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Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:02 am
by Lonestan
I've been trying to find out something more about pampooties/cuarans/rivelins (and various spellings thereof!), as they strike me as a very easy way of shoeing my two young sons for the medieval period. These types of shoe seem to have been around since at least the 7th century, and there's a great paper by a guy called Mackay (“Notes on a Pair of Pampooties, or Shoes of Raw Hide, from Aran More, Galway Bay.”) which references a monk discussing these shoes with Henry VIII in 1543. They appear to be predominantly Scottish, Celtish and Irish; however, the 'rivelin' version seems to be an English name. I'm struggling to find more, and would be interested to know if I could use them for a couple of young boys in the WOTR period (they look quite a lot easier than turnshoes!).

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:49 pm
by Tod
That type of shoe existing in most cultures. In Europe they can be found every where, the last place I know they were worn was in the Highlands of Scotland in the 18th century, however they are the basis for the modern brogue.
The ones I make are based on descriptions and a few small samples, they have been copied and I believe there is even a pattern circulating based on them (which really p****s me off). I don't know of any that survive from an English location or from the late 15th century.
One problem is that there are various names and descriptions of them and no one really knows what the writer was referring to. The shape changes but they are essentially a simple shoe. If you use the "finger" or draw cord method around the front I think they would look and be wrong for the WOTR. The moc style would look wrong as well.
TBH I think if you can find some one in your group who could show you how to make turn shoes it would be the best route to go down.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:12 pm
by Lonestan
Thanks for that Tod. I'd been looking at turnshoes when I stumbled across these, which seemed a slightly easier alternative (not least whilst my boys feet grow by several sizes in a season!).

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:51 pm
by Dave B
Yup, it's either a time consuming or an expensive business, isn't it. we buy helen turnshoes for about £30 a pair from John Watson. she gets through a fair few pairs, but the saving grace is that we get another use out of them with Jess, and then hopefully when they've both grown out there will still be some wear and I'll sell them on.

Lucy the tudor does some lovely little turnshoes which are very cheap, but I think she only does baby sizes.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:54 pm
by Lonestan
Yes, there's always hand-me-downs between one boy and the next; however, can still prove expensive!
I've found an appropriate pattern for making a turnshoe, but that was when I stumbled on the rivelin/cuaran/etc.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:58 pm
by Dave B
Jake had a booklet and pattern for making turnshoes. I made a pair from it years back and she made several.

It's not that easy though and you have to have the right sort of leather which means it isn't that cheap, unless you buy a piece big enough for a lot of pairs

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:19 pm
by Lonestan
I've been meaning to post this for a little while, but struggled to find time...

I'd contacted the Museum of London about this topic, and their curator, the extremely helpful Jackie, got back to me with this reply:

I have heard of pampooties used in the islands off the west coast of Ireland – often of untanned animal hide wrapped around the foot and similar to the sorts of things found on prehistoric sites in Europe (for example, from Armenia http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010984).

We have not found such footwear from London but then this can be partly explained by the fact that untanned hide would normally not survive burial in this area (our tanned leather only survives in the good water logged conditions that we have along the Thames and other damp places). However, we do have a small collection of rather odd shoes that came from a site in the City of London. They date to the 10th century and are made from one piece of leather wrapped around the foot and stitched – but of quite a sophisticated construction. As far as I know there are no parallels for these although they bear some similarity to the pre-Viking Irish examples that are known (A. T. Lucas, 'Footwear in Ireland', Co. Louth Archaeol.]., XIII, no. 4 (1956)), but are not the same. These odd shoes will be published probably next year.

Apart from them, I don’t know of any one-piece shoes from London (apart from the Roman ‘carbatina’ style shoes, of which we have many). It may be that (as in the west of Ireland) they were more common in more rural, isolated areas, where often people were making and repairing their own footwear.

I hope that some of this is of use to you.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:26 am
by Brother Ranulf
"They go barefoot or else wear boots made from untanned leather roughly sewn together." - Gerald of Wales describing Welsh costume in "The Description of Wales, book 1 chapter 8, written about 1190.

The Middle English Dictionary has:
riveling (n.) Also revelinge [OE rifeling; also cp. OF revelin, AF riveling, borrowed from early ME.]

(a) A rawhide shoe or boot; (b) as a derogatory nickname for a Scot.


This seems to be one of only a few examples of Anglo-Norman French absorbing a native English word (I can only think of kirtle as another example).

The idea of making footwear from rawhide seems ok at first, until you consider what happens to rawhide when it is exposed to prolonged wet, such as would surely be the case in many parts of Wales or Scotland - it turns to mush, like those doggy chews you see in pet shops. Rawhide boots or shoes would need to be oiled or in some way waterproofed I guess. . . . :eh:

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:41 am
by Alice the Huswyf
The shoes you have described aren't - as you can see, suitable for WoTR unless you live in the wilds - and you wouldn't be considered as a civilised person.

Dave Rushworth's booklet on how to make simple medieval turnshoes and boots is ideal for starter children's shoes: we used to make the children's shoes from this, using a substantial but softish handbag type leather, bought from one of the traders on the market. We could run them up on an ordinary mechanical electric sewing machine (electronic ones won't let you manipulate the flywheel) . The hardest part is making the first pattern (which you always keep so you can bang out another pair at short notice) and that is just a matter of being confident enough to have a go. You use stiff paper or heavy cloth, and pin the shape on the child's foot so there is no waste of leather and you know it fits. Make sure you fit to the child's larger foot - any shoe shop with a good children's department will do you a measurement without purchase and let you know which is the larger foot if you pop in when it is quiet. - Or just draw round both feet and compare the tracings back to back against the light. Once you have had one try, the method clicks and is a lot easier than it seems. Soak the leather and turn it out when it is wet if it is proving resistant, but always stuff with newspaper and let it re-dry to shape - you can remould shoes using this metod too. Total cost - including the instruction booklet - came to about £20 at the time and I had 5- 6 pairs of boots out of it, a couple of purses and even belts out of a large remnant of the hide we bought, making our own laces from it too.

Make a boot rather than a shoe, as it will hold better if you have left a little growth room. Kids usually have a general growth spurt in the summer, so if you have bought enough to make your own, make a spare larger spare pair than needed for the inevitable sudden surge in feet. The softer leather is also kinder if they haven't let you know that they are growing out of their present boots and will do less damage over a weekend than wearing a hard leather pair that cramp toes.

Invest in a good size bit of skin, as you have to match where you cut from to get the same quality and stretch or hold. And of course you can use it for purses, belts fitting etc etc as well as shoes so it is a worthwhile purchase. We used heavy dubbinsing and a cropped sheepskin insole cut to fit the shoe sole (from a trader's £5 scarred sheepskins pile) to proof and cushion their feet. You can wax the back of the liner if you choose. The kids trundled round everywhere in these, as the sheepskin sole is a pad as well as a thermal lining. Don't use socks inside though, as wet bare feet will be warm feet , but wet socked feet will mean cold wet ankles as the socks wick the moisture upwards.

If you are very concerned about wear or wet, we also made simple hinged flat pattens to wear over these simple turn-boots for heavy conditions.

Keep them in nice condition and even home made boots will sell on if they work well - ours did, without problem.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:49 pm
by Colin Middleton
There was a fashion in the WotR period for hosen and leather pattens. The pattens are described in the MoL Shoes and Pattens book and are basically 5 layers of thick leather with a strap over the top (kind of like flip-flops). You then wear footed hosen and these lift you out of the mud. Another possibility is bear feet.

Other than that, go with Alice's advice, it's all good. The soft leather is more authentic too.

Best wishes

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:31 pm
by Tod
I wasd doing some rearch at the week end and came across a ref. to some very simple shoes. Not turn shoes but more like prehistoric shoes. I'll try and an type up the info. One thing I know it was a one off so couldn't be taken as typical.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:20 am
by Andy R
Tod wrote:That type of shoe existing in most cultures. In Europe they can be found every where, the last place I know they were worn was in the Highlands of Scotland in the 18th century,


Hi Tod,

Not primary source material as it is from a modern representation based on a period description, but there was a painting of a red coat in Spain during the Peninsular War with currans on described as "simple local shoes" (if I remember right - I loaned the book out a few years ago and I am still waiting to get it back - one of Horthornthwaits anyway)

Toodle-pip
Andy

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:46 am
by Tod
Maybe more of a sandle or pump than brogues? Which are just foot bags in simple terms.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:53 am
by Andy R
that's all it was in the painting - no seperate sole

Somthing "made in the field"

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:41 pm
by behanner
Colin Middleton wrote:There was a fashion in the WotR period for hosen and leather pattens. The pattens are described in the MoL Shoes and Pattens book and are basically 5 layers of thick leather with a strap over the top (kind of like flip-flops). You then wear footed hosen and these lift you out of the mud. Another possibility is bear feet.


I'm curious as to what you base the idea that it was fasion to just wear hosen with leather pattens during the period of the WOR. I'm going to go and check art work but I'm interested in what that is based on.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:40 am
by Ghost
Colin Middleton wrote: Another possibility is bear feet.


Black, Brown or Grizzly ?

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:49 am
by Brother Ranulf
Polar?

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 am
by Ghost
Brother Ranulf wrote:Polar?


only for snow shoes

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:26 pm
by Colin Middleton
Ghost wrote:Black, Brown or Grizzly ?


Depends where you live. It just looks cheap if you're using local bear.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:30 pm
by Colin Middleton
behanner wrote:I'm curious as to what you base the idea that it was fasion to just wear hosen with leather pattens during the period of the WOR. I'm going to go and check art work but I'm interested in what that is based on.


MoL Shoes and Pattens book, I believe.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:36 pm
by behanner
Colin Middleton wrote:
behanner wrote:I'm curious as to what you base the idea that it was fasion to just wear hosen with leather pattens during the period of the WOR. I'm going to go and check art work but I'm interested in what that is based on.


MoL Shoes and Pattens book, I believe.


I don't think there is much basis for calling it a fashion even if they do. And I suspect the one I did see were actually leather soled hose.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:38 pm
by Colin Middleton
behanner wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:
behanner wrote:I'm curious as to what you base the idea that it was fasion to just wear hosen with leather pattens during the period of the WOR. I'm going to go and check art work but I'm interested in what that is based on.


MoL Shoes and Pattens book, I believe.


I don't think there is much basis for calling it a fashion even if they do. And I suspect the one I did see were actually leather soled hose.


So what's your take on the leather soled pattens?

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:41 pm
by Tod
Multi layered leather soles, stitched together using tunnel stitch. I have some drawings some where.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:51 pm
by behanner
Colin Middleton wrote: So what's your take on the leather soled pattens?


I don't have a take on them but I don't see any evidence that it was a fashion to wear them with just hose and no shoes.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:06 pm
by Colin Middleton
Do you mean that you don't think that they were part of a fashion or that they weren't worn without shoes?

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:05 pm
by behanner
Colin Middleton wrote:Do you mean that you don't think that they were part of a fashion or that they weren't worn without shoes?


That they were not commonly worn without shoes and based on a couple images I saw I'd suspect if they were worn without shoes they were worn with leather footed hose. But that is not to say that pattens even just a single leather sole pair wouldn't be a bad solution for footwear for new people but it should be well known that it is a temporary solution.

Re: Rivelins/Cuarans/Pampooties

Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:12 pm
by Cat
We had a similar issue- when the stepfiends were much smaller Bucket did make them brogue-style shoes as an emergency measure-we figured that even if wrong would look better than trainers with kit (we didn't have the kids with us when the shoes were being made, which was the problem.) Later he made both of them turn shoes in the way that Alice suggests- very thin leather uppers.
I was quite moved to see JC Milwr's little girl wearing Rosie's old red turnshoes at Caldicot this year. They have lasted 5-plus years. Rosie has just outgrown Aron's pointy black turnshoes and now has feet just a tad bigger than mine, so we may get away with my spare ones next year, after which, new shoes! Aron is now nearly into his Dad's size, so I acquired some second hand ankle boots for him.Gets easier once they're in adult sizes!