Fantasy Wardrobe: Fabrics
We often call clothes silk when they are satin, velvet where they are velveteen or we have no clue what we’re on about. So today let’s look at fabrics.
Laying down the law
Many renaissance/mediaeval societies governed over who could wear what. By adding these laws you had a layer of depth to your world.
- Women and men could only be dressed n clothes benefiting their position
- Female servants or their daughters could not wear veils costing more than twelve pence
- Knightly families could not wear cloth of gold or sable fur or velvets
- The wife or daughter of a labourer were not to wear clothes beyond a certain price or a girdle garnished with silver
- Cloth of gold and purple silk only worn by the royal family. This goes for ermine.
- The importation of silk and lace foreigners was prohibited when the kingdom produced those textiles.
Peasant Clothing (Beggars to Merchant classes)
- Wool: This was the staple of much of the clothes owned by peasants. It was in supply and it wasn’t as costly as most fabrics when undyed. It was also warm.
- Linen: Forget about softness. Peasant linen was made of coarser weaves and flax. It was heavier than noble linen.
- Cotton: A lightweight fabric used in hotter climates. It was softer than the linen and airier.
- Fustian: heavy cloth woven from cotton, for menswear.
- Leather: Leather was used for boots and shoes rather than killer jackets.
Nobility & Royalty
- Cloth of Gold: Cloth made from woven threads of gold (very expensive)
- Cloth of silver: cloth made from woven silver strands (very expensive)
- Samite: a rich silk fabric woven with gold and silver threads
- Tulle: A netting sort of material
- Brocade: rich silk fabric with raised patterns sewn on it.
- Cambresine: fine, lightweight linen
- Cambric: thin white cotton or linen
- Cypress: gauze made of cotton or silk
- Damask: like brocade but the patterns are flat
- Delaine : light wool/mixed wool and cotton
- Lawn: sheer plain-woven cotton or linen
- Sarsenet: fine and soft silk
- Sateen: glossy cotton or wool
- Satin: closely woven silk, shiny
- Taffeta: Thickly woven silk
- Velvet : piled fabric of silk, cotton or synthetic material
- Velvetine: cotton with silk pile
- Saxony: fine, delicate woollen fabric
- Alençon Lace: intricate floral lace with three-dimensional corded detail sewn onto a fine tulle backing
- Chantilly Lace: lightest of lace
- Charmeuse: smooth, flowing, silk, cotton,
- Chiffon: sheer and lightweight fabric
- Crepe de Chine: thicker, lightly textured silk
- Dupioni: crisp lusturous silk
- Organza: sheer and lightweight fabric of very fine weave silk
- Georgette: sheer fabric of silk
- Guipure Lace: heavier lace
- Embroidery: Patterns sewn on the fabric by thread
- Appliqué: decorative fabric, often lace or floral motifs, sewn onto the main material
- Embellishment: details such as beads, crystals, sequins, pearls
- Trim: a line of material or fur that finishes off a hem or cuff.
- Piping: a cord lining the fabric creating a ribbed look.
Here are the colours that you will catch your people wearing. Keep in mind that dyes had to be sourced and could be very expensive.
- Peasant: brown, red or gray.
- Nobility: Gold, silver, crimson or scarlet, deep indigo blue, violet colors and even deep black and pure white colors
- Royalty: Purple
- Mink: Soft and lightweight, silkly and glossy furs
- Fox: Long, lustrous, colourful and easy to dye.
- Ermine: White fur streaked with black (ONLY FOR ROYALTY)
- Sable: long, luxurious, dense but light.
- Wolf: thick, tough, warm but has a bad smell
- Vair: fur from a red squirrel really only used for trimming.