Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cotehardie Progress - Trim Ideas

I have been scouring the internet for images that show how a fitted gown may be trimmed - all to little avail. It is HARD to find any clear details on how these garments may have been trimmed. After deciding I wanted to put trim on my dress I started thinking about proper trimming materials, how trim would be applied and where it would be applied. I am so afraid to be putting my own modern tastes of what "looks right" into the place of what IS right!

I did find this image of dancers and looking at it, there is a lot of interesting detail that gives some good ideas of trim placement and scale.

This dress looks a lot like I want mine to look, with the sleeve tippets, lined with a contrasting color. There is a band of trim around the bottom of the hem - it looks like it may be fur?

These ladies are wearing light-colored gowns with dark trim around the neckline. They both appear to have some sort of (non matching) trim at the hem. It also looks like the lady on the left has put trim down the center front of her gown. 

There are a lot of interesting details in this group of 4! The hairstyles (are these young unmarried ladies since they aren't wearing a  headcovering?), the colors. Oddly enough the figure on the far left appears to have a non-matching top and bottom portion to her gown. The second-from-left figure looks to have a parti-colored garment, the second-from-right looks to have a plain, untrimmed gown and the one on the far left appears to be wearing a short sleeved overgown with tippits and a split skirt, showing the underdress at the sides, with the hem finished in a light colored trim (looks like it MAY be a pleated flounce?) 

And this one depicts a short sleeved overgown with interesting trim placement on the bodice. It also appears to have an overgown with trim at the hem, but the hem of the overgown is shorter than that of the underdress. 

So, I think I may be one step closer to deciding what kind of trim to put on my gown. Now I need to figure out WHAT to use for trim - strips of fabric? If so, what kind? Linen, wool, silk? Velvet? (too fancy??) Fur? (seems an odd combo with a linen gown though and I don't feel exactly comfortable wearing real fur - and fake fur looks kinda. . .fake. . .) 

And Peter is coming over this weekend to be fitted for a plain, basic doublet. It will be interesting to make a more fitted male garment for the 14th century period. David currently prefers the loose skirts of his tunic. (odd, since he likes the fitted nature of his 1860's attire). 



  1. I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that it depended if you were saxon or norman as to your outlook on headcoverings.

  2. i read that too but i can't remember where. although the church preached that women were to cover hair, it didn't always get done. every town or village had there own ideas about womens head coverings, and it kept changing over the years. in one region married women covered, single girls didnt. in another the peasants covered the gentry didn't, i lucked out some months back and scored a very expensive book on the last 5000 years of hair history for fifteen bucks. vereee interwsting reading.

  3. "Medieval Garments Reconstructed" by Lilli Fransen, & etc., suggests that braided cord (of wool) was used for seam reinforcement and trim. Wool twill plaited "tape" was also used.

    Somewhere, in the vast recesses of the internet is an image of a pellote or surcote that belonged to Leonara/Leonora of Aragon. (I think.) The garment in question looks like a sideless surcote and is pale blueish gray. If I remember correctly, it has a pattern on the surface that appears to be stamped or painted on. That could be fun on a smaller scale for trim. Or a spectacular mess.

    I can't wait to see what you come up with! It's going to be beautiful, I'm sure.

  4. Seeing the pic of the woman with red 'dress' reminds me of the folksong 'the ballad of robin hood'
    (starts about 2.20 but the banter at beginning is funny)
    "All in a robe of red scarlet she jumped fearless of harm..."


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!