Friday, October 19, 2007


Went ahead and started on a 7th pleat. Most steuchlein I see have many pleats, not only a few. Once I finish the pleating, then I need to finish it off, but I'm still uncertain how large the non-pleat portion of the steuchlein should be. I need to make a wulst to go under it before I can determine that I think. For now, I can make an overlarge kerchief and sew them together to show others what it looks like, then if I find that it needs to be larger or smaller, I can take them apart and use the kerchief as just that.

This line of thought brought me to another research string. The history of the kerchief... When were they first used? Were they used as we use them today?

According to,

ker·chief /ˈkɜrtʃɪf, -tʃif/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kur-chif, -cheef] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
a woman's square scarf worn as a covering for the head or sometimes the shoulders.
a handkerchief.
[Origin: 1250–1300; ME kerchef, syncopated var. of keverchef < style="FONT-VARIANT: small-caps" href="">cover, chief]

It sounds as if they were mostly used as headcoverings, but when did they start to be used for the hands and face?

I found references to 'kerchef' in the following:

Testamenta Eboracensia: A Selection of Wills from the Registry at York - kerchef dated to 1522 as valued items to bequeath to another

Seige of Jerusalem - 1380-90

Sixteenth Century History - 1503 handkerchief was first introduced into Europe (but they don't say where, another site said Italy then soon after into France, but I lost the site)

Infoplease on the other hand indicates that they've been in use since the 1st century B.C., but they had different names; mouth or perspiration cloths, the sudarium, and napkyn.

Wikipedia: Sudarium - 'sweat cloth' from Ancient Rome

I think this gives me enough information to know that using the piece later as a handkerchief of sorts is feasible, considering they were made of linen, silk, and cotton (to name a few). So, I'll make it how I want the handkerchief and attach it to the steuchlein pleats for now, then figure out the wulst later. That should at least give me something to enter the A&S competition as well as show at the Roundtable. I'm all happy about this. :D Something temporary that will make a something permanent.

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