Breeches and hose

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IagotheHungry
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Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Has anybody ever wondered how the majority of people wore their leg coverings in the C17th? I've seen so many variations in art, woodcuts etc. and I wonder what would be best for a fairly destitute infantryman like myself.

Would it simply be ungathered breeches with floppy old 'Nora Batty' hose around me ankles? I can't believe every man in the king's army would have big puffy breeches and ribbons at the knee, and I'm convinced that wrapping the ties around the knee over the hose or having the hose on the outside of the breeches then tying around are better for keeping them up, and I have seen both these methods in contemporary (though admittedly Dutch) art-works.

I've also seen full-length hose in Dutch paintings of the mid-late C17th, were there any of these beasts still being worn in anger during the ECW?
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steve stanley
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

It's also a fashion change..The 'unconfined' breeches(shorts!) came in about that time....illustrations from 1640-ish show them tied...by 1648,they're showing them loose....also they're starting to be self-supporting,rather than hooked to doublets.Very few ECW peeps actually wear 1640's fashions...most wear 1630's!
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IagotheHungry
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Aha, so with the 1630s style are we talking something like the chap in blue holding his cards in this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... er_006.jpg
I know it's Dutch, and I know it's a generalisation as with everything in re-enactment, but he seems to look like a fairly 'typical' figure to me.
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steve stanley
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

THAT is a hell of a picture!...The standing guy in armour has something more 1530's on his legs!
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IagotheHungry
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Haha, I believe it's called "The Denying of Peter" by Molenaer. It's one of those that's meant to be Biblical but set in the C17th for some reason XD

So aside from the ridiculous, club-wielding man in awesome red keks, what do you reckon to the card player? Typical Joe Bloggs? :p
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steve stanley
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

I'd like to know what's on his feet.........? And the different sleeves?...At first I thought cloth jerkin(different,but possible) over doublet...But the visible shirt at the front seems to point to a single garment.....Arrgh!..Couldn't you have found a simple Teniers picture? :)
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Haha, I'm making a nuisance of myself already, hooray!

Well the shoes look like (very, very, very) poor man's latchets...
The sleeves might be additions to the jerkin, the dwarf to the club-wielding man's right seems to have a similar style of top on, and I'd say it looked like a coat with sleeves attached under the shoulders, leaving those little 'wings' that seem to have been all the rage in the period. Maybe.

Breeches and hose look alright and fairly normal though :p
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

There's two types of 'wings'....On civvie doublets up to the early '40's....then there's the smaller ones on soldier's(unwaisted) coats...Which this is closer to....Considering the numbers doing it,there's not enough debate on 17thcent clothes...........
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Hmm, I'd never considered there being different types. I suppose this being a civilian (presumably) means it can't be directly used to show styles worn by soldiers in uniformed regiments and armies.

But I thought the majority of ECW troops were non-uniform anyway? At least that was my impression from reading and things (which confuses me when I see regiments of perfectly matched pike and shot soldiers standing around on the field, but I digress!) so soes that mean some British foot would have potentially worn something similar?
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

Takes deep breath.......
The troops raised for Ireland in 1642 were uniformed.....Some of these went into the Parliamentary forces.
Essex's army raised in and around London had uniform coats,as did some other Parliamentary forces.
The Royalist Oxford army were outfitted in Blue or Red suits in 1643.
After the Lostwithiel disaster in 1644,Essex's infantry were fullt re-equipped including breeches.
First complete issue for Parliament is for the New Model in 1645...even that took about a year.
So,yes,the MAJORITY of ECW foot were partly,or un-uniformed.
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Send me up in Grand River
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Aha! Lostwithiel's of particular significance, because at the mo' I'm in a group who are part of Hopton's Cornish foot, although I know there's NOTHING online about Cornish uniforms, if there were any.

So yeah, there were too many types of breeches... :P
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Merlon. »

Bear in mind it is a Dutch painting, so it cannot be used as anything more that a basic inference toward English costume
Why do you think the card players shoes mark him out as a poor man? A big latchet is not necessarily a sign of poverty. Just shows that his shoes would not be much use for outdoor work
A lot of Dutch pictures show “dual colour” doublets, we have no direct evidence for similar in England. There are some indications in probates about specifically coloured sleeves
Image
Image

As stated on your other thread check out Stuart Press “Clothes of the Common Man 1580-1660” and “Common Soldier's Clothing of the Civil Wars 1639-1646”
Norah Batty stockings just mean you will get wet and dirty. Stocking are tied below the knee with a inkle, or tape garter. At the knee, Breeches are either open, closed by button, closed by a lace. The bottom cuff with a tie running through is a re-enactorism for which I have never seen any evidence.

Uniform can take many forms, as Steve states some troops were issued uniforms, some troops were issued none. some troops uniform consisted of bunches of worsted ribbons sewn to the shoulders of their doublets or coats.
You then have to take account of when in the war you are talking about regiments may:-
start in civilian,
be outfitted in one uniform issue,
wear that out and partially return to civilian clothes,
be refiited in a different uniform issue and indeed different colour,
Then get broken up and mixed into other regiments..
There are many possibilities, too many to quantify.

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steve stanley
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

Lostwithiel is only of uniform significance to Essex's....'cos you lot stripped them & they needed a complete re-issue...To my knowledge,no evidence of uniforms for Cornish-raised foot.
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Hmm, I dunno, I think I assumed a lack of material would indicate unavailable resources and his being poor. But that's a point, he probably didn't need to wear them outside too often, and I think he's meant to be the host, so yup, I'm sold. :p

I genuinely don't know about the jackets/doublets/coats of the time, I'm ancient history really.

HA! I knew those daft hems with laces in weren't real! Thanks for that :D They don't work either. So the stockings themselves were tied individually, then the breeches were fastened as well? So, for example, you tie your hose, pop your breeches on, and then tie 'em down as well(?).
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sheepmilker
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by sheepmilker »

One thing that often gets missed out WRT garters is KNITTED garters. Dead simple to make, really comfortable to wear because they "give". They are just a knitted to length using, um, garter stitch.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Aha! A project! Think I'm going to have to make me some hose and garters,or I suppose I could get my rocky horror cossie out of the wardrobe :p
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Nigel »

Merlon. wrote:As stated on your other thread check out Stuart Press “Clothes of the Common Man 1580-1660” and “Common Soldier's Clothing of the Civil Wars 1639-1646”
Norah Batty stockings just mean you will get wet and dirty. Stocking are tied below the knee with a inkle, or tape garter. At the knee, Breeches are either open, closed by button, closed by a lace. The bottom cuff with a tie running through is a re-enactorism for which I have never seen any evidence.

Uniform can take many forms, as Steve states some troops were issued uniforms, some troops were issued none. some troops uniform consisted of bunches of worsted ribbons sewn to the shoulders of their doublets or coats.
You then have to take account of when in the war you are talking about regiments may:-
start in civilian,
be outfitted in one uniform issue,
wear that out and partially return to civilian clothes,
be refiited in a different uniform issue and indeed different colour,
Then get broken up and mixed into other regiments..
There are many possibilities, too many to quantify.
To add to the mix Manchesters for example were according to issues wearing three separate coat colours at the same time and the Irish foote arriving in Cheshire in 1643/44 were uniformed according to whatever Ruperts commissary had to hand which according to the diary note was a complete mix of green red and blue
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by steve stanley »

Yeah...On Manchester's 'Green faced Red' could be read either way...Oh for a comma.......
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Nigel »

Issues of Red faced Green and Green faced red and Grey
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Bevis Gittens »

It is worth noting that an order for a couple of hundred coats of a certain colour could well have been then subcontracted out to other tailors by the main supplier. So the range of colours issued as 'uniform' might have been broad: different cloth from different dye houses may well have had been quite varied, for example blue could be anything from a light watchet to a dark hue. Also grey coated regiments would probably have been undyed wool which could have been anything from an off white to brown... I think to do it accurately every regiment should have a variety of shades in the ranks.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Merlon. »

At this time as well the length of a piece of cloth was defined by statute, for broadcloth that was 24 yards.
Even today we cannot gaurantee colour matching betwwen batches. So each individual piece of cloth would have been a slightly different hue.
As for the tailoring, using the Portmouth reissue post Lostwithiel as an example, 5000 suits were made in two weeks.
I have been told it takes three man days to create a suit of clothes. On that basis 15000 mandays work in 12 days (no work on Sabbath) around 1250 people would have been involved, not all skilled. So plenty of oppurtunity for variance in cut and quality of construction. Indeed there is every chance that some of the panels in the clothing could have had varying hues.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

So what about hose? I read elsewhere on the site that 'kersey' was used for them, any idea what that is?
I'd have thought most poorer people would have had knitted or woven wool.
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Merlon. »

Kersey and Cotton -either Manchester or Welsh - are woollen cloths used to make among other things stockings

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Graham Cooley »

There are lots and lots of tache hooks or clothing hooks found but few are shown on pictures. As a suggestion perhaps these were used to hook the tops of hose to the inside of britches or skirts. Perhaps they were sewn on the inside of the britches and hooked into the hose?

These clothing hooks are found in numbers along with buttons and similar small items that are lost from clothing, pouches and pockets. They woudl not be shown on paintings if they were on the inside of garments. This is a theory only but certainly a practical solution.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Merlon. »

The hooks and eyes are used to attach the breeches to the doublet. Quite a few doublets have a canvas strip inside them to attach the fastenings to.

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Bevis Gittens »

IagotheHungry wrote:So what about hose? I read elsewhere on the site that 'kersey' was used for them, any idea what that is?
I'd have thought most poorer people would have had knitted or woven wool.
There are lots or different types of wool cloth, meaner sorts would have used russets for summer weight breeches and frieze for thick winter breeches, as well as kersey. Cotton (woolen cloth) was quite thin and had an open weave which made it good as a lining material for warmth - there are confusing contempory references to cotton linings.

There are vaious sellers of cloth and I have got some undyed russet from HMA ltd whose aim is "to use the correct fleece types, thread counts, colourings, fabric weights and finishes." The stuff I got certainly looks and feels right, not cheap though :( their web page is http://www.stuart-hmaltd.com/historical_fabrics.php

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Merlon and Bevis Gittens thanks guys, that's cleared that one up nicely, and a link to buy things too, very dangerous ;)

What about 'standard' breeches? Were there such things? I know the NMA issued breeches and coats, so were all their breeches to the same design? Before this were breeches just made to measure, and were they puffy things or snug? I'd have imagined them being fairly fitted for practicality on the field of battle and money-saving, ofcourse, but that's pure guesswork.

Also, is flannel ok to use? I read that it was being used in Wales before the mid-1600s for clothes and things.
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by Merlon. »

Military contracts only state what cloth the the breeches should be made of -usually broadcloth. Cloth to have been pre shrunk and that the length of the breeches is just under half the width of the cloth. Usually to have two leather pockets sewn in. Don't have the contracts to hand at the moment, so can't give precise details.

No explicit details of buttons etc, etc. There would be as many variations in design as there were people making them. They would not be generously cut, if only so the contractor could maximise their profit.

As to using Flannel, it was mostly used for undergarments like petticoats, it other major use was as shrouding. Lightweight material probably not tough enough to use for main clothing. Also the age old problem that flannel you can get today is not guaranteed to be anything like what they would regard as Flannel

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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Can I use this to make breeches? I don't intend to line it with this of course, I'm just looking around and found this, apparently it is 100% wool.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak- ... 3979_n.jpg
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Re: Breeches and hose

Post by IagotheHungry »

Actually, having just looked a bit closer, it's garbage, ignore me >.<
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