marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Queen's Servants

The Queen's Servants:  Gentlewomen's dress at the accession of Henry VIII by Caroline Johnson

Which is about what can be deduced about clothing at the court from the materials we have.  There are no surviving garments, pictorial evidence is scanty, and we have only a limited subset of the warrants -- authorizing clothes -- and account books -- listing the expenses.

Still, it turns up some fascinating stuff.  We know there were young girls in attendance at court by comparing the cloth issued for them and for the princesses, and deducing they were nine to twelve.  A garment issued for the "late Countess" -- not deceased, but the wife of an Earl who had lost his title to treason.  How Margaret, being sent off the court of Scotland, got a warrant for herself and her attendants so they could cast off mourning.  A warrant for Mary describing her garments -- all black and white except for some tawny ribbon not visible, indicating they were still in mourning for Elizabeth of York.

It also discusses the kinds of cloth, the types of wool, and silk, and linen.  There's "cotton" but that's a form of wool, actually.  The smock, the undergarment -- the kirtle, sometimes visible, the laced up garment that provided supported -- the gown where they could pull out all the stops for fur and fabric. . . .

A recreator would find it particularly interesting, since it gives patterns.
Tags: history reviews: 15th-18th centuries, world-building: clothing

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