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clothing-FAQ - 12/29/97

Clothing - Frequently Asked Questions.

NOTE: See also the files: clothing-msg, merch-cloth-msg, shoes-msg,
textiles-msg, fashion-msg, clothing-MN-msg, clothing-L-msg, clothing-books-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
seperate 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 orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: Lord Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org

From: lara@sgi.sgi.com
Subject: Historical Costuming FAQ
Summary: Lists of sources for patterns and supplies for historical costuming.
Bibliography of relevant books. Info relevant to SCA periods (600 AD
to 1600 AD) and Civil War. Some pointers to Historical Reenactment
Keywords: FAQ, historical costuming, sewing, textiles, books, patterns, sources
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc, Mountain View, CA
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1994 16:21:50 GMT

Archive-name: crafts/historical-costuming
Last-modified: 13 Jun 1994

The following is the second of three lists of Frequently Asked Questions for
the alt.sewing and rec.crafts.textiles groups. I plan to use the same FAQs
for both newsgroups as long as most of the questions remain pertinent to both

Like most of us, I don't know all the answers, I've just collected the wisdom
of the net. Many of these answers have been culled for postings over the last
year or so. Many regular posters have contributed to this list through their
postings and e-mail. Any additions or comments are appreciated and can be
mailed to me.

lara@sgi.sgi.com (Lara Allen) (415) 390-1609
The first list concentrates on general sewing questions and supply information
and restoring antique sewing machines. The second list concentrates on
costuming and historical clothing. The third posting contains a list of books
that cover sewing, fitting and pattern drafting.

Some of these answers are fairly lengthy so I have used "ctrl-L" between the
different questions in this FAQ. Note: within the "rn" news reader you can
g 1)
at the "More --##%--" prompt to go directly to question 1).

Questions addressed:

1) Where is a good source of costuming information?
2) Are there any sources of historical costuming patterns and supplies?
2a) Mediaval Miscellanea
3) What about period fabrics?
4) What about Civil War era stuff?
5) How about information on Seminole War re-enactments and frontier costuming?
6) Tips for making authentic historic costumes from modern supplies.
7) Administrative Note: historical authenticity, reproducing patterns and SCA
8) Acknowlegements.
9) Where can I get an up to date copy of this FAQ?

Significant changes since posting of 11/19/93:
1) Added Hedgehog Handworks catalog
2) Added Nicole's Eclectica catalog

1) Where is a good source of costuming information?

A good source for costuming information is the SCA, Society of Creative
Anachronism. The avowed purpose of the SCA is the study and recreation
of the European Middle Ages, its crafts, sciences, arts, traditions,
literature, etc. The SCA "period" is defined to be 600 AD to 1600 AD,
concentrating on the Western European High Middle Ages. Some members
extend the period from 450 AD to about 1650 AD. More or less officially
the purpose of the SCA is "The study and re-creation of the Middle Ages
and Renaissance, not as they were, but as they should have been".

Most members of the SCA make and wear period costumes. Furthermore,
most Kingdoms have active costumers guilds. The SCA also host collegia
(classes) on all aspects of the historical period, including costume.

You can find SCA members in the newsgroup rec.org.sca. If you post
there, be sure to mention your city and state so that those who respond
can suggest local SCA groups and sources. If you wish to contact the SCA
national headquarters you can write to:

The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
Office of the Registry
P.O. Box 360743
Milpitas, CA 95036-0743

Publications of the Society from the national office include "The Knowne
Worlde Handboke" and "The Complete Anachronist". The Handboke is a
general information book about all aspects of the Society's activities.
It has a few sections on costume, and has some patterns drawn on a graph
paper grid that can be blown up. The Anachronist is a bi-monthly series
of pamphlets on a single subject each. The national newsletter,
Tournaments Illuminated, has occasional ariticles on specific aspects of

Note: The third edition of The Knowne Worlde Handboke is available as of
January 1993 for $12. Membership in the SCA includes a subscription to
Tournaments Illuminated.

There are two regular SCA postings, one posted by Wilson Heydt
(whheydt@PacBell.COM) and the other written by Arval Benicoeur
(joshua@paul.rutgers.edu or mittle@watson.ibm.com) and Siobhan Medhbh
O'Roarke (smor@um.cc.umich.edu).

Historic Costume Maillist:
Contact: h-costume-request@andrew.cmu.edu
Purpose: This list concentrates on recreating period elegance, from
the Bronze age to the mid-20th Century. Its emphasis is on accurate
historical reproduction of clothing, historical techniques for
garment construction, and the application of those techniques in
modern clothing design. Other topics appropriate for discussion
include adapting historical clothing for the modern figure, clothing
evolution, theatrical costumes, patterns, materials, books, and
sources for supplies. Members of the SCA should note that this list
discusses historic costume of all eras, not just the SCA period.
General conversations about the SCA are not suitable for this list.
Other topics not suitable for this list include halloween and
children's dress-up costumes, and advertisements for vintage clothing
(for sale or wanted).

French and Indian War Enactment:
Contact Bryan John Maloney (orlanth@IO.COM) for more information,
including info on:
Forces of Montcalm and Wolfe
Fraser's 78th Highland Scottish Regiment of Foot
Gage's Light Infantry
The second and third groups are units within the Forces of Montcalm and
Wolfe. M&W is dedicated to recreating the 1740-1760 period in North
America for educational and entertainment purposes (educate the public,
entertain ourselves). It includes groups that portray military units of
the French, English, and Spanish armies of the period in North America,
groups that portray the Amerinds, groups that portray many aspects of
civilian society in North America 1740-1760CE.

Other groups that may be of interest include:
National Civil War Association (NCWA)
taped message (+1 408 927 7651)
(as of Jan 1993)

Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild ("Dreamers of Decadence")
Jana Keeler (+1 415 469 7602)
Jwlhyfer de Winter (+1 415 864 5511)
Newsletter by $8/year from Bruce MacDermontt
2801 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, California, 94022
(as of Jan 1993)

Firends of the English Regency
Newsletter "Haut Ton" $8/year, contact Elayne Plez
15931 Kalisher Street, Granda Hills, CA 91344
(as of Jan 1993)

FIRES, the Florida Indian Re-Enactment Society.
c/o David Mott
2710 Fountain Cir #201
Naples, Fl 33942
Seminole War re-enactments. $5/year includes bimonthly newsletter
(as of April 1992)

(Can anyone provide pointers to other historical recreation groups?)


There are also a couple of books that you might find interesting.

_Sewing and Collecting Vintage Fashions_ by Eileen MacIntosh:

This should be available or orderable from your local sewing shop or
bookstore. A good look at many aspects of vintage clothing. Includes
sections for sewers and timid sewers. Tries to cover both "you want a
certain look, what era might it be" and "you want a certain era, what
styles were in vogue". Also has a good chapter on "How accurate does
this have to be?" There is also a good section in the back listing
various resources, Groups, and references coded by period and what they

_The American Historical Supply Catalogue: A Nineteenth-Century
Sourcebook_ By Alan Wellikoff:

I found this in a used bookstore, but it should still be in print. This
covers a wide range of items. Not much on patterns, but if you are
looking for items to round out a costume, it may be helpful.

2) Are there any sources of historical costuming patterns and supplies?

Patterns and Supplies:

Amazon Vinegar & Pickling Works
2218 E. 11th St.
Davenport, IA 52803-3760
(319) 322-6800
(800) 798-7979 - orders ONLY and only from the US
(319) 322-4003 - fax

- $5.00 per catalog: a) general catalog b) historical patterns catalog
c) shoes and footwear catalog (available 6/92 or 7/92). This is "the
mailing list to be on". Historical patterns selected from Folkwear,
Mediaeval Miscellanea, early western, victorian, hoop-gown era, Past
Patterns, Attic Copies (1920's to 40's), Prairie Clothing, Amish, kilts,
ethnic and dance. [April 1993: some reports of backlogs and slow

Atira's Fashions
3935 S. 113th St.
Seattle, WA 98168

- catalog $4. Authentic Middle Eastern costume patterns for
bellydancers, folk dancers and musicians. More than 32 designs for men
and women.

Campbell's Designs
Box 400
Gratz, PA 17030-0400

- $3.00 catalog. ($4.50 in spring 1991?) Patterns from 1776-1945

Carolina Stitches in Time
Box 10933
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27108
(919) 764-0790

- Period clothing patterns.

Chivalry Sports
PO Box 18904
Tucson, AZ 85731-8904
Inquires (602) 722-1255
Orders 1-800-730-KING

-) They sell merchandise primarily aimed at people in the SCA, incl: Folkwear
Patterns, Embroidery Design Books ( a wide price range ), Ready made clothing
(small assortment).

Fall Creek Suttlery
P.O. Box 530
Freedom, CA 95019
(408) 728-1888

- $2.00 catalog. Civil War era items and patterns.

The Taunton Press
63 South Main St, Box 5506
Newtown, CT 06470-5506

- Only some of the original patterns have been reprinted, but Tauton
is reprinting others regularly. Mostly Victorian and Early American
patterns. (see sewing FAQ for list of suppliers who have some older

G-Street Fabrics
11854 Rockville Pike
Rockville, Md 20852
(301) 231-8998

Hedgehog Handworks
8406 Flight Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045

-$1/catalog. They sell books on historical costuming and needlework,
historic-looking notions such as chatelaine pins and fancy metal clasps,
and some fancy needlework tools. Their needlework supplies include
fantasy embroidery charts, glass beads and specialty threads including
real gold and silver bullions.

Historic Patterns
5150 Mae Anne Ave
Reno NY 89523

- Victorian gown patterns and wedding accessories. From an
advertisement in Threads magazine.

JAS Townsend & Son
P.O. Box 415
Pierceton, IN 46562
(800) 338-1665

- Hats, cloaks, clasps. Large amount of Colonial clothing. Also patterns,
authentic cloth.

L'Victorian Couturier
2161 W. Williams Ave
Fallon, NV 89406

- Advertisements in Threads say the catalog is $4.25 (3/93). The ad
features Victorian Gown Patterns and wedding accessories. I suspect
this place may be oriented mostly towards bridal fashions. Can anyone
provide more info on this establishment? [They may be the same as Historic

La Pelleterie
P.O. Box 127 Highway 41
Arrow Rock, Missouri 65320
(816) 837-3261

- $5.00 catalog (as of 1/92). Coats and cloaks, pre 1840.

Mediaeval Miscellanea

- See the "Medieval Miscellanea" section.

Minnetonka Moccasin Co. is not a historical company, but they do offer a
wide choice of styles, including some high boots. Their shoes are
advertised in other clothing catalogues, and are nice.

NE Shutsa Traders
P.O. Box 186
Haven, Kansas 67542
(316) 465-3359

- $1.50 catalog. Cal/Mex era and horsegear.

Nicole's Eclectica
668 Bluff Dept OL1
Waynesboro, VA 22980

-$1 refundable on order. Specializing in books and supplies for
lacemaking and historic costuming. Fascinating depth of materials
including oriental lace arts and techniques. Includes how to make
horsehair accessories for the Victorian era. Books include early German
tatting pattern books.

Old World Enterprises
Dept 302
29036 Kepler Ct
Cold Spring Minn 56320

- 19th century patterns. $2 for catalog. Their listing says they
specialize in 19th century garments. Their patterns aren't copies of
existing garments, though, but originals based on the prevailing styles
at the time. They offer multiple graded patterns in female sizes
8-10-12-14 and male sizes 38-40-42.

Past Patterns
P.O. Box 7587
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49510
(616) 245-9456

- $3.00 catalog. Good selection of early 20th century clothing.

Prairie Clothing Co
3732 Tanager Drive NE
Cedar Rapids IA 52402
(319) 378-0125

- $1 catalog. Lots of "Little House on the Prairie"-style clothing.
More or less current clothing styles adapted for a combination
prairie/Edwardian feel without tons of sewing details.

The Queens Thimble
515 S. Evergreen Dr.
Mira Loma, CA 91752-1577

- This is a new place that is just starting out. The three women that
own the shop specialize in costuming from 1500-1900's. They pride
themselves on historicauthenticity. They design thier own patterns and
handle almost all aspects of the costume, right down to the shoes. Mostly
mail order, mostly custom designs. Can be expensive.

Box 668
Mendocino, CA 95460.

- 1990-91 catalog has 1000 items. $2.50 cataog. Books, magazines and
reprints. Books related to the costume and textile arts, including out
of print and hard to find books. Shep has also reprinted a number of
older clothing books, including a couple of books of patterns for
Victorian and Edwardian clothing.

Remember When Collection
361 N. Ohio
Salina, KS 67401

- Send SASE for brochure. "Romantic" clothing. Current designs adapted
to a Victorian feel.

Sterling Silks/Sterling Cloth Company
701 Cleveland Avenue Southwest
Canton, Ohio 44702
(216) 456-0653

- They carry Folkwear, Prairie and Past Patterns, as well as silk fabric
of all weights, silk threads (sewing and embroidery), beads, tools

(lucets), and dyestuffs. Also some costume accessories and jewelry are
sold through their catalog.

Dave Uebele (daveu@cisco.com) has provided a
fairly complete list of sources for 1850-1900 clothing and heavy
materials construction. See his notes in Civil War Era Re-enactment.

For patterns from the 30's and 40's, check thrift stores and estate
sales. A comprehensive textile library may have books dedicated to
individual designers. These books tend to be expensive, but the
pictures are fantastic.

** Vintage Fashions
** Hobby House Press Inc.
** 900 Frederick St.
** Cumberland, M. 21502
** -- a bi-monthly magazine focusing on vintage apparel and instructions
** for their care and repair. One-year subscription $19.95, sample copy
** $2.95.
** No longer published as of April 1992.


Some of these books are out of print. Most of them should be in a good
university library. Some of them will be in the public library:

Alcega, Juan de. Tailor's Pattern Book 1589. (reprint)

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their
Construction c. 1660-1860; Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's
Dresses and their Construction c. 1860-1940; New York. Drama Book
Publishers, 1972. Also: Patterns of Fashion 3: The cut and
construction of clothes for men and women c1560 - 1620; MacMillan
London Ltd, 1985, ISBN 0-333-38284-6. Contains notes on construction
techniques and fabrics. Very clear drawings show the inside of each
garment. Also: Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked.

Boucher, Francois. 20,000 Years of Fashion : The History of Costume and
Personal Adornment. c 1965 by H.N. Abrams, reprinted 1987. (but first
published much earlier). Also called Histoire du costume en Occident.
459 pages.

Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail: Women's Dress 1730 - 1930.
copyright 1968, 1981. George G. Harrap & Co, Ltd, London. Careful
examination of 150-200 historical garments, showing general
construction details and notes about trim, details, undergarments,
supporting frames, etc. Some notes about inner construction and
materials. Sketchbook style drawings with short notes.

Brooke, Iris. Medieval Theatre Costume: A Practical Guide to the
Construction of Garments, New York, Theatre Arts Books, c 1967.

Brooke, Iris. English Costume of the Early Middle Ages; The 10th to
13th Centuries, London, A&C Black LTD, 1936.

Brooke, Iris. English Costume of the Later Middle Ages; The 14th and
15th Centuries, London, A&C Black LTD, 1935.

[Iris Brooke has written others with more of a theatrical bent, but
these are the best ones for costumers who want to make *clothing*.
However, Linda Ream Fox (foxd@silver.ucs.indiana.edu) says that Brooke's
are not historically accurate, are poorly drawn and are often from
secondary or tertiary sources. Fox recommends the books by Yarwood, Nunn
and Payne instead. Susanna Richardson (glink@silver.ucs.indiana.edu)
agrees and also recommends Boucher's book.]

Burnham, Dorothy. Cut My Cote. Diagrams of actual historical (and
ethnic?) clothing in the Royal Ontario Museum. Diagrams are graphed
and shown with metric dimensions.

Covey, Liz. The Costumer's Handbook. Prentice Hall, 1980. A good
basic source for the tecniques of theatrical cosumters.

Fernald, Mary. Costume Design and Making.

Grimble, Frances. After a Fashion: How to Reproduce, Restore, and Wear
Vintage Styles. 8 1/2" X 11" quality paperback. 352 pages . 147 line
drawings by Folkwear cover artist Deborah Kuhn. ISBN: 0-9636517-0-6.
Publisher: Lavolta Press, 20 Meadowbrook Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132.
Published 1993. Price: $35 + sales tax for CA residents + $3
shipping. Bibliography, index. About half focuses on reproducing
historic styles from medieval through Art Deco. The other half focuses
on buying, restoring, and altering vintage clothes from Victorian
through Art Deco. Both men's and women's clothes are discussed. The
step-by-step instructions are suitable for beginning to advanced sewers.

Hartley, Dorothy. Medieval Costume & Life; A Review of Their Social
Aspects Arranged under Various Classes and Workers with Instructions
for Making Numerous Types of Dress, New York, C. Scribner's Sons,
1931. Includes workable patterns that make sense within the time

Hill, Margot Hamilton & Pater A. Buchnell. The Evolution of Fashion:
Pattern & Cut from 1066-1930. [Susanna Richardson
(glink@silver.ucs.indiana.edu) states this this book is often

Hillhouse, Marion and Evelyn A Mansfield. Dress Design: Draping and
Flat Pattern Making. Riverside Press, 1948. Clear instructions on
draping, with excellent drawings of bodice, skirt, sleeve, and
neckline styles. Perfect for reproducing styles of the 1940's.

Holkefer, Katherine Strand. Patterns for Theatrical Costumes. Edson,
Doris & Lucy Barton. Period Patterns.

Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costumes in England and France, The 13th,
14th, and 15th Centuries, London, A&C Black, 1965,1939. 8 plates in
color, 350 drawings in black & white.

Houston, Mary G. & Florence Hornblower. Medieval Costumes in England
and France.

Hunnisett, Gail. Historical Costuming for Stage. Hunnisett was involved
in the costuming for the BBC's production of "Elizabeth R".

Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage and Screen: Patterns for
Women's Dress 1500 - 1800.

Newton, Stella Mary. Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of
th. Years 1340-1365. WoodBridge: Boydell Press; Totowa, NJ: Rowman &
Littlefield, 1980.

Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume, 1200-1980. 1984. bibliography. 256
pages. Good black and white line drawings.

Owen-Crocker, Gale R. Dress in Anglo Saxon England, Manchester Univ.
Press, 1986. This book covers clothing from 500-1500. There are
separate chapters for men's and women's clothing in each of several
periods, including very detailed study of 5th-7th century English
costume with photos of clothing from archaeological digs. The book is
documented principally with archaeological and linguistic/literary
evidence; it has good footnotes and bibliography.

Payne, Blanche.History of Costume from Ancient Egypt to 20th Century.
c.1965. New York. Harper & Row. Includes patterns drawn to scale.
Uses primary sources.

Scott, Margaret. The 14th and 15th Centuries. London, Botsford, 1986.

Schnurnberger, Lynn Edelmann. Kings, Queens, Knights & Jesters: Making
Medieval Costumes. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. Cross-listed under
the juvenile section, but was produced in association with the
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Might be useful.

Sronkova, Olga. Gothic Women's Fashion. Prague, Artia, 1954. [Bohemian

Waugh, Norah. Corsets and Crinolines. Theatre Arts Books, copyright 1970
(and 1954?). 176 pages, illustrated, bibliography. History of the
corset, including the different shapes used in different periods (e.g.
Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian). One person says that she thinks this
book includes info on some patterns.

Waugh, Norah. From an article on sewing costumes in Threads #30: Waugh,
Norah: _The Cut of Women's Clothes 1600-1930_ and _The Cut of Men's
Clothes 1600-1900_ (Theatre Arts Books) Concise descriptions and
drawings of men's garments from 1600 to 1900. Includes scaled patterns
that can be enlarged.

Yarwood, Dorren. European Costume: 4000 years of Fashion. 1975. 305
pages. Includes bibliography. Good black and white line drawings.

Additional sources:

One tactic for using scaled patterns to construct garments is to choose
a garment in a book, make a transparency of the pattern in the book,
and go buy a pattern as similar as possible. Then project the
transparency on the wall and use it to adjust the bought pattern to the
style of the garment in the book.

An anotated bibliography of pre-1650 costume sources (including books
and periodicals) is available from:
Puffs and Slashes
c/o L. R. Fox
P. O. Box 443
Bloomington, IN 47402-0443
$2.50 per copy

Susanna Richardson (glink@silver.ucs.indiana.edu) is presently (late
1992, early 1993) working on monograph/handbooks for women's clothing,
which should be about $6/book. Each one will detail making a particular
gown. She has books for Jane Seymour and Beatrice d'Este gowns done,
and ready for the printers. She will be providing mail-order for people
who do not attend SCA or ECW events.

Members of the SCA have written and published other books specifically
for costumes within the SCA periods. One useful book is.
_Medieval Costume_ by Mistress Katrine de Baillie du Chat. copyright
1988. ISBN 0-943228-01-8. $7.25 (may be an old price). published by:
Raymond's Quiet Press
PO Box 35118
Albuquerque, NM 87176
This book includes text and line drawings describing some common
garments appropriate for SCA. Shows the basic cut of the garments. For
some garments the author discusses how to select an appropriate current
pattern and modify it for creating a SCA garment. Note: This book may
be out of print an. unavailable.

Dover has a Pictorial Archive catalog and a Needlework catalog. The
Needlework catalog includes several books that discuss Renaissance
embroidery. The Pictorial Archive catalog has a FEW books that cover
costumes. Typically these are books that contain pictures of people in
costume. There are few (none?) books with actual costumes drafted.
Dover Publications
31 East 2nd St
Mineola, NY 11501

The whole costumer's catalog is probably available from:
GCFCG (Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers guild)
P.O. Box 194
Mt. Airy, Md 21771

Be sure to check the list of sources and references in the regular
alt.sewing and rec.crafts.textiles FAQs. A number are appropriate for
costuming. If you are interested in drafting patterns, please be sure
to check out some of the books listed in the Textile Books FAQ. Books
that are labelled [HIST-COST] may be particularly appropriate for
historical costuming.

2a) What happened to Mediaval Miscellanea? The following letter was received
in March 1994 and is quoted verbatim.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your interest in Mediaeval Miscellanea and our products.
At the moment, we are not selling the jewelry, books and other products
we have usually carried, and we are not selling our patterns directly to the
public. Below is a list of two companies who do sell the jewelry, plus 6 of
the companies who are carrying our patterns and do mail order. We are
keeping your name on file, and will notify you about new patterns and other
products. We are continuing to design new patterns (our Women's German Puff-
and-Slash, c. 1500-1545, is now in stock with the dealers below).


North Shore Gifts The Cottage Works
4857 Alcyn Dr. 12 W. Willow Grove Ave, Box 186
Racine, WI 53402-2507 Philadelphia, PA 19118-3952
(414) 639-5927 (215) 242-8849


Amazon Drygoods MacKenzie-Smith
2218 East 11th Street 9600 Business Park Dr. Suite 2
Davenport, IA 52803 Truckee, CA 95734
(319) 322-6800 (916) 587-5974

Campbells House Morning Star
RD 1 Box 1444 11246 S. Post Oak Rd. #217
Herndon, PA 17830 Houston, TX 77035
(717) 425-2045 (713) 729-7990

Raiments Alice Stephenson
3216 Villa Knolls Dr. 2734 Mountain View W.
Pasedena, CA 91107 Tocoma, WA 98466
(818) 791-9195 (206) 565-2893

If you do contact one of these fine companies, please let them know we
recommended them to you. If you sent a check with a catalog request, we have
ripped it up to prevent accidental cashing.
We are also designing and selling Period Pavillions, as well as used
ones. If you would like a copy of our free Pavillion catalog, just call or
drop us a note, we would be happy to send you one.

Coryn Weigle

CS23001%MAINE.BITNET@CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu (Lisa A. M. Tyson)

3) What about period fabrics?

Ann Feeney (afeeney@mcs.com) is maintaining a list of sources
for fabrics appropriate for historical costuming. Write to Ann for the
most current copy of her list.

A slightly condensed version of Ann's list is included below:

A number of people recommended various fabric chains. In particular
some people mentioned Hancocks (particularly in Portland, Oregon and
Vancouver, Washington). Others mentioned their favorite bargain stores
that also sell many natural fabrics.

The Pendleton Woollen Mills has an outlet in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
They carry wools and occasionally have satin, velvet, and lots of modern
blouse and dress fabric. The by-the-pound table is mill ends or flawed

Pendleton Woolen Mills also has an outlet in Portland, Oregon as well as
a factory outlet in Pendleton, Oregon itself.

Leather Unlimited
7155 Cty Highway B
Belgium, WI 53004
(414) 994-9464
Mail order only

Fishman's Fabric Outlet
620 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 922-4170
Silks at about $5/yard

Textile Discount Outlet
2126 W. 21st Street
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 847-0572
No recent info, but used to have cottons at good prices

Aero Drapery Outlet
122 Messner Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
Minnesota Fabrics outlet

Roaring River Mills, in Altoona, PA, has a big sale in January and July.
The January sale runs all month; the July sale may start on the 4th.
Everything in the store is half off; go early in the month. Good prices
on various wools, linen, silk, various brocades, cotton, velvet, trim,
notions, etc. The store is close to Rt. 22.

Horowitz Brothers: New Haven, CT, two blocks from the Coliseum. A
moderate to good remnants section that often has resonably priced
tapestry fabrics. Good selection of wools (sales in the spring),
excellent trim section, moderate but reasonably priced velvets and a
good supply of cottons and linens of various weights.

New Haven Leather: Half a block closer to the Coliseum than Horowitz
Brothers. Three or four stories of leather piles in a ramshackle old
building that you will miss if you are not looking for it. A recessed
door and two windows and a faded sign mark the front. THIS is the shoe
source! Prepunched soles, heels, threads, dyes and just about
everything else you would need for shoes is hidden in here. Leathers
are reasonably priced and there is a fantastic selection if they will
let you upstairs. Armor grade leather was available last I looked.
They keep banker's hours.

Affordable Fabrics: CT, Rt 99 just south of the intersection with Rt 91,
in or near Enfield. $1.99 a yard for everything in the place. Open 7
days a week. Cottons in broadcloth and heavier weights, selection varies
with the season. Wools and blends especially in the spring. Including
pure linen, pure wool, and pure silk!

Millie Mills: CT, Rt 99 just south of the intersection with Rt 91.
Diagonally across the street from Affordable Fabrics. Prices are
slightly higher, but the selection is a little better for odd fabrics.

Zimmans: Lynn MA. An excellent supply of tapestry fabrics, at
near-wholesale prices. They have consistently been 20 to 30% lower than
the other local stores. Downstairs there is a 4'x12'x1.5' cabinet full
of buckles and other items for use on belts. Solid copper and brass,
with only a few items that have been plated. These are the leftovers
from the 70s and are tarnished, but polish up very well. Perfect for
costume or regular usage. Price varies by the clerk 2 for $.25 to 1 for
$.50 with the occasional discount for bulk purchases.

Fabrics and Findings: Rochester, NY, two locations; the downtown
location is rumored to have a larger selection. Huge warehouse of many
mill end and/or flawed materials at discount prices. Very large
collection of upholstry fabrics upstairs at heavily discounted prices.

Patchworks: 126 E. Main, Bozeman, Montana 59715, (406) 587-2112 carries
reproduction vintage cotton fabrics. I quote from their Fall, 1993,
catalog: "There are currently over 600 bolts in our reproduction
department which span all three time periods: Pre-1890's,
Turn-of-the-Century, and the Depression Era. These fabrics are ideally
suited for antique quilt repairs, reproduction quilt making, or vintage

I'm sorry that I am not able to provide accurate acknowledgements and
email addresses for some of these recommendations.

4) What about Civil War era stuff?

The following is from Dave Uebele <daveu@cisco.com>:

Contacts from 3rd U.S. Artillery newsletter "The Cannon's Mouth", NCWA.
Sorry it's sketchy, but this is what it included that seemed helpful:

Abraham Lincoln Book Shop
(312) 944-3085

Alabam Trust CSN & Marine
- UK Reinactment.

The Artillery Shop
(601) 323-2606
- Gear Equipment.

Artilleryman, The Magazine
(617) 646-2010

LL Bean
- The best Long Johns!

Border States Leatherworks
(501) 361-2642
-Saddles, harnesses.

Bounty Arts
- Brass Lanterns.

Coonie's Inc.
(505) 393-0166
- Black Powder Supplies.

Cumberland General Store
(800) 334-4640

Chuck & Anita Fulks
(408) 728-1888
- Fall Creek Sutlery.

C & D Jarnigan
(601) 287-4977
- Large Sutlers.

Old Suttler John
(607) 775-4434
- Sutlers.

Past Patterns
(616) 245-9456
- Period Patterns (see listing above).

Paulson Brothers Ordnance
(715) 263-2112
- Ammo, Iron, Cartridges.

Prussian Press
(614) 654-3630
- Pamphlets and Periodicals.

Quartermaster Depot
(516) 472-3505
- ACW Boxes and Cr.

Quartermaster Shop
(313) 987-4127
- Uniforms ACW

Regimental Quartermaster
(215) 672-6891
- Sights, etc.

Steele's Muzzleloading Supply
(501) 778-4459
- Powder.

Other places for miscellaneous items to round out a historic costume:

Old West Outfitters
7213 East First Avenue
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
(800) 447-5277
They mostly sell finished items. Might be good if looking for belts,
spurs, or ideas. Lots of hats (expensive). They seem pricey to me,
no idea on quality.

Black powder/Muzzleloading supplies:

These places focus on muzzleloading gun equipment, but do have sections
for clothing, tents, personal items, patterns, and miscellaneous camp
equipment. Big catalogs, lots of interesting stuff, very useful if you
want to do muzzleloading shooting or build/repair guns, but good
collection of miscellaneous items to go along with the black powder

Mountain State Muzzleloading Supplies
(800) 445-1776

Dixie Gun Works
Gunpowder Lane
Union City, Tennessee 38261
(800) 238-6785

Here is alternate source to Tandy Leather for leather working supplies.
I think their quality is better, and I have been quite impresssed
with how quickly they proccess orders. They have a western bias (lots
of saddles and cowboy type information).

The Leather Factory
Fort Worth, Texas
Several Nationwide Toll free numbers, By state:
Arizona (800) 432-7732
Califoriana (800) 999-7371
Colorado (800) 525-8134
Iowa (800) 247-5566
Missouri (800) 888-1993
New Mexico (800) 327-6606
Pennsylvania (800) 233-7155
Tennessee (800) 251-7782
Texas (800) 433-3201
Utah (800) 448-9250
Washington (800) 822-8437

Another source is magazines devoted to different time periods. These
come and go too fast to list, but even the most trendy touristy type
historical magazine is likely to have ads in the back for different
types of historical items. It's worth investigating, and if you find a
good resource, pass it back to this list.

Also, check with local historical sites or re-enactment groups. They
probably have additional (and hopefully local to you) resources.

There are several reanactors on the net. Check the newsgroup
soc.history. Also, caina@merrimack.edu (Alex Cain) is trying to put
together a re-enactors mailing list. Should be a good resource if/when
it happens.

I don't mind answering questions or talking to people about sewing and
leather work for 1850 - 1900 costuming, and willing/interested in
branching to different time periods and different type of work. I tend
to focus on heavy materials construction techniques, but also do men's
clothing. -Dave Uebele <daveu@cisco.com>

5) How about information on Seminole War re-enactments and frontier costuming?

This section contributed by:
Michael Brown <michaelb@sol.cse.fau.edu> 4/21/92

I am part of a group in Florida which is involved in re-enactments of
Seminole War (1830s) battle. We 'play' the Seminoles. We do research
and strive to re-create as accurately as possible the clothing worn by
the Seminoles in the 1830s. Recently one of our members put together a
book containing instructions on how to create a Seminole Men's costume
of this era. Much of this information would be of use to people trying
to recreate Creek and other Southeast Indian styles of that period. We
also organized into an informal society and publish a pretty good
newsletter filled with information on this topic.

As for addresses:

To order the _Seminole Men Clothing_ book send $12 to:
Rick Obermeyer
2124 Miscindy Pl
Orlando, FL 32806

Our group is FIRES, the Florida Indian Re-Enactment Society.
To join it's $5 which gets you a bimonthly newsletter.
To do so, write to:
David Mott
2710 Fountain Cir #201
Naples, Fl 33942

There is another source of historical costuming information,
particularly American frontier, buckskinners, traders, etc., in a series
of books put out by Muzzleloader Magazine. They are titled _The Book of
Buckskinning_ and there are about 7 of them.

6) Tips for making authentic historic costumes from modern supplies.

One tactic for using scaled patterns to construct garments is to choose
a garment in a book, make a transparency of the pattern in the book,
and go buy a pattern as similar as possible. Then project the
transparency on the wall and use it to adjust the bought pattern to the
style of the garment in the book.

Tom Apple and several other readers offer the following advice:

For those of you who make reproduction historical clothing, I have a few
tips for you. I've made clothing ranging in periods from 800 AD to 1865,
some of which were for museums and interpretive programs. I've learned
a few guidelines that aid in producing high quality, and highly
authentic, period garments.

1. Always use natural fiber fabrics or mostly natural fiber blends.
2. Always pre-shrink your fabrics (except silk) prior to using.
3. Never use cotton in pre-18th century clothing, references to
cotton in these periods usually denote a type of wool.
4. Often the colors of commercially dyed fabrics are too bright
to look like naturally dyed cloth, so additional washing or
dyeing may be required to tone down the colors.
5. If using an untried or dubious pattern, make a mockup of the
garment using muslin or an old sheet and make adjustments to
the fit and cut to suit. Disassemble the mockup and use as your
6. Machine sew only the construction seams and hand sew all visible
stitching, buttonholes, and lacing holes on pre-1850's clothing.
On 1850-1880 clothing, hand sew the buttonholes and hand top
stitch only on confederate or country type clothing. If the
cloth has a coarse weave and is prone to ravelling, machine
sew the buttonhole once around then handstitch over top with
button and carpet thread of the same color.
7. Also, when selecting fabric, make sure the weave is of a period
style. Colors other than black and sometimes blue should have a
slightly mottled or speckled look to them.
8. If at all possible, inspect original garments of the period
to get a feel for the stitching, construction, and fabric.

Hopefully these tips will prove useful. You would be amazed at how
observant the public can be on minute details of clothing and uniforms.
I've often had people comment on hand stitched buttonholes and the like
when doing historic interpretation. Details like these add to your
credibility as a historian. Making your clothing right the first time
will save you money on progressive upgrades.

Regarding suggestion 3), Donna Holsten adds the following:

Cotton, although rare, was used in Europe in [medieval/Renaissance]
periods. It was usually used in combination with another fiber (wool or
linen)--so cotton broadcloth would not be appropriate for use in early
garb, but cotton as a fiber would be. It would be used only in very
fancy outfits--worn by *very* rich people. I like to parallel its use
in medieval/Renaissance Europe with the use of linen in modern America--
it's available, but not widely used and not inexpensive.

and Tom added the following additional comments:

The main reason I recommended avoiding cotton for pre-18th century
clothing is that most cotton available today is not like cotton fabrics
available then. I have a book called _Arts of the Anglo-American
Community in the Seventeenth Century_, a Winterthur Museum conference
report of 1974. In an article on Textile Trade in Boston, 1650-1700, by
Linda Baumgarten, it contains a glossary of fabrics. The cotton related
fabrics are as follows:

Cotton: a woolen fabric with long nap, which gave a soft, fuzzy
appearance. Kendal Cottons, Manchester Cottons, and Welsh cottons, named
for place of manufacture, were well known woolens. Inventory references
to cotton bedsheets mean Indian cotton or a cotton and linen mixture.

Other cotton (India) fabrics mentioned are: Calico, Rumal, Vermilion,
and Cotton-Linen (linen warp)

Generally the cotton I see people use is inappropriate stuff like
broadcloth, sport cloth, and cotton corduroy (Cul Duroy). For most
clothing linen is much more accurate to use. I concur that cotton was
used pre-18th century, but by very few people, and those who did were
quite wealthy. I'm sure the cotton then looked a lot like the linen

Thanks to: apple@oasys.dt.navy.mil (Thomas Apple); Donna Holsten
<holsten@golden.berkeley.edu> ; sclark@epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)

7) Administrative Note: historical authenticity, reproducing patterns and SCA

(i.e. disclaimers)

People reading this FAQ have many different standards of historical
authenticity. Some readers are interested in costumes to use for social
events. Others need reasonably accurate historical costumes to use in
theater productions. Many readers are members of recreational groups
that demand various levels of authenticity. A few readers are scholars
doing serious research.

Since I do not have the expertise to judge the sources in this FAQ, they
cover a wide range of historical authenticity. When knowledgeable
readers have commented on the authenticity of a source, I include their
comments. Occassionally readers provide conflicting comments which I
attempt to reproduce. Serious scholoars should use the FAQ only as a
general starting guide....... or better yet check with a textile
historian at your local college or museum.

Similarly, the patterns available from sources in the FAQ require a wide
range of textile skills. Many sources require pattern drafting skills.
When readers tell me they have had significant problems reproducing
garments from a source I try to include their comments in the FAQ.

Lastly, SCA readers should note that I am not a member of SCA and do not
read the SCA newsgroup/maillist. The FAQ was originally compiled for
rec.crafts.textiles readers, but has been cross-posted to the SCA
newsgroup by request of several SCA readers. If you have comments
regarding this FAQ and SCA, please be sure to send me personal email.

Lara J. Allen lara@sgi.sgi.com

8) Acknowlegements.

The acknowledgements for the Historical Costuming FAQ are extensive.
This information has come from postings, comments and email from a
number of people including:

genny@whitwiz.UUCP (Danny White)
daveu@cisco.com (Dave Uebele) (was: daveu@sco.COM)
botteron@bu-it.bu.edu (Carol J. Botteron)
Daniel L. Luxenberg <danlux@wam.umd.edu>
Jennifer Lynn Piatek <raven@pawl.rpi.edu>
bjp@swlvx6.msd.ray.com (BONNIEJEAN WIEBE)
alg@cs.cornell.edu (Anne Louise Gockel)
Wilson Heydt (whheydt@PacBell.COM)
Arval Benicoeur (joshua@paul.rutgers.edu or mittle@watson.ibm.com)
Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke (smor@um.cc.umich.edu)
close@lunch.wpd.sgi.com (Diane Barlow Close)
bambi@visenix.UUCP (Hilda)
eder@hsvaic.boeing.com (Dani Eder)
maureen@Cadence.COM (Maureen Herran)
Mary Knettel (mknettel@kentvm.kent.edu)
IO81409@MAINE.BITNET (Ailsa N.T. Murphy)
michaelb@sol.cse.fau.edu (Michael Brown)
foxd@silver.ucs.indiana.edu (linda ream fox)
roslibrefrc@crf.cuis.edu (Ann Feeney)
Carolyn Priest-Dorman <priest@vaxsar.vassar.edu>
nparkhu1@cc.swarthmore.edu (Nao Parkhurst)
Susanna Richardson (glink@silver.ucs.indiana.edu)
Helen S. Woolverton <hswoolve@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
apple@oasys.dt.navy.mil (Thomas Apple)
Donna Holsten <holsten@golden.berkeley.edu>
sclark@epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)
hugh@ecotone.toad.com (Hugh Daniel)
orlanth@IO.COM (Bryan John Maloney)
CS23001%MAINE.BITNET@CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu (Lisa A. M. Tyson)

Any (accidental!) omissions in this list of acknowledgements should be sent to

9) Where can I get an up to date copy of this FAQ?

There are four textile related FAQs. The first list concentrates on general
sewing questions and supply information and restoring antique sewing machines.
The second list concentrates on costuming and historical clothing. The third
posting contains a list of books that cover sewing, fitting and pattern
drafting. The fourth is an index to quilting FAQs that are maintained by
various individuals and are available by email request.

When looking for an FAQ list, first do the obvious and check the relevant
newsgroup for articles with "FAQ" in the subject line. If you don't know how
to check articles marked as read, your sysadmin can tell you. Next, try the
group news.answers since this FAQ is crossposted there. Again, your sysadmin
can tell you the commands to use in searching.

If you cannot find the FAQ on your system, you can retrieve a copy from
Jonathan Kamen's archive of periodic postings. For general instructions on
the server, send email containing the commands "help" and "send index" (no
quotes, separate lines) to
For a list of all periodic postings that are archives in news.answers, email
the command "send usenet/news.answers/index" to the server.

via anonymous FTP:
Periodic postings including FAQs are archived at "rtfm.mit.edu" (currently
available at, in the directory "/pub/usenet". The textile FAQs

via email server:
The address of the server is mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu. To retrieve files,
send email to the server with a blank subject and one or more of these lines
in the body:
send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles
send usenet/news.answers/crafts-historical-costuming
send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/books/part1
send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/books/part2
send usenet/news.answers/crafts-quilt-faq-index

/\ /\ | lara@sgi.sgi.com (Lara Allen) (415) 390-1609
. . |--------------------------------------------------------------
= = |Silicon Graphics Customer Support Division
v |DoD# 0391 '93 FXDL!!
panta rei, ouden menei

From: "DMS Unit #4" <doug.r.buckmaster@boeing.com>
To: <markh@risc.sps.mot.com>
Subject: Your FAQ
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 10:01:29 -0700

Hi Mark,

I just wanted to let you know that I have a few corrections for your FAQ.

Old Info

The Queens Thimble
515 S. Evergreen Dr.
Mira Loma, CA 91752-1577

- This is a new place that is just starting out. The three women that
own the shop specialize in costuming from 1500-1900's. They pride
themselves on historic authenticity. They design their own patterns and
handle almost all aspects of the costume, right down to the shoes. Mostly
mail order, mostly custom designs. Can be expensive.


The Queen's Thimble
4864 Troth St.
Mira Loma, CA 91752-1845
e-mail: qnsthmbl@pacbell.net
WEB: http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/7253 (It will open 5/31/97)

Established in 1993 The Queen's Thimble has grown from a small hobby to
a full time job. The woman that own the shop specialize in costuming from
1200-1900's. She prides herself on historic authenticity. She designs her
own patterns and handle almost all aspects of the costume, right down to
the shoes. Mostly mail order, mostly custom designs.


Doug Buckmaster
Webmaster for the Queen's Thimble

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