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14th Century Clothing
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14th Century Clothing

Romance of Alexander Clothing Outer Tunic July 2008

Here is the complete Romance of Alexander outfit with two wool tunics. The last image was taken at Pennsic 2009 a year after the outfit was first worn.

The Outer Tunic

Many figures in the manuscript have a second tunic, also called a super tunic in historical record of the time, it has pennant sleeves. The pictured super tunic is made of a fine grey wool.

The body of the super tunic with pennant sleeves is based on the extant example Herjolfsnes no. 42. The front opening (only to the gore) was added to the pattern so it could button shut like the examples in the third image in the bellow gallery. The pennant sleeves pattern is based off of common sleeve construction of the time but with the long streamer added, no example of this kind of sleeve is extant. The buttons are self stuffed cloth buttons of the same wool.


Pouch Based on find 1701 in Dress Accessories made May 2008

The red leather pouch below is made based on a small pouch find #1701 found in Museum of London 's book Dress Accessories. I also have pictured a black pouch of the correct size and shape as the extant find which when folded is 4 inches by 4 inches. It was too small when compared to manuscript images so I made the larger red version.

Reading a more recently published book, Purses in Pieces, I figured out how the parts go together. The purse is a two compartment purse; on compartment is fully leather with a slash to open the compartment and the other is leather edged cloth. This was a common practice in the late middle ages. I added the double stitching row with the punch work and embroidery to the pouch; it is not in the extant example.

The purse is made of 2 oz goat skin vegetable tanned leather; this was common leather in used in purse making. The seams are hand stitched with waxed linen thread. There are no straps found with this purse find; a good number of 14th and 15th century purses did not have straps; some designs would make straps impossible.

Black version with some mistakes; made in summer 07

Romance of Alexander Tunic made May 2008

This tunic is a Herjolfsnes no.41 without the gore in the back of the sleeve and with buttons in the front that the original does not have. I wanted to emulate the look of several figures in the Romance of Alexander. The figures (some pictured bellow) are shown wearing tunics ranging from just above the knee to ankle level depending on wealth. Many in the manuscript have a second tunic on with pennant sleeves; this is the first layer so my first image from the manuscript shows the buttoned front and arms with the tight fitting body and full skirt area like my tunic. I plan to add the second layer later.

The tunic is made of a green wool and the buttons are cloth self stuffed buttons.

The outfit also has a pouch based on find 1701 in Dress Accessories and open work shoes (project bellow this one) based on an extant example found in Stepping Through Time to match accessories found in the manuscript:

Untitled Document

Open Work Shoes; Early 14th Century made May 2008

These are based off an extant pattern found in Stepping Through Time. The images shown are of the upper with the cut work before dying and assembly:

Shoe inside out before turning:

Shoe turned, worn, and extant example:

Shoes and Pattens made June 2007

Stacked Leather Pattens

These stacked leather pattens are based off of several different pairs in Shoes and Pattens: Finds from Medieval Excavations in London and Material culture in London in an age of transition: Tudor and Stuart period finds c. 1450 - c. 1700 from Excavations at Riverside sites in Southwark. The patten is five layers of leather with two extra layers in the heel. The three center layers and the two heel lifts are sewn together with waxed linen thread and the bottom layer is nailed on with hob nails, several examples from the 13th to 15th century have hobnails. The top layer is glued down to protect the stitching and the foot from the clinched hobnails. The straps are sewn in-between the whole layers in the middle. This design will work for the 14th and 15th century.

The sewn together layers only:

The bottom layer is glued on and the hobnails added:

The top layer was then glued on to cover the stiching
Next the patten was dipped in water for one minute and then the edges are burnished.
Only step left is to oil the leather:


Update 5-8-08 - These shoes remain unfinished; I am unsure of the pattern and I am not sure when I may have time to come back to them

These shoes are based off a pair in Shoes and Pattens: Finds from Medieval Excavations in London. I used a similar cut work pattern as the originals but I did not exactly copy the original cut work. The next step is to dye and then sew the shoes.

Clothing made in 2006-2007

Kirtle and Cote - 1360s

I made this linen outfit (wool hood) for SCA use like during SCA courts at summer events. It is a blue cote* with pendant sleeves over a red kirtle* with tight fitting arms. I made the entire outfit with the exception of casting the buckles and tablet weaving the garters; I did assemble them myself. The kirtle has about 70 hand made cloth buttons on the arms and body and the cote has about 35 hand made buttons on the body. The edges are hand finished but the button holes are done by machine.

The cote is based off of multiple manuscripts from 1350-1370 and some written text found in Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince.

*terms based of Chaucer's terms from English clothing

Gold Linen Gown - Mid 14th Century

This linen gown is a replica of the Herjolfsnes Greenland finds numbers 33 and 34 with a buttoning neck added based on the fragment of find number 60. I felt there was enough art with buttons at the neck to support adding them. Buttons are made of the same linen and the garment is hand finished with gold linen thread.

The gown a fairly wrinkled in this image because I had been sitting and doing leather work at an artisans row at Challenge of the Heart (2007)

Clothing made in 2005

Herjolfsnes Gown # G41

This is one of the Herjolfsnes Greenland finds, #41. I used a grey and grey green colored herringbone wool to make this garments. The buttons are hand made with the same material and the outside edges are all hand finished. My copy is upscaled slightly from the original because I am tall.

Clothing made in 2003

The clothing below are my first attempts into 14th century clothing, I don't even own the clothing shown any longer it has all been replaced and sold off.


This Cotehardie was constructed in 4 pieces for the body. I used some art from the 1370s to design the body shape. For the arms I used the pattern from a Herjolfsnes no.41 tunic which you can see a similar shape with the gore in the painting below

This cotehardie is one of the pieces I wish was going to me. The hourglass shape came out perfect on this piece. It was constructed of 2 layers of linen, this will make a perfect piece to wear outside in the summer.

Bocksten Bog Man Tunic, Chausses, and Liripipe Hood

I created this outfit with a pattern from La Fleur de Lyse and historical references from archaeological finds, which you can find here http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/bockhome.html. The first 2 images are of the buyer and the others are of a friend modeling the liripipe hood in different styles from the 14th century.