Showing posts from January, 2020

Sixteenth Century Venetian Dress

Several years ago, mid-sixteenth-century Venetian gowns were fairly popular among historical costumers, but I don't seem to see them anymore. (Or maybe I'm just not looking in the right places?) Anyway, I was always interested in them but never made one myself. Recently, I was thinking about this era of clothing again due to a personal fiction project, and I realized that while I was familiar with the standard outfit - a sleeveless or sleeved kirtle that laces up the front, revealing a white triangle or strip of gathered chemise - I didn't really know anything about its evolution. (One interesting thing its evolution shows is that the common statement that fashion only "changed" every few decades until the nineteenth century is, like many common statements about fashion history, not true. Fashions had continuing variety, though often in subtle ways.) At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Venetian dress was somewhat plainer. La Schiavona , Titian,

Hyde Hall Planning: 1830s Chemises

The chemise is the first thing you put on, so it's the first garment I'll be discussing. As in other eras, the chemise was used as an underlayer to soak up the wearer's oils and sweat and protect the rest of the clothing. Throughout history, they have tended to be pretty shapeless, but there are typically various features that reflect contemporary fashion. In this period, that typically means higher and wider necklines, and short but full sleeves. Fabrics This period marks the early years of the Industrial Revolution, and the transition from linen to cotton as the basic utility fabric. Linen required a significant investment of time for processing (you have to let the harvested plant sit around in water for weeks to rot the stems and loosen the fibers), while cotton could be cleaned, carded, and spun pretty much immediately, which is part of the reason for this transition. Both linen and cotton were used for undergarments at this time. The Workwoman's Guide,  fi