When it's REALLY hot!

Making, Pictures, Queries, Resources

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
KezT
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Somerset, UK

When it's REALLY hot!

Post by KezT »

What do all the mediaeval ladies do?

Do you still wear your full length, long armed, tight fitting wool/linen underdress, overdress and surcoat? Or do you adapt?

the boys get to wander around in just their breeches, or maybe shirt & breeches (unless they're very posh) but I get told off if I show my ankles!

it's gonna be a scorcher this weekend, and I only adapted my woolen dress for breastfeeding - not looking forward to all day in woolen dress and woolen surcoat!

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

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by gregory23b »

"he boys get to wander around in just their breeches, or maybe shirt & breeches (unless they're very posh) but I get told off if I show my ankles!"

You will probably find that they (men) should not be undressed unless in the right circumstances, mainly fields, labouring, not walking round in the presence of their betters, they are basically copping out. :devil:
middle english dictionary

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

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

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

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by EnglishArcher »

The photos below were taken during our pilgrimage to Walsingham in May 2010. We walked in full medieval kit from Castle Acre to Walsingham on what was, until this weekend, the hottest of the year. Temperatures were approaching 30C at some points during the day.

As you can see we are fully and properly dressed - linen underwear, doublets or wool cotes, full wool hose, woollen coats or hoods, and hats. Despite all of this, and the fact we were walking as well, it was NOT too hot. Nobody felt the need to strip off and walk along in their underwear. We did the entire pilgrimage in that clothing (and without a change of clothes!)

Personally, it's too-prevailing a 21st Century mentality to walk around half-naked as a re-enactor.

Image

Image
English Warbow: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthaf**king Frenchman on the field. Accept no substitutes.

User avatar
KedlestonCraig
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:53 pm
Contact:

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by KedlestonCraig »

EnglishArcher wrote: Personally, it's too-prevailing a 21st Century mentality to walk around half-naked as a re-enactor.
we probably have more natural insulation to accommodate :wink:
I'm still alive - just spending time with my wife and daughter :-)

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

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by EnglishArcher »

KedlestonCraig wrote:
EnglishArcher wrote: Personally, it's too-prevailing a 21st Century mentality to walk around half-naked as a re-enactor.
we probably have more natural insulation to accommodate :wink:
Oh, I know I do! :worried:
English Warbow: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthaf**king Frenchman on the field. Accept no substitutes.

SirRustbucket
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:11 pm
Contact:

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by SirRustbucket »

EnglishArcher wrote:The photos below were taken during our pilgrimage to Walsingham in May 2010. We walked in full medieval kit from Castle Acre to Walsingham on what was, until this weekend, the hottest of the year. Temperatures were approaching 30C at some points during the day.

As you can see we are fully and properly dressed - linen underwear, doublets or wool cotes, full wool hose, woollen coats or hoods, and hats. Despite all of this, and the fact we were walking as well, it was NOT too hot. Nobody felt the need to strip off and walk along in their underwear. We did the entire pilgrimage in that clothing (and without a change of clothes!)

Personally, it's too-prevailing a 21st Century mentality to walk around half-naked as a re-enactor.

Image

Image
That walk sounds great! I take off my hat to you.
What was the reaction you got from the public, if I may ask?

Also, and I'm sorry if this sounds a bit naive, weren't you worried about getting into trouble because of your belt knife? I have only limited experience when it comes to dealing with the public in general but my little group had been booked for a village fete a few months ago. They wanted a combat demonstration, but - and here's the bugbear - we weren't allowed to bring any weapons. In the end we used ash broom handles.

That was WEIRD.
The Thrifty Knight blog:

http://thriftyknight.blogspot.co.uk

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

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by EnglishArcher »

The walk was fantastic. We limited it to about 10 miles a day - which is plenty when walking on metalled roads with period shoes! - and kept wherever possible to footpaths and back roads.

The public were very accommodating. The two guest houses we stayed in on the way were more interested than freaked-out by our kit. We did tend to get a few double-takes from people out in villages, especially as we strolled through their streets singing medieval songs!

Don't think I've ever had my picture taken so much, mind you!


To be honest I don't think anyone even noticed the knifes.

I've found that the reaction to wearing weapons depends on where you go. The more urban the area the more fearful, and less tolerant, the reaction. In the countryside most people are used to seeing shotguns and other weapons and don't (seem to) have a big problem with bows, swords, knives, etc - EXCEPT if they're are brandished about (which is a stupid thing to do in any case!)

We also had a horse with us, to carry our luggage:

Image

THAT probably got more attention than we did! Especially when we got it into the abbey - by walking it through the gift shop!
English Warbow: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthaf**king Frenchman on the field. Accept no substitutes.

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

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by kate/bob »

As someone who falls over with heat stroke relatively easily I've found the best way to cope with really hot events is to keep a thin shift on (keeps your arms out of the sun) and wear a sleeveless linen kirtle. The linen kirtle is the one I wear under my overkirtle when the weather isn't so hot. This means I can explain to people that I wouldn't go out of my house with only one dress on(likening it to women in early to mid 20th c always putting a hat on to go to the shops, etc). A big brimmed straw hat with a big linen kerchief under it is also a good way of keeping the sun off.

Of course this doesn't really work if you're posh. Sometimes it's better to be scum!!!

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Its worth noting that Europe was cooler 500 odd years ago and so our ancestors did not have to deal with increasingly warm summers and the side effects of heatstroke/etc as event organisers and modern re-enactors do.
Just as I wouldn't tell anyone to use 100% authentic medieval pewter complete with yummy lead I'd say this is an issue that should allow a little room for inaccuarcy (not that I'll be wandering around in shirt and pants at any event soon but I was more than happy to let my son do so over the weekend at Huntingdon.)
As a further aside it was not unknown for men and women in Italy to wander around their homes or estates in "underclothes", and the "cloggi", both men and women were also known to undertake heavy work in the summer months wearing "only a linen strip to cover their privvies" (which was noted by visitors to towns as well as those going through the Tuscan countryside.)
All those who witnessed this were suitably scandalised but like Mjr. Bothered from Botherington it didn't stop them from looking.
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
KezT
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by KezT »

ah well, I made it through the weekend :D TBH, the problem was that I had only adapted my wool dress for breastfeeding, which is my own fault - I thought we would have another summer like the last two :roll:

I let the younger kids run around in just breaches - I'm sure they would've run around naked on days like this weekend, but when I tried that I got complaints :thumbdown: a sad comment on the state of the 21st century I feel. But I survived in full woollen dress, underdress and surcoat - a tad warm, but not as bad as I feared. I think I'd best get on with adapting a linen dress of two........

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

Re: When it's REALLY hot!

Post by Colin Middleton »

Why are you wearing a smock, a kirtle and 2 surcotes?

As far as I knew, a smock was your underwear, worn next to your skin and normally of linnen (though I have heard rumours of woolen 'themal' underwear being found). If you just wear that you're going out in your bra and pants. At the very least you should wear a kirtle or cote over the top of that (don't know what your period is, but the fitted kirtle replaced looser cote sometime in the 14th C). If you're actually going to dress like a respectable person, you'll want to wear a 'gown' of some form (all sorts of names get banded about for this garment, but I can't stand calling it an over-kirtle, even if it is a good description of it), or a surcote for earlier periods (basically, an overgarment simmilar to the 'middle layer').

Surely you'd only wear more than that if you were cold.

Men should similarly wear their linnen shirt and breeches and normally wear at least a doublet and hosen (or cote and hosen for earlier periods) as minimal house clothes. To be 'decent', they need to add a coat, jacket or gown on top of that.

My advice for keeping cool in summer:
A wide brimmed hat to keep you in the shade. This isn't an option for the posh who have to make do with awnings and canopies.
Wear your kercheif as it will keep the sun off of you a bit.
Keep a wet rag handy and dab your wrists and brow with it, it's lovely.
You may even want to consider wetting some of your clothes to carry the heat away.
Drink LOTS of fluids so that you don't dehydrate.
If it's really hot, you may be justified in disposing of the outer layer (the gown or surcote), depending on circumstances.

When I come off the field and remove my armour, I tend to stay in my underwear for 15-30 minutes as I need to 'dump' a load of heat very quickly. Once I've started to cool down a bit, then on goes the cote and hat to look decent. I then try to avoid heavy physical work, to keep my temprature down, but otherwise I'm usually fine in that.

Best wishes
Colin

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

Image

Post Reply