A 12th century wool gown

It is not a secret that I am rather fond of versions of 12th dress with shorter, and at times rather narrow, overtunics and a wider undertunic. Another thing that I like with many of these illuminations is the way ribbons are used to keep the veil in place in a decorative way
This style seem to be particularly common in the German speaking areas.

Side view of my veil

As you can see I am also partial to the long veils seen particularly in the first half of the century

The gown above isn't belted and that was actually rather common in The Germanic and English areas, but my blue gown is a little wide at the waist, so I wear it with a tablet woven wool belt. Not made by me.

The gown is made with rectangular pieces and trapezoid gores - traingles with the tips cut off, which are pleated and smocked, like on this 12th century alb, and on the central gores of the 12th century Moselund tunic

I am quite partial to that technique too, both my lilac linen chainse, my husband's red silk tunic and a blue silk 12th century gown that I made last year and which doesn't have it's own page have them.


The embroidery - this is not how to do it kids!
Not only what we know of histoical garments from the period, but also common sense says that you make your embroidery on strips of fabric and attach them when they are finished. This time that wouldn't work for me, since they whole point of making the gown was that I wanted to have a warmer 12th century gown for Double Wars. And I certainly needed it, it was really cold this year.
   So I made the dress at home and pinned the green wool borders on and finished attaching at the event. I also managed to embroider a row on chain stitch in metal thread around both edges of the border. I kept at it and by the last day I had also added som red squares on the green trim around the neck.

One reason you shouldn't embroider after attaching the trim is of course that the backside looks really ugly:

So I covered it with silk on the inside.

While there are extant examples of embroidered borders from the century and I certainly want to reproduce one of them one day, I didn't feel like doing all that job on a wool gown. Instead the embrodery is inspired by drawings and other 12th century art showing gowns with embroidered (or possibly woven) trim with simple patterns, like these, from Germany:

And this one from France:

1 kommentar:

  1. Hello,
    I am interested in 12th clothing myself and was wondering where your period images are from. Would you please give the source names for all three.
    Thanks, Carol