded the wire
flat for my bracelets and then formed them about my
wrists, because I didn't have a good way to finish off the
ends, I formed a small spiral at each which turned out
looking very nice. A necklace of colored glass beads and
silver coins was also found in this grave. I used a variety
of glass, amber and metal beads to create my necklace
and made loops at each end to attach it to the brooches.
Many people helped me in the realization and completion
of this project. Special thanks go to Lord Ron of Vatavia
for helping me bend wire for brooches and bracelets and
helping draft and cut the leather for my shoes. Lady
Mureighel MacDonald for always being there, making me
laugh when I wanted to cry and doing anything and everything she could to help. Novella and Baldwin of Vatavia for ideas, inspiration and laughter. Members of the
Yahoo Naalbinding Group and friends on Tribe for their
unflagging support and wonderful ideas and inspiration.
But most especially to HL Marcella the Unknown, my
sponsor, for her ideas, inspiration, problem solving and
her belief in my abilities. Marcella, I don't know that I
did it better....but I sure gave it one heck of a try!!
Design and (c) Pirkko-Liisa Lehtosalo-Hilander, Published by Suomen
arkeologinen seura - The Finnish Archaeological SocietyBox 913,
00101 Helsinki Finland.
Printed by Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy, Vammala, 1984.
Remembering the Future - Virtual University, Unknown Author
Viking Knitting
UnknownAuthor -
Knit Wire Chain Unknown Author -
Dark Age Stitch Types Unknown Author -
Basic Naalbinding Part 1 Oslo Stitch Gudrun Ottosdottir –
Naalbinding 101: Introduction to the “Asle” Stitch Lady Sabine du
Coeurgris –
Naalbinding Made Easy Sigrid Briansdotter (Anne Marie Haymes).
The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, Sarah Thursfield.
Viking Style Apron Dress 10th Century Unknown Author – dress.html
A Quick and Dirty look at Viking Women’s Garb in the Ninth and
Tenth Centurie, Carolyn Priest-Dorman –
Tenth Century Danish Apron Dress, A Hypothetical Reconstruction
Carolyn Priest-Dorman –
Vigdis’ Viking Apron Dress Hefdharfru Vigdis Vestfirzka –
Viking/Norse Underdress
Hefdharfru Vigdis Vestfirzka –
Viking Embroidery Stitches and Motifs, Carolyn Priest-Dorman –
Colors, Dyestuffs, and Mordants of the Viking Age: An Introduction
Carolyn Priest-Dorman –
The Vikings: Female Viking Dress Unknown Author –
Page 8
The Most Interesting Hefneryn Outfit
By T H L J o h n n a e l l y n L e w i s , G u e s t C o l u m n i s t f r o m t h e M i d d l e K i n g d o m
One must begin by defining the word wench
in order to appreciate the following discussion of the infamous Wench garb. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the
word wench at one time simply meant “A
girl, maid, young woman; a female child.”
All girls were wenches. Shakespeare uses
the term frequently. It can be found in over
100 places in the online Riverside Shakespeare. In Antony and Cleopatra [i. ii.] he
talks about “Prythee how many Boyes and
Wenches must I haue.” Shakespeare also
uses wench as a form of address as when in
Henry VIII, where he has Katharine address
her servant Patience repeatedly with such
phrases as “Take thy lute wench, my soul
grows sad with troubles” [iii. I.] and “When
I am dead, good Wench, Let me be vs'd with Honor.” [iv.
ii. ] In other plays Shakespeare speaks of “Wench-like
words” in Cymbeline. In The Comedy of Errors we find
“a wench of excellent discourse” [iii. ii.] and “she's the
kitchen wench and all grease” [iii. iii.]. The most famous
line concerning wenches in Shakespeare must be of
course “Why, there's a wench! Come on, and kiss me,
Kate” from the last act of The Taming of the Shrew.
The sixteenth century “plaine cuntrie wench” might be
just a girl with rural origins. Shakespeare’s
“JAQUENETTA , a country wench” is so described in
Love’s Labor’s Lost. A wench could also be a servant or
a maidservant if you will. In an age where all women
were at best one step away from being thought wicked,
the wench could also be a wanton woman. As a verb it
could mean to associate with common or wanton women.
This leads to such amusing statements as this quotation
again given in OED. It reads: 1599 Porter Two Angry
Wom. [ Abington H 1]., “Indeed tis true, I am thus late a
wenching, But I am forc'st to wench without a wench.”
Wench without a wench???
sites, Society ladies are warned that it
is highly inappropriate to the SCA and
members should not be wearing it even
at the most informal and summer season events. According to many, it’s
suitable only for tavern servants and
barmaids in quasi-historical restaurants. Long dismissed as being Renaissance Faire oriented, the modern version of the outfit was long thought to
date back only to the early 1970’s or
late 1960’s. Another thread of thought
was that quite possibly it was inspired
by pirate movies of the 1940’s. In any
case it’s fantasy; it’s Hollywood. It has
no historical basis. It is not “medieval.”
Having been convinced of the
truth of this scenario for many years, it was with some
surprise that I rounded a corner in the Museum of London
in spring 2004 and came across a display of pottery in the
section on Women’s Work in Medieval London. What I
found fascinating were not the pots and shards, but the
background poster of a female potter. Her arms were bare,
and the bodice was tight. No doubt about it, it was a
wench outfit. Questions immediately arose. Did the poster
depict a real historical costume? What was the date? What
was the source?
After much investigation and a number of e-mails to London and back, it turns out that the background picture
could be found reproduced in the book German Stoneware 1200-1900 by David Gaimster. After a successful
book hunt and with German Stoneware finally in hand, I
learned that the actual picture originally comes from a
card deck called the Hofämterspiel. With that identification in hand, it became a matter of chasing a deck of playing cards! Happily it turns out that it’s a well-known and
famous surviving complete pack of 48 cards that’s dated
as c.1455. It is thought that the deck was possibly commissioned for Ladislas V (Ladislas or Ladislaus
In Society costuming circles, the Wench outfit is that the ‘Postumus’) who died in 1457 at the age of 17. The teenoft-seen common garb of a simple full skirt, paired with a ager was the Hapsburg King of Hungary & Bohemia and
low-cut chemise with short sleeves or sometimes worn
Duke of Austria. He was the intended husband of the
with exposed or bare arms. The outfit is worn with a tight French Princess Madeleine or Magdalena, daughter of
front-laced “wench” bodice. (The tight bodice pushes the Charles VII. For centuries it has been thought that Ladisbosom upwards and creates cleavage that can be appreci- las was poisoned, but some sources now suggest that he
ated.) Despite versions being found in every modern com- died of juvenile leukemia.
mercial pattern book and being sold on dozens of web-
Page 9
Continued from page 8
The major suits in the Hofämterspiel card deck represent
A retired Elizabethan country lady, THL Johnnae llyn
Germany, France, Bohemia, and Austria, all countries
Lewis, CE joined the Society in August 1973. She still
associated with the teenage king. The deck is famous for
writes for a number of society publications.
its woodblock engravings, use of color, fine drawings deJK Holloway is a librarian. Her book Concordance of
picting various occupations, and the use of gold and silver
English Recipes: Thirteenth to Fifteenth Centuries
leaf. Formerly at Ambras Castle, the Hofämterspiel deck
by Constance Hieatt and J. Terry Nutter with Johnna
is now owned by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in ViHolloway was published by MRTS at Arizona State
enna. It’s described on their website in English as:
University, 2006.
“Game of Cards (“Hofämterspiel”) Vienna? C. 1455
Complete set of 48 playing cards; layers of paper glued
together, woodcuts and pen drawings, watercolours and
Vienna: Piatnik, 1976, 1991. [booklet accompagold and silver leaf; each card c. H 14 cm, W 10 cm KK
Piatnik deck. Adapted from Ernst Rudolf
Inv. Nos. 5077-5124”
The female potter at her potter’s wheel in her becoming
and very interesting outfit is found in the Bohemia suit as
card II. She’s labeled as a Hefneryn. She’s shown barefooted as well as bare armed, but she wears a wrapped
covering turban-style to protect her hair. Does the
Hefneryn accurately depict mid 15th century female potters in Bohemia? Who knows? Fritz Koreny in his essay
on the Hofämterspiel deck has been able to demonstrate
that at least some of the illustrations on the cards can be
traced to surviving workshop sketchbooks. The Archer,
Maiden, Huntsman, and Trumpeter are discussed, but
sadly not the Hefneryn. Perhaps there is a contemporary
15th century illustration depicting the Hefneryn in an unpublished sketchbook or manuscript waiting to be discovered in some central European archive or museum. It is
more likely, however, that the original source for the
Hefneryn has long disappeared.
I’ll leave it to the costume community to debate the finer
points of actual construction of her circa 1455 or mid 15th
century outfit as based upon the Hefneryn playing card.
Are those cartridge pleats? Should the dress be one piece
or two? What might have been worn over such an outfit?
Is the Hefneryn just wearing a chemise and if she is wearing just a chemise, why is she depicted in her chemise
working with clay? When does a chemise become working garb? The Hefneryn certainly deserves some discussion in costuming circles, and with its depictions of trades
and professions, the Hofämterspiel deck deserves study as
an unusual source for mid 15th century costuming.
Echoing Shakespeare’s Two Noble Kinsmen with its toast
(Tis a lusty meat. Give me more wine. Here, Arcite, to the
wenches We have known in our days! [iii. iii.]), shall we
toast the Hefneryn, even as we ponder if she’s working in
her garb or in her chemise.
Ragg’s Beruhmte Kartenspiele. Famous Packs of Playing
Koreny, Fritz. “The Hofämterspiel. The Ambras Castle Collection.” Ibid. pp. 86-104.
Gaimster, David. German Stoneware 1200-1900. Archaeology
and Cultural History. London: British Museum Press. 1997.
(The female potter is colour plate 2.1.)
Oxford English Dictionary. OED Online. 2nd Ed. 1996. Academic database.
Riverside Shakespeare. Academic online database based upon
the full text of the complete works of Shakespeare as presented
in the standard scholarly edition edited by G. Blakemore Evans.
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
homeE/homeE.html Search under “Games and Cabinets” in the
Kunstkammer (Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts)
section to locate the deck. The Hefneryn is shown.
The Hofamterspiel deck represents a number of other occupations and trades, including a cook, hunter, musician, etc. See
“Hofämterspiel.” The World of Playing Cards. http://
See also for a
good online picture of the Hefneryn.
The Hofämterspiel deck was reproduced in facsimile in 1976 by
Piatnik in Austria. It’s catalogued in FirstSearch as: Hofämterspiel. 1976 German. Book 1 case (137 p., [48] playing cards :
ill., col. facsims.) ; 10 x 14 cm. München : Heimeran, ; ISBN:
377650210X Limited ed. of 1000 copies.
The version that I own is titled Ambraser Hofamterspiel. Number 2856. It’s dated 1991. Edited by Ernst Rudolf Ragg, Size of
cards 140 x 100 mms. Versions of either are increasingly rare
and expensive. Seven libraries in the world report that they own
the original 1976 facsimile. The 1991 version remains uncatalogued.
Page 10
P o n d e r i n g Yo u r P e r s o n a
One of the great things about playing in the SCA is getting to create a persona. It’s so interesting to research and
develop who you might’ve been in the Middle Ages. Or
perhaps give you some good insight into who your ancestors might’ve been and what their life was like.
time period that interests you in the SCA guidelines.
That’s a lot to choose from.
When thinking about creating a persona what do most
people think about? How do you choose your time and
place? It can be from your ancestral heritage. It can be
The fun thing about having a persona in the SCA is the
because you like a particular style of garb worn in a parflexibility the SCA gives you when choosing one—or not ticular place and time. It can be because you adore a cerprecisely choosing more than an SCA name if you want
tain culture and history. It can be for any number of reato play different time periods. You can be from any part sons, and it’s up to you. Look over books, look over webof Europe or the countries that came in contact with
sites, think about it. You can take time and have fun with
Europe during our time period. You can be from any
your new identity.
A n s w e r s t o t h e L a s t I s s u e ’s Q u e s t i o n
In the last issue of the Calon Scrolls, Vol.1 Issue 4 for July 2007, the Question of the Quarter was:
“What has been your worst project?” Here are some of the very interesting answers:
rie fabric was not particularly period. The gown was
immediately recycled into a set of sheets for a baby
honey Mead. On the advice of a friend's father, who
doll's bed - and I apprenticed to Ms Luciana to become
also brews mead, my husband and I made a 5 gallon
batch using grain alcohol yeast instead of mead or wine a clothier!
yeast. Turbo-Yeast we called it. We were told it would
be great with as little time as 1 month to ferment! Well, My worst pottery project was a pot which was supposed to come out like a spittoon shaped vessel. Unforsadly, after a month it was foul tasting. We let it ferment another 3 months, it was STRONG and foul tast- tunately, the clay didn't want to participate in such an
ambitious endeavor, and ended up being a very short
ing. We racked off a bottle of it to take and share the
saucer instead - when I put my erring thumb through
horror of this mead with friends, then dumped the rethe belly of it and the top 2/3 collapsed, flying off the
maining 4 gallons down the drain!
wheel and lodging in the project of the lady next to
A year later, we unearthed that bottle and gave it a try. me! I still have the saucer; it holds a handful of glass
It had mellowed to a very nice drinkable Mead. That’s beads I made - which in themselves remind me that
things which have just come from a blow torch are
when we learned: Never, ever dump a bad batch of
still hot.
mead. Just hide it in the basement until it’s drinkable!”
—-Kenda of Three Rivers
Ah, the memories. I won't even mention the number of
“My worst garb project was similar to yours - using the sleeves I have put in sideways or inside out, the number
Known World Handbook, I bought pink lingerie fabric of tunics with one side shorter than the other, or the
and made a houppeland, complete with bagpipe sleeves number of meals which I have served - both under and
over cooked! Every project has its own error in either
trimmed in a frilly lace at the sleeve. I wore it to my
or skill (or both!), but they're special to me
very first event - Coeur D'Ennui's investiture as a barony - and was immediately made aware that pink linge and to the people with whom I share them.” —Gwynne
Wallace of Carlyle
“The project I feel the worst about was a bad batch of
Page 11
By Mistress Cassandra di Capelletti
They were a beautiful old couple. Part of the Calontir
family, they had been lovingly handcrafted and very
much revered wherever they were seen, and kept together as best as the ones appointed to them could. But,
they were delicate and not made out of durable mettle
and it was time for them to be replaced. They were the
Calontir Coronation Copes. And it was time to retire.
Saxon early period style, from the10th to the 12th century. The cloaks would be purple hand woven wool
lined with gold silk, thus representing the kingdom’s
colors. On the Orphrey there would be embroidered
patches of the arms of the past royalty, queens on the
Queen’s cope and kings on the King’s cope. The Royal
Sovereign Arms would be embroidered on the back of
each garment.
Their Majesties and the Council of Nobles held a meeting and examined several bids from the populace to replace the Copes. They chose the bid submitted by Dejaniera de la Mille Couer, Diachbha the Weaver, and
myself, thus taking the first step in a three-year journey. This is the story of the new Copes.
THE STYLE: One of the three household members,
Mistress Diachbha, was lucky enough to spend some
time in England where she was able to examine extant
examples of copes in the same time period and culture.
The most important thing she learned was the way the
copes were actually constructed and the way the cloTHE BID: Our intent was to involve as many artisan of sures were put together. She brought back her knowlthe Kingdom as possible, to truly make this Calontir’s
edge and was an integral part of the design committee.
project. Each element of the garments was going to
have as many people working on it as possible, from
THE ARTISANS: There were over one hundred artiresearch to hands-on completion.
sans involved in the project, most of them embroiderers.
There was also the Herald who spent many hours researching each of the past royalty’s coat of arms and the
Order devices of Calontir; the flat weavers who wove
Our bid
the material for the copes themselves; the band and
inkle weavers who wove decoration for the Orphrey;
the poor lady who took each royal device and redrew it
to each piece of linen for the weavers; the artist who
designed the Royal Arms for the backs of the copes, the
person who designed the falcon closure, the weaver
who researched period designs for the bands, the ones
who parceled out the weaving packets, the two sewing
teams, the weavers who wove the wool copes themselves, the auctioneers who helped raise money, the
who donated items for the auction and the many,
Our dream
I applaud those whose efforts made the
became a reality
and apologize for any I may have
for Spring Coromissed.
nation 2004.
Our idea was to recreate as authentically as possible
Copes in keeping with Calontir’s traditional Anglo-
THE FUNDING: Baroness Onora o’Toole raised the
funds for the project. She did a marvelous job. With
such materials as silk thread, fine linen, and wool to
buy, she had formidable task. Doing such things as
sending handmade donation cards to each local group,
and coordinating a fabulous auction at Lilies War, she
was able to raise over $3100.00.
Continued from page 11
Page 12
Every thread of these garments were hand dyed, and DiaWEAVING: Diachbha first came up with many different chbha kept a book detailing her dye batches, to ensure
uniformity for future dyes.
samples of weaving designs for the copes.
We finally chose a
diamond pattern
for the King’s
CLOSURES: The closures are
wide bands of material, each
with an embroidered falcon,
one of the symbols of Calontir.
The bands are closed with
metal hooks and eyes.
There were 25 inkle and
band weaving packets
given out to individual
weavers. These were put
and a more gentle alongside the Orphrey to
rose pattern for
give it decoration and to
the Queen’s Cope. help delineate the spaces
for the Order badges.
FINAL CONSTRUCTION: Once the devices were all
finished and the weaving was completed, we moved into
Two weavers, HL Luzia do Volongo and Mistress Cara
the final construction phase. We had two teams of sewWythers each hand-wove one of these.
ers, one for each cope. Her Majesty’s cope was handsewn, according to period instructions and turned out
EMBROIDERY: This was the most monumental part of beautifully. His Majesty’s cope was machine sewn, and
the whole project. Over 60 embroiderers from all over the varied from Her Majesty’s cope construction a bit, which
kingdom participated. There were 97 devices, 40 badges, caused it to turn out differently, interestingly enough.
2 falcon closures, and the two Sovereign Arms (one for
The two teams returned their outer portions, and then yet
His Majesty and one for Her Majesty) to be completed.
another sewing team attached the Orphreys and lined
This phase, which also took the majority of completion
both copes with the gold silk.
time, could not have been done without the ‘artisanwrangler’, Duchess Alethea. She had the better part of
And after three years of blood, sweat, and tears, the
the project under her wing, corralling, organizing, nudg- Coronation Copes were finally ready for their debut.
ing, nudging again, and keeping track of all these artisans
and their pieces of embroidery.
The day of the unveilDYES: Diachbha spent a lot of
ing was very exciting.
time with sample dye batches, not
It was amazing to see
only for the purple for the copes,
our work come alive,
but with the gold for the silk linto see ideas that had
ing and the myriad colors that
been so long on paper
were represented throughout the
to be real.
devices and order badges.
Page 13
A Pair of 16th Century Punto in
A r i a L a c e C u f f s by Lady Annika die Rauscherin
vided a photo of an extant 16th century wooden frame
for the making of punto in aria, but I have found no extant versions of the parchment frames.
In my research I
have found no reason for lace to exist
but for its beauty. It
does not make garments stronger or
last longer; it simply
makes whatever it
adorns more lovely.
The punto in aria lace I have reproduced here was first
mentioned in a pattern book by Tagliente published in
1528 in Italy and it continued to be popular until the
Victorian Era.
If you study paintings of the mid to late 16th century
and on you will notice the increasing popularity of lace
throughout European upper-classes. Laces such as punto in aria,
reticella, and many others styles began to adorn everything: aprons, handkerchiefs, hats, collars and cuffs.
The terms “punto in aria” and “reticella” are often used
interchangeably incorrectly, and it is sometimes difficult to tell the two apart. Earlier period punto in aria had
a very geometric design and looked much like reticella.
Later period punto in aria contained more and more organic and flowing designs, including plants animals and
people. The online Encyclopaedia Britannica tells us
punto in aria grew out of the lace known as reticella.
While reticella was worked on a fabric ground where
threads were removed and replaced with the lace
stitches, punto in aria was worked on a temporary backing and affixed to that backing with tacking stitches.
Once removed from the backing the lace2 itself provided it own structure. The backing could be of parchment or it was sometimes worked on a wood frame,3
although this was rarer and seemed to be used for long
bits of trimming. The website has pro-
heavy parchment paper
paper card stock
canvas cloth
white or off white linen thread Linen fabric, the finer
the better, vegetable starch, wooden frame for making
punto in aria. A note on the thread, I used Anchor
Linen thread a number 20, off-white. The thinner the
thread, the more detail you will be able to put into the
piece. This gives a look equivalent to some period
I begin by choosing the designs I wished to make. The
lace I have created is a mix of designs taken straight
from Tagliente’s pattern book, and designs I have made
based on a collar and cuffs worn by Queen Elizabeth
I pictured in Janet Arnold’s Elizabeth’s Wardrobe
I then transfered the design to the parchment backing.
Parchment as defined by is the stretched
skin of a calf that has been scraped and dried. This sort
of parchment is cost prohibitive and difficult to obtain,
therefore I have chosen to
use a heavy modern paper
version of the original parchment. I laid the design face
down on the second piece of
parchment; this enclosed the
drawing inside the two
pieces and kept my drawing
from smudging and getting
the lace dirty. Because of the translucent nature of the
parchment, I was be able to see the design through the
top layer. Then I layered the card stock and then the
canvas on the bottom.
Page 14
Continued from page 13
16th Century Punto in Aria
I stitched these together
with a tacking stitch.
Next I laid down the tacking stitches. These were
used to affix the string to
the frame. This step takes a
bit of practice to get the
initial stitches laid down in
right place. I had to take
into consideration where
curves and stress points were. It is better to have too
many stitches rather than too few. For this step I used
a white scrap thread, because it was cut away when the
piece is done, though I kept the color of the tacking
thread close to the color of the lace I was making so that
fibres and dye from the tacking stitches would not be
woven into my finished lace. When cutting a length of
linen thread for my piece I was sure to only make it as
long as the length of my arm as this was my needle
draw length. Since I was repeatedly pulling my thread
through tight knots, the punto in aria was rough on my
threads. Shorter thread also cut down on twisting and
knotting while I was stitching.
Next I put in the main threads
that formed the foundation of
the piece. For these I used a
single strand of linen thread. I
knotted the end of the thread
and brought it up through one
of the holes created by the
tacking stitches. I laid them
down under the tacking
threads I put on the frame.
These are the threads I covered with my stitches.
and the button hole stitch. All detail and decoration are
a variation or combination of these stitches.
I have found punto in aria to be a very free form of lace.
I have noticed that there is a good, a better, and a best
way to go about it. The only way to really figure this
out is through much practice. All of these things depend
on the design. At first I did the same design many times
to learn what the best route in and out of the piece were.
When I finished filling the piece with the lace design, I
ran the end of my thread under several button hole
stitches and clipped off the end.
I was now ready to remove my piece from the frame. I
turned it over and clipped off any knots and clipped all
stabilizing strings. The piece then came off of the
parchment frame fairly easily.
I have made every effort to reproduce this lace as authentically as possible. Using the correct frame, linen
and designs from 16th century paintings and patternbooks I will also use it on a 16th century style jacket I
have handsewn. I made six scallop shapes and three 2”
squares for each cuff. These were made separately and
then affixed to the frame for the cuff itself. It was
on this larger template that I attached all of the separate
pieces together and added a border and small points in
between the scallops. Once this was finished I used an
Antwerp stitch to overcast stitch attach the linen to the
rest of the cuff.
The cuffs were now ready to be starched. I have not
found as of yet any written documentation of what sort
of starch they used I am sure however it was some sort
of food starch. In Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe
Unlock’d, the practice of starching is looked at as being
Three is a good number of foundation threads to lay
frivolous in times when many of people were going
down under the stitches. There are not really any rules hungry. I share the opinion of several Elizabethan cosabout where to start or end, but I have found it easiest to tumers that it was in fact wheat starch. Due to wheat
start from the outside bottom and lay down a few rows starch’s unavailability, I used Argo powdered
of stitches, moving into the center of the piece and back laundry starch and simply followed the directions on the
out again. I did not find it necessary to lay down all of box for boiled heavy starch.
the foundation threads before I began stitching.
Once the cuffs had been dipped in the starch I squeezed
Once I got these foundation stitches laid I was ready to the excess out. I then stretched the lace back into shape
begin adding my stitches onto them. There are really
with pins, and dried it in the sun. Once removed from
only two basic stitches in punto in aria: the over cast
the blocking the cuffs can then be attached to a gar-
Page 15
Continued from page 14
16th Century Punto in Aria
ment. The starch on cuffs served two important purposes. First, it provided the desired stiffness, popular at
the time. Second, as the starched piece was worn and
became dirty the dirt and oils stuck to the starch and
not the fabric. When the piece was washed, the dirt
washed away with the starch. After washing the starch
was reapplied.
The jacket I have chosen to display my
cuffs on was popular
around the end of the
16th and beginning of
the 17th centuries.
Oenone Caves book
Cutwork Embroidery
shows us a portrait of
‘A Lady’ thought to
be the Countess of
Essex, which is in the
collection of His
Grace the Duke of
Portland, this is a
good example of this
sort of jacket worn
with cuffs much like
In conclusion, I would
like to say, I am very
excited to have been introduced to this style of lace. I
have always loved hand-made laces and have wanted
for long time to learn to make it. I have tried my hand
at many different styles of lace-making and found the
process to be, in my opinion, tedious and confining.
However, punto in aria has fit my personality well and
I will continue to explore more organic and intricate
designs and
smaller thread sizes.
Arnold, Janet. Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd.
1988. Leeds, Great Britain: W.S. Maney & Son LTD.
Ars, Amelia. Un Bordo: Il Punto Antico.
Bologna, Italy: San Giovani in Persiceto.
Belanger Grafton, Carol: Pictoral Archive of Lace Designs; 325 Historic Examples.
1989. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications.
Cave, Oenone. Cutwork Ebroidery: and How to Do it.
1982. New York, New York. Dover Publications.
Kliot, Jules and Kaethe. The Needle Made Lace of Reticella.
1994. Berkeley, CA, USA: Lacis Publications.
Ninya Mikhaila and Jane Malcom-Davies. The Tudor
2006. Hollywood, California. Costume and Fashion
Palliser, Mrs. Bury: History of Lace.
1984. Mineola New York: Dover Publications.
Ricci, Elisa. Italian Lace Designs: 243 Classic Examples.
1993. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications.
Tagliente, Lace Pattern Book from 1528.
Vecellio, Cesare. Pattern Book of Renaissance Lace. A
of the 1617 edition of the "Corona delle Nobili et Virtuose Donne"
1988. Mineola,New York: Dover Publications.
1. Palliser, Mrs. Bury: History of Lace.
1984. Mineola New York: Dover Publications.
Page 16
"But That's How They Look in the
B o o k ! " : V i k i n g Wo m e n ' s G a r b i n A r t
a n d A r c h a e o l o g y by Mistress Thora Sharptooth, Guest
Columnist from the East Kingdom
A good deal of SCA Viking garb inspiration comes from
drawings in large format picture books. However, one of
the really good Viking picture books was published during the 1960s, before much of the careful archaeological
work on the reconstruction of Viking women's garb had
even been begun. Another influential work, Elisabeth
Munksgaard's Oldtidsdragter, was published in 1974; it
offered some useful information based on early work
with the Birka and Gotland finds but is hard to find in
North America. Many of the subsequent works were
published around 1980, the time of the big Viking exhibition that toured Europe. But during the 1980s a number
of technical works were published that brought our
knowledge of clothing during the Viking Age into much
clearer focus. That generation's worth of Viking garb
scholarship currently goes largely unrepresented in English works.
As an example of this problem, this article contains a
brief critique of some of the garb information represented in one of the most comprehensive Viking picture
books in English, The Viking, by Bertil Almgren et al.
(sometimes listed as by Tre Tryckare). This book, although more carefully documented than most others of
its kind when it comes to women's garb, still presents a
good deal of misinformation. Let's start with the undergarment and work our way outward.
disprove the assertion on page 200 that "tailoring in the
modern sense was unknown in the making of women's
clothes." Still, the use of gores, darts, and pieced construction can be demonstrated at several Viking Age
sites, in various different women's garments.
Even at Birka, the pleated smocks were not "drawn close
at the neck with a ribbon or draw-string" (page 199); the
keyhole neckline was often closed at the base of the
throat with a one-inch round brooch (Hägg 1983, 344).
Further, pleated smocks were not generally worn directly
under the apron-dress, as in these pictures. At Birka, in
the same period as the pleated smock, smooth smocks of
wool or linen were the type more likely to be worn directly under the apron-dress.
The long-sleeved, pleated smocks worn by some women
at Birka in the tenth century were made of lightweight
undyed linen and most often covered by another fulllength gown over which the apron-dress (see below) was
pinned (Hägg 1986, 71; see Abb. 8:9 for a chart linking
the different elements of women's dress at Birka). This
tunic-like gown was full-length, with long sleeves. Much
care was lavished on the ornamentation of the sleeves
and torso of this layer of clothing in the form of embroidery, appliqué, silk trimming, and tablet-woven bands.
Over the smock or gown was worn the so-called "Viking
Most of the women drawn in this book are wearing
apron." This garment was not a typical apron, but a compleated underdresses; indeed, the authors say on page
plete overgarment, so "apron-dress" is a more descriptive
199 that "the Viking Age petticoat was rather smart: it
name for such a garment. The Viking apron-dress was
was pleated." Yet this style of smock has only been dis- worn suspended over the shoulders by paired brooches
covered in one century and one location: tenth-century
hooked through narrow looped straps. The description of
Birka (Sweden). The smock layer actually differed in cut apron-dresses as "rectangular sheets" (page 200) is misfrom one site to another and from one period to another; leading, as it only represents one of the styles worn durthe ninth-century Norwegian unpleated smock could be ing the Viking Age. Recent archaeological evidence (see,
cut with wide oval or "boat" neckline in the T-tunic fash- for example, the discussion in Hägg 1984, 168-69) sugion (Ingstad 1982, 92). In addition, the tenth-century un- gests that the shape of the apron-dress may have evolved
pleated smocks from Hedeby (Denmark) included such over the course of several centuries, from the peplos
refinements as set-in sleeves, shoulder seams, and gores phase in the late Iron Age through a tube-shaped phase
(Hägg 1984, 171). These finds alone are sufficient to
and then a wrapped flat sheet phase to a tenth-century
Page 17
Continued from page 16
garment cut and pieced together. The apron-dresses
found at Hedeby and dated to the tenth century demonstrated several sophisticated tailoring techniques-including tucks, darts, and pieced construction (Hägg
1984, 169-70). The popular interpretation of a "Viking
apron"--one towel-shaped panel in front, one in back,
connected by straps--is not only wildly impractical for
women in an active outdoorsy culture, but it is also
never included in discussions of the archaeological evidence for the overdress layer. Not even the book under
consideration here, for all its faults, attempts to perpetuate this myth.
Even with the best of intentions, it is possible to come
away from Almgren's book with an incomplete and
sometimes downright incorrect notion of what a Viking
woman wore. Less thorough books convey even less
correct information than The Viking. Consequently, caution should be used when consulting large-format picture books; consultation of more recent scholarship,
firmly grounded in actual period artifacts, yields a far
different story.
Page 201 refers to "the shawl--in later times a garment
for the poor--[which] seems to have been very fashionable." Yet most evidence for the shawl or mantle comes
from the seventh and eighth centuries (Hägg 1983,
334). In the ninth century women at some locations
such as Birka and Hedeby wore a long-sleeved long
coat or caftan (Hägg 1986, 65f); this is the garment
which was actually held together by the "shawl"
brooches mentioned in The Viking. The caftan does not
appear in the same graves as the later gown layer; it
appears to have been abandoned by many in the tenth
century in favor of the pleated smock and the gown.
Many caftans were lined with linen or silk and/or
trimmed with fur, silk bands, metal knotwork, or brocaded tablet weaving.
A couple of recent large format books have some line
drawings that are fairly reliable.
Cultural Atlas of the Viking World, page 67, has
some very good line drawings. Ignore the part about
"finely pleated linen" and the depiction of the man's
laced-neck shirt and you've got the best one-page summary I've seen in English.
From Viking to Crusader, in the section on dress by
Sigrid Kaland (pp. 192-193), has a good comparative
line drawing of the apron-dress and its Baltic and Finnish relatives. However, other parts of this chapter (like
the claim about the "scarf knotted like a kerchief" and
the cloak and embroidery of the "reconstruction" photo)
are less based on fact.
Wikinger Museum Haithabu: Schaufenster einer frühen
Stadt, pages 45-49, has the best summary of all, includAnother overstatement is the final sentence of page 201, ing nice line drawings of several shoe styles.
"in those days a married woman had to cover her hair."
There is no evidence of the legal force implied behind
that statement in burial customs. Many of the ninth and References
tenth century women's burials at Birka reveal no head- Almgren, Bertil, et al. The Viking. Gothenburg, Swecoverings at all, let alone graves in some other locaden: Tre Tryckare, Cagner & Co., 1966.
tions, although finds of headwear are more common in Elsner, Hildegard. Wikinger Museum Haithabu:
Christianized areas like Dublin and Jorvík. Sufficient
Schaufenster einer frühen Stadt. Neumünster:
evidence exists of a plurality of headwear styles--from
Wachholtz, 1989.
none at all through brocaded bands worn fillet-style to Geijer, Agnes. Die Textilfunde aus den Gräbern. Birka:
coif-like caps--that no generalization can be made about
Untersuchungen und Studien, Vol. III. Uppsala:
Viking women's headwear.
Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets AkadaThe kerchief as understood and worn in the SCA is conspicuous by its absence from the archaeological debate
about Viking women's headwear. Certainly the "knotted
head scarf" mentioned on page 201 and depicted in
most of the drawings is not backed up by enough archaeological evidence to justify its ubiquity or even its
mien, 1938.
Geijer, Agnes. "The Textile Finds from Birka." Cloth
and Clothing in Medieval Europe, ed. N.B. Harte and
K.G. Ponting, pp. 80-99. London: Heinemann, 1983.
Graham-Campbell, James, ed. A Cultural Atlas of the
Viking World. New York: Facts on File, 1994.
Hägg, Inga. Die Textilfunde aus dem Hafen von Haithabu. Berichte über die Ausgrabungen in Haithabu,
Page 18
Continued from page 17
Bericht 20. Neumünster: Karl Wachholz Verlag,
Hägg, Inga. "Die Tracht." Birka II:2, Systematische
Analysen der Graberfunde, ed. by Greta Arwidsson,
pp. 51-72. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell, 1986.
Hägg, Inga. "Einige Beobachtungen über die
Birkatracht." Textilsymposium Neumünster: Archäologische Textilfunde, 6.5. - 8.5.1981., ed. Lise
Bender Jørgensen and Klaus Tidow, pp. 249-265.
Neumünster: Textilmuseum Neumünster, 1982.
Hägg, Inga. Kvinnodrakten i Birka: Livplaggens Rekonstruktion pa Grundval av det Arkaeologiska Materialet. Uppsala: Archaeological Institute, 1974.
Hägg, Inga. "Some Notes on the Origin of the PeplosType Dress in Scandinavia." Tor, I (1968), pp. 81127.
Hägg, Inga. "Viking Women's Dress at Birka: A Reconstruction by Archaeological Methods." Cloth and
Clothing in Medieval Europe, ed. N.B. Harte and
K.G. Ponting, pp. 316-350. London: Heinemann,
Hald, Margrethe. Ancient Danish Textiles from Bogs
and Burials, trans. Jean Olsen. Copenhagen: National Museum of Denmark, 1980.
Hall, Richard A. The Viking Dig: The Excavations at
York. London: The Bodley Head, 1984.
Heckett, Elizabeth. "Some Hiberno-Norse Headcoverings from Fishamble Street and St. John's Lane,
Dublin." Textile History, XVIII, no. 2 (1987), pp.
Ingstad, Anne Stine. "The Functional Textiles from the
Oseberg Ship." Textilsymposium Neumünster: Archäologische Textilfunde, 6.5. - 8.5.1981., ed. Lise
Bender Jørgensen and Klaus Tidow, pp. 85-96.
Neumünster: Textilmuseum Neumünster, 1982.
Ingstad, Anne Stine. "Textiles from Oseberg, Gokstad
and Kaupang." Archaeological Textiles: Report
from the Second NESAT Symposium, 1-4 May
1984., ed. Lise Bender Jorgensen, Bente Magnus,
and Elisabeth Munksgaard, pp. 133-149. Arkaeologiske Skrifter, 2. Kobnhavn: Arkaeologisk Institut,
Kobnhavns Universitet, 1988.
Munksgaard, Elisabeth. Oldtidsdragter. Købnhavn: Nationalmuseet, 1974.
Owen-Crocker, Gale R. Dress in Anglo-Saxon England.
Wolfeboro, NH: Manchester University Press,
Pritchard, Frances. "Silk Braids and Textiles of the Viking Age from Dublin." Archaeological Textiles:
Report from the Second NESAT Symposium, 1-4
May 1984., ed. Lise Bender Jørgensen, Bente Magnus, and Elisabeth Munksgaard, pp. 149-61.
Arkaeologiske Skrifter, 2. Købnhavn: Arkaeologisk
Institut, Købnhavns Universitet, 1988.
Roesdahl, Else, and Wilson, David M., eds. From Viking to Crusader: The Scandinavians and Europe
800-1200. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1992.
Walton, Penelope. Textiles, Cordage and Raw Fibre
from 16-22 Coppergate. The Archaeology of York,
Vol XVII, Fascicule 5, Dorchester: Council for
British Archaeology and Dorset Press, 1989.
This book is a must-have for those artisans interested in
studying later period artifacts. It is full of color photos,
drawings, and archaeological evidence of the items
aboard the fated warship.
a fascinating glimpse into Tudor life through these surviving artifacts in the pages of this book. There is everything from quills to canons, arrows to the study of
Tudor naval warfare via the ship herself.
The Mary Rose was a warship built in the early 1500s For more information on the Mary Rose and the arand one of King Henry VIII’s favorite. On a voyage in chaeological expedition to raise her, go to:
1545 just after it had left the English shore, it capsized
and almost everyone aboard her died.
Gardiner, Julie. Ed. Before the Mast: Life and Death
The ship has been raised from the sea and the items
Aboard the Mary Rose ISBN: 10: 0-9544029-4-4
recovered and studied. You can see these items and get
Page 19
1545 Italian Courtesan Clothing
by Baroness Briana Etain MacKorkhill
When we think of Italy, we should remember that in the period we are discussing, it was divided into various duchies, princedoms, Papal states and even a
Republic. Such divisiveness contributed
to the political intrigue and economic
situations that kept such territories in a
state of flux and contention with each
other. Each state not only vied for economic advantages, but also scrambled for
Papal sponsorship and favor.
to give her daughter Pippa, that of a nun,
wife or courtesan. She describes her adventures in each category to her friend
Antonia and finally decides on courtesan
for Pippa. She then starts to instruct
Pippa on the various techniques and behavior expected. While Aretino’s perspective is rather prejudiced; the details
of everyday life, surroundings and even
table settings and food served, is wondrous. This major treatise on the courtesan was a social satire written with deliberately peppery and plebian language.
Rome had always had prostitution. Men
There was another important series of
outnumbered women and female comimaginary letters to sixty courtesans
panionship was always in demand. Being
written by Andrea Calmo. Calmo was
the seat of Papal power as well as located
one of the founders of commedia d’arte.
in a powerful city, officials, merchants
These letters offered a unique view of a
and minor nobles all jockeyed for position. Many entertainments blossomed to provide oppor- courtesan’s life. They also have great importance since
tunities for bribes, favors and the like. The new class of they offer a glimpse of plot sketches that were utilized
courtesans established themselves at the center of that and formulated into some of the first monologues of
tempest. They were accorded with such a rise of status Pantaloon, the old Venetian merchant foolishly in love
that they were treated as aristocracy. As this new class with young girls.
became established, they embraced the arts and even
From the various contemporary accounts we glean the
political and economic situations with a passion that
men began to find equally alluring. Hence, the courte- names of the most famous courtesans: Beatrice of
san became someone who they could rely on for advice Ferrara, Imperia of Rome, Angela del Moro, Camilla of
Pisa, Tullia d’Aragona, Alessandra of Florence, Gasand solace.
para Stampa and, of course, the most famous, Veronica
Franco. Each of these remarkable women has a wonAfter 1527, the atmosphere changed in Rome. The
derful and interesting personal story.
clergy, in general, were less tolerant of the courtesan
population and many fled to Venice. As a Republic,
Venice offered a safe haven for these refugees and the Many of the portraits that we gather information from
depict the popular courtesans of the day. A great majorGolden Age of Courtesans began.
ity of the paintings depicting myths, biblical stories,
etc. utilized courtesans as their models because a reLife as a courtesan
spected noble woman could not and would not pose
A lot of our information comes to us through many
extant letters, plays and novellas by writers, historians, for a painter, especially when partial or full nudity
nobles exchanging letters, even disgruntled ex-lovers. was to be painted. This explains why so many paintAll have slightly different views on their subjects, but ings appear to have the same women in them.
together give us a multi-faceted insight on this phenomenon. One of the more fascinating and revealing
The Dress of the Courtesan
contemporary works being the account of a fictional
They wore what the nobility wore, most often what
courtesan, Nanna, written by Pietro Aretino. In his Dia- their noble patron provided for them. There was no
logues, Nanna is trying to decide on the life she wants separate dress style for them. The only difference
Page 20
might be a preference toward more flamboyant and
showy gowns and many more party or court dresses
because they attended them regularly. In later years,
sumptuary laws were written (and ignored) to try and
restrict what they could wear. Georgina Masson the
author of Courtesans of the Italian Renaissance wrote
that sumptuary laws:
“specifically stated that it was a public shame that
prostitutes were to be seen in the streets and churches,
and elsewhere, so much bejeweled and well-dressed,
that very often noble ladies and women citizens [of
Venice], because there is no
difference in their attire from
that of the above-said women,
are confused with them; not
only by foreigners, but by the
inhabitants [of Venice], who
are unable to tell the good
from the bad...therefore it is
proclaimed that no prostitute
may wear, nor have on any
part of her person, gold, silver or silk, nor wear necklaces, pearls or jewelled or
plain rings, either in their
ears or on their hands .”
There are even accounts that
some paid the fines gladly for
the publicity/notoriety. It was
good for business.
Continued from page 19
Characteristics of style
• Low square or rounded neck. Décolletage very
• Tight-fitting bodice now comes down to near
waistline and as the century advances, comes to a
point in center front, dropping lower and lower.
The closings are at the sides or side-back on both
sides using spiral lacing to close. Sometimes the
bodice is split down the front and laced or tied up.
Often when the bodice is open it doesn’t quite
meet, displaying the camicia through the lacings or
• Full cartridge, box or knife pleated skirts. All were
employed equally.
• Sleeves are elaborate and usually full at some
point. Many different styles were employed. All
offer yet another opportunity to display wealth and
• Corsetry, so popular in the northern countries of
Europe, begins to be utilized by some. Others
choose to merely stiffen their bodices without the
extra layer that a corset requires. It is often theorized that because Italy is a more southern location,
the extra warmth provided by the corset is unnecessary and hence unwanted.
A bum roll is often added as a compromise to
wearing a farthingale. This allows the skirts of the
gown to be suspended from the roll instead of a
farthingale to achieve a desired silhouette. These
grow in size toward the end of the century.
The camicia or chemise is varied as well. Some
retain the low square yoke or drawstring-gathered
neck popular previously. As the century draws to a
close, others assume the higher neck and, later,
sport a small ruff at collar and wrists. Closed ruffs
never achieve the width or exaggeration of those in
the north.
Fabric is elaborate and rich in both content and pattern. Brocades of silk, linen and wool are common.
Cotton also takes its place as a highly prized and
utilized material. Embellishment consists of braids,
gimps, embroidery, couching, pearls and beading.
But the embellishment usually is employed to highlight the richness of the fabric.
Bold rich colors were favorites, most especially
reds and crimsons. Metallic threads were utilized in
Lace begins to appear on garments and quickly
becomes highly desirable.
Courtesans often wore men’s garments for outings.
This style became especially popular in Venice.
Short knickers-like pants known as Venetians are
often donned.
Many overlook the most important aspect when endeavoring to capture an overall look. That is accessorizing. Accessories complete the garment, turning it
from good costuming to “stepping out of a portrait”
appropriate clothing. These include:
• Slippers worn indoors
• Chopines (pianella) worn outdoors. High platform
• Boots (when wearing men’s garments)
Jewelry ensembles:
Necklace – often pearls, precious and semi-precious
stones, gold and silver beads. Central pendant fairly
Page 21
prevalent. Very symmetrical in design. Jeweled girdle –
large stones, beads and fine metal work, usually ending
in a pomander or large pendant. Earrings – usually
matches the necklace and utilizes the same materials.
Rings – very popular and numerous. Older rings tended
to have cabochon stones, newest fashion incorporated
the new “faceting” of a stone. Unlike the faceting of
today, the table was extremely broad and had very short
Head covering had varied styles
• Veils – transparent,
translucent and opaque all
were used.
• Netted cap, hair net
or caul.
• Turbans were still
quite popular
• Elaborately braided
hair with strings of pearls
or ribbons and/or transparent veiling
Venetian twin horns hair style. This hair style became most popular in the last quarter of the century.
Caps with feathers
“Mens” hats also were often worn.
• flag – fixed square on a dowel.
• feather – often with very full over-sized feathers
from exotic birds.
Other accessories
• small writing tablet (perhaps wax)
• small book of poetry or prose
• small pouch
• any small items that might suspend from the girdle,
(perhaps a rosary, keys, or scissors)
Starting out
In my initial research for this project, I kept coming
across descriptions such as this from Niccolo Martelli to
a contemporary and friend Bernardo Buongirolami:
“With the rich and honored lady courtesans, one sees at
once what they have to offer, and as it is their métier to
give pleasure, they lay great store in doing so. Also because they have not only one lover and they know that
any gaffe would cost them dear. The royal way in which
they treat you, their graceful manners, their courtesy and
the luxury with which they surround you, dressed as
they are in crimson and gold, scented, and exquisitely
Continued from page 20
shod – with their compliments – they make you feel another being, a great lord, and while you are with them
you do not envy even the inhabitants of heaven”.
I also found references from 16th century dyers referring to crimson as the most expensive dye, so as a successful courtesan this color would figure prominently in
her wardrobe, she would also have an abundance of
While visiting the Medici project online at, I found that one of the memos that
they have translated and given a synopsis is one that
Eleonora di Toledo sent to Agnolo Bronzino describing
what dress she will wear for her upcoming portrait. Here
is the translated synopsis and the original Italian excerpt: “Eleonora di Toledo provides explicit instructions
regarding attire to be depicted by Agnolo Bronzino in
portraits of Prince Francesco and herself, gifts to Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle [presumably at the court of
Charles V, possibly in Augsburg at this time]. Francesco's attire should reflect that worn at Genoa when he
had been sent to greet Felipe II of Spain upon his arrival
[...] Parlando con la Duchessa n.ra s.ra [Eleonora di
Toledo] per haver il saio di velluto rosso di Don Francesco et una robba di raso del medesimo colore di S.
Ecc.a per mandarl'al [Agnolo] Bronzino, come V. S.
m'ordinava con la carta sua di questa mattina, hebbi da
lej questa risposta in queste o similj parole, cioè, "Come
puede il Bronzino hazer el retratto di Franzischillo sin
haverlo adelante?" Io replicaj che non sapevo altro che
quel che V. S. mi domandava per dar fine a' ritratti che
con molta instantia domandava d'Aras
[Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle]. Allora S. Ecc.a soggiunse ch'io scrivessi alla S. V. facesse intender a detto
Bronzino che quanto al Francesco ne pingesse uno di
tertio pelo rosso il più saio di Don bello che sapesse et
potesse ma che l'accompagnasse con una robba fodrata
di martore o zibellinj, non li parendo che questo signore
horamaj s'habbi a ritrarre in solo saio, ma in una robba
come fu visto a Genova. Et circa alla robba che si domandava da S. Ecc.a, mi dise il medesimo che del saio
di Don Francesco, cioè, che il Bronzino ne pintasse una
a suo modo di quel colore [...]
Construction details
The first step whenever I decide to recreate something in
a portrait is to find that artwork in a digital medium. I
will go out on the internet and see if I can find a gif or
jpg of it. I then right-click on the desired image/images
Page 22
and save out the picture to my hard drive.
Continued from page 21
pitch. The bodice should be fully lined with a matching
colored cloth, whether it be cotton (valescio in Italian)
The next step is to load that image as my background
or linen. I usually add a stiff interlining of canvas to
wallpaper on my computer at home and at work. You
help provide extra support for the outer fabric. Next
may wonder why…I work on a computer everyday and stagger the lacing holes to accommodate the spiral lacseeing that image everyday helps me to analyze it aling method as was noted in Janet Arnold’s notes. I
most subconsciously. This method has worked well for typically use lacing rings that are closed brass rings and
me for the last couple of projects.
I hand cover with three-ply embroidery thread. Because
embroidery thread has a wider selection of colors than
Now that I have the image I can call it up in any of my regular sewing thread, it can more closely match the
photo editing programs. I enlarge it so that I can see
fabric when the thread needs to show as in this case.
details. I also sometimes lighten up the picture so that I
can see details that the darkness of the image may
We have examples of both attached and unattached
cover up. Sometimes I even change the colors a little so skirts. There are a variety of methods to constructing
that I can increase contrast, another way to extract de- pleats for this time period. My favorite is to utilize
tails that might go unnoticed.
large rolled box pleats that are evenly distributed pleats
all around the waist.
The Gown
There are challenges in the pattern for this style of
Lacing cord can be made or purchased. I choose to
dress. When I had constructed my Tudor style gowns, make my own cording for a variety of reasons:
all the lacings were center back with only one opening. • Cost
The bodice was cut on the straight of grain at the front • Control of quality. These cords take a lot of stress
sometimes and it is reassuring to know that you
and the back was attached through the shoulders in one
have used the most quality of materials and methpiece and therefore angled off so that the back was acods.
tually cut on the bias. It worked great, because the
• Color availability. Just like the reason behind using
shoulders never fell off or sagged from the weight of
embroidery floss for covering the lacing rings, by
the sleeves. They were stretched by the bias cut and
making your own cord, there is more of a likelinever went any further.
hood of getting a color that more closely matches
your desired color.
When I examined several books discussing the cut of
the bodice for this period, I discovered to my delight
I have found that using my portable kumihimo disk to
that the shoulders seemed to angle off again. But the
huge difference was the back was cut on the straight of produce cording meets all the above considerations. I
grain and a side back lacing was on either side of cen- realize that in period they would have used a maradai
but this is so convenient and transportable and the end
ter and angled. So the back part had to be a separate
piece. Janet Arnold depicts Eleanor of Toledo’s funeral result is the same. Because Venice was one of the premiere trading centers of the world at that time, it is cerdress (1562) in her book Patterns of Fashion, and her
drawing indicates that the back is a separate piece with tainly possible that this kind of cording was available
to purchase in period.
the shoulders attached at the top of the back. While a
dress of 1545 would be from a slightly earlier time peThe placement of trim/embellishment should be inriod, the side-back lacing would have been approxispired by the portraits of the 1530s and 1540s. Typimately the same from examining other painting
cally, by placing it on the neckline, the wonderful patsources. I suggest when drafting a pattern in general
and especially this one in particular, the use of slopers tern in the fabric is highlighted. There are some instances where there was also a middle strip of trim
is essential to making adjustments and then transfer
those changes back to your initial pattern. This method placed for added decoration and even on either side of
the front.
will yield a much more customized and better fitting
bodice pattern. It definitely needs to have a canted lacing but always take the wearer’s body type into consid- The sleeves are wonderfully diverse with many available choices. One of the most often employed are fieration and you may need to make it not quite as annestra or strip sleeves. You can see those in the paintgled. In my case, it just didn’t work at any steeper
Page 23
ing done by Agnolo Bronzino. Her strips are joined to
each other with buttons. I tend to use large pearls to
join the strips together instead of buttons, as another
chance to flaunt a disregard for the sumptuary laws of
1533. Many courtesans received their “payments” in
jewels and pearls. They certainly would have used that
bounty to decorate their lavish gowns. Conspicuous
consumption was considered a sign of success and
prosperity, and expected by a courtesan’s noble patrons.
One of the most popular ways of attaching the sleeves
to the bodice was the use of ribbons. They are ended
with metal or cloth aglets, jewels, beads - all often referred to as points. By the use of ties, a bodice might
have several sleeves that could be worn with it and also
gave the wearer the option to remove the sleeves if desired. To make sure they that they will not come undone, place a single stitch in each bow knot, this was
often a period practice.
Continued from page 22
Needlelace portion
I made Punta in Aria needlelace in August 2005. For
this mini-project, I decided to try some 4-inch wide
extra heavy drapery interface lining, similar to the
weight of buckram, as my backing. This is commonly
used to strengthen and support the tops of curtains. I
could get it in any length and it would hold up to a lot
of transport and flexibility. It worked great for this purpose.
I determined what pattern I would use from one of my
lace books and sized it as I wanted it to be using graph
paper. I purchased some heavy duty tracing paper and
traced my pattern onto it and then turned it over so that
the pen ink would not transfer to my lace.
I then started couching down my base DMC #10 cotton cording using regular sewing thread. It took about
32 hours to get the base cording couched down. Next I
used DMC #30 thread to start covering the base cord
and make the lace. The smaller size thread worked
really well for this. (This was my first piece of real
lace). I worked the bottom of the lace first. When I got
Partlets were quite varied in style and design. Some
to the points I decided to add a pearl at the top of each
had collars attached, some did not. When I first enpoint. I tried to get pictures of this in progress but white
countered this portrait by Agnolo Bronzino, I was
struck by the elegance of the collar of this partlet. I per- on white did not come out well and I didn’t realize it
until the lace was complete. The needlelace part of this
sonally don’t like something right at my throat, the
project was easy to transport and I worked on it whenmain reason why I don’t go any further past 1550 because I would most likely have to wear a full ruff. This ever I could. It took about 106 hours to get 30 inches
done. I will be making more of this for future projects.
one though is open at the throat and yet rises up to
frame the face. Using a semi-transparent fabric may
also present a challenge.
Bobbin Lace portion
I started the bobbin lace at about the same time. It was
not as transportable so it went a little slower. I used a
I have included the steps I took to create this portion
since it was so in-depth and complex. You may choose basic ground pattern because this dress’ time period is
about 1545 and I wanted to keep it within simple geoto make a different partlet.
metric patterns. I also didn’t want it to be very wide
because it just is to be used to finish the edge. I needed
Once the portrait is analyzed for the first time, start
about 72 inches. It took about 66 hours to complete the
making a list of things that you will need in order to
complete the partlet portion of the project. I determined lace. I considered pearling the lace but time was an
that I would need:
• needlelace for the points around the collar
• bobbin lace for the edging for the opening up to the Ties portion
I handmade the decorative ties extending from the part• small cording ties for the collar.
let collar using the kumihimo braiding technique as
• milliner’s wire for the frame work
with the cording for the dress lacings. I used the same
• and most importantly the correct weight and type
thread as I used for the bobbin lace.
of fabric.
Partlet Fabric and Pattern portion
I knew that I would need to get the above portions
Page 24
started early and then I could turn my attention to the
actual body of the partlet. I originally wanted a semitransparent silk with small stripes in the fabric. The only
silk I found was at Cy Rudnick’s and it was $25 a yard
at 36” wide. I felt that I would need 2 yards with the
fabric that narrow. I was tempted and if it had been exactly perfect, I might have gone for it, but the stripes
were way too close together. They were only about a
quarter of an inch apart. I wanted them to be more like
an inch apart. So I left there and decided to try Home
Fabrics. There I found exactly what I had envisioned. It
is not silk, unfortunately, but it certainly approximates a
silk organza and has that wonderful semi-transparent
nature to it and the stripes are exactly one inch apart
with a single gold thread on either side of the white
stripe. The best part was that the fabric was $6.95 a yard
and 110 inches wide. I only had to purchase 1 yard and I
still have enough to make another partlet.
The pattern is taken from a historical pattern where only
the collar is fitted the rest is straight squares of fabric. I
cut mine to be extra long on both the front and back to
be sure that it did not come out of the dress. The shoulder seams were sewn on the machine for the initial seam
and then hand stitched using a French seam stitch so that
the seam allowances on the shoulders were protected
from fraying and presented a finished look. The hems
were finished by a blind hemstitch on the rest of the
Continued from page 23
To finish the partlet, I attached the three decorative
cording to the collar on each side and attached cording
to the front opening. The below the armpit side fabric
ties were then added. Then I attached the bobbin lace to
the inside and outside edge of the front opening. Lastly I
sewed on the needlelace.
The camicia could have been made of linen, silk or cotton. Some retain the low square yoke or drawstringgathered neck popular previously. As the century draws
to a close, others assume the higher neck and, later,
sport a small ruff at collar and wrists. In one of Calmo’s
“letters” written to a courtesan by the name of Madame
Lucida, he describes his belongings, bragging to her that
one of his dressing gowns is made of such fine cotton as
to fit in a nutshell.
The underdrawers are rather a new concept. One that
interestingly developed for courtesans before the nobles
began to wear them. They were constructed in period
from linen or cotton.
No gown is complete without appropriate jewelry. By
this time, jewelry is now coordinated for a particular
gown or color of gown. It was even common to have a
complete suite of jewelry for an ensemble. A pearl neckThe Framework for the Collar
I spent many an hour analyzing the collar. Once I was
lace with a pendant pearl would often accompany a long
able to enlarge the picture, it became quite apparent that rope of large pearls. Earrings with some drop pearls and
there was a wire framework within the collar. Once I got various rings would coordinate with the rest of the suite.
the collar cut out and sewn together (I did use the sew- A pearl and gold girdle belt with elaborate pearl tassel
ing machine for that) I turned my attention to the actual would finish this set. Veronica Franco was said to have
framework. I had some milliner’s wire from a previous had a rope of 51 pearls that were confiscated under one
project so I didn’t have to purchase that. It did give me of the sumptuary laws. She did file suit against her cook
some grief because it had been in a tight circle for so
when a prayer book and other small valuables turned up
long that it didn’t want to lie flat but I finally coerced it. missing. The complete details are well documented in
I built the frame for the inside of the collar and interthe Venetian court documents of the time.
wove the wires to give it more stability. The verticals
are aligned with the stripes and the frame was quite a
challenge, but was fun to finally get the look I wanted.
Head coverings by this time varied widely, from elaboOnce I determined that the frame would fit within the
rate turbans to more minimal efforts like perhaps a hair
collar well, I sewed one side of the collar to the body of net or transparent veil. Hair became the central focus
the partlet and then inserted the frame within the collar. and was elaborately crimped, curled and braided, often
I made sure that there was enough space so that I could incorporating strings of pearls and gems. The best way
blind hem the inside of the collar to secure the frameto choose what you want is by examining many portraits
work within the collar. Finally, I tacked the vertical
of the period and narrowing down your favorites. There
wires in place so that they don’t lose their position or
is always a possibility of having several different items
Page 25
so that it can be interchangeable like the sleeves were.
Miscellaneous accessories
A feather or flag fan can certainly help when the
weather gets warm and will help complete the effect.
Other accessories can be a small book of Petrarch or
poetry, items that could be suspended from the jeweled
girdle like a small pouch, keys, rosary or pomander
filled with perfume. Cosmetics were lavishly used.
Many period sermons were delivered against the evils
of such things saying that women should be content
with what God had given them.
Selected Resources
Abbigliamento e Costume nella Pittura Italiana nel
Rinascimento. Bentivenga,
Ferruccia Cappi. Roma: Carlo Bestetti Edizioni d’Arte,
At Home in Renaissance Italy, Marta Ajmar, Flora
Dennis. Victoria and Albert Museum, 2006
Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage, and
Power at the End of the Renaissance. Guido
Ruggiero 1993
A Book of Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues.
Griffin, Susan. New York: Random House, 2001
The Book of the Courtier, Castiglione, Baldesar, translated by George Bull, Penguin Classics, Reprint
edition, 1976.
Courtesans of the Italian Renaissance. Georgina Masson. Cox and Wymann Limited. London, 1975
The Cultural World of Eleonora di Toledo: Duchess of
Florence and Siena; edited and with an introduction by Konrad Eisenbichler, Aldershot: Ashgate,
Dialogues, Pietro Aretino. Marsilio Publishers, 1995.
Dress in Italian Painting 1460-1500. Elizabeth Birbari,. London: John Murray, 1975
Dress of the Venetians. Stella Mary Newton. Scolar
Press, 1988.
Dressing Renaissance Florence: Families, Fortunes,
and Fine Clothing, Carole Collier Frick, The Johns
Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, 2002.
The History of Lace, Simeon, Margaret, Stainer and
Bell, London, 1979
Continued from page 24
The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and
Writer in Sixteenth-Century
Venice. Margaret F Rosenthal, Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1992.
Inside the Renaissance House, Elizabeth Curie, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2006
Lives of the Courtesans: Portraits of the Renaissance.
Lynne Lawner,. New York:, Rizzoli, 1987.
Introduction to Bobbin Lacemaking, Shepherd, Rosemary, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst NSW,1995
Lace - History and Fashion, Kraatz, Anne, Thames and
Hudson, London, 1989
Lace - A History, Levey, Santina, M., V & A Museum,
UK, 1983
Le Pompe. 1559 - Patterns for Venetian Bobbin Lace,
Levey, Santina M & Payne, P., Ruth Bean, Bedford, 1983.
Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: Lo stile di Eleonora di
Toledo a la sua influenza. Orsi Landini, Roberta,
Bruna Niccoli. Pagliai Polistampa, 2005..
Pillow Lace - A practical handbook, Mincoff, E. &
Marriage, M., Ruth Bean, Bedford, 1981
Practical Skill in Bobbin Lace. Cook, Bridget M., Dover Publications, NY,1987
Private Lives in Renaissance Venice: Art, Architecture,
and the Family, Patricia Fortini Brown, Yale University Press, 2004
Renaissance Dress in Italy 1400-1500. eds. Jacqueline
Herald, Aileen Ribeiro. London: Bell and Hyman,
Renaissance Portraits: European Portrait-Painting in
the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries. Campbell, Lorne,
Yale University Press, New Haven and London,
Shopping in the Renaissance: Consumer Cultures in
Italy, 1400-1600, Evelyn S. Welch, Yale University Press, 2005
Virgins of Venice: Broken Vows and Cloistered Lives
in the Renaissance Convent. Mary Laven, Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition (June 29,
Women In Italy, 1350-1650 Ideals and Realities, A
Sourcebook. Mary Rogers, Paola Tinagli, Manchester University Press, 2005.
Page 26
Head Cloths and Aprons
by HL Elianor de Morland
Having been in the society for a few years, I have noticed a shift away from the high court clothing of the
nobility towards a more simple work-a-day dress that is
practical and comfortable. For those who work at
events or have children with sticky hands my favorite
accessories for period wear are a linen head cloth and an
apron because:
They are rectangular construction and quick to
They require little fabric and are easy to launder
They keep one’s hair out of one’s face and keep
one’s clothing clean
Aprons can be kilted to carry small items
They complete the overall “look” of one’s outfit
My favorite examples of these accessories are located in
various versions of the Tacuinum Sanitatis manuscripst
which can be viewed on the “Gode Cookery” website at The images
of these manuscripts range from the late 14th to the early
15th century from continental Europe and many of them
show women working at various tasks in head cloths
and aprons. If you browse the images, you will find
several variations of both. The one thing that seems to
be ubiquitous is that these accessories are almost always
made of white linen.
You want something long enough to wrap from your
forehead to the nape of your neck over your ears with
enough room to pin it together and something wide
enough to reach from the nape over the crown of your
head to your nose. A little bit extra is better than not
quite enough.
You can wrap the head cloth just using this bit of cloth
and several pins, but I have found that hair is slippery
and I will have to constantly readjust it during the day.
Constantly having to re-pin your headgear is annoying!
So, what I do next is fold my rectangle so that the longest side (26 inches) is halved and sew down one side
from the fold to the raw edge. Then, fold each side of
that seam under twice and use running stitches to finish
the edge.
Step two: Put your pointy rectangle head cloth on with
the finished seam on the outside and fold the point of the
rectangle down as shown. Look at yourself in a mirror
and take off the head cloth to make sure your point is
centered on your seam and even. Then pin it down carefully and sew it down with more running stitches. Now
it’s time to hem all your raw edges. Your front edge
will be folded back so remember to hem it accordingly!
Now, if your hair is long, braid it and pin it into a bun or
some how pull it back and up. A couple of braids at
Below are instructions on how I prefer to wrap my hair your crown or on the sides of your head will give you
and make my aprons.
something to anchor your pins to, but it’s not necessary,
This is not the *only* way to do it, so feel free to ex- just helpful.
periment with your own preferences!
Head Cloth
If you have a scrap of linen and a few heavy duty pins
you can have a period way to pull your hair back. I am
not going to say that this is the only way to do it, because I don’t believe that to be true. What I will say is
that I find this method effective and within the bounds
of plausible in materials and effect. I do sew part of my
head cloth down, in order to keep it in place better.
Step one: Find a scrap of white linen approximately 16
inches by 26 inches. This measurement is not exact!
A note
on pins:
I prefer
to use
Page 27
Continued from page 26
HEAD CLOTHS AND APRONS Unlike regular lightweight sewing or dressmaker’s pins they won’t bend
when you use them to anchor your hair. In a pinch, a
heavy weight corsage pin will work but if you plan on
wearing your hair up, I highly recommend investing in
a packet of 4 or 6 brass pins.
First, put your
head cloth on
braided hair.
Pin the back at
the nape of
your neck with
a pin (a safety
pin here is
helpful instead
of a brass pin,
work loose and it won’t be seen.)
This requires a little practice and depending on the
shape of your head it may require some tweaking as to
where you put your pins. Practice makes perfect!
When I first tried this, I had to re-pin it every hour because it kept coming loose, today I can pin my hair up
in the morning not touch it again until evening.
Again, an apron is a useful item (especially while camping) for carrying items about and for helping keep your
clothing clean. A simple construction of two rectangles, they are quick to make by hand and keep grease
and dirt off of your gowns while you are working.
Aprons can be seen in the 14th century Luttrell Psalter
and in various versions of the Tacuinum Sanitatis. I prefer the Viennese version of the Tacuinum Sanitatis because the aprons are flat and smooth rather than pleated.
If you want to be technical you can measure all the bits
for your apron, but I just tend to cut pieces the size I
Tuck the excess fabric at your nape under the pin and think they need to be. You will need two rectangles:
anchor it with a straight pin.
4 inches by (your waist measurement: _____x
2.75) if you are making ties that will wrap around and
Now fold the
tie in front. If you are making shorter apron strings that
tie in the back, you can use your waist measurement +
75%. (On me this is 32 inches (waist measure) + 24
forehead back
(.75 of my waist) and my short apron strings would
to where it just
measure about 56 inches).
reaches your
hairline. You
Apron: 20 inches by 30 to 36 inches depending on how
will now have
long you want your apron to hang.
each side of
In period artwork, aprons tend to hang
your head. If
around mid calf.
you are going
for a 15th cenTies: Fold all the edges in ¼ inch and press. Then fold
tury Flemish
together lengthwise and press.
look you can stop here. (It looks very silly on me!)
If you want continue, then tuck the “wings” into your Apron: Fold your raw edges in ¼ inch on both long
sides and the bottom and press, then fold in again and
head cloth behind your ears and pin them as well.
pin so that all the raw edges are folded in and hidden.
You will want at least one pin on each side, a pin at the Pin the folds in place and using a running stitch sew
them down. Tie: Fold all the raw edges in 1/2 inch and
back of your head and one at your crown.
Page 28
Continued from page 27
press. Then fold together lengthwise and press.
Apron: Fold your raw edges in 1/4inch on both long
sides and the bottom and press, then fold in again and
pin so that all the raw edges are folded in and hidden.
Pin the folds in place and using a running stitch sew
them down.
Take your tie and find the center point and mark it with
a pin. Find the center point of your apron’s top edge
(the unfinished edge) and mark it also with a pin. Put
your pins together right side to right side and pin the
pieces together. Sew them together about a half inch
from the raw edge. (Simply follow the crease you
pressed in!)
You can do this on a machine if you prefer because it
won’t be seen. After you have done this, press the seam
flat and up.
Fold your apron tie over the seam you just pressed and
pin it down. When you do this the folded under raw
edge should just cover the seam. Starting in the center
of the apron stitch the folded edge down to your apron
When you get to the edge of the apron, put the two ties
together and sew them down with a running seam as
close to edge as you can get. At the tip of the tie, fold
the edges in on each other and keep stitching until the
entire apron tie sewn down and no raw edges can be
The completed accessories
Now you have a completed apron and head cloth that
you can wear to keep your gowns clean while you bake
bread and chase children!
If you have questions or issues feel free to email me at
[email protected]
Page 29
R U S S I A N C L O T H I N G By Sofia la Rus
Ancient frescoes indicate that the clothing of the Russian nobility was multi-colored and used striking combinations of fresh, rich tones. The Novgorod birchbark
letters mention "portishche zeleni" and "portishche
golubine" (i.e. green and sky blue clothing), "zolotnik
zelenogo sholku" (a measure of green silk). And other
examples are found regularly. One princess owned
dresses in white, gold, yellow, crimson, green, and red.
In 1628 V. Ya Vorontsov complained that on the road
from the city of Shuya he was robbed by peasants
whose garments he described. The house serf wore a
light blue coat, a red caftan and cherry hat. The other
peasants had azure and cherry-colored hats.
Colored fabrics were called krashenin and included
homespun linen dyed blue, green and red. The raw
color of unbleached linen predominated in peasant
clothes with some bleached white linen and colored
fabrics. The Russian language records dozens of terms
for describing cloth colors.
In the 9th-13th centuries, linen fabric was mainly of a
white color. Wools were the natural color of the wool
or dyed with bright colors - mostly red, green, yellow
and black colors. The favorite color of clothing in the
13th-17th centuries was red, followed by black, and
then yellow, green, blue and white. The latter predominated numerically (used in linens, shirts, etc.).
The popularity of red is demonstrated in archeological
finds, among which more than half are fabric of reddish-brown tones, however one finds also black, and
bluish, and green, and light-brown. (Linen fabrics are
underrepresented in archeological digs, because linen is
very poorly preserved.)
the cochineal family] and “chernil’nyye oreshki” [oak
gall]. Also used in dyeing were mineral substances –
ocher, red iron-ore [zheleznyak] and others.
Fabrics were dyed mainly with vegetable dyes, but also
with animal dyes. Blue dye was made from son-travy
(pasque flower?), cornflower, and blueberry/
huckleberry [Vaccinium spp and Gaulussacia spp, all
called черник in Russian]. Yellow came from blackthorn or droka [a steppe plant in the bean family, see
below], and leaves (or bark sheets?) of birch. Goldenbrown was provided by onion peels, oak and pear bark.
Red brown dyes came from buckwheat, St. John's wort,
wild apple tree bark, alder and buckthorn.
Adam Nahlik analyzed fabrics from the Novgorod excavations for evidence of dyes. He notes that the action
of soil acids have made many of the archeological fabrics look rather brown, disguising their original hues. .
Novgorod fabric mordants according to Nahlik included: chromium salts, tin, iron, iron chloride (?), clay
(ocher?), tonin (tanin?), acid (?).
By comparison, modern mordants listed by Brown are:
alum, chrome, tin, iron, copper/blue vitriol, tannin.
Other treating agents - cream of tartar, Glauber's salt.
Medieval dyes conspicuous by their absence from my
Russian references include: lichens, murex, saffron,
safflower, weld, woad.
The information below from Pushkareva, Kolchin,
Nahlik and Stepanova is specific to medieval Rus.
Kramer, Castino, and Brown are modern Western
Alder - Member of the birch family. Red-brown dyes
per Pushkareva. Juice is source of emodin per
Nahlik. See emodin. Alder has good tannin and
The abundance of red tints in the costumes of ancient
gives black and a variety of other dark colors.
Russians is explained by the fact that red was the color
of protection in superstition and the fact that there were
numerous natural dyes for red-brown colors. It is also Apple - red-brown dyes per Pushkareva. Bark with
alum gives yellow. (Kramer) Bark with chrome
the color of the sun in Russian poetic imagery.
gives yellow-tan. (Kramer) Twigs without mordant
give yellow. (Castino) Twigs with chrome - orange.
In archeological finds, fabrics were woven of wool of
(Castino) Twigs with alum - apricot. (Castino)
natural brown, black or other colors, others were dyed
with such organic dyes as chervets [insect-based dyes in Birch - yellow from leaves (bark sheets?) per Pushka-
Page 30
Continued from page 29
reva. Birchbark without mordant - light brown.
(Brown) Birchbarks give light brown to black. Usable species include Betula lutea, B. papyrifera, B.
lenta. (Kramer) Inner bark of white birch, B. papyrifera, best collected from decaying downed
wood, gives tan. (Castino)
Blackthorn - yellow per Pushkareva97. According to
the Ozhigov Russian dictionary, blackthorn is a
thorny shrub of the rose family that bears a tart blueblack fruit (sloe). This seems likely to be a mistranslation, since the two sources for yellow dye given in
Pushkareva89 are "droka and list'ev berezy", while
in Pushkareva97 (the English translation) they are
blackthorn and birchbark. See droka.
Blueberry - blue per Pushkareva. Russian term is
chernik, черник, and apparently covers both Vaccinium (blueberry) and Gaylussacia (huckleberry) spp.
Interestingly, English terms for these plants include:
blueberry, bilberry, deerberry, huckleberry, hurtleberry, whortleberry (V. myrtillus). This is rather impressive, especially compared to the Russian. Used
for blue/purple/grays per Brown. Frozen berries
with alum - pale blue. (Castino)
Buckthorn - red-brown dyes per Pushkareva.
Buckwheat - red-brown dyes per Pushkareva.
Chervets (coccides, cochineal-like) - used per Kolchin.
See lak-dej, below.
Chestnut - noble chestnut is a source of ehlagovaya acid
per Nahlik.
Chrysin (a flavone) - obtained from poplar buds
(Populus italica, P. nigra, P. pyramidalis) per
Nahlik. [Text mistakenly gives Latin names as
"Topulus" spp.] Its use on "openwork" fabrics, locally woven in Rus, indicates its use in Rus by the
early Middle Ages. (Nahlik) With "clay" mordant
gives wool yellow color per Nahlik.
Cornflower - blue per Pushkareva. Cornflower =
bachelors button Centaurea cyanus and the petals
provide a blue color per Kramer.
Drok - yellow per Pushkareva89. According to the Ozhigov Russian dictionary, a shrubby steppe plant of
the bean family with yellow flowers. See blackthorn.
According to Dal' dictionary, Genista tinctoria, i.e.
dyers greenweed.
Dyer’s Greenweed – see drok.
Ehlagovaya [элаговая] acid - widely distributed in the
plant world and obtained from oak wood and bark,
pomegranate fruit, "noble" chestnut, and the stones
formed in stomachs of animals that eat bark of plants
containing "golitanin" голитанин or "ehlagotin"
элаготин according to Nahlik. He notes that ehlagovaya acid is easily extracted from oak bark with hot
water or dilute alcohol. It is called a "mordant dye" in
Russian which presumably means that it doesn't require
a separate mordant.
It appears in use in Russia in the early Middle Ages,
frequently found on "knitted" items and other coarse
fabrics of obviously local manufacture. However, it is
not just for poorer quality materials, since it was also
used to dye a "special" fabric with a square/block pattern, although this piece may have been imported.
With chrome mordant gives a yellow-olive green color.
(Nahlik) With iron mordant give black coloring.
(Nahlik) With iron chloride (?) mordant gives blackblue shade. (Nahlik)
This seems to be a form of tannin. The black coloring
attained when combined with iron mordants would be
correct for tannin. And it turns about that there are
many tannins, besides tannic acid. These include elegiac acid (ehlagovaya?) which is the bloom/sediment of
hydrolyzable tannins called pyrogallols, gallotanins
(gallic acid); and ellagitannins (ellagic acid), etc.
Emodin (an anthroquinone, a group of chemicals that
also includes madder, etc.) - in juice of alder (Alnus
glutinosa) gives light to dark brown color depending
on the amount of oxygen in the juice collected in
hollows of branches, and the mordant. (Nahlik)
With iron mordant gives dark brown color. (Nahlik)
See alder, above.
Indigo - Nahlik found one fabric with indigo dye from
his 14 samples, combined with an unknown yellow
dye. He goes on to discuss the origin of indigo from
Indigofera curil (same as I. tintoria?), and that it was
brought into Europe in the 12th century, imported
via Genoa (Krupp mentiones Genoese tax records
first noting indigo in 1140) and Venice, and widespread in Germany and Flanders by the 14-15th cen-
Page 31
Continued from page 30
tury. However, since the indigo-dyed fabric he analyzed actually dates from the 13th cent. he concludes
that the date of the arrival of indigo into northern
Europe can be pushed back to that time. He makes
no mention of woad, Isatis tinctoria, nor do most
other sources on Medieval Rus garb that I've seen.
(Except a brief on-line article by Yulia Stepanova on
"Style in Ancient Rus" in the Russian-language
magazine Rodina, Feb. 2006.) The Russian word for
woad is вайда.
Christina Krupp points out that while it is possible to
chemically detect the presence of indigotin (the main
colorant of the dye "indigo") current tests cannot determine whether it came from woad or the indigo plant.
The ratio of indigotin to indirubin (another coloring
compound in indigo dye) can provide clues, but most
archeological samples are too degraded or too small to
make such an analysis. However, it is sometimes possible to detect a green tint supposedly characteristic to
woad dyes due to the presence flavin compounds. This
is very interesting in light of the green color of the textile that Nahlik analyzed, due to an "unknown yellow
dye". Krupp also says that scholars seem to prefer to
attribute early medieval northern European indigo-dyed
textiles to woad, rather than true indigo, in cases when
no physical evidence either way exists, presumably for
historical reasons.
mesic acid. (Nahlik)
An article about the ancient textiles found in the Altai
Mountains associated with the Pazyryk culture of 2,500
years ago discusses similar dyes in their fabric analysis,
including Kermes vermilio, a source of kermesic acid.
See lak-dej, below. (Polos'mak)
Further on-line research indicates that the dye known to
the Ukrainians and Germans is probably Polish cochineal, from Margarades polonicus or Porphyrophora
polonica or Coccus polonicus, that feeds on Scleranthus
Oldest recorded dye obtained from insects that feed on
a certain kind of oak. Called "scarlet" in the Bible.
(Brown) With "tonin" from ehlagovaya acid (tannin?)
gives a red color. (Nahlik) With acidic mordant gives
an orange color. (Nahlik) With tin - purple. (Nahlik)
With clay - maroon. (Nahlik)
Lak-dej (a transliteration of "lac dye"?) - dye related to
cochineal according to Nahlik. The pigment is laccaic acid and is obtained by a complex chemical operation. He says that there is some debate on the exact source of this dye. Some say its from the scale
insect Coccus laccae which drinks from the plant
Ficus indicus of Indian, Persian or Ceylonese (Sri
Lankan) origin. Others derive it from the plants
An article about the ancient textiles found in the Altai
Laurencee, Perseacee, and Gascaria madogasMountains associated with the Pazyryk culture of 2,500
cariensis Targ Tozz. (Nahlik)
years ago discusses the use of indigo dyes in their fabric
analysis, and concludes that the source was most likely
On-line research indicates that the lac insect is also
woad, despite the lack of indirubin in the samples, since
called Laccifera lacca or Kerria lacca, and that it
woad grew in the Caucasus, South Europe, and the Near
feeds on over 160 types of host trees in its native
habitat, but especially Ficus spp, F. religiosa in parEast, while indigo only grew in India and Bengal.
An article about the ancient textiles found in the
Altai Mountains associated with the Pazyryk culture
Iron - red iron-ore used per Kolchin. [as a mordant?]
Kermes - a red dye from the "gnat" Coccus illicis (or
of 2,500 years ago discusses similar dyes in their
Kermes ilicus) living on oaks (Q. coccifera) and
fabric analysis. They discuss a coccide called Porknown from ancient times. Brought to Europe from
phyrophora, a source of carminic acid for dying, and
Persia by the Arabs in the Middle Ages. Such dye
also Kermes vermilio, a source of kermesic acid,
was known also to the Ukrainian and Germans, obboth of which inhabit the eastern Mediterranean.
tained from a plant louse that lived on the plant Se(Polos'mak)
lavantus perennis. The coloring compound is kerWhatever its source, "lak-dej" appears in Nov-
Page 32
Continued from page 31
(Brown) Red onion gives brown. (Kramer) Yellow
onion gives yellow shades. (Kramer) Outer skins
with alum - yellow. (Castino) Outer skins with
chorme - orange/golden-brown. (Castino)
True cochineal, Dactylopis coccus, gives carminic acid
and was found by the Spaniards in Mexico in the early Pasque flower (son-travy) - blue per Pushkareva. Anemone patens is the American prairie flower known as
1500s. (Brown and Kramer).
the pasque flower. I'm not sure it is the same plant.
With clay mordant gives wool a scarlet color (Nahlik). Pear - bark gives golden-brown per Pushkareva. Leaves
give yellow/orange/gold colors per Brown. Twigs
With tin gives a purple color (Nahlik). Pure lakkainoalone give yellow. (Castino) Twigs with chrome
vaya acid gives wool a copper-red (Nahlik). Cochineal
give orange-apricot. (Castino)
plus alum - red. (Castino) Cochineal plus chrome Pomegranate - fruit is a source of ehlagovaya acid (see
pink to purple. (Castino) Cochineal plus tin - scarlet.
above) according to Nahlik.
(Castino) Cochineal plus iron - maroon. (Castino)
Poplar - buds are source of khrisin per Nahlik. See
khrisin. Leaves give yellow/orange/gold colors per
Madder - dye from madder plant, Rubia tinctorum and
used since ancient times. The presence of its name
in Slavic mythology demonstrates the longevity of Spruce - needles used for green colors according to Stethe Slav's knowledge of it. Documented in Europe
panova article (see indigo notes).
by the time of Charlemagne, with wide cultivation St. John's Wort - red-brown dyes per Pushkareva. With
in France and Germany in the 13th cent. The dye
alum - yellow. (Castino) With chrome - deep yellow. (Castino)
comes from dried out and ground root, and the primary coloring compound is alizarin. It is a
Tannin, танин - while not specifically named in any of
"mordant dye", which seems to mean that it doesn't
the Russian sources I've consulted, except perhaps
need a mordant. (Nahlik)
the "tonin" mordant listed by Nahlik, many of the
plants they do mention are excellent sources of tanThe most common red, a rose-red color, chemicals
nin or tannic acid, and tannin is a crucial substance
are alizarin and purpurin per Brown. Used with
in most cultures for dyeing, both as a colorant and
clay-lime mordant. (Nahlik) Without mordant as a mordant, and in leather tanning. In fact,
orange/red. (Castino) With iron salts - red-violet.
"tanning" is called dublenie in Russian, presumably
(Nahlik) With alum - red. (Brown) With chrome derived from tannic acid, called dublenaya kislota
rust. (Brown) With alum or chrome - reddish orin my dictionary, both terms deriving from the Rusange. (Castino) With tin - orange. (Castino)
sian word for oak, dub. See ehlagovaya acid for
more information on tannins.
Nettles - used for green colors according to Stepanova.
Give yellow-green per Brown.
Oak - bark gives golden-brown per Pushkareva. Oak
gall was used per Kolchin. Wood and bark provides Artsikhovskij, A.B. and B.A. Kolchin. Труды
ehlagovaya acid (see above) according to Nahlik.
Новгородской Археологической Экспедитии
The black oak, Q. velutina, provides quercitron
[Works of the Novgorod Archeological Expedition,
which gives a famous bright yellow dye according
Volumes II and IV] No. 65 and 123 of Материалы
to Kramer and Brown.
и Исследования по Археологии СССР. USSR
Ocher - perhaps the "clay" mordant mentioned by
Academy of Science. Moscow. 1959 and 1963.
Brown, Rachel. The Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing
Book. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1978.
Onion peel - golden-brown per Pushkareva. With alum
- burnt orange. (Brown) With chrome - brass.
Castino, Ruth. Spinning & Dyeing the Natural Way.
gorod fabrics dating to the 13th century according to
Page 33
Continued from page 32
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. New York. 1974.
Khvoschchinskaia, Natalia. "New Finds of Medieval
Textiles in the North of Novgorod Land". NESAT
IV, edited by Lise Bender Jorgensen and Elisabeth
Munskgaard. 1992.
Kireyeva, E.V. Translated by Tatiana Nikolaevna Tumanova. The History of Costume. Enlightenment,
Moscow, 1970.
Kolchin, B.A. and T.I. Makarova. Drevnaia Rus, Byt i
Kultura. (Ancient Rus, Life and Culture) Publishing
House “Nauka”. Moscow, 1997.
Kolchin, B.A. Wooden Artifacts of Medieval Novgorod...
Kramer, Jack. Natural Dyes: Plants and Processes.
Charles Scribner's Sons. New York. 1972.
Krupp, Christina (ska Marieke van de Dal). "From
Woad to Blue". The Compleat Anachronist #129.
Autumn 2005.
Nahlik, Adam. "Ткани Новгорода" [Fabrics of Novgorod from Volume IV of Works of the Novgorod
Archeological Excavation] "Труды Новгородской
Археологической Экспедитии." A.B. Artsikhovskij and B.A. Kolchin. (editors) No. 123 of
Материалы и Исследования по Археологии
СССР. USSR Academy of Science. Moscow. 1963.
"Natural colourants and dyestuffs." NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS 4. FAO - Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations. //
Polos'mak, N.V., V.V. Malakhov, and A.V. Tkachev.
Древнейший Текстиль из "Замерзших" Могил
Гроного Алтая [Ancient Textiles from
"Zamerzshikh" grave of Altai Mountains]. //
Pushkareva, Natalia. Translated in part by Lisa Kies.
Zhenshchiny drevney Rusi. 1989.
Pushkareva, Natalia. Translated by Eve Levin. Women
in Russian History. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New
York, 1997.
Stamerov, K.K. Translated by Tatiana Nikolaevna Tumanova. An Illustrated History of Costume. Avenger, Kiev, 1978.
Stepanova, Yulia. "Мода в Древней Руси" [Style in
Ancient Rus]. On-line Родина [Rodina], Feb. 2006.
Queen’s Prize will be held on January 26, 2008 in the
Shire of Amlesmore.
Queen’s Prize is an arts and sciences event in which the
whole kingdom is involved. To enter, you may not have
a Calon Lily, Silver Hammer, or Laurel. You must have
a sponsor who is a Calon Lily, Silver Hammer, or Laurel.
Sponsors may sponsor up to five entrants. Sponsors
must bring the same number of prizes as the entrants
they sponsor. During the day the sponsors will choose
entrants who they did not sponsor to give their prizes to,
because they really like those projects. Once an en-
trant’s name is chosen by a sponsor, it will not be available to another sponsor to give their prize to. These
prizes will be given out during Court.
Entrants may only enter one project. They will be
judged by the Novice level Arts and Sciences Criteria.
Her Majesty Jane will choose an artisan’s entry that
pleases Her most and will award that entrant Queen’s
Her Majesty will also choose Her most favored Children’s Entry.
There will also be a Judge’s Choice awarded.
Please see more information at the Queen’s Prize website or contact the events stewards if you have questions.
Page 34
M i d d l e E a s t e r n G a r b D o ’s a n d D o n ’t s
By Mi s t re s s Sa fia a l - K ha ns a a ’ , G ue s t C ol um n is t f ro m t he Ea s t K i ng d om
Since I have a Persian SCA persona,
and wear garb from the area of the
world many Westerners call the
Middle East, I am often asked by
people what is "period" (pre 1600's)
or not for use within the Society.
—Mistress Safia
Although I do not consider myself any kind of an allknowing guru, I have collected and cultivated a little bit
of knowledge over the years on the subject. I am also
very grateful to many helpful gentles who have educated me, and offered their help as well.
there on historical West Asian garb, and my hope is to
shed a little light on the subject, so that we can all become better informed together. Many people are very
passionate about the subject, and have very strong opinions and ideas...which is VERY exciting to me! I welcome and encourage any additional thoughts that the
Whatever ever term you prefer to use, West Asian,
SCA "Middle Eastern" community (or anyone else, of
Northern African, Islamic, Middle Eastern, Near East- course!) might have on period West Asian garb. As far
ern, Eastern, etc; if you are interested in clothing from as I'm concerned, this page will never be complete. I am
this part of the world, I am writing this for you. This list happy to add any information or ideas someone might
is designed to help people who are interested in achiev- have, as long as they provide good pre-1600's documening a more "period" (pre 1600's) West Asian, Northern tation and sources, as that is our common goal within
African, Islamic, Middle Eastern, Near Eastern, Eastthe SCA.
ern, etc. look. It is not meant to criticize any one else's
garb or their ideas. Some of the issues I will address are Now. Before we begin, I wanna make sure that I make
touchy ones, and I will be as gentle as possible. My ob- it quite clear that everyone knows I'm aware of my own
jective in writing this page is to share my knowledge
tendency to ramble a bit. (heh! a bit!) And yes, I know I
and the information I have in an educational, positive
need to bullet this thing...that is coming when we upmanner that will hopefully benefit those who are inter- date the site, I promise. (I know you are busy and
probably don't reeeeally have the time to sit and read
this yourself some time by not emailing me
In a nutshell: Many people try to lump all of Northern
to tell me that this article is too long and unorganAfrica, Palestine, Central Asia, etc. together and create I said, you have been warned several
one term, calling it, "Near Eastern," "Middle Eastern," times...haha!)
etc. The bottom line is, you can't. For all intents and
purposes, in this article, I will say "West Asia" just for With that being said, I'd like to try and make it clear
the sake of brevity, (I'd like not to exclude Northern
that we know what we are talking about here, so I don't
Africa, but believe me, this page needs to be shortened get confused our upset emails from folks. We are dissomehow!) To be exact, parts of Southern and Central cussing garb from before 1600 A.D., in the area someAsia are also included in the SCA's notion of the
times known as the "Islamic lands," the lands I like to
"Middle East," but like I said, I need to condense this in call Northern Africa, West Asia, and parts of Central
some way!
Asia. (the latter terms are now the accepted ones in academia - look it up if you don't believe me.) In European
There are many myths and incorrect information out
terms, this means the Medieval and Renaissance, as far
Page 35
as time period. If you aren't sure what that means, please
look up the time periods, as the explanation of that is too
much for the scope of this here. So, that means we are
NOT talking about what they wore in the 1800's right?
Riiiight. And we are NOT talking about the traditional
clothing that is worn now in West Asia, are we? Nope.
Anyone who tells you that they do the same thing now
that they did hundreds of years ago must live in a vacuum, no kidding. Things change everywhere, folks, that's
just human nature.
There are many pre-conceived notions about what is
"Middle Eastern" or West Asian garb in the SCA. There
are many more well-meaning people out there who are
unknowingly perpetuating these myths out of simply not
knowing any better, calling their garb “period Turkish” or
“period Egyptian,” because when they started in the SCA,
a friend gave them a pattern to the camel?") Master Arab
Boy, forand assured them it was period, or they did the
best they could to make a pattern themselves that looked
like something they perceived to look “correct.” And the
confusion started there. Not really understanding how
difficult medieval research can be, especially in this area
of study, they began to formulate their own perception of
“period Middle East” based on maybe glancing at a few
miniatures in a book (not even paying attention to
whether they were Turkish, Persian, etc) and watching
those who seemed to be “doing it right” at events and
The problem is, it is really hard to get a handle on what is
historically correct for pre-1600’s clothing for many areas
in this part of the world; especially when one does not
know where to start. Most of your SCA participants who
think they are interested in West Asian garb have all gone
about it the same way…watching and copying what they
see at events, feasts, etc. And this is why there are so few
people that understand truly historical clothing from Persia, Turkey, etc. A great deal of the garb you might see
people wearing at Haflas, or other events is mostly an
SCA-created fantasy style, and that style has taken on a
life of its own. It is usually a blend of modern ethnic
clothing from souvenir shops in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, etc, some 19th century clothing styles, and
20th/21st century tribal jewelry, nightclub/cabaret attire,
and camel/pack animal adornments! Although it is a
unique and exotic looking, it is not period or historically
accurate at all. For those who are not concerned with being period, that is just fine, and you'll never, ever catch
me saying one thing about someone else's garb. (I just
can't do that...)
Continued from page 34
But for those of us who are interesting in achieving a real
period look, we need to completely, just throw out that
SCA notion of "Middle Eastern," and re-educate ourselves with something real, interesting, and historically
It can be difficult to throw out that notion that we’ve held
on to for so long! It was really, really hard for me. I had a
difficult time admitting that I had been wearing this garb
for years, that I told people was period, even argued with
people was period, taught people to make, only to find out
that NONE of it was. You know, people admired my
garb. It was exotic looking, really neat and “ethnic,” you
know what I mean? People complimented me for “doing
it right.” And I used to think I was the only one who
“really” did it right…you know what I mean? I tried
really hard…I spent a lot of time looking for pretty fabrics, and working on making coats, vests, and other things
that I thought looked like they were supposed to, until I
really started to look in books. And that took a while. I
had lots of books for a number of years, and I would look
through them, but not really take a good, hard, look at
what I was seeing. Instead, I twisted the miniatures
around and tried to fit them into my notion of what Islamic garb was, instead of the other way around...the
miniatures were supposed to be teaching me! I now know
what that is's called "back documenting," and
one way it happens is to have a pre-conceived notion of
something, and stay latched onto it, make the garb, and
THEN try to find out if they did that in period. But I did
something even worse! I would actually take miniatures
and try to fool myself into seeing something that just wasn't there.
Somewhere along the way that changed, however. I was
painting a miniature one day, and something made me
REALLY look at it. A voice inside said, "Hey...look at
the garb! They are NOT wearing what you think they do
AT ALL!" I immediately pulled down all my books and
went through the miniatures. Surely I hadn't been fooling
myself all these years, right? I was shocked and heart broken when I actually sat down and tried to find real paintings and documentation for what I was doing, because I
literally dripped with tassels and that awesome tribal jewelry. I wanted SO MUCH for my garb to be period…I
wanted to find pictures in Turkish paintings…somewhere,
anywhere, where the ladies were wearing these awesome
tassels like I had, or even the turbans…they *did* wear
that stuff…didn’t they? Weeeell…
And so my journey began. Learning about what was truly
Page 36
historical was an eye-opening experience, and probably
the most fun I have EVER had in my entire life. And the
greatest part is, I now truly know what the pre 1600's
West Asian lands…a history and culture I adore…are
about. And it makes me love her all the more, and her
beautiful peoples. I no longer cling to this fantasized version, I have the real thing forever written in my mind and
I would like to thank the countless knowledgeable gentles
with whom I have enthusiastically exchanged ideas and
information on West Asian garb over the years. There are
too, too, many to name them all, but I would especially
like to thank Duchess Roxane Farabi for her help with
and knowledge of Persian garb, Lady Lerwin Ysbrand
O'Choda for her plethora of books on Turkish garb and
who really began to first pique my interest in this, Lord
Ozul, for teaching me how to wrap a turban in many different styles, ("Dad, can I borrow the keys his vast
knowledge of early Islamic culture, Lady Amina from
Meridies for her wonderful knowledge on period block
printing, tiraz, and Islamic calligraphy, and Baroness
Hanzade for proofreading this for me. Thank you, thank
you, thank you!!!!!! Without you guys, I would still
would think it is totally period and documentable to perform with cheesy 1960's cabaret belly dancing music and
wear a Ghawazee coat from the 1800's! What a scary
thought! :o)
"Do's" for Pre-1600's Islamic Garb:
· Do choose a specific culture within the West Asian
lands that you wish to portray; such as Turkish, Persian,
Egyptian, etc. As each of these cultures are different, it
will greatly effect what the garb looks like. There is no
such thing as generic, "Middle Eastern," although there
can be some similarities between cultures. Look at the
different kinds of garb from each, and choose one that
you really want to focus on...don't blend things together.
There's nothing worse than "Perkish" or any other combination.
· Do choose a specific time period you wish to portray.
Styles of dress developed and evolved greatly over time.
Just as modern clothing fashions have gone through
many changes, historical clothing is no different. 20 to 50
years made a big difference in clothing styles, just as it
does today. Anyone who tells you that they wore the the
exact same thing in the West Asian lands today that they
did in period really doesn't understand the rich fashion
history of these cultures. Sorry, but it's true.
· Do choose a social class you wish to represent. This
Continued from page 35
also greatly effects your garb, and the types of fabrics
you use. For example, in late period (Safavid) Persian
garb, stripes were commonly worn by the lower classes,
and intricately woven brocades were worn by the upper
· Do plan taking some time to do research. There are a
lot of people who have a more fantasy-oriented point of
view on the "Middle East," and have a view what was
worn that they think is based on history, but it is not.
Many of these well-meaning people don't even realize
that this is the case. I find that is is usually due to the individual not yet taking the time to looking at true period
paintings, writings, extent garments, and other historical
sources, to understand what is fact and what is fiction. It's
A LOT of fun to pick up a book and look through the
beautiful period artwork presented, to look at the real
extent garments...take the time to REALLY study what
they are will be surprised that it is actually
quite different than what many people imagine as
"Middle Eastern," or "Arab," or "Turkish." Make sure
your sources are of the pre-1600's (or no later than 1650)
variety. Also, remember that the Islamic calendar is
VERY different than the calendar we use in the West.
Make sure you are looking at western dates when a
source gives you a time period. (This is a common mistake in documenting pre 1600's West Asian garb)
· Do realize that not all people in the West Asian lands
were "nomadic," (or practiced Islam, for that matter.)
There were also people living in cities, towns, etc, whose
families had been established there for generations, and
people who were Jewish, Christian, etc. Consider other
interesting options besides the common "nomadic" or
Muslim persona.
· Do use "primary" sources. These are extent garments
(real examples of clothing from the time period,) actual
historical accounts written during the pre 1600's time period, or artwork of the period. There are many books
written by modern people communicating their ideas and
theories about what was worn in period, but these are
always a second choice, as the person may be incorrect,
or may not fully understand what they are seeing. Look at
the miniatures and historical accounts yourself, and experiment with making your own educated guesses and
· Try to use extant pieces (actual surviving pieces of garb
from the time period) to base your garb on, if possible.
This can be difficult in some cases, because there are so
few pieces left. If you can only find a few pictures of extant pieces, or can't find any, refer to miniatures and other
forms of artwork to find ideas. Also, there are some written accounts of garb as well. Use all of these things as
your guide.
Page 37
· Do use fabrics that are appropriate. Natural fibers are
always the best choice. Silks, linen, cotton, furs, and wool
were all used in various types of West Asian garb.
· Do plan on wearing some type of head covering. All
Islamic and Jewish cultures wore a hat or head gear of
some sort, and most Christians did in period as well. Use
miniatures and artwork as your guide.
· Do take your time when looking at Islamic art, especially miniatures. Often you will find new things upon a
second, third, or fourth look. I am still finding new things
in miniatures I have studied for 5 years!
· Do pay attention to the gender of the figures in an Islamic art miniature. Interestingly enough, this can be difficult! Male figures are often rendered in a way that looks
very feminine to our Western/Modern eyes. Men often
wore earrings, makeup, and just as much, if not more,
jewelry adornments. It can be very difficult to tell what
the gender of a figure is. As a rule of thumb, if the figure
is wearing a turban, they are a man, no matter how feminine they may look. Yes, my persona is a man, I was elevated as a Master. (I use the title of Mistress to avoid confusion and when my husband fights for me in Crown) But
no, women did NOT wear turbans in period...and there
are many people who will argue this point with you 'till
the cows come home! The fact is, there were laws in most
West Asian countries against women wearing men's
clothing, especially the turban. After 1600, some women
occasionally wore turbans, and this increased in popularity through the 1800's and beyond. Occasionally, (in Persian art, especially) you see figures wearing no hats at all,
with a plain shaved head, or bald with a top knot. All of
these figures are young men as well.
· Do make sure, when you are using miniatures, that the
people are actually people in the painting. The garb that
angels, fairies, djinn, are wearing is allegorical, and cannot be used as garb for people. Also be careful when you
see people portrayed wearing animal skin coats. Many
times, these are miniatures depicting ancient legends, and
the people in them are the equivalent of cave dwellers...basically Fred Flintstone!!
· Do use bright colors, in many tones! West Asian cultures were very fond of color...rather than the drab
"desert" look. Colors were not "matched" as we understand them today, but rather used the oriental
"complimentary" color scheme; pairing colors across the
color wheel. It's okay to clash...wear as much color as
possible! Let's brighten up that dusty Silk Road!
· Do be careful when you pick colors. Some West Asian
cultures had religious or cultural restrictions on certain
colors, and in others, it was frowned upon to wear certain
colors. For example, in Persia, everyday people did not
Continued from page 36
wear black. We know from period writings that the color
was considered unlucky, and a sign of the devil. When
you see people wearing black in Persian miniatures it is
for several reasons. First, some pigments turn black with indigo, for example, or silver. Some of the
miniatures are not depicting people, but fairytales, such as
"The Black Palace," in which everything was, well, black.
This is not a real place, any more than Jack and the Beanstalk is real. Or, if the person in the miniature has dark
skin, is wearing black, sort of standing off by himself,
kind of spying on people... usually in a sand pit or in the
bushes) that's the devil. Besides the fact, even if the culture you are portraying can wear black, let's get a little
creative here! Everybody wears black! Let's pick some
other colors for a change, shall we? The West Asian peoples were well known for their wonderful dyeing skills,
and their vast array of dyes, so take advantage of it! Ever
heard people in the SCA say, "pink is not period!" Well
guess what? In West Asia, it IS period!
· Do wear the appropriate footwear. Pointed slippers are
the best choice, rather than sandals! Boots are also a good
choice, with a slightly pointed toe. If you can find them,
Mongol style boots are excellent for late period Persian or
Turkish garb. There are actually some similarities between Mongol, Persian and Turkish clothing, but remember, that doesn't mean that they are the same!
· Do use appropriate jewelry. We have many preconceived notions about "Middle Eastern" jewelry,
(especially women's) and many of these ideas are not
based on period fact. Again, look to the miniatures and
historical accounts as your guide.
· If you are dressing like a lady, it is best to wear a veiled
head dress of some kind. There are many, many different
ways to wear veils. This, depending on the culture, can
also be supplimented with little caps or golden circlets/
tiaras. Some women wore tall hats of interesting shapes
(Turkish, Egyptian, and Armenian) or Mongol-style hats
with a fur, leather or metal up-turned brim.(Persian) The
center cap often had a gold decoration on top shaped
similar to a small finial.(Persian) Mongol-shaped hats
with a metal crown/brim were called "Taj-Kulah," and
were worn by both genders. Sometimes it is difficult to
tell exactly how the ladies are wearing veils or other head
coverings in the miniatures. Do the best you can. If it
looks close to the miniatures you are using, good job! It
may not be 100% correct, but remember, we are not exactly sure how many of the ladies head coverings
· If you are dressing like a man, wearing a turban is the
most common head dress. There are quite a few different
styles, depending on the culture. Some cultures wrapped
Page 38
Continued from page 37
the turban every time they wore it. Practice wrapping
the turban over and over again in the mirror. Soon you
will be able to do it in your sleep. In other cultures, the
turban was actually made on a hat-form and sewn together by a milliner, and weighed around 15 pounds!!
Turbans were usually wrapped around either a felted
wool cap or somewhat pointed hat, which was most
commonly red in color, but could also be other hues,
such as green or blue. (Turkish, Persian) Sometimes
turbans (Persian) were wrapped around a bottle-shaped
hat called a taj-haydari. There may have been some
meaning to the color, but we only have sketchy information on this, and it is not a lot. People will tell you,
"Arabs wear red, Christians wear blue, etc." and the
colors vary, depending on who you talk to, and where
they went on vacation to Western Asia (the person is
usually Western.) This is a more modern tradition, and
although the colored caps had some meaning...for example, we DO know green meant you were a direct decendent of Muhammad, we don't know very much
about the other colors. I've seen recently where people
say the colors of turbans (particularly for non-Muslims)
was laid out in the Pact of Umar. But if you actually
read the Pact, rather than just hearing what somebody
supposedly in the "know" tells you it says, there is NO
mention of coloring for turbans. What it does say about
turbans is that non-Muslims are not to wear them. My
suggestion for turban colors is please do not wear green
unless you truly are a decendent of Muhammad, out of
respect. Turbans were also decorated with feathers and
small bits of jewelry-type ornament called a sarpiche.
(in the Persian language) Men also wore wool or silk
caps and hats by themselves, or Mongol shaped hats
with a fur, metal, or leather up-turned brim.(Persian
Taj-Kulah) There are many, many options for headwear!
· Do wear make-up, if you can. (mostly for the ladies,
although men wore make-up too in some cultures) A
nicely applied make-up job will enhance your garb and
make it look more authentic. Remember that period
methods differed greatly to our modern ones. Experiment! Something may look a little weird to our modern
eyes, but with the correct garb, it looks exotic, beautiful
and authentic! Don't be afraid! So darken those eyebrows, extend your eyeliner, get your hands henna-ed
etc. Do what you see in period artwork. Believe me, it
makes a big difference.
· Do wear your garb in layers. Most West Asian garb
styles include at least 2 or 3, an inner chemise-like kaftan, a middle kaftan, and an outer coat of some sort. The
cut and style of these garments vary, depending on the
culture you are portraying.
· Do wear comfy, "MC Hammer" style pants. These are
called "salvar," which is pronounced /shahl-wahr/ and is
spelled many different ways. These pants are loose in
the seat, and taper at the ankle. Some cultures start the
taper at the calf. There are also other styles of pants
worn in some West Asian cultures, that were loose all
the way through the leg (like karate pants) and occasionally with a small open slit a few inches long at the
front bottom. A few people have pointed out to me that
there may have been pants gathered at the ankle in rare
cases (like the well-known and loved harem pants) but I
have not seen enough evidence for this to say yes for
absolute certain. Most of the time, what I see is a painting or a statue where the pants are tucked into a boot or it is difficult to tell if it is gathered or not. People use the excuse all the time, "I know harem pants are
not period, but they are more comfortable." Salvar do
not feel any differently, if made correctly, than harem
pants, so there is really no excuse.
· Do wear a sash or plaque belt about your waist. Pay
extremely close attention as to what gender is wearing
the plaque or metal belts in the miniatures. For example, in the Persian paintings, it is the men who are wearing them, NOT women. Again, men sometimes look
very feminine, and people get confused.
· If you choose to wear tiraz bands or other Islamic language embroidery (Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, etc.) make
sure you know what the writing means! Lord Ozul once
told me a story about a fellow he knows who took some
Arabic writing off the bottom of a ceramic bowl and
made embroidered tiraz bands from it, sewing them to
his sleeves. One night he went to a Saudi Arabian restaurant, wearing the garment. All of the Arabic speaking workers in the restaurant pointed and laughed at the
garment, saying, "Oh! That's funny! It's so perfect!" He
asked them (rather nervously) what the writing meant.
They told him it said, "I am an eating vessel." And being a very large man, they felt it described him perfectly! LOL!
· Do choose period forms of dance, if you wish to perform West Asian-style dance. This is not directly a garb
"do," but if you are wearing period West Asian garb, it
will only enhance it.
· Do realize that historical recreation of garb is a process. You probably won't get every element "right" the
first time out. That's perfectly normal! Don't give
up...your skills and knowledge will improve with time
and effort.
· Do expect many people to not recognize that you are
wearing West Asian garb at all. People are used to the
Page 39
belly dancing or tribal look as being "Middle Eastern,"
and they are uniformed about the true period West Asian
styles. Do not become upset if someone compliments
you on your "Mongol garb" (which is close in some
cases, especially Persian, but no cigar!) or your "Spanish
garb." (not meaning the Moors, of course) Take this as a
great educational moment, where you can share your
research and commitment to period garb with someone
else, who might in turn, have something neat to share
with you. And, you can make a new friend at the same
time!! Sounds like fun to me!
· Do enjoy period pre 1600's West Asian garb! It's beautiful, comfortable, opulent, impressive...need I go on?
Period garb is NOT boring! Consider the rich, interesting, and glorious history behind period clothing, and become a part of it! There are some ladies (or gentlemen)
who are looking for an attractive, (and shall I say) sexy
look who opt for the "belly dance" route. Which is perfectly fine, if that is their choice, but I offer this option: it
is my opinion that there's nothing more beautiful and
attractive than a well dressed lady or lord in great looking period garb, even if it is a more "covered" look!
Making and wearing historically correct garb is a rewarding experience all the way around! It makes the
"game" more authentic, fun, and magical! Isn't that why
we do this thing called the SCA anyway?
"Don'ts" for Period Pre-1600's West Asian Garb
Click here to see a picture of me in my very first garb, at
my first event...Pennsic 21, which was in 1992. I was the
ripe old age of 20 years old! There are many things I lament about the picture, primarily that I wish I was still
that thin! However, look at this hideous garb! It's "I
Dream of Genie" all the way! Notice that I am wearing a
spandex sports bra, an Egyptian ankh, and Greek keydesign trim on the vest. Never mind the cheesy plastic
jewels, the horrible headpiece (I don't even know what
the point of THAT was) complete with those awful gold
coins! If you look closely you can see that I'm wearing a
pyramid-spike bracelet (?!?!?) and turquoise Native
American jewelry mixed together! I had no idea that this
was not fact I don't even think I knew what
"period" was back then. Ahh...those were the good ole'
days! *chuckle* My point in showing this is that we all
started somewhere with our West Asian Garb. I think
mine HAD to be the worst in history. If you're still a beginner, and your garb looks better than this...well hey,
you've got great potential! Good luck!
Personal note: I have probably done each one of these
"don'ts" myself on my quest to wear period West Asian
Continued from page 38
garb! Hopefully others can learn from my journey! Also,
remember, this list is for those who want to go totally
period with their pre-1600's West Asian persona (or to at
least give it a good try.) If you aren't concerned with being totally period, or want to wear any of the items listed
here anyway, go for it. It's your choice. There are a few
times when I don't wear period garb either. This happens
especially at Pennsic at night, where I am requested to
come out and dance in people's encampments. They ask
for the "tribal" look, not the period garb, because they
want a certain type of entertainment, not an A&S exhibit. So I strive to make them happy in those situations.
I also have a group of friends that likes to go out and
party at Pennsic, and remembers when I used to wear the
"fun" stuff. The period stuff, no matter how I explain it,
it just plain out boring to them. So everything, even the
fantasy garb, has its appropriate place.
This list is not intended to criticize or dictate garb to
anyone, it's just a group of suggestions. Enjoy.
· Please don't tell people you are wearing period West
Asian or "Middle Eastern" garb unless you know 100%,
without-a-doubt that it is, meaning you have period (pre1600's) documentation to prove it. (not just a "trusted
friend" telling you that it is...find out for's
really fun to do research on this, trust me!) To document
garb correctly, it is advisable to have some extent (actual
period pieces) to base your patterns off of if possible,
some paintings from the actual culture (Turkish paintings of Turkish garb, for example) and period writings
about clothing are good have as well. Just make sure you
have actually looked at the miniatures and have made a
fair attempt...don't make the terrible mistakes I did! I
remember telling people I had looked at "hundreds of
miniatures" when what I had really done is glanced at
them and twisted my perception of them around to fit
what I was doing. Don't waste the huge amounts of time
and energy I did, trying to create something that just
wasn't there, and wasn't real. And, I just implore you to
please, not tell people you are wearing period West
Asian garb if you don't know for sure. It's okay to tell
people that you aren't sure if something is period...sometimes the most unlikely people might know
somebody else who can REALLY help you a lot with
your research...who would have guessed that a goofy
"stick jock" named Gunther (now Duke Darius) that I
occasionally saw and had a drink with at parties in my
'20's, ended up marrying the one person that has influenced me and helped me the MOST in my West Asian
garb research? (Duchess Roxane!) So you never
Page 40
know! :o)
· Don't wear sequined or beaded night-club type belly
dancing costumes...the beaded bra-top and beaded
dance belt ensembles with the chiffon veils, skirts, and
harem pants, typical "cabaret" attire you see in the restaurants. Yes, they are really, really, pretty. However,
these did not become popular until right before the 20th
century. I know, I know, there are paintings and very
old photos with lovely ladies wearing these or similar
outfits. But look at the dates, folks. They are all from
the late 19th century. That time period is not in the
scope of the Society. And we can't just assume and
speculate that they wore the same exact thing centuries
before...that's just not good historical scholarship, not
when you want to create something very authentic to
the time period.
· Don't wear genie-type costumes. Some West Asian
cultures did believe in djinn (genies) but they did not
dress like them.
· Don't wear chainmail bras, jewelry, or headpieces.
Although they are pretty, they are not period. Mail was
worn as armor, not adornments. A very dear friend of
mine makes chainmail jewelry, and even sells it in my
booth at Pennsic. He also knows that what he does is
not period, and he caters to the fantasy crowd, and not
those who are going for the period look. That is fine!
Actually, his work is really awesome, I own a lot of his
pieces, and wear it a lot outside of the SCA,(I even
wore it when I got married) but I don't wear his work
with my West Asian garb, because they are strictly fantasy.
· Don't wear coin jewelry or belts. There are no true
examples of this in period. There is one very early Persian tile that looks as though two dancing girls, pouring
wine while performing, are wearing coin belts. ("Wall
Painting," Jausay al-Kahaqani Palace, Samarra, 836
AD, from "Islamic Art and Architecture," Robert Hillenbrand, Thames and Hudson, 1999, p 47) This is the
main reference used in the coin argument. The problem
is, the only parts of the tile that are actual surviving period pieces are tiny shards, and it's NOT the parts with
the coined sashes! The rest of the tile was reconstructed
in the 1920's, including, like I said, the coin was
completely made up. So, this can obviously not be used
for garb documentation. Yes, coin jewelry was worn in
ancient Greek and Roman cultures - but that is not what
we are discussing here.
· Don't wear tassel belts or "tribal" type gear. Unfortunately, these are not period either. Most tribal pieces are
not more than 100 years old, and the average age is 50
years old. (I collect tribal pieces myself) The "tribal"
Continued from page 39
look that has become so popular in the SCA comes
from many different cultures fused together, some being
period, and some not. And, to quote a dear friend of
mine, "Camels wear tassels, not people." Now, remember we are talking about pre-1600's West Asiangarb.
They did wear tassels in other cultures, and in other
time periods, (beyond the 1600's, I mean) as parts of
head dresses, etc. (such as Mongol, Chinese, etc.) I have
never found an example of people wearing tassels, other
than on a pouch, the end of a braid case, or occasionally
a small one on jewelry in the period West Asian lands.
There also is no such thing as a "nomadic" or
"merchant" style of dress that borrows pieces of garb
from all different time periods and places. Please do
NOT email me about pirates or vikings (oh man, do I
get a LOT of that...)unless you have really, really excellent documentation to the contrary. (when I mean excellent, I mean several sources, not just one. I need actual
titles of books, internet sources, etc, not something a
friend of a friend told you, please) If you have that kind
of info, please let me know, I can and will change my
mind...but then again, that has nothing to with West
Asian garb anyway. LOL (See also the next entry below
regarding gypsies) The tribal style actually was created
by an American belly dancing group on the West Coast.
It was never meant to be a historically accurate look,
they perform on a modern stage and in nightclub venues. There are real tribal people in the Pre-1600's period, such as the Bedouins, and Persian tribal peoples
(Herati, Bukhari) to name a few. But they did not dress
anything like the well-known "tribal" style.
· Do not wear any type of "stuff" hanging off your belt
if you are portraying a lady. Men (I have noticed this
especially in Persian garb, but then, that is my area of
expertise) do have nifty things like intricate pen cases,
SMALL knives, (and I mean small...there is nothing
worse than having a huge fantasy scimitar hanging from
your sash with period garb) silk scarves, prayer beads,
etc, hanging from their belts. But hanging a bunch of
"jiggly" stuff (cups, mugs, bells, collections of site medallions, silverware, daggers, etc, etc.) is very much a
"Ren Faire" thing, not a "period" thing at all. If you're
going to hang stuff from your sash/belt, do it with authenticity in mind, not stuff-to-make-jiggly-noise in
· If you are going for a truly "period" look, the popular
fantasy "gypsy" look (also called Romany) is NOT the
way to go. Unfortunately, we do not have a great deal
of evidence as to what they wore in the pre-1600's period. We do have plenty of documentation for gypsy
garb from the 18th and 19th centuries, but as I stated
Page 41
above, all clothing styles change greatly over time.
These would not be good sources for the period pre1600's gypsy. Here is a small bit of information on period pre-1600's Romany garb. Click on this for more
details. You will see that period Romany garb has very
little to do with West Asian garb.
· Don't wear any type of garb or jewelry that is typical
"belly dancing" garb. This was not done until the
1800's. Most period dancers did not have too different
of a clothing style to everyone else, as dancing was a
social activity performed by everyday people at parties,
weddings, etc. If there were designated dancers, they
wore clothing of a lower class, usually shorter coats,
fewer layers, etc. But NOT lower cut clothing, more
see-through clothing, etc. There were some dancers that
might have been courtesans, but they would not have
been dressed in a manner, publically, that would have
been considered lewd. (Too much cleavage exposed,
· Don't buy into weird SCA West Asian garb "rules"
about things without finding hard evidence to back it
up...this is my favorite example..."Don't wear red pants
unless you are a portraying a prostitute." I have NO idea
where that came from, I can't find any real historical
evidence for this anywhere. Or here's another: "Wearing
a bell means you're a slave." (there is actually an SCA
household that started this tradition, but it was never
meant as anything's funny that it has evolved
into that!) As with anything else, if you have historical
evidence for these things, please let me know!
· Don't use modern "belly dancing" styles of music for
dance or entertainment. Although there are claims to
modern belly dancing styles being "ancient," this has
not been truly documented. There are period forms of
Oriental dance that are somewhat similar to belly dancing, and this is certainly where belly dancing originated
from. But, modern and period styles of dance are also,
in many ways, very different. Studies in the period
dances of the varying West Asian cultures is fun, interesting, and well worth the effort. Again, this is not a
garb "don't," but if you are trying to be more period in
your portrayal of pre 1600's West Asian culture, why
not go all the way, right?
· Don't wear bare-midriff clothing. I have not seen any
examples (except for very late-period Indian, and that is
not part of the Islamic lands anyway) of ladies ever
showing their midriffs. Usually, Islamic garb is in several layers, and is quite covered. I saw a live journal
recently (that linked this page, no less) where somebody
said that the statement of bare bellies not being period
Continued from page 40
in the Middle East (West Asia) is a myth!!!...HUH???
I'd like to know where that idea came from, I really
would. (More SCA myths being perpetuated...) People
just didn't walk around uncovered like that in the West
Asian matter who claims they did. Belly
dancers, even with the netted body suits, are well out of
our period, people! Sorry, I try to be patient, but I start
to get a little erked after a while. :o) Look at the miniatures, look at extent clothing, read period accounts, read
the Hadith (narrations of the Prophet, which include
tenets for dress.) People were required to dress conservatively, that's the fact. I know, I know, some people
want SO much to show off their bellies. Cool, if that's
your choice. But please (I'm begging you!) don't make
any claims about clothing that just aren't true and have
no proof of (plus turn around and claim that the truth
about period clothing is "myth!" That really upsets
me...) Yes, cholis were worn in late period India. Yes,
they are bare midriff. But no (think about it, please!)
these are NOT examples of West Asian (Middle Eastern) clothing. Ladies wearing cholis were Hindu, (South
Indian) guys. :o) That's the facts, ma'am. I'm not making this stuff up, believe me!
· Don't wear chemises or coats that are open enough in
the front to show a bare belly.
· Don't wear little vests with light, thin chemises underneath. (Or a little vests with no chemise, for that matter.) This is a style that dates to the 1800's.
· Do not wear a chemise that ties, halter-style, under the
breast. This is a modern invention.
· Do not wear a garment known as the "Ghawazee (or
gawazee) Coat." This garment, as it appears in patterns
such as "Atira's Fashions" and the like, NEVER EXISTED. Yes, that's right, you heard me, I just said the
beloved Ghawazee coat that so many people have been
creating for over 25 years now in the SCA never existed
and is historical nonsense. What you have here is one of
the biggest myths and fallicies ever perpetuated (I feel)
in historical clothing. The coats that the ladies from the
Egyptian Ghawazee tribe wore (which DID exist) were
the same cut as the Turkish Entaris of the late 18th and
early 19th centuries. Obviously, this is STILL not a garment that people should be wearing, as it is not period
in any shape or form. And boy, will a lot of people
complain, rant, and want to burn me at the stake for
mentioning this one. :o) There are period coats or kaftans that were worn in the pre- 1600's West Asian lands
that might look similar to a Ghawazee Coat upon first
glance, (such as the pictures of Persian coats elsewhere
on my website) but please keep in mind that they are
Page 42
actually very, very different garments. They have a
MUCH different cut and fit. Some people still call my
Persian coats Ghawazee Coats anyway even after they
learn differently, and at that point I just have to take a
deep breath and remember that old habits die hard! :o)
· Do not wear a caftan or coat that is cut underneath
your breasts. This is an incorrect interpretation of a period style. The actual (Turkish) garment is made VERY,
very tight, so tight in fact, that it must be (in some
cases) pulled under the bust (or at the bust) to button it.
The rest of the buttons going up to the neckline are left
· Do not wear turbans if you choose to dress as a lady.
Remember, men often appear to be very feminine to our
eyes in Islamic art. Yes, that is correct, I am saying that
women DID NOT wear turbans. You can holler,
scream, and tackle me down at the next event you see
me at if you like, but that’s history, folks, I’m sorry!
(you think I'm have no idea how many
nasty emails I get over this stuff!!) I wish it weren’t true
for the ladies because turbans are very cool. But if you
wear a turban and your persona is a lady, well, you’re
not dressing as a lady, you're dressing as a guy, it’s as
simple as that. And let me point out again, if you didn't
catch it earlier in this article, just so no one gets confused, I dress like a man, and was elevated as a Master.
Many people keep sending me pictures they think are
ladies wearing turbans, and they are not...they are men.
A lot of times you can tell by the title of the painting, by
what the person is doing in the picture, by what they are
wearing (there are some other things women don’t wear
that are also dead give-a-ways, etc.) Out of period,
women started wearing turbans (18th century- 19th century, etc) But for our period? Nope.
· Do not wear the Kafiya, this is a modern head dress.
For those of you who do not know what this is, this is
that dish-rag looking head covering (sorry if that sounds
disrespectful, I couldn't think of any other description!)
that you see men in Saudi Arabia and other countries
with men of Arab decent wearing (they wear them in
Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc, too) with a black cord wrapped
around it like a headband to hold it on. Yassir Arafat
used to wear one. Kind of like the Biblical shepherd
look. Oh, and people go on and on about colors and
their meanings with this one doesn't matter...the
whole head dress is completely modern, and please
don't email me and argue about this, it really starts to
upset me when I get a nasty email from somebody I
don't even know, and they have no proof to back up
their claim, other than, "my friend told me about this
Continued from page 41
book. I haven't seen the book myself or read it, but..."
Give me real proof, not nasty emails, please, I'm begging you!
· Do not wear make-up that does not go with the West
Asian culture you choose to represent, such as Moroccan tattoos with Persian-style coats.
· Striped fabric is not the ONLY fabric for pre 1600's
West Asian garb! Be creative! Stripes were usually
worn by the lower classes. And, just because someone
wears stripes, it does not mean they are only from one
culture, such as Turkish. (Persians and Egyptians wore
stripes too, for example) Consider other fabric
choices...solids, florals, some oriental
"brocades" (especially for Persian) and block-printed
· Do not wear obviously modern fabrics for your garb,
such as metallic lames, sequins, animal prints, "ethnic"
prints, etc.
· Do not go with your head completely uncovered! All
pre 1600's West Asian garb includes head gear of some
type, unless the figures in the miniatures are bathing,
mourning,(in some cases) or in a private scene. Like I
always say, "wear the garb, WEAR THE HAT!!!"
There's nothing more disappointing than seeing beautifully done garb with the wrong headpiece or no headpiece at all.
· Do not wear an excessive amount of jewelry...try to
emulate what is worn in the miniatures. You simply do
not see people in the period painting bedecked in tons
of coined necklaces and tasseled this and that draped all
over their bodies…in fact, you don’t see them wearing
coins and tassels at all, but that’s another story...
· Do not wear garb or jewelry that denotes the Ancient
Egyptian religion (ankhs, etc.) This is well out of the
scope of the SCA. Egypt was part of the Islamic world
in period, and had no knowledge of its ancient beliefs,
not even in an "underground" sense. There are quite a
few people who continue to argue this with me, and I
don't know why. If you like mummies, Bast, and King
Tut, then do an ancient Egyptian persona. :o) Don't mix
Islamic and Ancient Egyptian together. It's too confusing and it just doesn't work.
· Don't wear leather or fur bras, or any bra for outer
wear. Kind of reminds me of the Seinfeld episode. :o)
· Don't wear modern tourist caftans, or modern caftans
or other accessories worn in the Western Asian lands
today. Styles have changed since period times. It's so
funny - I get emails from people who live in these countries, laughing and saying, "it's about time people recognized that we have fashion history like the rest of the
Continued from Page 42
Page 43
· Don't use modern movies for your ideas on pre-1600's
Islamic garb. Even though I love "The Thirteenth Warrior," and Antonio Banderas looked scrumptous, his
garb was not something that can be used as a model for
period pre-1600's West Asian garb, unfortunately.
There might have been a few elements that were so-so,
but as a whole, the garb was very modern looking.
· If you choose to wear fantasy style, or belly-dancing
style garb, that's OKAY. Often it's just too darn hot or
impratical to wear 100% correct garb with all its layers...and sometimes you just may not be in the mood!
There's nothing wrong with that! Like I said before, I
don't always wear period garb either! Just make sure
you are not giving people the false impression that what
you are wearing is, in any shape or form, period if it
isn't. Sometimes we may not be sure if something is
period or not, and saying "I don't know" is much better
than leading someone who is really interested down the
wrong route. I wish that were the case when I started!
People gave me patterns and taught me how to make
garb, and told me it was period, only to find out years
later it was the SCA "Middle Eastern" myth being perpetuated. The people who gave me the patterns meant
well, they just didn't know any better either. Now, when
I wear my tribal-style outfits to parties at Pennsic, or
other places were I am not concerned about being period, (Fairie festivals, Larp, etc.) I just make sure that I
tell people that my garb is "really cool fantasy, I'm just
having fun tonight" and is not SCA period, if they ask.
Most of the time people don't ask, and I don't worry
about it. If people are interested, I often explain the
"American Tribal" style, (ATS) and they are usually
intrigued, and walk away a little more educated! It's all
in good fun, right? :o) I used to get all funny about
walking out of camp in my non-period garb. I've
learned to relax and find a happy medium, because
there really is a time and a place for both. Quick story: I
actually HID from my King and Queen when they came
into my encampment at Pennsic, because I was getting
dressed for a party, and I was all done up in my nonperiod tribal "schtuff." I just couldn't bear for them to
see me like that. Little did I know they were looking for
me. Well, they were looking for other people in the
camp to, but also for me. Well, the herald knew me personally and didn't call out my name because he didn't
see me at my tent or bouncing around camp...he assumed I was out- HA! I fooled them! Well, guess what?
They wanted to give me an award for my dancing...and
I dance in the tribal stuff. Basically, they wanted to rec-
ognize me for the non-period stuff too. Mostly, because
it makes other folks happy and helps them to have a
good time at parties. End to the story...did I get my
award? Yes, the next day. But Roxane ended up giving
it to me instead, she was the princess at the time. Which
was cool also, it's not everyday your best friend is the
princess. So like I said, there REALLY is a happy medium with all of this!
· Don't worry if other people don't know you are wearing pre 1600's West Asian garb. There are so many preconceived notions, they may not understand that your
garb is, in fact, "Middle Eastern," or more correctly,
West Asian, North African, Central Asian, etc. People
have made all sorts of amusing guesses about my garb!
Once there was a lady who said to me, "So what is
YOUR persona?" And I said, "I am a Safavid period
Persian" She looked at me up and down and said,
"Well...not really...not even look Chinese."
Did I let that bother me? NO! I knew I had done my
research. So instead of getting snippy, I handed her a
book of some Persian miniatures (which I often have at
events) and she was intrigued. We ended up talking for
a couple of hours. She decided to create a Persian persona for herself! It's so fun sharing information with
others! I love happy endings!
Enjoy Wearing Real, Researched, and Period Pre1600's West Asian Garb! Good Luck!
P.S., if you would like to email me, click here. I don't
even mind if you feel like hollering about me saying
Ghawazee coats are not period, etc. just please, try to be
nice. I love great conversations about garb, as long as
they are great conversations, and not ridiculous ones,
(like please don't email me and tell me something silly
like, say, in period pirates were required to wear a black
turban with a skull pin and a feather on it when sailing
in the Gulf, because I probably won't email you back,
I'll be too busy chuckling at the email!) In fact, if you
want, I'll even send you a whole bunch of new patterns
to replace the old ones you've been using, (they will be
Persian ones - that is my area of expertise) now that
you've found out they are not period. I will try to help
you anyway I can, honestly, I will. :o) Peace.
Page 44
Look it Up!
Good Sources
Anderson, Ruth Matilda. Hispanic Costume 1480-1530. Order of The Trustees of the Hispanic Society of
America, New York; 1979.
Bunt, Cyril G. Tudor and Stuart Fabrics. F. Lewis, Publishers, Leigh-on-sea; 1961.
Christie’s Auction House catalogue: The Bernheimer Family Collection of Textiles, London, Wednesday,
October 2, 1996.
De Alcega, Juan. J.L. Nevinson, trans. Tailor’s Pattern Book 1589. ISBN: 0-89676-234-3
Lester, Katherine Morris and Bess Viola Oerke. Accessories of Dress. Chas. A. Bennett Co., Peoria; 1954.
Mikhaila, Ninia. Tudor Tailor, The. Reconstructing Sixteenth Century Dress. (ISBN:
Orsi Landini, Roberta, Bruna Niccoli. Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: Lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo a la sua
influenza. Pagliai Polistampa, 2005.
Thursfield, Sarah. Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, The. Costume and Fashion Press, New York; 2001.
To p Te n Wa y s Yo u K n o w Yo u ’r e A n A r t i s a n
You buy an extra set of pots and pans just for your SCA experiments.
You have two sets of garb for the same reason.
You learn Latin just so you can understand Master Andrixos.
You learn French to be able to say those heraldry terms with the proper pronunciation.
You can see all the mistakes in your works but never in the works of others.
Your idea of ‘cooking’ means making inks and pigments.
You sit around thinking of puns using the word ‘woad’ just in case it comes up in conversation.
You plan a tithe to your Kingdom’s Needle Guild in your budget.
Your idea of Heaven is a place filled with books—and the time to read them all.
Your Christmas gift list includes such things as feathers, hide glue, leather scraps and whalebone.
Page 45
Calontir Arts And Sciences
[email protected]
RUSH: Royal University of Scir Havoc
Bardic College : [email protected]
Brewer’s Guild:
[email protected] (to join the listserve put ‘subscribe Calon-Brew’ in header)
Cookery Guild:
Fiber and Needle Guild: [email protected]
Pottery Guild: [email protected]
Greetings from the Pottery guild! The Calontir Potters Guild was formed to maintain a
level of expertise in the area of pottery for the Kingdom of Calontir. The main focus for
our guild is currently the renowned Pottery Tent that resides at Lilies. War each year. It is
our mission to teach others how to create vessels from clay as well as to advance the
Kingdom's knowledge about medieval ceramic wares. All interested parties are welcome
to join the guild and we have an internet based listserve through Yahoo Groups which is a
forum used to hold discussions about pottery year round. Our current Guild Head is Mistress Genevieve and our current Treasurer is Her Excellency Vasilla.
Scribes Guild: [email protected]
Page 46
Submit Stuff to the Scrolls
So you’ve got a really cool thing you want to submit to
the Calon Scrolls. Great!
The form is at the back of this issue and on the Calontir
A&S web page.
Topics: The Scrolls needs good in-depth articles about
period arts, sciences, artists, scientists, practices, methods, tools, and lives and times. Good informal articles
are welcome, too, on period projects that you’ve done
and how you did them (like documentation). Book reports are needed on books relevant to what we study in
the SCA. And since my sense of humor is pretty bad, I
really help with the fun facts and ‘you know you’re an
artisan’ feature.
Format: Your articles should be in either a Word doc
format or an rtf. Artwork can be a jpg, tif, or gif.
Things that are pertinent to the arts and sciences in Calontir or the SCA are welcome, such as articles on judging, documentation, competitions, personas, information
about upcoming guild activities, A&S areas at events, at
Lilies, or at foreign wars .
Deadlines: The deadline for submissions is two months
before publishing date, on the 25th of that month (like the
Length: I don’t have a limit per se on the length of articles since the Scrolls is an electronic format and I can use
my handy dandy red pen to edit down the more lengthy
ones. The best length for articles are within 3 to 5 pages
of a Word document. And I don’t know how many
words that is; don’t ask me to do math. You’ll regret it.
Jan ‘08 Misc Arts Issue:
Deadline is 11/25/07
April ‘08 Misc Arts II:
Deadline is 2/25/08
Artwork is also needed to make the Scrolls pretty. OrigiJuly ‘08 Metalwork Issue: Deadline is 5/25/08
nal drawings, paintings, etc., are great. So are photos of
the recreations you’re working on.
If you have any more questions, please email Mistress
Cassandra di Capelletti at [email protected]
Editing: I do reserve the right to edit and to not print
submitted articles, especially on modern unrelated topics Disclaimer and Blah, Blah, Blah, about the Scrolls:
(like no articles on your kittens or chocolate cake recipes,
please. I love chocolate cake and kittens, but not as sub- • All views expressed in the letters and articles contained in this
publication do not reflect the views of the editor, the Kingdom of
ject matter for the Scrolls!)
Calontir, or SCA, Inc.
Also, work or artwork that is not original to the author cannot be used. Meaning those copyright laws
come into play and I can’t print photos out of books or
from web pages, etc. I will try to find good ways to represent that image if I can.
How to submit articles and artwork: Please submit
your article or artwork, etc., electronically as an attachment to [email protected] I will also need a
release form completed and submitted (electronic signatures are accepted) as an attachment in the same email.
All artwork contained within this publication is original or in
public domain. All copyrights are reserved to the original artist.
All waivers/release forms for all articles and artwork are kept on
file by the editor.
The Calon Scrolls and/or its editor are not responsible for the
validity of any information contained within the publication. Go
look it up!
Input on the Calon Scrolls is welcome but just remember that the
editor is a delicate petite flower with a fragile ego and you don’t
want her to have to explain to her three year old son why
Mommy is crying.
Upcoming Issues of the Calon Scrolls
January ‘08 Miscellaneous Arts
April ’08 Miscellaneous Arts II
[email protected]
July ‘08 Metalworking
Kingdom of Calontir - "Calon Scrolls" Release Form
I, ______________________________________, being known within the Society for Creative Anachronism as
______________________________________ , do hereby grant permission for the (Circle appropriate item(s): article /
poem / picture / song / artwork or photo / other) entitled: ____________________________________________ to be
used as follows (check all that apply):
□ Rights to publish in an issue of the "Calon Scrolls" to be posted on an officially recognized Calontir web page such as
the Arts and Sciences web page. I recognize that issues will be publicly available in on online archive. I recognize that
persons unknown may link to this site or may use my work without my permission. I shall hold the web page owner
harmless from such activity if proper notice appears on the web page. If I have checked this option, I retain all copyright
of my work and may grant permission to any other publication or entity to use my work. I further certify that I am the
sole creator of this work, and have not substantially based it upon the work of any other person. If others have contributed
to this work, or if I have based this upon the work of any person, their names and addresses (or other contact information)
□ Rights to reprint in future “Calon Scrolls” issues (this is highly appreciated, particularly with regards to artwork and
illustrations) for _______ issues (may be ‘unlimited’).
□ Permission to use mundane contact information in an issue of the Calon Scrolls. (Check all that you give permission
for. If none are checked then only your SCA name will be used in conjunction with your submission.) □ Mundane name
□ Email address □ Address □ Telephone number
Legal Name (please print): _________________________________________________
Telephone: _____________________________________
Please do not send me original art or other submission. Send a copy instead. Electronic versions are preferred in either a
doc or rtf format. Artwork may be sent as jpegs or gifs.
Send your submissions to:
Mistress Cassandra di Capelletti c/o Michelle Vincent
[email protected]
RR 5 Box 754
Ava, Mo 65608