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When reconstructing medieval life, especially medieval clothing, one needs to maintain a fine balance. Especially if one is not 20 any more, you have more options for going about your impression. Because there were without question those who did not follow the latest fashion, those who work hard, who are very religious or who generally follow more conservative views of fashion. We know of those people when we read moral texts from our period, when we read sumptuary laws, inheretance registers and mundane letter correspondences.

But the decision, which elements to choose for a certain point in time and a certain region in order to appear conservative or fashion-forward, is difficult. You choose between profane and religious art, between what moral writers condemn and what they propagate, between local tradition and foreign influence.

At the moment I am planing a very unusual surcot for my 1350s wife of a well-off crafter. When researching, I did however come across many overdresses that were quite conservative, loose cut and not exactly what other countries in this time already had to offer. So without question, there was still a large trend for that kind of clothing in my area as well.

So I decided, in order to extend my repertoire, i should also make a version of a surcoat that mirrors this world view and started an inbetween project.

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This is my entry for the #pluckingroses challenge. If you would like to read up the rules of the challenge, please follow the link to the article and see more entries and content on Instagram and Facebook.

For my entry I chose a contraceptive amulet, a fairly unspectacular piece but it has a very interesting history… (more…)

There have been different ways for everybody in the hobby to cope with our 2020 situation, I personally really liked the many challenges and community activities that this pandemic brought. It kind of felt like the Living History grew closer over borders and countries although most were unable to meet others.
I especially liked challenges for craft projects (please also see my projects on our IG14 Ensemble Facebookpage) in which you had to research a specific given topic which you might not have thought about too deeply before and make it your project to recreate an item for your living history work.
And if there is several other participants involved as well, it gets even better because you see so many different ideas and talents from your fellow living historians and learn something new from them!

So we thought well, it needs more challenges like it to give us motivation to start something new and when Rosalie Gilbert released her new book about womens sexuality in the middle ages, I thought this was the perfect challenge. There is so much to learn and know in theory about Sex in the middle ages, but when it comes to the living historians core competence, which is really the recreation and presentation of material culture, you don’t really see a lot of reconstructions in that area. 

 

The Challenge: I would like to see practical reconstructions fit for a living history presentation or event that are falling into the broad spectrum of sexuality in history.

It could f.e. be an identifying piece of clothing for prostitutes after your local sumptuary laws, it could be an amulett against conception, it could be a medical application against sexually transmittable deseases, it could be a sexy underdress, it could be a written letter with saucy poems a la Gwerful Mechain, it could be a fish hide condom, it could be a tin badge of a flying penis, it could be a dildo, it could be an allegorical or explicit sculpture or painting, it could be a pair of tweezers for body hair removal, it could be cooking a dish with an aphrodisiac effect, etc etc etc…. whatever you choose to be your project, it is worthy of the challenge. This is mainly supposed to be fun!

The only criteria that needs to be applied: You need to do it like a living historian. That means using sources, either archeological or written or pictoral to base your reconstruction on them.

How explicit or non explicit you present your works is up to you, I would guess however that social media plattforms will give a certain frame to that. Please dont forget to tagg your entry with #pluckingroses !

 

Obviously living historians from all eras, impressions and regions can enter!

I have written some articles about filet netting already, so I dont have anything to say in particular. A few impressions of a dark red (cochenille dyed) silk hairnet and its beautiful new owner. Silk as always is from Marled Mader – Archäotechnik texitle Fläche.

‘t was the year of our lord 2020 when all the reenactors came together in the village of Hohenwang to enjoy their life, fill their bellies with delicious food and wash their mortal bodies from all sins in the waters of the Günz, so that the horrible plague would pass them. It was there I was witness to the maiden Helena who was filled by the fire of the holy spirit fighting the devil himself in the body of a horrible beast not unlike a badger and executed the victory of light against the darkness and the heavens against the fires of hell. Awestruck, I could get hold of a piece of her bloody dress and I took it home to Vienna to create a vessel, worthy of the miracle. See here, what I contrived…

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A womens hood in cherry red

24.05.2020 by Rotschopf in Clothing

I already own a warming hood with buttons for my simple impression and if it really needs to be very practical for work, I also like to wear my husbands hood. But I wasnt quite satisfied with the fit of my buttoned hood and the material didnt really fit my more expensive clothing more expensive clothing. So I needed another model which can be worn over a fine veil and as a fashionable accessory rather than be a warming garment for winter when I most probably will never take out my finer gowns with their overlength and delicate silk lined skirt edges.

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More pictures, less text this time:
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A simple mens kyrtle for 1350

07.04.2020 by Rotschopf in Clothing

A dear friend still needed a very simple working-outfit for his wood workers impression. We still had this natural brown 2/1-twill ready which is quite robust.

I showed you some of the basics to making simple kyrtles for this time in this article here.  It is really just two rectangles for the front and the back and 4 triangle shaped side gores. The tight fitting neck opening is closed with 3 fabric buttons and the arms are closed with one fabric button.

Obviously, all seams are handsewn and hae a butterfly refinements.

 

 

Short and sweet this time: I made a new hair ribbon, inspired by an extant ribbon from the London finds from the first half oft he 14th century.

The original, Nr. 451 was pink and yellow striped, made from silk and woven with 12 tablets, which (as far as I could see from the quite bad quality black and white photos in „Clothing and textiles) were Z-directed on the left half and S-directed in the right half of the ribbon.

I exchanged the colours into indigo dyed blue and reseda dyed yellow and worked with only 10 tablets that I directed in S and Z interchangingly.

 

This was a little training for me since I want to do one or two more difficult tablet weaving projects in the future.

The silk I bought – as always – from Marled Mader.

I would like to give a special shoutout here to Silvia Ungerechts. I am only a tablet weaving noob that does the craft only because I sometimes need a tablet woven ribbon for another project. But she is a constant inspiration and help to me that I really look up to

With this hairnet project I wanted to tackle several ideas and goals I held.

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