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bliauts-msg - 2/8/01


Comments about the bliaut. 12th Century clothing.


NOTE: See also the files: clothing-msg, clothing-bib, clothing-books-msg, cotehardies-msg, houppelandes-msg, patterns-msg, underwear-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 19:58:38 -0600

From: Sheron Buchele/Curtis Rowland <foxryde at verinet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: trim on a bliaut


Gentle good Greetings Unto the List from Baroness Leonora, returned from a

long and unsought absence!


The question on the table being:


At 12:25 PM 9/25/98 -0700, Slaine wrote:

>So having suggested tablet woven trim for Celtic and

>Viking garb, does anyone know if it would be

>appropriate for a bliaut?  You know, that sort of

>dress that laces up the sides.


First of all, I need to state that any discussion of the bliaut is a

religious discussion -- by this I mean that it is based on belief and

faith.  You may look at all the paintings and sculptures of people (men and

women) dressed in bliauts and you contruct your belief. But all that it

is, is belief.  There are no examples of bliauts in existance.  (Now why

couldn't a nice little 12th C person from Provence wear a lovely little

bliaut up to Ireland and fall into one of their darn bogs and get preserved

for all time.....)


My persona is 12th century Provence, so the bliaut is what I would be

wearing -- were I fashionable.  I have indeed spent a lot of time looking

at pictures of paintings, drawings, scupture, and even spent a rapturous

afternoon circling a plaster repro of one of the Chartre scuptures and

indeed I have created my beliefs about bliauts.  I believe that I know how

they were constructed and how they were decorated.


Leonora's beliefs about the bliaut:

1.  It is a variant of a tee tunic.  Longer waist area (about 1-1/2 times

from under the bodice to the hip bone.  It is not pieced and there is no

over bodice or girdle.  Just wrinkles from the lacing and the long waist area.

2.  It was laced up the sides which can either touch or gap.

3.  Patterned under tunics with tight somewhat overly long sleeves which

also wrinkled at the wrist were occationally worn which show in the gaps

and on the arm.

4.  The sleeve is not pieced, not a circle, and not an angel wing.  Well,

it may be pieced because of fabric width but the basic sleeve shape is a

curve that runs from the armpit to just past the elbow. It then drops

pendant to the floor when your arm is dropped or mid calf when your arms

are at your waist.  The bottom of the sleeve is a flat scoop of 4" to 6".

The sleeve lining was often different material and decorative.  Sleeves are

often knotted to keep them clear of the floor - also a great weapon.  ;-)

This is clear as mud but I am doing the best that I can. Sleeves are

sometimes decorated at the bicep - where the piecing of the sleeve (if any)

should occur but never along the opening of the bell.  (I think that if it

looks like there is trim along the opening of the bell it is actually the

decorative lining folded over and showing over the sleeve. That is

frequently what I do as the sleeves can be very cumbersome.)

5.  The bliaut had many different neck treatments, but all basically were a

turned out facing.  This was often a different color or embroidered.  The

embroidery seems to be fairly simple and architectural - as opposed to

floral and viney.

6.  The bliaut was almost always worn with a mantle.  This looks to be a

half circle of cloth with a straight edge.  Along this straight edge was

heavy embroidery or trim.  The mantle was worn over the shoulders and

fastened with some sort of cord and button affair just below the collar bones.

7.  The correct belt is wrapped around once under the waist and around to

tie in front, low over the pubic area.  It is often a knotted silk belt.

8.  I believe that the bliaut skirt should be full circle or gored to make

one.  It is a dress of exageration.  It is a transitional construction

method which rejected the simple lines of the past and looked forward to

the more complex contructions of the future.

9.  I believe that it takes about 8 to 10 yards of material to make a good



>I have several yards of green silk that I intend to make

>into a bliaut (sp?) I'm trying to distract myself from

>the pain of cutting it by worrying about the trim.


I hope this helped to distract you.  I understand your pain.  I had 10

yards of black cotton velveteen that I was to make a dress for the first

time I was fought for in Crown.  I pulled that heavy wad of cloth out

umpteen times before I finally just cut it.  It worked out wonderfully and

I am sure yours will also.


Again, please take this a discussion of faith.  I do strongly disagree with

my learned collegues who wrote on the bliaut construction in the TI Winter

1993 Issue 109 but there is much good information in the article.


I would love to hear of how your faith works and why a bliaut for your

green silk  -- but it sounds lovely!


Yours in service,

Baroness Leonora, O.P.

Barony of Unser Hafen, Outlands

Loveland, Colorado


<the end>

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