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Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:55 pm
by Mark Griffin
I'm going to wear all black clothes.....and paint them blue! ahahahahahahaha I'm mad me.

Black seems to have connotations of sombre and pious nature. Maybe because of their associations with the more serious trades of lawyers, doctors etc....

The whole 'black rots cloth' idea...a bit weird. Why would you buy clothing that is going to fail and fall apart? Certainly it seems to have some founding on an archeological basis (read Janet Arnold etc) but going out your way to get clothing that's going to make you shabby....doesn't make sense?

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:30 pm
by guthrie
Mark Griffin wrote:The whole 'black rots cloth' idea...a bit weird. Why would you buy clothing that is going to fail and fall apart? Certainly it seems to have some founding on an archeological basis (read Janet Arnold etc) but going out your way to get clothing that's going to make you shabby....doesn't make sense?

Bearing in mind that you would have replaced it before it began to rot- "I'm so rich I can afford to replace my clothes every 3 months."

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:10 am
by GuyDeDinan
I have it on authority of head of conservation at the Museum of London that period black dyes do indeed rot cloth, which is why so few clothes survive that are black, and why certain articles will only see where the black thread was, rather than the thread itself.

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:13 am
by Dave B
whether the cloth is rotted in hundreds of years, or within the lifetime of the wearer might be a different issue.

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:41 pm
by Sophia
Right - there are three primary types of black dyes produced using vegetable sources.

Iron gallate dyes - these are the cheap ones and yes they do rot the cloth and fade but are very cheap. Old clothes were often overdyed black to hide stains.

Mathered blacks - produced by dying first with madder and then with woad (later indigo). This is the expensive black and is very light fast. I have been reliably informed that "pieces", i.e. loom lengths, in mathered black would have one corner or strip which had not be dipped in the woad to prove they were genuine.

Naturally dark brown wools which have been overdyed with woad/indigo, as the quantity of dye required was not so great these were cheaper than mathered blacks.

Logwood blacks - these are not easy to get and have the serious disadvantage of being far from light fast until Chrome mordants are introduced in the early Industrial Era.

Wearing black has a number of social connotations some of which are period and some are modern interpretations. Main one is to display wealth as good colour fast blacks were very expensive. Then there are issues of sobriety and fashion - there was a huge fashion for the wearing of black in C16th England for instance. In the case of the cheaper blacks where they were used to overdye garments there is a simple practical reason of extending garment life.

It is perfectly acceptable to wear some black if you are playing the right sort of role - late C15th and C16th commer/middle class women can think in terms of a band of black/dark coloured wool round the bottom of the skirt of their gown or kirtle. This guard has the practical purpose of protecting the skirt from dirt. It can either be an integral part of the skirt or literally a protective pocket stitched on to cover the lower 2-6" of the skirt inside and out. This has the added advantage of stopping your linen lining sponging up water if the weather is wet.

If you have social pretensions you can also use modest amounts of back silk taffetta to making facings or use black silk ribbon to decorate. i use silk taffetta ribbon for external decoration as I cannot currently afford Gina Barretts lovely reproduction silk ribbon and haven't gotten around to weaving my own.

When it comes to men's clothes with exclusion of livery you could consider a single black garment - probably a gown, possibly a doublet in a fashionable style. A black fur lined gown is something full clankies might want to consider as it matches the social status of their harness. If you are a billman or something similar you might have a narrow gown in a brown black for personal best.

Black gowns also formed part of the charitable bequests in wills to the poor and almshouse residents - this was almost certainly naturally black wool or poor black.

The rotting effect of iron gallate dyes is if IIRC strongest on vegetable fibres, and slower on wool and silk.

Hope this is helpful.

Soph :D

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:17 am
by Fox
Anyone want to comment how that relates to this picture we accidentally stumbled on in persuit of hose research.

Picture is circa 1450.

You will note that the man in the picture appears to be wearing black underwear.
Image

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:40 am
by Biro
Fox wrote:Anyone want to comment how that relates to this picture we accidentally stumbled on in persuit of hose research.

Picture is circa 1450.

You will note that the man in the picture appears to be wearing black underwear.


From Sophia's post above...

Old clothes were often overdyed black to hide stains.

:lol: :lol:

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:44 pm
by Fox
Biro wrote:
Fox wrote:Anyone want to comment how that relates to this picture we accidentally stumbled on in persuit of hose research.

Picture is circa 1450.

You will note that the man in the picture appears to be wearing black underwear.


From Sophia's post above...

Old clothes were often overdyed black to hide stains.

:lol: :lol:


On that basis you might expect to see a lot of linens dyed with Iron Gallate, which is contary to other suggestions that black indicates wealth.

Dependant on the context and the type of garment, it might indicate the opposite.

As ever, and very pleasing for me, it's complex with no easy dogma.

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:58 pm
by Sophia
Think both wealth and aspiration to wealth in terms of black, CZ versus real diamonds. How often have you bought one black garment and found that after some washing you can't wear with another black garment as the black dyes have faded differently (i.e. is your black greenish, purplis/h or brownish in tone).

Fox - that picture appears to be a detail from a larger work. Can you supply a link to this or some details so i can chase it up and have a look The subject of a picture, its period and style can influence the use of colour - remember folks blue is an expensive painters pigment but a cheaper dye whereas pinks and reds are cheaper pigments but more expensive dyes.

Soph :D

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:00 pm
by Sophia
P.S. - without the addition of Woad or some other source of indicotin Iron Gallates tend to give a very brown black on vegetable fibres IIRC. Same reason period ink eventually turns brown though it starts as black.

Soph :D

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:08 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Was black worn to indicate someone in mourning in the 15th century?

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:12 pm
by zauberdachs
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Was black worn to indicate someone in mourning in the 15th century?


Are you thinking of mourning pants? ;)

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:27 pm
by Colin Middleton
Fox, who is the man in the picture and why is he there?

For all I know he's the King of Spain, being released from prison. That would explain why he appears to have quite nice clothes on (and possible black silk underwear). If it turns out that he's a beggar, I'd have to put a very different interpretation on the picture and query the use of artistic license.

As to the hats thing, someone stated that their grandfather held the oppinion that not wearing a hat and coat was indecent and an insult to the people around you. He probably couldn't explane why that was, save that his father taugth him so. The same was probably true in the middle ages. However, as the modern driver of fashion and social norm is the media, then it was the church. Given the grumpy old men of the church loved lambasting women for being the source or all evil, it is quite reasonable that they insist women cover their hair and that this got ingrained into the cuture. This would then lead to women covering their hair for modesty (because they don't want everyone tutting at them), but not realising that they were doing it for religious reasons! How typically perverse.

On the other foot, how many re-enactors will refuse to wear a hat unless you tell them that everyone always wears them?

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:31 pm
by Jim
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Was black worn to indicate someone in mourning in the 15th century?


I thought that was a Victorian thing?

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:01 pm
by Jenn
Well they certainly wore to indicate mourning in the 16th cent - for example Queen Elizabeth mourning where the mourners were dressed in black.
I shall have to look up the 15th cent..

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:12 pm
by Fox
Sophia wrote:Fox - that picture appears to be a detail from a larger work. Can you supply a link to this or some details so i can chase it up and have a look


It's from the Church of St. Leonhard at Bad Aussee in central Austria. It's dated about 1450. I know nothing about the artist, I'm afraid.

The context, Colin, is that it depicts Leonhard of Noblac, a Frankish noble and then monk/hermit, freeing a prisoner. He obtained the right to free "worthy" prisoners from King Clovis I and was later made patron saint of prisoners.
He lived in the 6thC, so the picture is clearly depicting garments contemporary with it's painting rather than it's subject. There's nothing I know of in the folklaw of St. Leonhard that indicates the prisoners are noble or otherwise.

I am not suggesting, especially with just one painting, that this is provenance for black under-clothes. There are many reasons why pictures are a source of limited accuracy, not least, when it comes to colours, the one's Sophia gives.

Nevertheless, an interesting line of investigation and consideration...?

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:08 pm
by Sophia
Thanks for that Fox.

Suspect that the black braies are artistic licence as have never found any reference for coloured body linens that early. Nice detail on the hose and the pointing though.

May have to be filed along with the wierd circular headress seen on the Rogier Van Der Weyden Mary Magdelenes as something which we cannot explain adequately.

Soph :D

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:50 am
by Fox
Sophia wrote:Nice detail on the hose and the pointing though.


Indeed; which is why I was looking at it in the first place.

I wasn't looking at the braise and it was Jorge wot spotted it.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:18 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Great, now that I have given my black shirt away it suddenly becomes quite plausible for me to have owned one.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:41 pm
by gregory23b
"Great, now that I have given my black shirt away it suddenly becomes quite plausible for me to have owned one."

How?

I have a picture of a saint with what appear to be a black BREECH, are you a saint Marcus, you are a dear though ;-)

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:53 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Actually i know what a terrible sinner i am.

Which makes me good potential saint material.

But the last time I checked I was still alive and therefore not a Saint yet.

how come everyone else can make a frivilous comment but the moment I do... (mutter, mutter) :cry:

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:26 pm
by gregory23b
"how come everyone else can make a frivilous comment but the moment I do... (mutter, mutter) Crying or Very sad"


You are not allowed to be frivolous as we are preparing you for sainthood, the martyr's eulogy needs to be a good one... ;-)

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:35 pm
by IDEEDEE
Re. braies & colours etc.

Scroll down at:

http://mmcnealy.livejournal.com/tag/men's+clothing (copy & paste into a search engine. For some reason it won't link automatically from here).

This nice person has collected some links to jolly panty pics (mainly Germanic) among other things, with coloured "posing" pouches etc. etc.

Also some very nice links generally.

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:08 am
by gregory23b
Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech Breech


Does that count as spam?


Breech

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:17 am
by GuyDeDinan
Image

That does....

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:16 pm
by gregory23b
Love it!

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:22 pm
by y.sobel
goodness, dont they do a lot of different sorts of spam!! 8)
t xx

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:37 pm
by gregory23b
But only one sort of breech

Have I mentioned breech, rather than Braie?

Where do we get the word from (Braies) that is, can anyone find it in an English reference for the 15thc? eh, just a teensy weensy one, eh? (Stewie in Family Guy kind of way ) ;-)

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:48 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
once more into the breech dear friends

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:23 pm
by gregory23b
ID, you have never had to experience mine.....