Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lost and Found Updated

A few days ago I was cleaning up the links on my blog and I found a few that were broken.  Thankfully, there were only 4.  Today I was reminded of The Internet Wayback Machine and bingo!, I found the pages.  Three of which have now been repaired, even if they are linked through the Wayback Machine. [Edit: I actually found where the pages have been moved, so the Wayback Machine pages have been removed.]  The fourth, while also available through the archived site, had a problem.  The original web hosting site has plastered the wonderful information with their domain logo so that the information was unable to be viewed, let alone read.  In an effort to help preserve this information, I am providing it here so I don't lose it again.  I am afraid none of the referenced images are available, but, time permitting and if I can determine the original reference, I will attempt to repair them.

Early 16th C. Women's German Clothing – From Unterhosen to Gollar

As Presented by Frau Kathalyn Nimet & Lady Miriam von Schwarzwald

I - Undergarments
     1. Wäsche - underwear, “the wash”
          a. hemd/unterhemd/frauenhemd - chemise/undershirt

Similar to what is commonly referred to a chemise; hemds were generally linen and were worn under all garments. The upper class is oft seen with smocked and embroidered hemds (Img. 1) or high necked banded with black. (Img 2) What is most commonly seen above the dress neckline after approximately 1520 would be the halshemd, which is generally pleated into a jeweled or beaded neckband. (more under section d) Hemds were used to protect the skin and “wick away” sweat helping to prevent overheating and chills. From various sources, linen was the primary material.
          b. unterhosen – underpants
It is questionable if women wore unterhosen since little is known about women’s underwear in this culture and time. What few paintings we have found are either satirical (women wearing the pants in the family) [Img 4] or women bathing nude, but their heads still covered by their hauben or struechlein. (Img 3) It seems highly unlikely that women went without some type of undergarment, especially during their menses. Since undergarments are worn close to the skin, the material used was generally natural linen, with no dyes since most dyes of the time were caustic and tended to rub off on the wearer and these garments were washed more frequently then others.
          c. strümphe - socks/stockings
Generally strümphe were made of wool, silk or blends thereof. Meant to be used for warmth, women are mostly seen with white stockings and were not known to wear the mismatched socks or striped socks as the men of the period did. Similar to the chausses of the 14th C., the strümphe could be footed or made similar to “stirrup” pants with only a band of fabric under the arch of the foot. They were usually knitted or pieced from felted wool.
              i. strümpheband - sock garters (knieband)
Since there very few paintings or woodcuts showing women with the gowns up to their knees, since undergarments were similar to men’s of the time, one would have to assume that garters were needed to hold up one’s stockings. Since they were hidden, it is likely that women’s kniebanden were less ornamental or decorated then men’s but made from comparable material such as leather, wool, silk or linens.
          d. halshemd - neck shirt
Similar to a Tudor partlet, a halshemd or a gollar would be used over the hemd to cover the neck and shoulders for the many low backed, low bodice German gowns seen.  Many artists do not detail the halshemd because of its many pleats folded into a jeweled or beaded neck band. Some often mistake the neck band for a choker, being just ornamental. Image 5 of Princess Sibylle shows a great detail of a proposed helshemd, whereas Image 6 shows just the “choker” and no detail of a hemd or halshemd.
Img 5? - Princess Sybille by Lucas Cranach (c1526)
Img 6? - Sibylle of Saxony by Lucas Cranach (c1530)

Portrait of Margarethe von Ponickau by Lucas Cranach  (c1526)
    2. Support Garments
        a. unterröcke/reifrocke – underskirt
Here is where undergarments separate into several different theories about under support garments. A maid seen in “Susanna at Her Bath and The Stoning of the Old Men” (Img 7) shows a sleeveless kirtle type garment. This could be conjecture for a built in support corset/under skirt combination. Alternately, akin to the styles of other continental fashions, a separate underskirt could have been worn with a possible korsett. Reifrocke are seen as having a decorated band around the bottom hem in the upper classes, and it is probable that in warmer climes, this layer was eliminated altogether.
          b. unterkleid - underdress (kirtle?)
Another derivation of the supporting undergarments would be a sleeveless fitted kirtle over a hemd and in the upper classes, the plastron and brustfleck sewn on. (Img 7/8)
          c. korsett – corset
By this time corded corset where in use all over continental Europe and it is merely assumption that the larger ladies of the Holy Roman Empire wanted to achieve the flat fronted look of many of the German styles and needed to support and flatten themselves appropriately. (Img 9) While only one corset from a German notable exists to date (Pfalzgräfin Dorothea Maria von Sulzbach), it is admittedly later then our period, dated to 1598. From various paintings, it seems that a stark white fabric, most likely linen, and heavily decorated brustfleck were hand sewn on, visible in the open portion of the bodice.
          d. brustfleck/brusttuch – placket/plastron
As mentioned in previous sections, the brustfleck was sewn on with a linen placket over the unterkleid or korsett. The brustfleck ranged from a thin strip of damask or embroidered material to heavily beaded, all dependant on one’s station in society. (Img 2/6)
II  - Dress – Kleid
The most essential part of any woman’s wardrobe, most had several dresses depending on their class. Most lower and middle classes had the “T” style front closing dress (Img 1) Middle and upper classes also had a “U” front dress, and since the back of dresses are rarely shown, it is conjecture if the dresses laced up the back or side. The “Saxon/Cranach” dress most commonly seen in Cranach paintings were strictly the upper class who could afford the extravagant displays of fabric choices, slash and puffing, and greatly beaded/embroidered brustflecks. (Img 5/6)
    1. brüstle/brustleib/brüstlein - bodice (leibchen/leiblein/leibstück)
“T” front – front closing, wool, silk, linen or various blends (Img 1)

“U” front – does not cut below the breast line, filled decorated brustfleck, either side or back opening (Img 10)

“Saxon/Cranach” – Only seen in the upper classes with assumed front closure with lacings. Damask, velvets and brocades frequently used. (Img 6)
          a. sleeves, various styles
Straight sleeves with bell cuffs turned over are most often seen among the middle and working classes (Img 1/2) while affluence provided greatly exaggerated styles with slashing, banding and most often full white false sleeves. (Img 5/6)
    2. rock - skirt (paltrock/gestaltrock/faltenrock/ärmelrock)
In period the banding on a woman’s skirt were called ‘Umleg’, ‘Prem’ or ‘Köder’, and can be seen as the narrow velvet strips on the skirts and gowns, and other numerous ornamental bands.  These were regulated through sumptuary laws.  The order of 1568 mentions in this context guards ("Köderlein") made from wool, arras and worsted, “decorated with cords, and borders with shaped edges (‘toothed’) of ½ ell height.  Specifically forbidden were the guards “made from cotton velvet (bubensamat), cut out, embroidered, couched with cords, and appliqued”, and that there should be on each (skirt) only one strip and beneath that only one guard. Skirts were pleated in to the brüstlein using cartridge pleats (most frequently seen), knife pleats, roll pleats (for more fullness in the rock) and stacked pleats.
III - Accessories

    1. haube - coif, snood (bundhaube/goldhaube/haarhauben)
A goldhaube is the most common head covering seen in the paintings of middle and upper classes. Decorated with pearls, beads and possible metal thread embroidery. (Img 6)
          a. krantz - chain “circlet”
Mostly a bridal accessory, krantz were used to signify a bride’s virginity and were frequently decorated with spangles and wired feathers. (Img 5)
          b. haarnez – hairnet (Img 2)
          c. Haarband – black hairbank (velvet?)
Middle and lower class women were only allowed simple black bands. Gold and pearl beads were often added to an upper class woman’s haarband to indicate her status.
    2. barett/schlappe - flat cap
        a. strickbarett - small brim version (Img 6)
        b. hut - sun hat
Huts were not fashionable among the upper class women, however the working class often wore huts of woven straw or felted wool to protect their faces while working outdoors.
    3. steuchlein - “mushroom hat” with wustlehaube (bulge/support cap)
Constructed of linen, flaxlinen, wool and silk in the upper classes, steuchlein reduced in size from the beginning of the century towards the middle. There were essentially three layers to the steuchlein, the unterhaube (under hat) which covered the hair, the wustle (a wool stuffed padded roll) pinned to the unterhaube and the linen veil, a schleiertuch. Most women had a simple white linen steuchlein, while the upper class had silk veils with gold decorated borders or stripes. (Img 1/10)
Img 10? - Barbara Schellenberger by Hans Burgmair (c1505-07)

    4. gürtle – belt

In the first half of the 16th century a wide, closely fastened waist belt made out of fancy cloth in part covered with gold borders/braids as well as velvet bands surmounted with medallion like metal pieces was the predominate fashion.
          a. portlein/gürtlelein - narrow belt
The frequently mentioned diminutive form, portlein and gürtelein, refer to the long narrow belts. “1 woman’s hanging belt (gürtelein)” designates a long belt with a long strap and  tongue strap fitting, as can be gleaned from the period representations. (from the Textiler Hausrat)
    5. beutein - purse/pouch (taschen)
Leather, damask & velvet were all common materials to make taschen. Generally made to match the wearer’s belt, these were hung from the belt with a hook and were decorative and functional.
    6. patermosterlein – rosaries
Patermosterlein were carried by almost all women to display their piety and devotion even during the time of Martin Luther.
    7. schurz – apron
Simple enough, the apron was worn to protect the dress from getting dirty. Easier to wash and less expensive then the actual kleid, there were regulations to the amount and type of cloth that could be used to make a schurz.
    8. schuhe – shoes
Not many examples or paintings remain of women’s shoes, however written documents (sumptuary laws, shoemaker’s records) chronicle many different types of shoes. Boots were represented in paintings for hunting scenes or on peasant farmers. Most shoes used buckles by this time or leather toggles. Sumptuary laws in some areas restricted the length of the toggles because of the wearer seeming “vain”. Untershues also existed, like wooden pattens of the 14th & 15th centuries.
          a. stiefe - boots/shoes
          b. unterschue - pattens/clogs (holzschue)
          c. entencshnäbel - duck billed shoe
          d. knöpfstiefel - buttoned shoes
          e. kühmauler - cow-mouth shoes

IV - Outergarments
    1. gollar – capelet
Similar to an English capelet, a gollar was an outergarment, generally if velvet, wool or damask. Commonly lines with fur, it covered the exposed shoulder in the low neckline dresses from outside elements. Sumptuary laws were rather relaxed in regards to gollars and with it being the most common piece of outerwear for all social classes, even middle class women had gollars of silk damask.
Princess Sybille by Lucas Cranach (c1531)
     2. mantle – cloak
Predominantly used for church-going only, women seemed to prefer the schaube over a wool or heavy weight linen mantle.
    3. schaube – outerrobe
Schaube were often fur-lined and made of wools, although in later period could be described as been made of wool/linen blends and some silk blends. Women’s schauben were usually floor-length and black seems to be the most popular color represented. Upper class women made summer linen schauben but this was mostly to signify class distinction.

  • Textiler Hausrat, Kleidung und Haustextilien von Nurnberg, 1500 - 1650,
  • Jutta Zander-Seidel - Deutscher Kunstverlag publisher, 1990 translated by Katherine Barich
  • Patterns of Fashion, Janet Arnold – Drama Book Publishers 1895
  • 20,000 Years of Fashion, Francois Boucher - Flamerion 1987
  • Paintings of Lucan Cranach, Max Friedlander & Jakob Rosenberg – Cornell Univ. Press 1978
  • Holbein, Janet Langdon – Phaidon Press, 1992
  • Discussions and research from various individuals from the German Rennaisance Yahoo group

  • – Frau Sophia Kress from the Kingdom of the East
  • – Festive Attyre by Jenn Thompson
  • – The Renaissance Tailor
  • – The Elizabethan Costuming page
  • – Image Library

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Updated 12/19/2006

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