Creating beginners guides (Dark Ages ~1015)

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Paddy
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Creating beginners guides (Dark Ages ~1015)

Post by Paddy »

Hello again,

Second of three threads on the beginners guides to re-enactment. This time, the Dark Ages. This is to be put up as a guide to suitable kit for the period, of high enough quality to slip into a national event, without causing upset, an yet be makeable/affordable by cack-handed students! Colour guides agin very much appreciated (we've been thinking muddy greens and browns, and are again after a lower class/poorer people look).


Tunic (short, long sleeved, linen)
Trousers (linen, drawstring)
Shoes (Leather, ankle height)
Belt (how thick? Leather)
Padding
Helmet (simple skull cap)

I have a feeling I've missed something out, but will be buggered if I can think of it. Prod away people.
Last edited by Paddy on Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Aelfric
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Post by Aelfric »

The ‘Dark Ages’ last for six hundred and fifty years, and while styles changed slowly they did change noticeably, so when in the Dark Ages are you aiming for? What people are you aiming for? Romano Brit? Saxon (early, middle or late)? Viking? Etc. A national event for which society as each has different regs depending on period, interpretation of evidence etc. If you could be a little more specific it would help, I would suggest checking out the guides that several major societies have online as they will give you a better idea for basic kit..

Paddy
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Post by Paddy »

Righto.

We're aiming for 1015ish apparently (one text solves all :lol: ).
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Tuppence
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Post by Tuppence »

Hi, me again!
Tunic (short, long sleeved, linen)
Fine. mid thigh length. t neckline. can also be wool.
Trousers (linen, drawstring)
fine. can also be of wool.
Shoes (Leather, ankle height)
fine

Belt (how thick? Leather)

c. 0.5" - 1" wide. d-ring buckle - width of belt actually depends on buckle size to an extent.
Padding
questinable pre conquest. there's an argument for it, and an amount of evidence that could be interpreted as gamboised clothing of some sort, but at the end of the day there is no real evidence for it.

there is evidence for leather clothing used for protection, but that was in scandinavia, not england.
Helmet (simple skull cap)
ditto to previous post on armour!!

you'll also need an undertunic / shirt - slightly shorter than the top tunic. I'd recommend plain white linen, with a t neckline. that and women's shifts are the few things that really didn't change over a good few hundred years!!

If you're going to be camping and staying in kit I'd recommend that the top tunic is made out of wool. (If you choose carefully, you can get washable wools, if that's a concern.)

And whether staying in kit or not, cloaks. whether semi circular or rectangular, made in two layers of good thick wool. it's hard to overestimate how cold it can get at night even in summer.
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Gyrthofhwicce
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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Would argue the dark green/browns as this calls for continual overdying, something which would be costly, to get the deeper shades, if your going for poor kit, go for plain light colours or even bleached linen.
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Gyrthofhwicce
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Post by Gyrthofhwicce »

Also, fighting wise, as a poorer class you've turned uo for a fight because your theign or jarl has told you to, So no armour, no sword.
Axe and if you are a freeman a spear, and a shield.
Remember a sword was the equivelent in cost to a porsche boxter today. and the old "I got it off a dead body" routine doesnt was anymore. :wink:

A helmet for H+S regs is a must, but make it clear to any MOP, why you are wearing one and that you wouldnt have been in them there olden days.
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Post by Aelfric »

For England in 1015 I’d say the tunic should be knee length rather than mid thigh. Agree with Gyrth about colours, as a general rule of thumb the deeper the shade the richer the cloth and Tuppence is spot on about Gambies I really wouldn’t go with one unless it’s under mail. Helmets depends on which society your playing with, some insist on them for H&S reasons, others don’t.

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Post by Tuppence »

should really have said between mid thigh and knee length. most of pics I've seen are between the two. (that said, they could well be belted up to be shorter - it's sometimes very hard to tell with early med. pics).

I'd say no gamby even if you're wearing mail, strictly going according to the evidence (and really cutting my own throat there, considering what i do for a living :D ).

That said, we are modern peeps, and we all have to go back to work / college on monday / tuesday morning, so sometimes compromises on safety grounds are worth making.

colour wise, I'd say anything unbleached or undyed wool colours, or anything up to about mid greens and browns are fine. Possibly very dark browns if natural 'black' sheep coloured. (there's a place in huddersfield that does unbleached / undyed british breeds knitting yarn, from where you can get sample cards if you're not sure what that colour is. (there is some evidence that 'black' wool wasn't sought after, so may have ended up on peasants.)

Personally I have a prejudice against the peasants wearing brown thing, but that's cos badly prepared tv and film costume designer seem to think everybody medieval wore brown!!

Whether you're playing with groups that insist on helmets or not,please use them - even if they seem like an unnecessary expense, they can save lives (and have). they can also protect you from losing everything, and from being prosecuted by the hse in the event of the worst happening (a reasonable care thing).

(btw - meant to metion it on one of the other threads - set up a training record, and accident book now, and designate somebody to go and get qualified as a first aider. in the event of an accident, it helps to have somebody about who you know and trust, and who can help. it also helps to be able to prove that everybody has been trained, and has practised, and passed a safety test. just a note from somebody whose group has done the hse investigation thing, and come out of it clean.)

also, as with wotr, don't forget gloves. hands are the most common bit to get injured (doc was horrified when nige got his hand x-rayed a couple of years back!!) - and good stout leather gloves are some of the best protection going (modern ones are ususally fine, cos gloves are so tricky to make).
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Paddy
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Post by Paddy »

Thank you all for your help so far. :D

I wish to re-itterate, this is group kit and beginners bare minimum guides, not a set of personal kit for decades of use (jut incase some people were confused)!
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