hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
If you are a book lover + 16th century history geek like me, the image below may be pornographic in nature....

Before The Mast - Available To Buy, Second Edition

That's right y'all - the reprint of 'Before The Mast: Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose' has been released. Unlike the first printing of this work, the current version is set up in two volumes to better accommodation of the HUGE TRACKS OF RESEARCH therein (without the inevitable spine breaks that the first printing seemed to have when they attempted to fit it all in one book).

My favorite review of the book to date?

"I got it for the surviving garments but stayed for the forensic anthropology. Fantastic"



The Mary Rose carried a crew of naval officers and sailors, a fighting force of gunners and soldiers, a Barber-surgeon, several ship's carpenters and skilled navigators. Of nearly 500 men, fewer than 40 survived the sinking on 19th July 1545. Trapped by netting, or below deck, they stood little chance, and their bodies and belongings went to the bottom of the sea. Excavation of the hull and contents produced a huge collection of objects that together make up a detailed picture of what life was like on board.

Before the Mast explores how the men of the Mary Rose lived, through their surviving possessions; how they were fed; their music and recreation, medicine and provision for illness and injury, as well as working practices: carpentry and maintenance, stowage, navigation and ship's communications. The personal possessions of the crew included religious items, books, fishing lines and weights, sewing kits, money, hair combs, jewellery, knives, musical instruments and many items of clothing. The Barber-surgeon, who had his own cabin, brought on board a fine chest filled with canisters, bottles and pots of ointment and medicines, a variety of surgical instruments and a fine set of razors. Another cabin nearby was clearly occupied by the ship's carpenters whose toolkit included planes, adzes, axes, hammers and drills, as well as pitch pots and special mallets for patching up leaks in the ship's hull. The ship's navigators had the best in sixteenth century compasses. The ship's galley was in the hold and this area in particular produced many examples of wooden and pewter plates, bowls, pots, bread troughs, and tankards, as well as barrels and baskets still containing beef, pork, fish and fruit. The volume also includes an analysis of the human remains providing evidence for the stature and age range of the men most were under 30 their health, and injuries sustained.

Where can you get yours? HERE

Considering the limited run of the first release, I would recommend eating Ramen for a bit and getting your order in now. The copies of the first run are currently going for $350+...

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Feast your eyes my pets!


O. M. G. Cranach isn't my go-to painter from this period, but I have to say that this source is certainly inspiring the hell out of me!

I can already hear my husband asking for this one...
Lucas Cranach the Elder - Portrait of a Duke of Anhalt (Johann IV of Anhalt, 1504-1551)

Lucas Cranach the Elder - Johann the Steadfast, Elector of Saxony (about 1515)

With these! (Oh, did I mention you can zoom in *so close* it's ridiculous?)
Detail of above image

Pardon me while I drool over this one...
Lucas Cranach the Elder - Portrait of the Lady of Schleinitz (1526)

This man is piiiiimp!
Lucas Cranach the Elder -  Portrait of Joachim I. Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg (1529)
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Digging around through my old BSB sources, I ran across this alternate example of a dress from Köln in the later part of the 16th C. The BSB is currently frustrating the crap out of me, because it is giving me errors whenever I try to look at the digitalized versions of the ofllowing titles:

Kostüme und Sittenbilder des 16. Jahrhunderts aus West- und Osteuropa, Orient, der Neuen Welt und Afrika - BSB Cod.icon. 

Kostümbuch Kopie nach dem Trachtenbuch des Christoph Weiditz - BSB Cod.icon. 342 München um 1600 

Des Radts der Alten Stadt Magdeburgk Ordnung vbern Ehebruch, Gelübdn, Wirdschafften, vnd Kleidung, Magdeburgk 1544

Still looking for possible alternate examples of men’s clothing from that region in the same time period…just in case anyone has some laying around…

Kostüme der Männer und Frauen in Augsburg und Nürnberg, Deutschland, Europa, Orient und Afrika - BSB Cod.icon. 341
Augsburg 4. Viertel 16. Jh. 

Organized into regions and probably about as reliable as any Trachtenbuch is… *grin*

I love the red dress from my prior post, but this one may look more German? 

hsifeng: (handsewing)
OK, first off – thank you for your patience with my little ‘Origins of the Landsknecht’ blog-series/project. I swear, I *am* actually sewing and will blog about that soon as well. As a point of observation; I say I won’t quilt because I don’t see the point of cutting fabric into small pieces, sewing it back together and then cutting it up again to sew it in a pattern…and yet I make men’s early-period German costumes where that sort of thing happens all the time… WTF?!?


In the meantime I want to blog about the costume that I am going to be working on next for the 16th C. And I mean it; I am going to do this one. For sure. First of all – it’s later period. And considering the number of faires that my husband I do that are Elizabethan, this should be a no-brainer. Second, the image for my dress is actually From Köln. You know, that city that my character and her husband are from. And given the amount that I rant about regionalism, you’d think I’d have put my money where my mouth is by now. (*insert eye roll here*) Finally, I have been told by the Costume Mistress at the primary event that we attend that my husband can wear this if I make him the later period set to go with it!

Nürnberg Comedy Commemorative Moose Hunting Hat

And for the color versions, (thank you [livejournal.com profile] mmcnealy!) go here. Trust me, GO. It is worth it...

Anyone want to lend a hand with a translation of this bit?

Yes. That hat actually exists. 

EDIT 9/9/11: And now I realize that LJ is a bastard and is eating the images of the clothing that I am planning to accompany this hat.
/insert copious cursing here as LJ continues to baffle and annoy me in my efforts to add those images back in to this post
Without further ado:

I plan on making the red dress to the left of this image; although I must admit I have found a few other Kölnish examples that are tempting me as well (which I will blog about separately). 

hsifeng: (Book Fortress)

“Mobility: Voluntary or Enforced? Vagrants in Württemberg in the Sixteenth Century” by Robert W. Scribner. from Migration in der Feudalgesllschaft, Gerhard Jaritz, Alber Müller (H.G). Page 65, published 1988, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York. ISBN: 3-593-33883-1

Page 69:

“Of all the identifiable types of vagrants, wandering soldiers seeking employment as mercenaries, the ‘Landsknecht’ or ‘Gartknecht’, made up by far the largest single group. Throughout the sixteenth century, they were held to be one of the greatest threats to law and order, even where they travelled singly, usually with their ‘Kebs’, or concubine. Like Veit Brunner, they often carried firearms and could be obstreperous, even without provocation. Most frequently they travelled in groups, such as the band of 15 persons who halted at an inn in Denkendorf in the district of Stuttgart in 1531: seven men and eight women, four of them married couples, and from places as scattered as Munich, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm, Pforzheim and four other places which are no longer traceable, possibly villages outside Württemberg. This group claimed that they were travelling to seek service under the Emperor, but they fell into a brawl with some carriers in the inn. Local farmers tried to intervene to keep the peace, and became involved in the fighting. One of the farmers was felled, another was wounded; and one of the ‘Landsknecht’ threatened to harm the village in revenge. This was common behavior as it appears in the criminal records – they quarreled, brawled, disputed the bill, threatened farmers and innkeepers, and were not averse to a bit of extortion, even forming into robber bands engaged in ‘Plackerei’ or highway robbery.”

OK. So ‘Kebs’ is a new term for me. As someone who attempts to avoid the term Kampfrau, I am always collecting other phrases to describe the women of the baggage train. The news that Landsknecht “often” carried firearms is sort of off-putting. I have always been under the impression that guns were still pretty pricey in the early period (where the Veit Brunner example comes from), so were these men just walking away with the contents of the local armory after a campaign? It seems unlikely. Maybe the guns were plunder? Hum…

It is also interesting to note that the group of 15 people mentioned in this passage came from such a diverse number of places. I have been under the impression that most ‘groups’ of Landsknecht would have been from a similar geographical location; both for social reasons, and because I had heard that travelling singly was dangerous enough that even soldiers didn’t do it willingly. Add to that the idea that most peasants didn’t like soldiers and it seems like you are looking for death long the roadside if you take off on your own to find a Fahnlein to join. Would it be possible that this group were picked up along a muster route?

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be Landsknecht… No, really – there’s a song for that

Further along…

“From the end of the fifteenth century Swabia became the most common recruiting ground for mercenaries, and from that time on there were repeated attempts to regulate the trade.”

And further still…

“The usual period of absence on military service seems to have been no more than a year, for those charged were usually apprehended after returning home at the end of the campaigning season.”

And then…

“The most common employer was the King of France, followed by the Emperor. Occasionally employment was taken under German princes recruiting for local campaigns, such as the Landgrave of Hesse or Margrave Albrecht of Brandenburg. Thus Italy, the Low Countries and Central Germany were the main theatres of activity.”

The article goes on to state that most of the folks arrested for this offence were not thereafter arrested again for the same issue. Perhaps evidence that not many people partook of multiple campaigns?

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)

This happy story brought to you via [livejournal.com profile] brickhousewench, who got it from Alena, who begat Abraham, who begat Issac…wait…sorry – wrong Big Book of Fun Knowledge.


Anyway, thank you [livejournal.com profile] brickhousewench!

“Mobility: Voluntary or Enforced? Vagrants in Württemberg in the Sixteenth Century” by Robert W. Scribner. from Migration in der Feudalgesllschaft, Gerhard Jaritz, Alber Müller (H.G). Page 65, published 1988, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York. ISBN: 3-593-33883-1

Page 67:

“The major themes of the paper can be summed up in the case of Veit Brunner of Vaihingen, a ‘Landsknecht’ arrested in January 1549 in a village just outside of Pfullingen, in the administrative district of Urach. Brunner had emptied his musket through the window of a house as he marched into the village with his female companion, Katherina Steb. He claimed that he had been drinking on the road, and was ‘full of wine’. For safety’s sake, he had wanted to discharge his musket before entering Pfullingen: 1 he just had not seen the house in the way 2. The district officials were dissatisfied with this explanation, and reported to Stuttgard, from where the Duke ordered that he be interrogated, by bringing him into the presence of the executioner 3 and if necessary by the use of torture.

“Nothing suspicious was discovered in the interrogation, and the district governor of Urach reported only that Brunner had been imprisoned two years previously in Esslingen, and since then had not been in his home town of Vaihingen for more than 2-3 days. However, he had remained there long enough to run up 100 Gulden worth of debts and to get a girl pregnant, who was even now supporting his child. In addition, Brunner was reputed to be slightly crazy 4. The previous August his own brothers Steffan and Friedrich had applied to the Württemberg chancellery to have a warrant (‘Steckbrief’) issued for his arrest. They claimed that he had been wounded in the head with a knife some years previously, had lost his reason, and had had to be locked up for his own protection. However, he had escaped and had been wandering the roads, and was given to all kinds of irrational behavior – abuse, threats and every kind of mischief. When he returned briefly to Vaihingen he had threatened to burn down all the surrounding villages. It was feared that he would harm someone, and all Württemberg officials were ordered to keep a lookout for him.

“Viet Brunner may have been crazy, but he had won himself a travelling companion 5, Katherina Steb from Überlingen. Katherina had been working in the hospital in Überlingen, where she had taken up with a fellow worker, Hans Beck from Ebersbach, only eleven months before. The couple had married just before Lent 1548, but only two weeks after Easter Beck deserted his new wife 6. Too ashamed to remain in her home town, she had moved to Marbach on the Swabian Alp, where she took service with a miller. There she met Veit Brunner, who arrived with a companion. Veit was struck with her, and declared that she was the woman for him. He forced her to go away with him, which Katherina claimed she had done ‘out of fear and lack of understanding’. They went to Bernback, where she again took service briefly, and then to Mittenstedt, where she found another position as a servant, and wanted to part company with Veit. But he stood in the street outside the house, and so cried out that she must come out and go with him that she gave in, again, as she claimed, ‘out of fear’7. From there they came to Pfullingen. Her account was confirmed by Veit’s testimony, except that he did not know that she was married, and had promised to marry her himself. Indeed, in his first interrogation he had openly admitted that she was not his wife, but had professed his intention to ‘lead her to church and street’ as soon as he was released.”


The article goes on to discuss Landsknechts and Gartknecht (Landsies on leave or between wars?) as a type of common vagrant. I can’t wait to read the rest of this article!

Footnotes presented here are mine, and are just my thoughts on the piece thus far:

1 So, he was marching with a loaded musket? And he was a vagrant? Really? Wow… How the hell did he afford the gun, the powder. The Fucking WINE?!? Oh, I guess if you have a loaded gun it makes it easier to barter with the local villagers. OK. I am satisfied.
2 That happens to me all the time.
3 For some truly fun information on executioners, skinners, butchers, soldiers and other “unclean” castes, try “Defiled Trades and Social Outcasts: Honor and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany” by Kathy Stuart.
4 So far he sounds like every Landsknect I know. Except my husband. Of course. /side eyes the exits
5 Where ‘won’ is a cute euphemism for kidnapped and ran away with. *eye roll*
6 Katherina clearly has excellent taste in men.
7 Fooled me once, shame on you. Fooled me twice...

PS: If someone has a translated version of Martin Luther’s (yes, THAT Martin Luther) “Von der falschen Bettlern Buberei”, originally published in 1527 and then republished in five further additions – I will be your best friend

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)

Afternoon All!
As you may remember, a week or so ago I posted this entry enquiring about potential information on using gold/netted cauls as possible caps under armor helms/helmets. The general consensus seems to have landed on, “Uh…not likely…”.
More information is always appreciated, and Gwen Norwick (of Historic Enterprises) and I have continued to discuss this via e-mail in the meantime. Gwen brought up the following information and I am bringing it back in here – with her permission – to share with ya’ll.

Enjoy. Digest. Tell me if it sparks any more thoughts on this subject:

I agree, a netted caul doesn't seem like the ideal way to keep your hair neat.  

Have a look at one of the images he [EDIT: Meaning the original inquirer about these items ~hsifeng] referenced-

Now to me, that looks exactly like sprang, not netting.  I don’t see any knots, and the openings are eye-shaped, not square.

I’d reckon this one is netted, because the openings are square.  Much different than the guy above.

Sprang is, by its very nature very elastic, and has been used for hair nets and bonnets since the Bronze age.  If I’m going to buy the hairnet under helmet theory, I’d be much more inclined to believe they are made with sprang.


The other clue that leads me to thing this particular hairnet is sprang is the cord which is wrapped around the base, holding it to the head. The cord is necessary in sprang because it holds the edge and keeps the piece from unraveling.  Check this out-


You see this cord in almost all of the images-

Due to the elastic nature of the weave, it would also give you that form fitted look you see on so many of the images:

Once you know the technique, sprang is butt-easy to do, and works up quickly.  Of course over time lacy and extremely complex designs were developed, and they probably take some time, but sprang is infinitely faster than netting.

Then poking around on the web, look what I stumbled across-

Description of the hair style and hair net worn by the occupant of a Bronze Age (c. 1300 BC) grave in Skrydstrup, Southern Jutland aka GERMANY.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Anyway, based on this miniscule amount of information, I’m of the opinion that a sprang hairnet could have been used to contain the hair under a helmet, and that more complex and delicate nets were used in the cauls.  I’m also leaning toward the idea that hairnets evolved into cauls for civilian wear, and eventually into the caul-shaped hats, like this-


EDIT: 6/3/11 (from Gwen who wanted to give more info on the history of sprang for perspectives sake)


From Wikipedia-

Although examples of sprang have been unearthed from as early as the bronze age, sprang was almost entirely undocumented in written records until the late nineteenth century when archaeological finds generated interest in Europe. Museum examples of sprang had been misidentified as knitting or lace until discoveries of ancient examples prompted reexamination of newer pieces. Subsequently, sprang has been identified in a variety of cultures and traditions across several continents. Its practice as a folk art waned during the twentieth century and sprang traditions have disappeared in most locales. Knitting has largely supplanted sprang.

Fabric impressions from potsherds of northern Germany suggest that sprang originated in Europe during the neolithic period. It may have spread southward toward the Mediterranean during the iron age or possibly the late bronze age.  The earliest surviving example of sprang is a hair net, c. 1400 B.C., that was recovered from a bog in Denmark.  Most archaeological finds of sprang fabric come from the later classical era and early Dark Ages: locations include Norway (third to fifth centuries A.D.), Switzerland, Egypt (possibly twenty-second dynasty, also early Coptic), and various Roman sites. Use of sprang has also been conjectured from archaeological recoveries of ancient looms and from depictions in period artwork.

Sprang is also an indigenous needlework technique among the peoples of South America, with the earliest known examples dating from before 900 A.D. among the Paracas culture and Nazca culture in present-day Peru. Sprang has also been noted in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and North America. Indigenous North American sprang includes woolen scarves by the Ho-Chunk of Wisconsin, and Hopi wedding sashes. The natural elasticity of sprang makes it suitable for stockings, hair nets, sleeves, bags, scarves, and other purposes where pliant material is required. Most sprang needlework is utilitarian and hence was overlooked by scholars until late in its history, according to needlework historian Catherine Amoroso Leslie. In fact, it was not until the nineteenth century and the discovery of sprang at archaeological sites that it was recognized as a separate and distinct form of needlework. Many museum objects that were wrongly classified as knitting or lace have now been correctly identified as sprang.
In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is forced to leave his wife Penelope to go fight in the Trojan war.

When the war was over and there was no sign of Odysseus, many suitors came to seek Penelope's hand in marriage.

As time went on and the chance that Odysseus would return became smaller, the suitors got more and more badly behaved.

In order to avoid choosing a husband, Penelope came up with a plan. She announced that she was weaving a shroud for Laertes, her father-in-law. She said that, once she had finished, she would choose from among the many suitors.

Penelope wove during the day, and unloosened the weaving at night, therefore buying time. An interesting theory is that Penelope was weaving sprang, which is very easy to undo.

I agree there is a huge gap between 1300BC and 1550AD.  In general, there are loads of extant textile remains for Bronze Age thru Dark Ages, then a significant tapering off during the Medieval period, then an increasing number of finds and whole garments after 1500.  Textiles of -any- kind are poorly represented in the medieval period, so it's no surprise that few examples remain. 


hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
O Great LJ Hivemind...

I come to you with a request for information. A friend has recently been being pestered to produce evidence showing that 16th C German men *did not* wear netted gold cauls under their battle helmets.

My initial thought upon hearing this was, “Are you crazy? Who would wear an item THAT EXPENSIVE under their helm?” I mean… gold…netted…re-embroidered over…? Are you nuts?

My second thought was, “I thought we normally tried to prove that someone *did* wear an item rather than the opposite? I mean, prove to me that 16th C German men didn’t wear fairy wings under their backplates!”

*eye roll*

Then I realized; I have seen dozens of Landsknecht re-enactors wear these things around during the day while in their breastplates over the years. I don’t think I’ve seen any of them smash a helmet down over the top…but maybe that is where this guy got the initial idea. OK, so it may just be an issue of monkey see, monkey do. As for actual evidence of this taking place in the 16th C on the other hand, if there are 16th C images of un-helmed but armored men wearing these in portraiture, my guess would be that the images in question are “I’m Showing Off My Armor” shots; the addition of the “gelbhaube”/caul as a way to enhance the overall look-at-me-and-my-pimp-gear image, rather than to indicate that the caul was part of an armor rig in some way.

Then again, I don’t know that this particular re-enactment-ism has ever been really researched.

So I put it to ya’ll; anyone out there have any details (wardrobe inventory items, images of extant woolen arming caps, narrative descriptions, etc.) that might help clarify this issue with some data?

hsifeng: (Book Fortress)
From the lovely landsknecht.org, we have this link to the color scan of the Trachtenbuch des Matthäus Schwarz aus Augsburg, 1520 - 1560. Or, "the Schwarz Trachtenbuch" as it is often called on this side of the pond.

I have a French reprint of this book in my collection at home, in color. Not all of the images in this online version seem as vibrant as that copy portrays them, but this version does include a number of images that my at-home copy does not.

*claps hands in glee and goes off to explore*
hsifeng: (Bohemian Bathhouse Babes)

I love Katrin Kania's blog, "a stitch in time". Today she posted this lovely info on extant German undies from the 16th c.



*i <3 extant undies*

Aaaanyway. There is an English language article available as well here.

Just filing this all away for future reading and reference.

EDITED 7/6/11: And here is [livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul talking about the German language article on these.

EDITED 7/18/12: Due to a recent set of English language articles on this topic, interest has swung back round again on this find. [livejournal.com profile] mmcnealy just posted this tidbit on FB. http://www.uibk.ac.at/urgeschichte/projekte_forschung/textilien-lengberg/medieval-lingerie-from-lengberg-castle-east-tyrol.html
hsifeng: (Book Fortress)

"Dear Mrs XXX,

"Unfortunately, your EThOS order THESIS00002427 has been cancelled.

"Order details: THESIS00002427
Thesis: uk.bl.ethos.417876
Title: Durer and costume  a study of the dress in some of Durer's paintings and drawings / Agathe Lewin.
Order date: January 24, 2009

"At this time, we are unable to provide you more information for the reason of cancellation.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions about our service, please do not hesitate to contact us at mailto:ethos-help@bl.uk"

*pouts and stamps foot*

Any chance one of you's has this thesis?
hsifeng: (Book Fortress)

From the E-Beetle on Tribes:

If you would like to be able to view most of the presentations given at the "Costume Colloquium: A Tribute To Janet Arnold" in 2008 in Florence, Italy, now you can!


-Go to the attached link.
-Register (just an email address and your name, but they will send you 2 separate authorization emails - approximately 3 minutes) a...nd log in.
-When you have logged in, find the text that says, "Atti on-line" ("Presentations on line.") in the left hand menu bar.
- Click on that text. A new browser tab or window will open with a list of presentations.
-Click on any presenter's name in blue to open the slideshow they gave, along with audio of the talk. The talks appear to be 15-25 minutes each, but I haven't tried them all yet.

(Not as easy as if it were all on YouTube, but so great that it's available at all!)


The Mark Wallis presentation needs to be played at sub-sonic levels in the backstage areas of every Ren Faire in this country. On a continuous loop.  ;)


Feb. 1st, 2010 08:31 am
hsifeng: (Sudlerin)
If you haven't seen this series, I highly recommend it!

That is all...
hsifeng: (Landsknecht)

For those out there with a better grasp of basic pattern shapes in the 16th C - any thoughts on what the basic 'cloak' shape is in these images?

It appears to be somthing other than a rectangle to me (given the 'longer/knotted' corners). Perhaps a trapazoid, or two long triangles attached to a square body base?

Up next, hoods!

hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)

[livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul (my personal garb goddess as many of you are aware), dug up this original text information in regards to soldierly sumptuary law information from Max. In addition, she also dug up the original 'their lives are crappy, let them have fun quote'. DHF’s Christopher Triechel provided translation services, so what you are getting below is a copy from the GRC list with a combo of both [livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul and Chris' work.

Thanks folks!

Now mind you, sumptuary laws were often hard to enforce even in the cities! However, this sorta makes it more apparent that this wasn't a permitted practice, just an example of soliders stretching their limits as they could, when they could. That doesn't seem so strange at all....

>> Original Text from [livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul with Chris' translations inserted in line <<

Hi again,

I've checked out Erika Thiel's Geschichte des Kostüms, a nice general costume history. Being that it is German, it does have some good particular German costume reference.

Erika actually quotes the bandied about sumptuary law (which was quoted elsewhere as 1503), but doesn't cite a reference - only that it was said: "Laßt sie doh gehen, bei ihrem unseligen und Kümmerliche Leben muß man ihnen ein Spaß gönnen". (Let them go at their unholy and pitiful life. One has to allow them some fun - C.T.). That pretty much jives with the translation in the Osprey book.

Another rather exciting piece is the what appears to be a full quotation of the Emperor's 1536 Sumptuary ordinance. I'm going to quote the part here on the Kriegsleuten. Anyone who'd like, please feel free to jump in and translate because I am deep in study of the 1548 wedding costume of the Duke of Saxony. It's in the period language. [So far I believe I see that Captains, fendrich and musterherr can dress like an honorable burger.]

Von Krigsleuten.
About the Soldiers

Item die kriegssleut so eyner eyn Ritter oder Edelman were sollen vnd moegen sich als oben von Rittern vn Edelleuten vermelt tragen.

In that the soldiers, one being a knight the other a nobleman and if they want shall clothe themselves as knights or nobility.

Were er aber von geringerm standt dann vom Adel herkommen vn eyn hauptmanschaft fenderich musterherr er dergleichen hohe ampt get woellen wir jm zulassen sich zutrage wi eyn ehrlicher Burger von geschlecten in stetten wie oben gesetzt ist.

But is he of common origin and then by a noble given a captaincy or fahndrich or muster master or of the same high office As such we wish to give him the right to wear that which a Burger of like standing as above mentioned may wear.

Were er aber eyn gemeyner knecht so er sich in seins herrn gebieten vnd oberkeyten diser ordnung vnd seinem standt gemess halten.

But he who is a common servant and who offers himself up to his master and his superiors must remain in his order and same standing

Aber eyn kriegesman so eyn dienst hett oder hauptman vnd im Zugk were vnd des eyn passbort oder urkund würd anzeygen der mag sich nach gestalt der leuff vnd wie jm gelegen kleyden vnd tragen.

But a soldier who has such duty or is captain in the trains and has to show a passport or document, he may as befits him and how he wishes carry and clothe himself.


EDIT: Additional sumptuary information from [livejournal.com profile] jillwheezul (love her!) posted on www.landsknecht.org on 11/18/10 -


Hmm, this might be the source - there is a section on the laws set down at Worms in it. Now, just to find it. Oh, and it also has a section enacted in Augsburg that deals with soldiers, including how many priests per soldier were needed. It starts at section XX (page 51 on the DGF viewer).

From [livejournal.com profile] mmcnealy on the same site on 11/19/10 -


Sumptuary is the English term, the period German term is "Kleidung Ordung" or "Kleyder Ordung"
Here's a link to Magdeburg's clothing ordinances from 1544 "Des Radts der Alten Stadt Magdeburgk Ordnung vbern Ehebruch, Gelüb... which might help with some vocabulary.

From Gottfried (also on landsknect.org) on 1/28/11 -

Out of
Landsknechte by Reinhard Bauman; München 1994 ISBN 3406379710

Sich so zu kleiden, wie es belibte, bzw. auch aus der Not des Feldlebens eine Tugend, nämlich die der >zerhackten< oder >zerhauenen< Tracht zu machen, war durchgesetztes Gewohnheitsrecht der Knechte, gegen das die Kriegsherren schon deshalb nichts unternehmen konnten, weil eine Vereinheitlichung ja nicht von den Knechten getragen werden konnte, und die ganze Landsknechtzeit für eine Uniformierung die Geldmittel fehlten. Individualität in der Bekleidung gehört jedoch vor allem zum Selbstverständnis des freien Kriegsmanns. Der Augsburger Reichstag von 1530 hat mit seiner großen Kleiderordnung (67) deshalb nicht die Landsknechtmode genehmigt, sondern nachträglich und für die Zukunft etwas legitimiert, das durch Verbote nicht mehr zu verhindern war, in einer Ständegesellschaft aber nicht ohne Kodifizierung bleiben konnte: >... eyn kriegesmann / so eyn dienst hett oder hauptman und im Zugk were / ... der mag sich nach gestalt der leuff und wie im gelegen / kleyden und Tragen.< (68)

My Translation:

To dress one self as one pleases or to make out of necessity a virtue of the field life, namely the >slashed< or >hacked< clothing, was enforced Custom by the Knecht, that the Leaders/Warlords could do nothing against because a conformity of dress could not be worn by the Knecht nor could the financing be secured throughout the entire Landsknecht time period. Individuality in dress on the other hand was part of the self-understanding of the free Soldier.
Because of this the Augsburger Reichstag of 1530, with its large sumptuary law(67) did not approve the Landsknecht fashion, but rather, belatedly legitimized, that what in a caste society could not stay without codification and could not be stopped through bans/prohibitions anyways: > a Soldier / so he has a service or a Hauptman in a Train (baggage train) were / … he may in person of the people and as he likes / dress and wear.<(68)

Book Love

Sep. 18th, 2009 04:16 pm
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Can I tell you something? I love the digital age! At what other time in history (up until now that is - barring time travel) could I have gotten a chance to peruse this little gem today? [profile] dravon, when you start making horse barding again you need to start with these:

The picture under this cut is a link to the same page in the aforementioned book. )

It is always nice to remember that our ancestors liked playing dress-up too! *grin*
hsifeng: (handsewing)

Speaking of fabric terms that cause one's hackles to rise...

"Cut Velvet"

Alrighty, all velvet that is not loop velvet is *cut* in order to create the "shag" or pile of the fabric. Picture A below is looped velvet. Picture B is looped and cut velvets. [1]

Which brings us to picture C (*forgive my poor Paint application skills*):

"What is this?", you may ask. Well it ain't cut velvet. At least not according to the Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, Vol. 22, No. 112 (Apr., 1927) pp. 358 - 366. The link to this article requires JSTOR access, so let me summarize. Picture C is a demonstration of "voided velvet". Since all plush velvets are cut, it makes little sense to refer to this other type of fabric which is only partly plush by the term 'cut'.

Voided spaces in a weave of velvet (where the surface is flat and often completed in a twill or satin weave) are not 'cut that way' to create the lower portions of the pattern. I believe that this idea came about from folks who are not familiar with weaving and figured that someone - or some machine - was taking plush velvets and mowing designs into them; hence 'cut velvet'.[2]

Despite the fact that I have done some weaving in my time and a decent amount of research on historic fabrics, I was guilty of using the "cut velvet" description myself for a long time. However, now that I have taken the time to really think about it's application to this fabric, it has become one of those 'shiny red buttons' used in historic reconstruction blogs that rings my bell every time.

Silly, I know. But there you are. *shrug*

Voided velvet, voided velvet, voided velvet. Live it. Love it. Use it! *grin*

[1] This technique is used to create patterns of various depths on the fabric surface and is accurate for use in the 16th C and even before.

[2] Don't get me wrong, this is how stamped velvets are made, but that is a different beastie altogether.


hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

"...or are you just happy to see me?"

Just happened to be rummaging through some old posts on Togs-from-Bogs and ran into this lovely little item. Katrin has been working on hand-netting hairnets for a bit now (and lovely work she does!), but the research in the above linked memory had me giggling. See, all the boys (and many of the girls) in the German group I work with down in LA seem to have a fascination with gold hairnets. Many folks wear them, often to the exclusion of other hats.


Their hairnets are lovely, and often finely crafted. No real complaints there.


However, given the deduced cost for a fine gold hairnet in Katrin’s research (“…roughly one thousand hours of work…”) and the mind starts to boggle a bit at all this material wealth wandering around in a mercenary camp…


Then again, it won’t stop me from encouraging folks to make these in something other than gold (by hand). *grin* There are some nice directions to be found here - along with a lot of other fun sewing information!


Apr. 13th, 2009 04:39 pm
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)

Back in the ancient mists of time, I played a Gypsie at the Renaissance Faire (TM). While I know that the folks who I played with did some research into proper garb, and a lot more into Gypsie culture (I read history books about it even - and that was something back then!), I don't think we had the first clue what we were doing...

But now, the interwebz have shown me the light! )

Per Margo's suggestion - I did another search with the alternate spelling... )
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

Must make a note of this entry from Medieval Silkwork's blogspot.

See the lovely Turks Head construction information, revel in the 'monkey fist' knots (which I believe can also be used as buttons!)...



hsifeng: (Default)

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