Ladies Bags.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Ladies Bags.

Post by Dave B »

Well, I guess this may be one of those 'authenticity compromised by real life' moments.

I always carry a fair size bag when reenacting, a simple rectangular shoulder bag, of the type commonly reffered to as a pilgrim bag or a scrip bag. I use it to carry gunnery stuff when gunning, or my modern stuff, plus shopping purchases or stuff for the kids. mines about 14" wide by 12" wide, perhaps a little than a sheet of A4 and I made it from heavy unbleached linen. I also made a smaller one for my wife.

The wife is after a larger one to accomodate more shopping / stuff for kids, and I thought I'd maybe do a little research this time rather than copying other reencators. So far this research has raised two questions:

1. Did women carry satchel type bags at all? I have found loads of pictures of men with simple satchel bags, and some other styles (what I think of as Snapsacks for expample). However I can't find pictures of women with bags of this type, just some oversize purses (girdle bags?) hung from the belt.
These are not very practical in some ways.

2. What sort of fabric is appropriate? Where the pictures I've found are coloured, the bags seem to often be in bright colours. Given the problems getting linen colourfast does this imply some other fabric. It might be nice to do a colourful one rather than the popular white linen?

Any thoughts?
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
EnglishArcher
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:57 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by EnglishArcher »

My wife uses a simple hoop-handled basket for shopping; or the front of her over-kirtle tucked into her girdle to carry stuff.
English Warbow: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthaf**king Frenchman on the field. Accept no substitutes.

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Post by Dave B »

Yep. Not so practical when carrying infants though.
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Hinny Annie
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Sometimes Sunny Northumberland
Contact:

Post by Hinny Annie »

Dave B wrote:Yep. Not so practical when carrying infants though.
Thats what husbands are for
Boga Sceal Straele - a bow shall be for arrows



www.apieceofhistory.co.uk

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Post by gregory23b »

Dave, for a decent overview of bags, this issue of the dragon is handy.

http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms ... gon-11.pdf

would also tap Karen Larsdatter for images.
middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

Theotherone
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:07 pm

Post by Theotherone »

Come to think of it, you don't see that many illustrations of people of either sex carrying infants (I can't, in fact, think of any except Madonna and Child type things) Maybe they were left at home with eldest sibling or grandma while ma went to market? Perhaps if anyone has images of kids being carried somewhere there will be bag evidence in there somewhere? Perhaps something of civilians refugeeing?
Because there would have to be three of them.

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Post by Dave B »

gregory23b wrote:Dave, for a decent overview of bags, this issue of the dragon is handy.

http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms ... gon-11.pdf

would also tap Karen Larsdatter for images.
Done both of those.
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Post by Colin Middleton »

If they're bright colours, they're likley wool or silk.
Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

kate/bob
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: deepest Staffordshire

Post by kate/bob »

I'd been wondering about this as well. I've only seen illustrations of baskets and as has been pointed out above, this isn't very easy when carrying small children (or packing the car either!)

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Post by Fox »

Colin Middleton wrote:If they're bright colours, they're likley wool or silk.
Surely it's more complex than that.

Linen is easily redyed, and there is some suggestion that it was to hide discolouration.

User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Post by John Waller »

I was looking at a scandanavian medieval group's site last week. They had an article on how to make a bag based or period depictions. The bag was basically a long canvas tube closed at both ends with a hole cut in the centre, it was carried over the shoulder saddle bag style. Think two pillow cases stitched together. I'll try and find the link.
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Post by Fox »

John Waller wrote:I was looking at a scandanavian medieval group's site last week. They had an article on how to make a bag based or period depictions. The bag was basically a long canvas tube closed at both ends with a hole cut in the centre, it was carried over the shoulder saddle bag style. Think two pillow cases stitched together. I'll try and find the link.
That sounds a little like an apron-bag that I've heard about; which is essentialy an apron around the neck that loops backon itself at the waist to form a tube you can put stuff in. Is that what you're describing?

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Post by Dave B »

Fox wrote:
That sounds a little like an apron-bag that I've heard about; which is essentialy an apron around the neck that loops backon itself at the waist to form a tube you can put stuff in. Is that what you're describing?
There are illustrations of both in the Dragon that Jorge reffered to, The saddlebags really are like saddlebags over the shoulder, so that half the load sits on the right breast and half on the shoulderblade. quite different from the apron or girdle type bag I think
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re:

Post by Colin Middleton »

Fox wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:If they're bright colours, they're likley wool or silk.
Surely it's more complex than that.

Linen is easily redyed, and there is some suggestion that it was to hide discolouration.
Whenever I talk to 'fabric type people', they always tell me that linnen is very 'dye hungry' so you're unlikley to see it dyed in bright colours. It's hard and expensive to do and fades quickly. The corollory from this is that if you're seeing bright colours its likley to be wool or silk (or made up).

I suppose that you could paint or embroider the fabric though...

User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Re:

Post by John Waller »

Fox wrote:
John Waller wrote:I was looking at a scandanavian medieval group's site last week. They had an article on how to make a bag based or period depictions. The bag was basically a long canvas tube closed at both ends with a hole cut in the centre, it was carried over the shoulder saddle bag style. Think two pillow cases stitched together. I'll try and find the link.
That sounds a little like an apron-bag that I've heard about; which is essentialy an apron around the neck that loops backon itself at the waist to form a tube you can put stuff in. Is that what you're describing?
Nope. Like wot Dave said. I'll post a link if I can find the site again.
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Re:

Post by Fox »

Colin Middleton wrote:
Fox wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:If they're bright colours, they're likley wool or silk.
Surely it's more complex than that.

Linen is easily redyed, and there is some suggestion that it was to hide discolouration.
Whenever I talk to 'fabric type people', they always tell me that linnen is very 'dye hungry' so you're unlikley to see it dyed in bright colours. It's hard and expensive to do and fades quickly. The corollory from this is that if you're seeing bright colours its likley to be wool or silk (or made up).

I suppose that you could paint or embroider the fabric though...
First, I don't believe the cost of dye is dependant on how "bright" it is, it's dependant on what's required to create a given shade.
Some shades are cheap to create, others expensive; for instance the shade of blue you want will effect the price a great deal.

Second, linens will fade rapidly, thats the point about redying. If you plan to redye anyway your colour doesn't need to be very fast.

As an example, you sometimes see black linens in illustrations of ordinary people. This doesn't make much sense, until you realise that you can make a cheap, non-fast, nearly black dye. And it would hide stains pretty well too.

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Re:

Post by Fox »

John Waller wrote:Nope. Like wot Dave said.
Yep. I got the idea now. Silly Fox. :doh:

User avatar
Sophia
Post Centurion
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:46 pm
Location: Camberwell, London
Contact:

Re: Ladies Bags.

Post by Sophia »

Fox,

As a textile nerd I have not yet come across any images of black linens on commoner's, indeed the black aprons of the C16th were generally fine worsted. If you have any references/images I would be most interested.

When it comes to dyes - yes you can get a cheap black from iron gallate (same substance as in period ink) only one problem it destroys the cloth particularly vegetable fibres. The only colour that is relatively cheap and always comes out bright on linen is yellow from weld and it still needs an Alum mordant which had to be imported. If you add iron ferrous sulphate to a woad vat you get an excellent strong khaki type green know to our Tudor ancestors as "gooseturd" green.
Madder also requires an Alum mordant - tin mordants come later and IIRC woading is more economically done at the fibre or thread stage as it is an oxidation process. If you ever get the chance you should watch dyers lifting items out of a woad bath it is magical to behold.

Though dyestuffs such as madder and woad were grown in the UK, IIRC the best quality stuff was imported from mainland europe.

We should also remember that prior to the collapse of the Flemish textile industry during Iconoclasm and then the Dutch Revolt the majority of England's best wool was exported and then re-imported as finished cloth (where is a tame expert textile historian when you need one). I am not up to speed as to how much of it was dyed in Flanders and how much here.

I am not a specialist on dyes, but having listened to various Kentwell dyeing folk who have done much research and to Ruth Gilbert there would seem to have been little or no dyed linen by the late C15th in the written record, there is even evidence to suggest that the blue and green working aprons so characteristic of Suffolk and Essex may been made from imported says and bays rather than linen (can't find the reference as trying to pack for move at end of month).

Practical suggestion for Lou - sew self tube tape leading reins to the sprogs clothes and tie to apron strings :D :twisted:
aka Thomasin Chedzoy, Tailor at Kentwell Hall

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Ladies Bags.

Post by Fox »

Crikey. Off the top of my head:

Image

Image

Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Re:

Post by Lady Cecily »

Dave B wrote:Yep. Not so practical when carrying infants though.
Do you have twins? If not one of them must be old enough to walk whilst one is carried - and you can still carry a hoop handled basket. Make some reins if the toddler is apt to run away.
Caroline

Theotherone
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:07 pm

Re:

Post by Theotherone »

John Waller wrote:I was looking at a scandanavian medieval group's site last week. They had an article on how to make a bag based or period depictions. The bag was basically a long canvas tube closed at both ends with a hole cut in the centre, it was carried over the shoulder saddle bag style. Think two pillow cases stitched together. I'll try and find the link.
Would that be like long legged braes with the bottom of the legs sewn up?
Because there would have to be three of them.

User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Ladies Bags.

Post by John Waller »

Found it. Its downloadable as a pdf http://www.albrechts.se/articles/articles.htm
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Re: Ladies Bags.

Post by gregory23b »

"Whenever I talk to 'fabric type people', they always tell me that linnen is very 'dye hungry' so you're unlikley to see it dyed in bright colours."

Although recipes for dyeing linen exist, not just thread but cloth, but they are not English, but dyed linen was used, it does take colour very differently from wool, you could have a piece of wool and a piece of linen in vats from the same initial vat and they will be substantially different in tone and colour.
middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

Post Reply