Winter weather clothing?

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guthrie
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Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:55 am

http://albrechts.se/coping-with-winter/
I found this interesting page of a Swedish re-enactment group earlier in the week. It reminded me of the time I wore my later 15th century kit in winter, with a temperature nearly low enough for snow and a strong wind. It took all of my moving about just to stay warm, since the wool wasn't wind proof enough and perhaps I wasn't hardy enough either. Certainly iI felt underdressed.

So the question is, how much can we wear the more useful stuff the Swedes have (e.g. felt, fur lining) in winter, how comparable are our modern cloths to the medieval ones in terms of warmth, wind proofing and waterproofing, and so on? Yes, I have the standard reference works, but they never have enough detail.

E.g. how much more likely is a third layer, either another gown on top, or a thing like a pilgrims cloak/ huke garmenty thing you see in a lot of illustrations? Or do I just need to line my gowns in furs?



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby EnglishArcher » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:11 pm

Well, you should be wearing three layers ordinarily - body linens, foundation garments (doublet and hose) and gown/coat/frock, etc. In cold weather and for travel, etc. you may add a cloak.

A major part of the problem is reenactment garments are made for summer weather (since that's when we typically re-enact); or are just plain incorrectly constructed.

Most doublets are over-heavy (I'll avoid a rant about the wearing of, and general quality of, doublets) and most gowns are under-weight.

We tend to line gowns/coats with linen, which is fine for summer as linen will wick away sweat and cool you down. But you don't want a lining that cools you down for a winter garment. Obviously.

For a winter garment you need an outer shell that will be wind/water resistant and the lining should be something warm - a soft, thick wool (like a Cotton) or, better, fur; basically, a material that can trap a lot of air to provide an insulation layer. Wool has the added advantage that even when soaking wet it can still keep you warm.

Fine wool, linen lining - comfortable summer gown.
Fulled,dense wool, wool/fur lining - comfortable winter gown.

In period this information was known and recorded.

We have plenty of records of fur being used at all social levels. The sumptuary laws even give a clue as to what furs were being used. There are also wills treating the fur lining of a garment separate to the shell of the garment. And we know there were disputes between furriers and tailors about who was responsible for fitting the fur lining into a gown.

My winter coat this year will be frieze lined with cotton. I have no doubt it will keep me just as warm as any equivalent modern coat.


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Colin Middleton
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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:04 pm

I've been reading The King's Servants (about the early Tudor royal staff) and it's amazing how many of the garments are lined with furs.

I was also surprised to see a few pictures of men clearly wearing some form of jacket or short coat under a larger gown (and it's clearly not his doublet, it's too long for that).


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:22 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:I was also surprised to see a few pictures of men clearly wearing some form of jacket or short coat under a larger gown (and it's clearly not his doublet, it's too long for that).

Yes, that's one of the things I am wondering about. How many smaller, thin gown like garments were there? I have seen hints of quite a number of them, for instance:
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/master-of-the-view-of-st-gudula-portrait-of-a-young-man
This 1480's man appears to have an undergarment of something purpleish, with collar and sleeves clearly visible. Yet over that is a further garment tied with thingies, and over that a kind of sleeveless, lined tunic.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:00 pm

I think that English Archer's reply, whilst cogent and with a great deal I agree with regarding weights of cloth etc, doesn't quite reach the spot.

For instance, there are variations on the cloak and coat/ gown out there, e.g. this German one from 15th century, showing sort of over cloak things you wear over your gown whilst on pilgrimage:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Friedrich_Herlin_003.jpg
I suppose some people would sell them after completing their pilgrimage, but I imagine others would keep using it for years after.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pefkosmad/6736756089/
Or the Worcester Pilgrim's sort of coat thing.

Interestingly, whilst trying to find more on wills* I found one from 1431/2 London:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/EEWills/1:41?rgn=div1;view=fulltext
I be-quethe to Ionet Seluester a blake cote, furryd. aƚƚso I be-quethe to Thomas Formannis wyf a russet gounne lynyt with whythe blanket. also to Idany Hale a cloke and a gounne of russet, furrit;

She had previously said a blue gown should go to her daughter. So that is 1 cote, 3 gowns and a cloak. Exactly what a cote is like is less clear to me, is it more like a mans gown/ coat thingy?

* And can anyone tell me what books of wills have been published? I know of the York probate inventories, but there must be others out there that are available in some form, electronic or paper, that would save me having to trek into the NLS?



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:45 pm

In Italy there was something called a jacquaeri (sp?) which was essentailly a bum or thigh length coat you wore over a doublet and which could be worn under a gown.


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:33 pm

guthrie wrote:For instance, there are variations on the cloak and coat/ gown out there, e.g. this German one from 15th century, showing sort of over cloak things you wear over your gown whilst on pilgrimage:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Friedrich_Herlin_003.jpg
I suppose some people would sell them after completing their pilgrimage, but I imagine others would keep using it for years after.


Those guys appear to be wearing a mix of gowns with open sleeves (the MTA shows a lovely one in green in the photos) and cloaks buttoned at the shoulder (common in the 15th C, or so I am told). It's quite interesting to see that guy on the right of the table wearing his hood UNDER his gown.

guthrie wrote:She had previously said a blue gown should go to her daughter. So that is 1 cote, 3 gowns and a cloak. Exactly what a cote is like is less clear to me, is it more like a mans gown/ coat thingy?


Given the date, it could be a sleevless surcoat, possibly even one of those 'gates of hell' things that you see on all the effigies.

Best wishes

Colin


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Michal » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:36 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:
Those guys appear to be wearing a mix of gowns with open sleeves (the MTA shows a lovely one in green in the photos) and cloaks buttoned at the shoulder (common in the 15th C, or so I am told). It's quite interesting to see that guy on the right of the table wearing his hood UNDER his gown.



Overlaping layers as better protection from piercing wind/draught?
Or maybe a fashion statement, something like tucking one`s tracksuit bottoms into one`s socks? :twisted:

Anyway to be really hip this winter you have to wear your hat over your hood, like these gentleman:
Image
Image

both pictures from Decameron illuminated in 1440`


Have you noticed that you do not get any winter landscapes in the illumination`s background? (or I can not think of any, at the moment)



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:28 pm

Ahh, they are wearing their cloaks whilst on horseback, interesting, and they appear to generally be side buttoning ones.
There's winter scenery in the tres riches hours of the Duc di Barry or however you spell it. In fact I'm pretty sure that a lot of books of hours have scenery appropriate to the season.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Michal » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:17 pm

eh, I have pushed De Berry out of my mind. It shows you that you chop wood with your hoses rolled down, in February. It is also ok to put your privates on display when you chat by the fireplace.
I am not sure of I want to go that far in authenticity.
http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plik:Les_Tr%C3%A8s_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry_f%C3%A9vrier.jpg&filetimestamp=20050414041105


For fur lining check this one: Van der Weyden`s Deposition of Christ
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:El_Descendimiento,_by_Rogier_van_der_Weyden,_from_Prado_in_Google_Earth.jpg

Nicodemus, holding the Christ`s body, has a garment fully lined with fur.
Green houppelande ( woman behind Virgin Mary) - fully lined with fur.

If you enlarge the picture and look at the woman on far right you may notice a pattern on her skirt. Looks like it is lined with fur as well.


Here we have fur lined garments from 13th century
Image

(btw great site, really great job http://illumanu.tumblr.com/)


Hat and cloak worn over hood+ cloak fur lined
Image



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Clarenceboy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:26 am

Not referencing any documents but a friend and me went to an event in Poland this February and the temperature was between -5 and -15 day and night. The castle was not heated except where we had a fire in the kitchen and though it was cold it was not at all unmanageable. For clothing I wore two pairs of hose over braise. Two linen shirts under a doublet and coat with a hood, hat and wool lined gloves. Most of the time I was quite comfortable and even worked up a sweat when running up and down in armour. We also slept one night outside under a canvas shelter on straw and wore the same clothing but with lamb skins tied on our feet and blankets and it wasn't too bad.

Like I say not sourced but it's surprising how well layering works even without wind proof modern textiles, however it was probably helped nt the fact nothing ever got warm enough to melt and get wet, dry cold is a lot more forgiving than wet cold in my opinion



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Langley » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:01 pm

We have regularly done Christmas events at Lower Brockhampton by wearing layers with doublets and cotes over the top. Part of the secret is keeping moving. We did some indoor stuff with music and mumming plays etc but also "went hunting" (returning with the game we had "caught" which had come from local suppliers and concealed conveniently around the estate. Dragging in Yule log was great way to keep people relatively steamed up too. Suprising how the cooks had more volunteers to assist and chop wood and tend the fire etc than normal though!Important to keep hands warm with gloves until you need to take them off to use bows or do something dextrous. Working with falconer good excuse to have heavy gauntlets on. Planning activities is key.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Michal » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:11 pm

Clarenceboy wrote:ot referencing any documents but a friend and me went to an event in Poland this February and the temperature was between -5 and -15 day and night.

I am getting more and more excited about this year`s edition (10 days left till departure): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZiVOG4nokw

Some more winter pictures:
fresco at the Palazzo Publico in Siena, c. 1338-1340
Image

Allegory of winter, same place:
Image

snow fight in Tacuinum Sanitatis (c. 1390-1400)
Image


December the Book of Hours of Adélaïde de Savoie (Musée Condé 78, fol. 12v), c. 1460-1465
Image

another snow fight. Flemish circa 1510, The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.
Image


Winter clothes seem no different from "regular" ones, so layers must be an answer.

Last but not least winters description from Tacuinum Sanitatis of Vienna
Image
XVII. WINTER (HYEMPS)
Nature: Cold in the third degree, humid in the second, when it is normal.
Optimum: Its final period.
Usefulness: Good for diseases of the liver and helpful to the digestion.
Dangers: It is harmful to phlegmatic diseases and increases phlegm.
Neutralization of the Dangers: With fire and heavy clothing.
It is good for warm and dry temperaments, for the young,
in Southern regions and in those close to the sea.
(Vienna, f. 55)
Very helpfull indeed :lol:



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby zauberdachs » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:41 pm

For waterproof garments, the source escapes me at the moment, but is there not "deer skins soaked in pitch" as a particularly Scottish outer garment?

*edit* It's from John Major's 1521 history of Greater Britain:

"The common people of the Highland (lit. 'wild') Scots rush into battle having their body clothed with a linen garment manifoldly sewed and painted or daubed with pitch, with a covering of deerskin."


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Biro » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:12 pm

Hm, I wonder if that's describing the same thing as the 13c kings Mirror:

'the chief protection, however, is the gambison made of soft linen thoroughly
blackened'

Thoroughly blackened? Daubed with pitch?

I wonder why though?



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby zauberdachs » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:34 pm

Pitch is plant derived and the same as resin isn't it? Definitely black, the source of the expression "pitch black."

I would imagine it could make a garment both harder, perhaps the fabric equivilent of heated leather, and waterproof which would be desirable qualities in a garment that you could wear on campaign for some period of time (especially in Scotland and Scandinavia).

Sounds like an excellent living history experiment to investigate.


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:06 pm

Is it possible that it's simply blacked from the mail being worn over it? My aketon is definitely going blacker as 'muck' from the mail rubs off.


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:57 pm

zauberdachs wrote:Sounds like an excellent living history experiment to investigate.

Go on, try it in the rainswept mountains of South Island. That would be a good test.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby zauberdachs » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:59 pm

guthrie wrote:Go on, try it in the rainswept mountains of South Island. That would be a good test.


That sounds like an excellent plan! Though to be fair with 25-30 degree heat at the moment thinking of cold weather clothing is difficult :)

Making pitch sounds like a relatively easy process provided you have access to pine trees:

"first obtain resin from the pine trees which at that time grew in dense forests throughout Europe. A herringbone pattern of cuts was gouged into the tree trunk and as the resin ran down the grooves it was collected in a pot at the base of the tree. Pine resin is still collected in this way in Poland, the Ukraine, Russia, Finland and other European countries where pine forests are still to be found.

When the resin had finished flowing, the trees were chopped down, covered in soil or ash, and burned slowly to produce a lightweight black pure form of carbon called charcoal. The last step in the process of making pitch was to add the powdered charcoal to the boiling pine resins. Different proportions of charcoal would produce pitch of different properties."


From: http://www.medievalartisan.info/art/Cra ... Pitch.aspx


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:47 pm

The problem is finding pitch pine trees though. I don't quite know what they look like, but am confident, by a process of elimination, that there aren't any near me. Which is annoying.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby zauberdachs » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:21 pm

guthrie wrote:The problem is finding pitch pine trees though. I don't quite know what they look like, but am confident, by a process of elimination, that there aren't any near me. Which is annoying.


If you're still up in Scotland I'd be gobsmacked if there wasn't a pine forest within walking distance.

To identify pines look at the needles; a single needle is a spruce, a pair of needles is a pine and lots of needles is a larch.


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby guthrie » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:01 am

I've got quite a lot of larch, scots pine, but plantations are a bit further away. Maybe I'll find something at the weekend.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Jenn » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:48 pm

Or you could just buy the pitch - I know it's not as exciting. Dan at traditional materials will have some I am sure.
I think as you say you are looking for layers. Mittens could be a plan too.



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby GazB » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:36 pm

zauberdachs wrote:Pitch is plant derived and the same as resin isn't it? Definitely black, the source of the expression "pitch black."

I would imagine it could make a garment both harder, perhaps the fabric equivilent of heated leather, and waterproof which would be desirable qualities in a garment that you could wear on campaign for some period of time (especially in Scotland and Scandinavia).

Sounds like an excellent living history experiment to investigate.


Great thread and some illuminating resources. I was looking at recreating some outer foul weather garments suitable for the medieval period that could be worn whilst on board a boat.... waxed or oilskins hoods etc.

I be keen to collaborate with you on the 'pitched' garments if you have ago at producing something?



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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:43 pm

GazB wrote:
zauberdachs wrote:Pitch is plant derived and the same as resin isn't it? Definitely black, the source of the expression "pitch black."

I would imagine it could make a garment both harder, perhaps the fabric equivilent of heated leather, and waterproof which would be desirable qualities in a garment that you could wear on campaign for some period of time (especially in Scotland and Scandinavia).

Sounds like an excellent living history experiment to investigate.


Great thread and some illuminating resources. I was looking at recreating some outer foul weather garments suitable for the medieval period that could be worn whilst on board a boat.... waxed or oilskins hoods etc.

I be keen to collaborate with you on the 'pitched' garments if you have ago at producing something?


Apparently there are references to sailors wearing garmetns made out of sheepskip. I don't know the details, thoguh I think that they may be listed in the Howard Accounts for one of his ships. That could be a direction worth persuing.

Colin


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Re: Winter weather clothing?

Postby zauberdachs » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:52 pm

Oilskin is canvas waterproofed with linseed oil isn't it?


Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century


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