20 November 2006

Early 15th c. houppelande with veils

I made this houppelande a couple of years ago, but I think it has always suffered from a lack of appropriate headgear. So this week I made up three new linen veils to arrange in the style of this portrait by Campin. Dates for that painting seem to be around 1430.

The houppelande was originally a 'scraps project' - in other words, what can I make out of this fabric that was leftovers from somebody else. It is a poly-cotton damask originally in an off-white tone-on-tone pattern. Several bottles of RIT later, and it's pretty nice in color (if not in design) since the polyester and cotton threads take up dye quite differently. It's cut without any sort of pattern in a very basic A-line shape, and fully lined in a very short pile faux fur. I'm wearing a linen chemise and short-sleeved kirtle underneath. The chemise sleeves are a bit long, which is why one is peeking out.

The bumps in this fairly conservative veil style are still small enough that I can just use my own hair pulled into two braided buns rather than building something more structural. The first veil is a small rectangular one, doubled over; wide enough to cover the top of my head and long enough to reach my shoulders. It goes across my forehead, around the bumps, in front of my ears, and the back edges are then pinned behind my neck to keep it from sliding forward. The second veil is a circle, 2 foot diameter and folded in half, and arranged as a wimple. The third veil is a large square veil, again folded in half, on top of everything. (The original is actually folded in the other direction, so it would have be a long skinny rectangle, approximately 4:1.) I pinned pretty securely into my hair, and it really didn't move all day. It also kept me fairly warm, which was a good thing.

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