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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tudor Lord's Costume Fabrics

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will remember the Tudor Lady's costume I finished last summer for the Much Hadham Forge Museum. You can see a photo of it here and read in more detail about the making process through posts tagged "Much Hadham Forge Museum". This costume was an interpretation of the outfit of one of the courtiers (thought to be Lord and lady Kytson) in an amazing wall painting from c.1576, which is available to view at the museum. It is an amazing treasure, I really do recommend you pay a visit to see this incredible piece of history up close.

Cristina and Nollie at the Forge Museum have asked me to continue this project and complete the pair by making the man's costume! I am so excited to get the chance to make a Tudor Lord's costume, and expand on my growing knowledge of 16th Century clothing. I learnt so much on the journey of making the Lady's costume and developed many technical skills in the process. Now that I am in my second year of my costume course at LCF I am sure that I can make this costume even better, and most importantly a lot quicker! I have much more experience - I know what I'm doing now (well, at least I think so!) - and if the makers I met at the Metropolitan Opera can make a full costume in less than a week, surely I can do mine in four weeks!?

So this will be my project during the Easter break, which started yesterday. This morning I went fabric shopping and here is what I came back with - I'm really happy with the choices, and I think they will look fantastic together. Most of the fabric is bought from A-One on Goldhawk Road, but the beautiful gold brocade and rusty velvet are antique fabrics from Meg Andrews, Antique Costume and Textiles, who I was interning with throughout the Autumn Term last year.


The doublet sleeves are visible under the jerkin. On the painting you can see that they are striped, so I will be using a luxurious shiny striped silk. Both the right and wrong sides of this fabric are really effective - I'm not sure which I will use just yet!! The jerkin over the top (I will make the jerkin and doublet sleeves together into one piece) is black with dramatic slashes. I have chosen a plain black silk, which I will mount to give it some stiffness. I found a great velvet with in a striking black and orange-gold, which I will use to trim the doublet to echo the colours of the trunk hose. That's the technical term for puffy tights! Trunk hose are the fashion that developed in the years between slashed hose and full breeches. The hips balloon out with full, slashed fabric and the bottom half of the thigh are tight like hose bet constructed like the breeches you see coming into the 17th/18th centuries. The puffy sections are also known as slops. These will be made out of the wonderful brocade fabric, trimmed with gold silk. The canions, or breeches-like part will be rusty red thick velvet. Under these are stockings. I will also make a ruff and cuffs trimmed in rusty red. Oh and a feathered hat, although he has it in his hand in the painting! How fabulous is that ostrich plume?!

I am so excited to start piecing these wonderful fabrics together! Keep an eye out for photos of my progress on here, Twitter or Facebook. And I'll share my research as I go along too - I'm finding some wonderful references, especially in the book "Tudor Costume and Fashion" by Herbert Norris...

To learn more about the incredible wall paintings that are inspiring this Tudor costume, you can visit the Much Hadham Forge Museum in Hertfordshire: www.hadhammuseum.org.uk

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