marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The King's Servants

The King's Servants: Men's Dress At The Accession Of Henry Viii by Caroline Johnson

Tudor dress, drilling down into the primary sources.

These chiefly consist of the warrants ordering the Great Wardrobe to provide the cloth and the account books that record them.  Also there are sumptuary laws that give some hints.  But you can piece together things, by, for instance, noticing that two types of cloths must be woven to the same width, because the same length is given for the garment and for its lining.

It reviews the cloths used -- "cotton" for instance is a kind of wool -- and the dyes used on them.  Confusing enough, "russet" is undyed wool -- and there are orders for "russet velvet" which would be silk.

then it goes into the garments, startling with the gown and the doublet, which were those most visible, receiving the most and the best cloth, and handed out most often.  And all the others, such as shirts and hose and things.

And then it goes into the men who would receive items -- only those who faces the public as the king's servants got items from the Great Wardrobe.  It starts with the paupers whose feet Henry washed on Maundy Thursday and goes up the scale, through servants and clerks.  A cook's attire for appearing in public, not cooking.  Men whose jobs revolved about hunting.  Footmen, henchmen, yeomen of the Guard.

It ends with patterns for those who actually want to make 'em instead of wanting insight into what they wore and how it was made.
Tags: history reviews: 15th-18th centuries

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