Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

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Will.S
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Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Hi folks, was hoping some of you could offer some help regarding historically correct doublets...

I had the pleasure of meeting Christine & Glennan Carnie and Sarah Thursfield at TORM in November, and while I was incredibly grateful for all their help regarding making my first early 15thC soft kit, as always happens in these situations I went away with even more to research and as a result I've ended up with even more questions...!

I'm in the process of putting together a soft kit for the "average" archer of the late 14th/early 15th century, culminating in Agincourt at 1415 as a focal point. I'll probably be going to Sarah's workshop at some point to learn how to do it all properly, but in the meantime I want to have a bash at making up some rough ideas first.

I'm trying to work out if a sleeveless doublet would be a) necessary, and b) historically correct for an archer of this period. Looking at Sarah's patterns in her book and various pieces of art from the period it's hard to work out just how much movement a well-made, fitted doublet would offer, especially considering I shoot warbows as compared to light re-enactment bows so need a huge amount of movement in the shoulder and arm areas.

I'm quite happy to go with a full sleeved doublet pointed to separate hose if there aren't any records of archers/man at arms using sleeveless, but it makes more sense to me (granted, I have no idea what I'm doing at this point!) that sleeves that might restrict movement would either be removed or the garments made without them for somebody like an archer.

So.... basically, does anybody know of any historic references regarding sleeveless doublets, or do well-made sleeved doublets cause no restriction at all when shooting "in the bow" as per true warbow style?

Cheers!



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Fox
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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:43 pm

My understanding is that there is no such thing as a sleeveless doublet in England until after the end of the War of the Roses.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:46 pm

Ah excellent, if that's true then it makes my decision a fair bit easier... :D



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby guthrie » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:10 pm

What Fox said.
For good sleeves, the trick is cutting the armhole and sleeve in the right way. Once it's done properly there really isn't a problem. Modern sleeves are more baggy and so on, and I never had a problem doing generic re-enactment archery in them.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Phoenix Rising » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:35 pm

Was it not the case that, if a jack of plates / gambeson / brigandine was worn then, due to their thickness, a doublet was dispensed with so as to give ease of movement?



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Postby Anthony of the MSS » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:02 pm

...then how do the hose stay up?



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Phoenix Rising » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:10 pm

From what I recall, they would have been pointed to the pourpoint (if I've spelt it correctly), then normally the doublet would have gone over that, but in this case because of the thickness of the layered defences they were wearing, that would have been dispensed with.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:44 pm

From chatting to Christine and Glennan, I understand it this way:

Separate hose were originally pointed to breech girdles. When the doublet arrived, the separate hose were pointed to the bottom edge of the doublet, around hip level. Eventually the hose joined, but were still pointed to the bottom of the doublet. There wouldn't have been a pourpoint AND a doublet as they're basically the same thing in terms of what they do.

A pourpoint is a thin, unlined garment, and wasn't in use until late 15th. Until then it was a doublet under the gambeson. The doublet could be fairly thin - lining, interlining and outer shell - for use under a gambeson or for general non combative wear, or padded with wool layers instead of a gambeson or for pointing armour to.

Wearing a pourpoint AND a doublet would be like wearing a waistcoat under a shirt.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Phoenix Rising » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:37 am

Ah, got it now -thanks for that Will.s - much appreciated!



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:30 am

No worries, it's taking me some time to work it all out! There seems to be a fine line between variations of a garment within a period, and variations that changed permanently as time went on.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:00 pm

I have sleeveless doublets, doublets with tie on sleeves, doublets with half sleeves, doublets with sleeves that tie on at the elbow. I even have some doublets with sleeves for those times when I just have to portray an Englishman. :D


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:51 am

Well rub it in why dontcha :D

I'm pretty much ready to get crackin' with my first attempt. No idea what colour/material to use for the outer layer though! Do I go lightweight linen, for maximum ease of movement and simplicity (and if so, go for natural linen, or bleached or dyed something funky?) Or do I go light wool, and if so do I go simple grey/natural, or something spanky and attractive like a light blue, faded red or yellow....

So many choices! Any recommendations for a late 14thC/early 15thC archer? If it makes any difference, I'm cutting my hose from a medium-dark grey wool...



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby guthrie » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:17 am

I suppose it depends how rich your archer is. Linen canvas for poorer sort, some fairly strong wool (not woollen wool, but the more worsted type) for a better off one. BUt then it depends what you can get.
I'm coming round to the idea that we have a bit too much colour in our portrayals, but on the other hand we aren't generally showing the lowest social levels so why not have some colour?



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:09 pm

Cheers Guthrie. I'll have a look around and see what's available.

I do find it interesting that while strong red and black were the two most expensive colours to dye, there seems to be a huge amount of both colours in most 14th/15th Century soft kit! Lots of parti-coloured red and black hose for example, or deep red doublets and hoods.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby guthrie » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:38 pm

As you note, strong red can be an issue, but I got a lovely bright red from dyeing with madder and keeping it under 65C.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:33 pm

"Wearing a pourpoint AND a doublet would be like wearing a waistcoat under a shirt."

"There wouldn't have been a pourpoint AND a doublet as they're basically the same thing in terms of what they do.

A pourpoint is a thin, unlined garment, and wasn't in use until late 15th." <<< not according to contemporary descriptions

In the fifteenth century, they are the same thing, they are interchangeable terms, sleeveless or otherwise, a doublet is a pourpoint and vice versa, before the 15th it seems pourpoint was the predominant word. It is all to do with how they were made, pourpoint was a quilted/pricked garment, the name stuck in later years but the construction seems to have changed somewhat. There is a lovely 15thc century English translation explaining why a doublet/pourpoint is so called, the points are the prickings/quiltings.

here are some mentions of pourpoints from the 12th century onwards, the earlier ones seem to make it more of a military garment, but this then changes later on.


[(1190) Chron.Rich.I in RS 38.1 99: Armatus quidem erat..lorica quoque, tunica etiam linea multiplici consuta, lineis interioribus difficile penetrandis, acu operante artificialiter implicitis; unde et vulgo perpunctum nuncupatur.]

c1330(?a1300) Arth.& M.(Auch) 9256: Arthour smot to king Rion..And his scheld ato ykitt, And alle his armes, verrament, To þe purpoint of o serpent, Next his schert þat sat þo.
(c1360) R.Arms Norwich in Nrf.Archaeol.14 314: Johannes de Hevyngham agistatus & arrayatus est ad unum hominem, peditem, armatum cum purpont, platt vel Alketoun cum hauberion.
a1450(c1410) Lovel. Merlin (Corp-C 80) 23289-91: For ne hadde been a porpoynt þat he hadde on, ellis he hadde be þere ful wobegon, which porpoynt was mad of a Serpentis Skyn [F porpoins dun serpent], That non egge tool myhte entren withjn, with whiche vndir his hauberk j-clad he was.

c1450 Pilgr.LM (Cmb Ff.5.30) 59: The doublet is maad with poynynges, For whi it is cleped a purpoynt. <<<<< this one is not the full text, it goes into more detail, translated from the Dutch at the time.

a1475(?a1430) Lydg. Pilgr.(Vit C.13) 7232: Next thy body shal be set A purpoynt or a doublet. <<< 'or' in this case is most likely used to denote another term, rather than a different garment. This way of denoting alternative words is pretty common in this period. A more modern example would be me writing to my northern friend 'I recommend that you take a left into the alley or ginnel. More on that from Caxton's prologue of the Enid.


c1475(a1449) Lydg. Test.(Hrl 218) 357: Of this sesoun lust holte rene and brydell..Now smothe, now stark, now like an hard purpoynt.

In terms of layers-

shirt
doublet/pourpoint
jacket/coat etc


middle english dictionary

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby EnglishArcher » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:24 am

Will.S wrote:From chatting to Christine and Glennan, I understand it this way:

Separate hose were originally pointed to breech girdles. When the doublet arrived, the separate hose were pointed to the bottom edge of the doublet, around hip level. Eventually the hose joined, but were still pointed to the bottom of the doublet. There wouldn't have been a pourpoint AND a doublet as they're basically the same thing in terms of what they do.

A pourpoint is a thin, unlined garment, and wasn't in use until late 15th. Until then it was a doublet under the gambeson. The doublet could be fairly thin - lining, interlining and outer shell - for use under a gambeson or for general non combative wear, or padded with wool layers instead of a gambeson or for pointing armour to.

Wearing a pourpoint AND a doublet would be like wearing a waistcoat under a shirt.


Will is mis-quoting / mis-referencing me.

I told him not to use the term pourpoint for the (sleeveless) undergarment. I prefer the term 'petticote'.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:02 pm

It's worth bearing in mind that the modern meaning of words, even those referring to historic items, is not the same as the usage of those words in a historical context.

It's especially true that we use words to specifically refer to a particular form, design or style of an object; nearly always the words were actually used more generically.

Sallet is an good example; today we use it indicate a specific style of helm; it seems very likely in the 15thC it just meant helm.

Or the use of the word breeches in medieval England to mean what we now refer to as braies.
Presumably we don't use the word to avoid confusion with a later garment of the same name, but a very different form.

It's worth knowing these things, especially when reading original documents, but even when communicating with each other (to be aware that we might mean different things by the same word).

But I'm not sure it's worth being to hung up on trying to replace our full vocabulary with only authentic medieval usages.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Fox » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:16 pm

EnglishArcher wrote:I told him not to use the term pourpoint for the (sleeveless) undergarment. I prefer the term 'petticote'.

As an example, the Middle English dictionary does describe "peticote" as being a garment worn between a doublet and shirt, but with or without sleeves; it also says it can refer to a padded garment that we might now call an "arming doublet", or a lady's garment.

It's as good a word to use as any, probably better than purpoint; but worth knowing it's meaning is not so specific.



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:19 am

EnglishArcher wrote:
Will is mis-quoting / mis-referencing me.

I told him not to use the term pourpoint for the (sleeveless) undergarment. I prefer the term 'petticote'.


Oops, sorry! Clearly still haven't got this figured out! Didn't mean to mis-quote.

Everywhere you look, something has a different name (so it seems to me, anyway!) I think I understand what the garments are more or less, it's referencing them I'm having trouble with!



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:25 pm

Will, I've never had problems moving in my doublet, even when fighting. Key things to remember are to get the sleeve/arm-hole right and to loosen the back points when doing anything strenuous.

As for how to make it, I'd really book some time with Sarah Thursfield, doublets are complex, the only Medieval garment that I've not yet been brave enough to tackle.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Fox wrote:My understanding is that there is no such thing as a sleeveless doublet in England until after the end of the War of the Roses.

I'd understood that there was evidence for them, but that it was uncommon. Either way, they are best avoided fffoor re-enactment purposes.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:35 pm

Phoenix Rising wrote:From what I recall, they would have been pointed to the pourpoint (if I've spelt it correctly), then normally the doublet would have gone over that, but in this case because of the thickness of the layered defences they were wearing, that would have been dispensed with.


Sarah and Ruth have managed to find an English pourpoint. It appears to be some kind of quilt or duvet, so definitely not for wearing under armour.

The idea of a pourpoint worn under your jack (as far as I know) comes from a single French ordenance (and it's already been said the pourpoint is French for doublet), so I wouldn't use it as a good source.

Prior to the 15th Century, the term pourpoint was used for an arming doublet and earlier for an aketon. In both cases, it shows it's French origin as a piece of armour and describes a quilted garment.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:39 pm

Will.S wrote:Well rub it in why dontcha :D

I'm pretty much ready to get crackin' with my first attempt. No idea what colour/material to use for the outer layer though! Do I go lightweight linen, for maximum ease of movement and simplicity (and if so, go for natural linen, or bleached or dyed something funky?) Or do I go light wool, and if so do I go simple grey/natural, or something spanky and attractive like a light blue, faded red or yellow....

So many choices! Any recommendations for a late 14thC/early 15thC archer? If it makes any difference, I'm cutting my hose from a medium-dark grey wool...


Fustian is the preferred fabric for doublets. I think that cotton flannel or cotton moleskin are the best modern impersonators for that. Otherwise, a solid worsted for posh or linen for poorer. DO NOT USE THE FABRIC FOR YOUR HOES!

A wide range of colours are available, with brighter/stronger shades indicating higher cost.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:51 pm

When you say don't use the fabric for my hose, are you referring to the grey wool I mentioned, or do you mean don't use matching fabric for hose and doublet?



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:01 pm

Will.S wrote:When you say don't use the fabric for my hose, are you referring to the grey wool I mentioned, or do you mean don't use matching fabric for hose and doublet?

Hose require fabric with quite different properties to that required for a doublet.

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:25 pm

Ah yes, I thought that's what you meant! I was a bit concerned you were saying my wool for the hose wasn't suitable as hose material (it's twill weave and I'll cut it on the bias for maximum boinginess)

Thanks Colin for all the info and everybody for the help and tips! Still a bit overwhelmed with all the various options but I'm sure I'll pick something eventually (and then turn up to an event and be told it's completely wrong haha!)



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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby gregory23b » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:56 pm

'It appears to be some kind of quilt or duvet, so definitely not for wearing under armour.'

But that is why they are related, in terms of quilting/pointing, the term 'pourpoint' having related but different meanings, loads of medieval words are used in very different contexts, bloody difficult to pin it down.


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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:47 pm

Co-incidental, I was talking to Sarah Thursfield yesterday and she asked me to remind people that she is running a doublet making course on the 4th and 5th of April in Llanymynech (Shropshire).

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Re: Sleeveless Doublets for archers...

Postby Will.S » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:07 pm

Well I've bought some brown linen for the outer shell, so can start making my first attempt now.

I had a look at cotton moleskin but it seemed far too "posh" for the status I'm aiming for, so went for something as simple as possible. Couldn't get any coarse looking wool thin enough for a functional doublet.

I'm sure it'll go horribly wrong of course as I have no experience whatsoever in making garments and I'm starting with one of the hardest it seems! I'm too autodidactic to not attempt it all though. I figure if I can make a warbow I should be able to make a doublet...! What could possibly go wrong? :? Hopefully if I post my attempts on here I can get some pointers and constructive criticism to improve next time. Sarah's classes are a loooong way from me, would cost me about the same price again just to get there, but then there's no substitute for being shown by the expert!




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