A vest probabaly made out of leather to protect the clothes, commonly seen in Landsknecht woodcuts.
While working with the latest Tellerbarret and its feathers, a type of landsknecht hats seems to be covered with fluffy feathers poking almost straight out on the brim and at each top, decorated with a tip of some kind.
1) the feathers pokes almost perfectly straight out from the brim
– a normal wing plume top will “dip”, especially if you add a baubles on the end.
– most feathers of “normal” length is too long, and would go too far out over the brim
Possible solution: cut the feather in desired length, use the stiff part …of course it hurts a little to cut off a perfectly good feather! But, it’s actually a good way to reuse any old broken feathers you may have (and I saved the nice fluffy feather tops to be used for later hats)
– one feather isn’t enough, sew at least two together
– each feather is curled to achieve maximum fluffiness
I’ve used this technique before, read more about how-to-do or follow the quick tutorial;
4) the result
I’ve made two so far; don’t be tricked by the few steps involved in this tutorial, curling the vanes is what you’re going to hate the most… 2 down, 14-20 more to go before it covers the whole brim
How I made the hat
5) future changes
– I used high quality wing plumes for these sets, but since I’m cutting them in half, I wonder how it would look if I instead used ordinary feathers. The stiffer feathers might also be easier to curl ..and cheaper. Which is of course is a plus.
People on my Facebook page suggest the feathers to be called “frizzel/frizzle” feathers, the word “frizzle” dates back to the 16th c (Thank you W.Grant and D.Gonzales)
Graf August Johann Breünner Enkevoerth, Jacob von Falke (edited by M. McNealy), Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvölker im Zeitalter der Landsknechte, 2013 (originally published 1883)
Rublack, Hayward and Tiramani (edited), The First Book of Fashion: the Book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg
An inventory in the Textiler Hausrat mention a fabric covered straw hat, and I decided to try the technique by doing a specific kind of Tellerbarret. First book of fashion also mention hats covered in fabric, but doesn’t give any clues of what the base might be made of. Probably not all hats of this type have a strawhat base, but since it’s cheap and availble I found it suitable for a campfollower.
How I made the hat;
1) Take a straw hat and mark and cut of the top. Don’t worry if the hole is too big, you’re going to add a layer of fabric, which will reduce the size some, and if you planning to wear it on top of some kind of head cloth, you kind of want it to be larger than your head.
2) measure the width of the brim and double the measurement and add seam allowance, this is the width. Measure the outer circumference of the straw hat, and this is the minimum length of the fabric. My straw hat was exactly the width of my fabric, which was nice.
Tip: wool rips really easy: just snip and rip in perfectly straight lines.
Mark the middle of the fabric and put in gatherings threads, mine is about 1/2 inch (2 cm) between. I choose to make two rows on each side of the middle, to ensure that the pleats would stay neat on both side of the brim. (Honestly, I remade my gathering threads six times before I settled for this kind. Do as you believe works best for you)
3) pull the gatherings thread carefully, you-do-not-want-them-to-brake! I used a thicker linen thread, it still broke, and I had to remake it. Fun times… Fold the fabric over the hat and place the gathered part along the inner hole. I then pulled and pinned the fabric evenly over the brim, making sure it was evenly stretched.
4) I made sure I’ve pinned all the way around on the brim and let go of the pins around the outer edge, so I could fold and whip stitched the two layers of fabric on the outer side, without loosing the even pleating.
6) I wasn’t able to find any leeds on how the top of a fabric covered Tellerbarret would look like, so instead I study several different other models of a wide flat type of hat around the same period, to get an idea what would be most plausible design. Here is three examples of the construction of the crown:
A) most tops seems very flat, some looks like they are made out of a cut out round circle, some like they’ve been shaped (felt? leather?) or possibly sewn out of several pieces. The design I chose is based on the first woodcut which seems to have a curve.
B) some hats seems to have some sort of butto- like decoration on the top.
C) I’ve noticed that a cord during this period, often seem to go through the brim and over the head.
7) a friends pattern of a hat crown seemed to be similar to the shape I was looking for; measure the base to be sure it will fill up the hole on your hat, don’t forget to take any seam allowance into the calculation. Cut out four, sew together.
9) add cords; when you look at the woodcut, the cords seems like they goes through/attached to the brim rather then the seam between the crown and brim, so I punched a hole through all the layers and pulled my cord through it.
10) …and the hat is finished to be decorated with feathers; I am still working on how to get the same look as the woodcut, I have some ideas I’ll experiment with and publish when I’m satisfied with the result.
Amount of work hours around 8-10 hours.
Things to work on:
When studying and compare my finished hat with the woodcut, a few things might need a tweak.
– thinner cord
– smaller straw hat; the size between head and edge is smaller then mine.
– more fabric? The woodcut shows more pleats, which is also smaller. Since I made the hat out of Melton wool, I would probably need to experiment with either a thinner wool or another type of fabric.
Zander-Siedel, Textiler Husrat: Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nürnberg Von 1500-1600. (English translation by Katerine Barich), 1990
Graf, Breünner, Jacob, Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvölker Im Zeitalter der Landsknechte (edited by M. McNealy), 2013
The first book of fashion: the book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg (Edited by Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward), 2015
Tece de Kaxtone, Drachenwald, http://tecedekaxtone.livejournal.com
The Graf woodcut shows some kind of cord thread through the brim and tied on top of the head and the woodcuts also shows the same construction on both men and women. (Swiss)
The Coloured woodcut shows a man with a similar construction, this time with the cord (which looks like it’s simply a piece of fabric) wrapped around the hat to keep it from fall off. (Swiss?)
And isn’t it pretty cool to see an extant piece of a very specific construction? The last pictures is a British hat made out of leather where the cord goes through the brim and it has also a little cut out, presumably to add a feather as the reconstruction shows. (Maybe they should have tied the cord on the head, though?) (British)
This technique seems to have been used by Landsknechts as well. The first Woodcut may even show a slight,y different approach where the band might not really go through the brim, instead pulls throug the split of the brim (bonus detail; is it buttons, pins or the top part of a pulled through cord that is visible on the brim?) (Germany)
The left picture shows a coif with the cord sewn on to the ear flap. (British)
The right woodcut shows a hat presumably hanging around his neck via a cord but without any sign of a cord that runs across the crown; It might be a construction similar to the coif, with a sewn on cord. (German)
3) The cord through the brim flap
Maybe this cord is attached according to the same principles as example number 1 …or maybe the cord just goes through the brim and hides behind the fold around the crown, or its part of the cord seen on the brim? At least we can say that this type of hat also can be equipped with a cord. (Germany)
5) Tied behind the neck
Maybe, maybe not; but doesn’t it kind of look like she has a bow on top of her head? If that’s the case, then the hat is probably tied around the neck since there isn’t anything visable under he chin. (Swiss?)
6) That special snowflake
The Art Institute of Chicago
The quick and dirty introduction of who’s who;
Until 1490 the Swiss were the superior warriors of Europe, and Swiss instructors was imported to tech German soldiers how to fight, forming a new group of mercenaries in Europe, the Landsknechts. The Landsknechts also copy the Swiss outfit and even added more slashes and flamboyant look to it.
The Landsknecht copying the Swiss fighting style and fashion wasn’t that popular among the Reisläufers and the lesser employment opportunities with a growing group of Landsknechts, made the two groups bitter rivals and enemies, especially since the Landsknecht didn’t care for who they fought for …as long as they were payed.
The woodcut below shows a rare view of a Landsknecht and a Reisläufer in the same woodcut, a symbol of a truce between the two groups during this period of wars raging back and forth through Europe.
The Landsknecht on the left has the distinct x slashing on his leg popularly interpret as the representing the cross of Saint Andrew and the Holy Roman Empire (Osprey). The Reisläufer’s chest and sleeve has a + slashing representing the Swiss Confederation.
Some artist painted several different kind of mercenaries, but most of them have their favorite kind of mercenary; Urs Graf (Swiss citizen and served as a mercenary during his lifetime) is more likely to paint Reisläufers rather then Landsknechts.
The Katzbalger was seen as the symbol for a Landsknecht. Katzbalger is the short sword seen of the left mercenary above.
Maybe you don’t want to wear your wool hat directly on your head, it can be itchy but it also makes the hat dirty with all that human sweat penetrating the hat for day after day. As a women it’s usually pretty simple, you just wrap a head floaty, where a haube or something else similar, depending on what kind of German class you belong to.
Lately several people have asked me for what a man properly should wear underneath his hat and it makes me so happy because I’ve tried once to convince my husband into wearing the awesome period caps you sometimes see in paintings, underneath his hat. He wasn’t as amused as I was, and to his defense, he more often puts on his Landsknecht outfit more to please me and make me happy …he definitely prefers early period clothing. So I let him wear his hat as he please, with either a Schlappe or a coif underneath, it’s not the end of the world.
But for those who might be a bit curious about what a guy can wear underneath a hat, I present the cap, a neat little haube for men and i only have seen it being worn once so far and it made me excited to see that little cap on this guy (thank you Sir Måns!), because paying attention to details is such a satisfying feature and I applause all those who do it.
Here is a small sample of different caps worn by men in Germany during the 16th century, and maybe I make one and just hope I’ll someday may convince my husband to wear it.
The picture above shows an intricate slashing of a wams, seen from behind, the sleeves has a very interesting shape with the same width from shoulder and down until it gathers around the wrist, creating an image of a pair of almost rectangular constructed sleeves.
The late 16th c pattern from Germany (also translated to English by C. Köhler in A History of Costumes), seems like a perfect shape to use to achieve the same look as the woodcut, including a very easy base to cut the long slashes. The even width of the slashes from shoulder to wrist is also a good inclination that the pattern is a good base to be used …and a picture of my re-calculation to fit my reproduction.
The fabric slashed in a similar pattern as the woodcut, including cutting it into three separate pieces. It’s hard to say exactly how many slashes the woodcut sleeve have, and I might have made a bit few, but I didn’t want to make the sleeve even larger until I get an idea how the pattern would work in real life; the sleeve still has to be both practical and elegant.
Each slash is then hemmed, which of course isn’t a must, but the wearer was very specific of having an extraordinary flamboyant outfit, so I hemmed all slashes to make it look as neat as possible. The hemming is done with simple running and wip stitches, and all pieces is then ironed flat.
You can see on the woodcut that each sleeve piece has a slashed decor on the edge, which I simply make by ripping around 1″ wide fabric pieces, double fold them and then slash them an inch apart. The job of hemming this small slashes is way to time consuming, so I leave them as they are.
Silk is a very nice fabric to work with, it’s light weight and more dirt resistant then linen, and only slightly more expensive. Silk also wrinkles less then linen, and the light weight of the fabric can be gather into incredible small areas, with out adding any particular bulkyness. It’s not unlikely to assume silk was used for garment used by Landsknechts, but it’s probably more likely used by officers, high payed soldiers or high class associates rather then the ordinary foot soldier. Linen fabric was probably much more common, or maybe it’s just your undershirt that is seen through the slashes since you can’t afford no other expenses.
When I calculate how much puffing I need I use at least length x 1,5 for silk, it gives the puffing a basic nice symmetrical look, this sleeves got a little extra length to give them even more flamboyant look. This sleeves is not to be lined, to keep them as cool as possible for the California summer by letting air in through the slashes, the silk is therefore sewed onto the sleeves close to the edge, the edges is then folded over and then just wipstitched, to preventing the silk fraying.
The pieces seems to be attached with cords, so each part is given four pair of holes on each side.
Each sleeve is hold together by 12 cords with aiglets
in a woodcut the cords is almost always seen tied with a single loop, and
On this specific woodcut, you can almost make out the loops holding the sleeve-pieces together.
Even though Urs Graf mostly painted Swiss soldiers, the garment is similar enough to be used for construction studies and Graf’s level of details and everyday poses provides us with valuable as well as the simple fact that the German Landsknechts also was inspired by the Swiss Reisläufers. The single loop cord is of course also seen in other German garment as in Albrecht Von Brandeburgens’s elaborated garment.
Each sleeves three pieces is attached to each other with the points
And the full sleeve;
The full outfit can be seen here
It’s been a crazy autumn with a ton of commissions to finish, here is at least pictures of the two first complete outfits. (I will try to get better pictures and more close ups at the next event)
Nicks outfit is completely handsewn and the Wams is my first try of making the ‘vest’ design with an attachable front piece. The puffs is white and black silk, and the wams it’s only lined on the torso to make it slightly cooler to wear in California.
you can see a little gap in the corner, an extra lacing hole will be added, along all around the edges between the hosen and wams, to prevent it from slipping from the weight of his weapon on his hips. Read more about his Wams here and his hosen here.
Dante wanted a very ‘clean’ designed Waffenrock , with just some slashes for decor. This kind of slashes is made by just cutting a diagonal slash and when attaching them I simply stretch the fabric slightly to open them up (read more about how to slash here).
The front is side closed with hooks and eyes, just along the inside of the slashed band. The placement of the hooks and eyes was placed there because I wanted the front decoration to be still visible even if he choose to unhook the top hooks due to the heat of California.
The hooks and eyes are all handmade, based on a 16th c Spanish finding
The main design of the Waffenrock is inspired by the left picture, but instead of velvet and brocade I use wool fabric that Dante provided. The slashed decoration and the shorter sleeves is inspired from the two smaller woodcuts.
Handsewn slashes may look very neat, but all of us who have done it also know that it is a very time consuming sewing technique, and requires a great amount of patient when you slowly work your way through slash after slash. When doing commissions for others I’ve have therefore been working on different period solutions and alternative to keep the cost down for the costumer, and make my outfits available for a larger group.
The slashing techniques I use can be defined in three different categories;
1) Hemmed slashes
A technique very useful for light weight wool fabrics, velvet, brocade or other fabrics that fray easily. (read more about how I use the technique on wool here). It’s most commonly seen on Saxon dresses.
A) “Herodias” by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530. The slashes seems to be stitched to prevent the fabric from fraying.
B) painting by Cranach. The shape of the slashes may inquire that it has been cut and the edges folded and stitched to the backside since brocade would be fraying to much to have just been cut open without any treatment.
C & D) paintings by Cranach. Another fabric can be seen along the outline of the fabric, indicated that each slash may be folded and the slashed seem is protected on the inside by lining with another larger piece of fabric, adding an extra decoration on the sleeve.
2) Straight cut slashes
The technique relies on the movement of the fabric to open up the slashes, some times padding is added to help
A) Detail from Holbein’s Martyrdom of St. Sebastian. The detail shows a close up of the slashings and if you use a felted wool and slash it, the fabric would behave very similar to the painting.
B) Detail from Graf’s The Bearer of the Banner Canton Glarus. The sleeves is slashed and then the slashing is slashed as well, which gives you a straight cut profile that indicates no treatment has been made on the slashes
C) Aldegrever’s Portrait of Albrecht Von der Helle. A slashed decoration on a goller, which has probably a adding underneath the puff fabric to give a it a raised look as well as open up the slashing.
3) Cut or punched slashes
Pinking tool has been found in England, and is basically a shaped sharp piece of metal which you punch a hole with. The shape of the hole is based on the shape of your tool. If you don’t have a pinking tool available in the right shape, cutting out the slash with a small scissors is also an option to achieve the right kind of slash.
A) Stoer, 1525-1530, Landsknecht Tailor
B) Breu the Elder, 1525-1530, Bastl Machenstreit/Profandmeister *
C) Breu the Elder, 1520-1530, Eberlein trit herein*
D) Schön, 1530, Landsknecht met Hellebaard*
Slashed surviving examples of Landsknecht clothing has not yet been found, and the most common surviving examples of slashed clothing is made out of leather; an example of the three different techniques on leather
A) Jerkin, England, 1550-1600. Pinked decoration in shape of stars, diamonds and hearts.
B) Doublet, England, 16th century. Cut slashes.
C) Painting of a Nobleman, Monogrammist GR (Germany) c. 1555. Slashed leather with possible metal thread decoration around the edges.
Which technique that is to be used may vary between where on the body of the garb I’m working on, what kind of material I’m using (light weight wool frays easier then felted wool, for example) and in some cases also on what type of status or trade the outfit is inspired from; a foot soldier or an officer or if they are a tailor or anything else.
What kind of technique used can’t always be determine by studying a woodcut or a painting, there isn’t enough details to study or the artist may have not consider that detail being important or sometimes you just can’t see if the slashing is cut or punched by a tool.
* woodcuts from Landsknecht Woodcuts; Kriegsvölker im Zeitalter der Landsknechte, G.A Johann, B. Enkevoerth, J. Von Falke