Anglo Saxon Outfits, part one
So, After spending almost a year making Anglo Saxon outfits for Kirkleatham, the masochist in me is doing it again, except this time its only two outfits, not seventy, and they’re for me and John.
What am I planning?
- A wool diamond twill peplos dress.
I’ve put this off for years, if I’m honest. Peploi always look like a sack tied in the middle, no matter who wears them, but I’m finally biting the bullet – it’s not as if it’ll be the first time I’ve sacrificed my sartorial dignity at the altar of authenticity. I’ve gone for a fairly dark, undyed grey, in line with Penelope Walton-Rogers conclusion that dyed fibres are usually reserved for trims and edgings during the early Saxon period.
There really isn’t too much to say about the cut of this, as its just a tube sewn up the side (I used a linen thread and a flat fell seam, if you’re that obsessed with detail). I left the bottom as selvedge and folded the top of the peplos underneath the tablet weave.
the tablet weave was done with a fine 2-ply wool which I dyed myself. I used cochineal as a kermes substitute, and persian berries for the yellow. To be honest I’m not sure about the authenticity of persian berries for the c6th, and I utterly failed to research it, but lets face it, one naturally dyed yellow is very much like another, and I’d never used them before and wanted to play.
All of the tablet weaving for this project will come from these two dye batches. I don’t see a problem with that at all.
I used alternate kivrim and s pattern in a pinstripe twill. for some reason I;ve been hankering after some pinstripe twill for quite a while, so this piece of weaving is making me quite happy.
I’ve never done kivrim before, and I’m happy to admit that it took me a foot or so of weaving before I got it right. I did try looking up some directions, but as usual I found them utterly unfathomable – I’ve never yet been able to follow a weaving pattern I didn’t draft myself. I knew it had to be a variation on Eygptian diagonals, and therefore deceptively simple, and so it was. I got there in the end.
I bought most of the beads from Tillermans at the last market, but some were gifts (it’s amzing what people give me once they’ve tasted my homemade cheescake) and the two clear ones near the centre are roman ones from Mark and David.
The undyed linen twil thats draped over the dummy beneath the peplos will eventually be the shift. My main problem is the wrist clasps. For Kirkleatham I made brass ones as I couldn’t get any thin enough bronze, but I really really want bronze ones for myself and John.
but no way am I paying £20+ per pair.
I do have a tiny piece of.9mm bronze, which is far too thick for purpose. I’m going to have to hammer it down to .5mm(ish). The hammering itself isn’t really a problem, but I’ve never annealed bronze before, so am going to have to do some research.
This will be simple white linen with a narrow gold-brocaded tablet woven edge. I am mightily miffed that all the really cool, wider gold broceded Tablet weave from this period comes from male graves, which means John gets the really nice stuff, jammy git.
The little bronze broach in the pic will not be the one finally used for this dress. I have long coveted the wondrous jewelled all over pair from Vienna, but I don’t think I have quite the right rocks in my gem stash. Instead I’m going to try and replicate a pair I saw at the Ashmolean a fewmonths ago. They will be silver gilt with garnets. Whilst I don’t have any of the flat garnets used at the time I think I can cheat by setting regular cabachons upside down (they’re flat on the back, you see) this may take a fair bit of jiggery-pokery, some swearing, and a spot of epoxy resin, but I’m reasonably confident it will work.
I can’t resist, I’m going to have a crack at a couple of the little disc pendants from the Kirkleatham exhibition. I’ve done well with wirework and filigree in the past, and already have a few saxon pendants of my own making, but I want to take this opportunity to try and refine my technique a little by heating the pieces in the enameling kiln rather than blowtorching them.
JOhn is in charge of shoes, belts, and purses for both outfits – I don’t do leather, it hurts my fingers too much.
- For John
Grey wool warrior coat based on the one from Taplow. It will be trimmed with the same wool tablet weave as my peplos, but with a panel of gold brocaded tablet weave in the proper place. ~iz jealous of the bling~
Same as the shift, really.
He’ll want a hat. ha always wants a hat on account of getting sunburn on his bald patch. If I’m feeling particularly benevolent he may even get on with gold brocaded tablet weave.
and he’s going to need new trousers, but I forgot to buy any cloth for those so he may have to wait til the November market for those.