Clothing guide: Women

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The Women’s clothing guide has big shoes to fill, the male clothing guide set the measuring bar very high indeed. The finished guide, as if finished it ever will be, sums up more than 10 years of research, discussion, trial and error, tossing everything out of the window and starting afresh. Four women researchers have inspired us to keep going, Beatrix Nutz, Thessy Schoenholzer-Nichols, Marquita Volken and Isis Sturtewangen. Each of them was working on new archaeological evidence, consequently forcing us to retract our steps several times over.

Writing a guide for a group like the Company of Saynt George presented us with several challenges. The number one question, every reenactor sorts out before even starting to think about clothes is “who is my medieval persona, how old is she, where does she live, what income does she have?” We had difficulties answering even this starting question.

This guide is by no means a complete work, it should simply serve as an introduction and sewing help. If the gentle reader is looking for more complete information, we would like to encourage you to read up the aforementioned ladies’ publications. Reinterpreting medieval clothing  comes with the challenge that there are so few textiles surviving. In a field where a lot of evidence is surviving in text, paintings and very fragmentary in real artefacts, we think it would be unprofessional to say “Our conclusion and our guide is the only one”– it isn’t, and it doesn’t have this pretension. Take it as an introduction, as a help, but by all means search on, form new conclusions, and share them.

We welcome feedback, notes and thoughts on this topic and this guide.



Recommended reading for further research