Saturday, January 15, 2011

Garb Quest - Fabric Choices

I've made my final fabric choices! After looking at my options, I decided that I really did like the ginger linen. It has a golden tone to it that saves it from looking like burlap. I also decided on a pretty blue linen for the lining of the navy wool for the kirtle instead of my original choice of gray.


I can't order everything right now, but I've chosen some pretty affordable fabrics. The linens will come from Fabric-Store.com and the wools and linen thread will be from Wm. Booth Draper. The most expensive item (based on per yard cost) will be the red wool for the hood. As this is scarlet colored and of a very fine quality, the higher cost is actually pretty accurate for the 15th century as well, when a full year's wages would have been required to purchase enough scarlet wool just to make a hood! There's a very interesting article about the switch of the preferred "luxury" color from scarlet to black in the 15th century in Medieval Clothing and Textiles Volume 3 called The Anti-Red Shift - To the Dark Side: Colour Changes in Flemish Luxury Woollens, 1300-1550 by John H. Munro. In it, Munro provides some valuable information about the relative cost of these so-called luxury fabrics. Such information has been truly helpful in determining the material limits of my persona in terms of economics.

I'm hoping that I can find a suitable white linen for the smock on sale at Joann's this weekend to save a bit more money. If I can also find a nice linen to use as the lining for the fitted under dress, instead of the natural colored linen I picked out online, I'm will to make a compromise there in terms of color for the sake of price.

Now that the business of choosing fabrics is out of the way, I can move on to creating patterns. I think I'll start with the hose, since I already have that material (just need thread). I'm fairly sure I'm going to use one of the patterns found in The Medieval Tailor's Assistant, but I obviously want to do some tests first, since I only have one shot at cutting the wool, and I don't have a particularly good track record for getting things right the first time....

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