Sherts, Trewes, & Hose .ij. :
Documentable Details

by maistre Emrys Eustace, hight Broom
IAmBroom @ yahoo . com

As the title indicates, this article is focused on the details that we can document.

Sewing Overview

From T&C p 158:

"All surviving facings and bindings are of a fine tabby silk on the straight grain of the fabrics; no bias strip is known to have been used for this purpose on bias-cut or curving edges."

Note that they are not stating that bias-cuts were not used, but that they were not known to have been used for bias facings & bindings. 

Regarding rolled hems (same page):

"The technique is used solely on the fine transparent silk veils of the late 14th-century… where it has proved most efficient as well as unobtrusive."

A decorative and sturdy edge treatment commonly used was to tablet weave the end threads.

Tablet-woven edge treatment, T&C p 161

Estimated Times to Manufacture Clothes
Based on prices in 14th c. From T&C p151.
a pair of hose

a hood


a cloak


a supertunic 


a tunic 

 about ½ day
(c 1½d.-2d. each)

½-1 day depending upon
whether it was lined or not
(2d.-3d. each)

3-6 days depending on
whether it was lined or not
(1s.-2s. each)

3-6 days depending on
whether it was lined or not
(1s.-2s. each)

1-6 days depending on
complexity, lining, etc.
(3d.-2s. each)

12d. (pennies) = 1s. (schilling),      20s. = 1£ (pound)

Buttons & Buttonholes

Buttonhole stitch, T&C 
p 170

 Buttonholes, T&C p 170  Buttons, T&C p 169


Braided cords

Probably every young medieval girl learned at least a couple of different ways to fingerbraid.  From simple yarn a cord as strong as desired can thus be made cheaply. T&C [138-42] documents fingerloops with from 5 to 20 loops each, as well as plaited braids (unlooped ends), and tabby-woven (plain weave) ribbons. Any of these could be used as a cinch cord, lace, or hose point. All of the T&C London finds were of silk (the strongest medieval fiber), and all but one were monochrome.

Neckline Facing

Neckline of a wool garment with a narrow silk facing, No 50, shown from the reverse, from a deposit dating to the second quarter of the 14th century. T&C p 160

Cloth Buttons

Cloth button construction, T&C
 p 171

Garters and Dags

Dagged garter, T&C p143

Twill garter, T&C p 104

Possible weave pattern for dagged garter, T&C p 144

Complex dag, T&C p 198

Dag example with known patterns & warp directions, T&C p 196-7


Fig 87 of Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion is a photograph of eyelets used in breeches from 1574 Florence. These eyelets have a thin metal ring that is oversewn (or "buttonstitched") to reinforce the holes. Bodices of this period were reinforced in similar ways, to take the stress of tight-lacing.

This page also shows sets of hook & eyes in two other garments. Page 24 also has examples of hook and eyes, sewn eyes, and buttonholes. Fig. 151 states that hooks and eyes were still new and that they would soon displace and replace the use of points in clothing, at the end of our period, c1605-1610.

Eyelet construction & examples, p 164


Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion - The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women c 1560-1620.

Boucher, François. 20,000 Years of Fashion. The History of Costume and Personal Adornment (Expanded Edition). (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY 1983). ISBN 0-8109-1693-2.

Crowfoot, Elisabeth; Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland. Textiles and Clothing, c.1150-c.1450. (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London: 4) (alias "T&C") (London: HMSO, 1992).


Fingerbraiding sites:

Andy Goddard.

"Phiala" (SCA name; no contact information provided):

Priest-Dorman, Carolyn (Þóra Sharptooth). (copyright 1997-2000 )


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