«Basic Markland Garb Recommended Garb for Public Events by Matthew R. Amt (aka Aelfric Guthredsson) October 1999 edition One learns by doing the ...»
You will need 1-1/3 to 2 yards of fabric for full-length hosen cut on the bias, depending on the length and thickness of your legs, and the fabric width. (i.e., if you are 6'2" tall with 26" thighs, 2 yards of 48"-wide fabric will do.) Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia Shoes Most medieval shoes were "turn shoes", sewn together inside out and then turned rightside out, to keep the stitching protected from wear. The sole is sewn to the upper with an edge/flesh seam: the stitch passes straight through the upper, then into the edge of the sole and out through the flesh (rough) side (fig 1.). The edges of the uppers can be butted together and sewn with an edge/flesh seam, or simple overlapped and stitched straight through.
Like almost all shoes of the period, this pattern has an upper of one main piece with the seam on the inside of the foot; small inserts are added to close any gaps. The toe is pointed, and there can be an embroidered stripe running from the toe to the throat. Shoes were made with a right and left, and could be slip-ons or fastened with a drawstring.
Be sure to use a good topgrain leather, not a suede or thin garment leather. Vegetable-tanned leather is by far the best. (Ask a leather dealer or other knowledgeable person is you don't know what these terms mean!) Before doing any cutting, make a good working pattern out of scrap cloth and cardboard that fits your foot. The "seam allowance" around the bottom edge of the upper will be 1/4" to 3/8", but the sole should have NO seam allowance, since the upper is sewn against its edge. It will look very narrow.
When sewing the upper and sole together, start at the toe and sew the outside, then start again at the toe and sew the inside. Keep your stitches small and tight. A helpful trick is to contact-cement the pieces together first, then stitch them. (Glue alone will NOT hold the pieces together without stitching!) Also, you may wish to turn the shoe before sewing the side seam or adding any inserts. The shoe must be soaked in water for several hours before it can be turned. When the shoe has been turned and has dried completely, coat is tell with neatsfoot oil to make it waterproof and supple.
Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia A FABULOUS website full of shoe patterns is at: http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marccarlson/shoe/SHOEHOME.HTM--just be sure to read the Introduction first!
Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia Headwear Proper headwear is essential to socially acceptable clothing, especially for women. Usually a veil or coverchief is sufficient, simply a white linen oval draped over the head and secured with a narrow band or fillet. Saxon women wrapped the back end of the veil around the front of the neck, tucking it in at the back again--the veil needs to be at least a yard long for this. Fashionable Norman ladies and anyone from later years wore the veil loose over the wimple, a wide linen band wrapped under the chin and pinned at the top of the head. Norse women just wore a kerchief, knotted at the back or side.
Phrygian caps were very popular among Saxon men. In the 12th and 13th centuries, linen coifs or padded arming caps were in general use, and were worn under hoods and hats as well as alone or with a helmet. Norman men in the 11th century, however, appear to have gone bearheaded, though they probably wore padded caps beneath helmets or mail coifs.
Hoods have been discovered at the 10th century Norse town of Hedeby, but they don't seem to have been used by the rest of Europe until the 13th century. It was common just to pull a fold of the cloak over one's head when necessary.
Accessories Your belt may be leather or fabric, one to two inches wide, with a simple D-shaped buckle, preferably brass. Instead of a buckle you can cut 2 slits in one end of the belt, and cut the other end into a long swallowtail--the tails pass through the slits and tie. Keep the tooling to a minimum--straight lines, simple geometric patterns, or a bit of interlaced motif.
From your belt, or from the drawstring of your braies, hangs your pouch or purse. This is a drawsting bag of leather or cloth up to about 6" square, with a double drawstring. Vikings and early Saxons seem to have worn a more substantial pouch with a flap, and 2 belt loops on the back.
You may also wish to wear a knife, but be forewarned that correct belt knives are difficult to find, and most of those in use or available today are inauthentic. The typical Anglo-Norse scramasax-type knife had a singleedged blade about 3 to 5 inches long, with a cylindrical wood or bone grip Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia (NOT riveted) and NO GUARD. The blade was frequently "clipped", shaped much like a modern Barlow knife. Longer knives did indeed exist, but since it was common to carry one's spear in public, a "fighting" knife was much less practical than a small, utilitarian blade. The knife was carried on the hip (ONLY on the hip) in a leather sheath with enclosed half of the grip as well as the blade.
A cloak is just a blanket-sized rectangle or half-circle of heavy wool (the hood is not attached--see "headwear"). An old wool blanket with the texture of an army blanket (ie, not fuzzy) can be found in a thrift shop or surplus store, and the corners cut round on one side to make something like a half-circle. The cloak is pinned on the right shoulder by a brooch, a common type being the ring-shaped penannular.
Some Norse tunics had very tight cuffs--sewing a husband's sleeves shut each morning was a wifely duty! There may also have been overtunics with shorter wider sleeves.
Trousers were worn, generally of wool. Some were close-fitting and footed, others may have been more straight-legged, ending at the ankle.
Shoes tended to have round toes, but were otherwise the same as those found elsewhere.
Scandinavian women are believed to have worn an apron made of 2 narrow panels connected by shoulder straps - sewn to the back panel and pinned to the front. There is sketchy evidence for pleated, short-sleeved dresses, shawls, and other unusual garments.