Tuesday, October 2, 2007


According to Medieval Underwear III,

The Anglo-Saxons cross-gartered, of course; this refers to a practice of wrapping the (loosely fitting) hosen tightly to the legs with a crisscrossing band of ribbon. Labourers continue this practice for a long time past the Conquest, as a practical method of controlling their baggy hosen. While tunic styles were long (basically until the 14th c), the hosen could be gartered at the knees. Simple drawstrings also have served this purpose, as in the early hose (attributed to St. Germain) at the right.

After the rise of the hemlines, of course, garters continued to serve a purpose keeping hosen snug just below the knees, making them less likely to snag, and emphasizing the curve of the calves.
Woven cloth garters from the 14th c have been found in London excavations [T&C p143-4]. Scraps of cloth were also pressed into service as garters; T&C [p104] documents a twill unhemmed band tied forevermore as a garter. Occasional drawings suggest bejeweled or otherwise decorated garters; these might have been made of leather, but I am not aware of any firm archaeological evidence. The famous badge of the Order of the Garter appears in its earliest depictions (ca. Edward III) to be a leather garter with buckle and buckle piercings.

Therefore, anything amazing is likely unnecessary in this case, but I'm going to do a little more research to see if I can find anything more definitive.

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