Kentish Step Up Outfit

Fearghus and Sylvie, Prince and Princess of Cynagua July 9, 2016 A.S. 51

Fearghus and Sylvie, Prince and Princess of Cynagua July 9, 2016 A.S. 51

My step up outfit is my current best interpretation of Kentish Dress Style IV with a few caveats.

6th century Kentish finds are from burials. For the most part the fabric has rotted away except where it’s in close proximity to metals (brooches, brocaded tablet weaving, swords, weaving swords). This leads to the need to extrapolate the garments based on very little actual evidence.

Dress Style IV, as described by Penelope Walton Rogers consists of “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt” (Dress Style III) with “the addition of a front-opening coat or jacket on top. The coat/jacket was fastened by a pair of crossways bow brooches, either at the waist or immediately below, the jacket being worn outside the belt” (Dress Style IV)

Continue reading Kentish Step Up Outfit

Kentish Anglo-Saxon “button loops”

I’m currently researching 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon women’s clothing with a huge focus on what Penelope Walton Rogers refers to as Dress Style III and Dress Style IV.

Dress Style III(picture here) is described as “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.” For ease of reference I’m referring to this at “the tunic”.

'Button loops' from Buckland Dover, Parfitt, p. 201.

‘Button loops’ from Buckland Dover, Parfitt, p. 201.

In researching the tunic layer I’ve come across a couple of references to some truly spiffy button loops used to hold the button brooches on either side of the front opening (at the collar and bust level).
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Sylvie’s conjectural 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon tunic

Kentish_dress_style_IIII’m currently researching 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon women’s clothing with a huge focus on what Penelope Walton Rogers refers to as Dress Style III and Dress Style IV.

Dress Style III(in the picture) is described as “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.” For ease of reference I’m referring to this at “the tunic”.

The image shown left is from page 190 of “Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England”. It is a bit misleading since it seems to show some kind of trim along the front opening of the garment and at the wrists. So far evidence points to this not being the case. Or rather I cannot find any evidence of tablet weaving (or other trim) at the neck/front opening.. and I can’t find any evidence of anything at the wrists.

Details to include:
– Gold linen (because it’s what I have set aside in my stash)
– No shoulder seams
– Longer than floor length. I’ve decided I don’t like the look of my tunics which are 3-4 inches above floor length (which usually happens when I cut them from selvedge to selvedge and add a shoulder seam).
– Split down the front with a 1/4″ rolled hem on each side of the front opening.
– Buttonloops as seen on Kentish finds (more on this in another post once I get to work on them)
– ~1/4″ rolled hem at wrists and neck opening
– Gore in center front and center back (for symmetry) as well as split gores on the sides.
– Sleeves loose enough to push up to my elbow.
Continue reading Sylvie’s conjectural 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon tunic

The curious lack of evidence for 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon chemise

I’m currently researching 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon women’s clothing with a huge focus on what Penelope Walton Rogers refers to as Dress Style III and Dress Style IV.

kentish_dress_stylesDress Style III(a in the picture) is described as “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.” For ease of reference I’m referring to this at “the tunic”.

And Dress Style IV(b and c in the picture) is described as “the same as Dress Style III but with the addition of a front-opening coat or jacket on top. The coat/jacket was fastened by a pair of crossways bow brooches, either at the waist or immediately below, the jacket being worn outside the belt. The women used both imported and Kentish-made brooches to fasten these garments and bordered the front edges of the jacket with their Jutish-style tablet weaves.” In some sources this is refered to as a “Frankish coat” and since that’s simpler I think I’ll stick to that as shorthand.

See.. now here’s where I admit to what I suppose is a modern bias.
Continue reading The curious lack of evidence for 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon chemise

Kentish: New book

New book. I’m giddy with happy.


Buckland Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, Dover. Excavations 1994 (Archaeology of Canterbury)

Very nice details about the textiles.. especially nice details about the tablet weaving. I need to re-read it in more depth.. but I expect many good things to come from this.

6th Century Kentish Women Clothing

From Rogers, Penelope Walton. Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England (p 190).

A: Kentish Dress Style III – a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throad the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.
B: Kentish Dress Style IV – the same as Dress Style III but with the addition of a front-opening coat or jacket on top. The coat/jacket was fastened by a pair of crossways bow brooches, either at the waist or immediately below, the jacket being worn ourside the belt. The women used both imported and Kentish-made brooches to fasten these garments and bordered the front edges of the jacket with their Jutish-style tablet weaves.
C: Kentish Dress Style IV worn in the Merovingian style

I’m going to focus on Dress Style III and IV. I believe under all of this would be a chemise but I have no proof of that.

Here’s what I’m trying to figure out. (I plan to edit this post as I figure things out)

Undergarments:
– Chemise – no current info about this. I plan to make a standard rectangular construction white linen under-tunic that goes to between my knee and ankle, with sleeves that go almost to my wrist and finish the neckline so it’s hidden under the tunic.
– Braisses – I also plan to wear braisses for comfort though I have no proof about these either.

Head:
– gold brocaded tablet woven strap. How prevalent? Restricted by age?
– Closed rings/staples. How prevalent? How are they used?
– Veil? How prevalent?
As far as I can tell, there are no earrings in the finds it may imply that the ears were covered.
If the closed ring/staple was used to attach the brocaded strap to something.. you have to wonder.. why didn’t they just sew it. Tablet weaving can be sewn through.. so the staple would be unnecessary. I think it was doing something else. Possibly attaching it to leather?
The article about the gold braids says that these have only been found at the head level. Meaning that brocaded tablet weaving does not show up on the edges of the front opening of the tunic or jacket. The only example of tablet weaving found away from the head seems to be a cloak edging or baldric in a man’s grave used near his sword.

Tunic:
– What cut?
– What colors?
– What type of fabric is it made of?
– How far down does the front opening go? ankle? navel?
– How are the edges of the front opening finished? Rolled hem? binding? Tablet weaving?
– How prevalent is the “button loop”?
– How prevalent is the “wrist cuff”?
– “They” say the anglo-saxons wore metal bracelets at the end of the sleeves is there any proof of that?
– Always belted? Sometimes belted?

Jacket:
– What cut?
– What colors?
– What type of fabric is it made of?
– How are the edges of the front opening finished? Rolled hem? binding? Tablet weaving?
– What kind of tablet weaving? how wide, what material?

Belt:
– The threaded in Anglo-Saxon belt found on a strap end may actually date to the 15th century and may not be a good item to use on a 6th century outfit. That said.. it’s pretty.. so I may do it anyway.
– If not tablet woven.. what were the belts made out of?
– Buckles or tied?
– Strap ends? only on men’s or on women’s as well?
– Any other plates on it?

Feet:
– What kind of shoes?
– Naalbinding socks?
– Wickerbander? cross-gartered?

Accessories:
– Beads?
– Chatelaine?
– Crystal ball?
– Pouch?

Shoes: http://www.instructables.com/id/Viking-shoes/
Resources:
Green Kentish brooch-closed dress, 6thc
5th-6th Century Kentish Costume
Hordweard- Anglo Saxon 6th Century

Early Anglo-Saxon Costume: An Archaeological Approach

Anglo-Saxon Fiber Colors

Saving for future reference:

Jenny Dean’s Anglo-Saxon Dye Experiments
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Reds, Yellows, and Browns
Part 3 – Blues, Greens, Purple, Brown and Black

Introduction to some more Anglo-Saxon style experiments

Regia: Dye Equivalent Colours DMC

The Colorful Iron Age
Interesting conclusions about Medieval/Iron Age dyes and mordants. Researchers dyed some wool samples and then simulated aerobic and anaerobic burial conditions. “The dyes included madder, cochineal, Brazilwood, indigo, weld, and walnut, and the mordants included alum, copper, cream of tartar, and tin.”

Anglo-Saxon Poetry

My first stab:

Rolf, relentless victor,	triumph realized on the field,
wreathed in laurel leaves,	calls forward love.
Aurora of shy smile	        stunned by victory to silence
wears rose wreath with pride.	Royalty of the West.

Three words from a cup: laurel, smile, forward.

My first ever Anglo Saxon (ala Beowulf) poem.

I don’t like the second half line.. “triumph realized on the field”. Realized is a very weak word to use for the alliteration.
Asside from that.. and the fact that it’s a tounge twister (you try saying “wears rose wreath” without slurring it into “wears wose weath”), it’s not bad.

My understanding of the rules of anglo saxon poetry:

Sentences are written as a collection of half lines.
Each half line has two main “booms”.
The “booms” of the first half-line are alliterations. They don’t rhyme but they have the same starting sounds. (Rolf Relentless, Laurel Leaves…).
One of the “booms” of the second half-line shares an alliteration with the two “booms” of the first half-line (Rolf Relentless-> Realized)

In the second half-line I would love an “r” word that meant victory. That way the “booms” read:

Rolf Relentless (r-word that means victorious)
laurel leaves, love
shy smile, silence
rose wreath, Royalty.

If I were a “BARD” (which I’m not) I’d tinker with it a lot more before publishing.. As an amateur with a faint grasp on the rules.. it’s adequate.