Date:  Wed Jun 25, 2003  12:23 am
Subject:  Links: Medieval Hats, Shoes, Belts

Greetings everyone.

As I seem to be catching every virus known to mankind lately, the Links lists have been a little slow in coming. Please do not be confused: you have not missed an issue last week, I have failed to produce one. Here is This week's list, however, and I pray you will forgive me my temporary lapse.

This week's list is about medieval hats, belts and shoes. I hope you enjoy it in the spirit it is offered, and will pass it along to those who are interested in such things.



Easy Men's Hats from 1300 - 1500: Workshop & Notes
by Cynthia Virtue aka Cynthia du Pré Argent
(Site Excerpt) Some of the most silly hats that have ever been invented as serious wear on this planet were in use during this time in Europe.Although many of the most outrageous were worn by noblewomen, there are several fun styles for men of all classes that are both practical and easy to make. Once you familiarize yourself with these, you can go on to consider some of the more outlandish ones if you wish, or rest content with these knowing that the proper hat makes your garb look just right. (See also for more excellent hat articles by this author).

(Site Excerpt) The hood became a separate garment. Later in the period, the hood, with its pointed end (the liripipe), and short shoulder cape, became a hat worn by putting the head into the hole originally intended for the face and wrapping the extended liripipe around the head in turban fashion. Later still, the hat was hung over the shoulder by the liripipe as a badge. Its ultimate manifestation became the cockade on the 19th-century livery hat or the 20th-century doorman's hat. Another even more curious derivation of the hood is the small tab sewn in the back of an English barrister's gown.

Headgear: A brief introduction
By Lady Jehanne de Hugenin
(Site Excerpt) The hat maketh the wo/man! It's always a source of sadness to me how many people make magnificent SCA costumes and then fail to complete them with the relevant headgear. More than any other accessory, what you wear on your head completes the look of your clothing; it's essential to the flavour of the majority of centuries in the medieval era.

Hat Patterns from Harper House
the perfect finishing touch to almost any outfit. (Commercial site)

What sort of hat would you have worn in Medieval times?
(Site Excerpt) Hats were an important part of medieval garb. Depending on one's occupation and the time of the year, hats could vary from linen head warmers, to straw or felt hats, to "borrelais" hats to fine mesh mail coifs, to "sallet" helmets, to visored "basinets" to mitres and crowns. Five hats are pictured below, try to determine which of the people listed wore which of the hats.

Footwear of the Middle Ages
(Site Excerpt) The purpose of this web site is to provide a general guide to footwear in the European Middle Ages, with some examinations of footwear before that period, as well as some that came after. Hopefully this will be an overview of footwear technology up to 1600. Since we don't have the materials or knowledge to make this an exhaustive view of all footwear up to 1600, because much of the knowledge has been long lost, not yet published, or simply not available to me at this time, this site should always be considered a work in process. Further, I don't wish to present this material as thought I am an expert, much less THE expert in this field. As we learn more about how things were done, this will change our understanding of techniques, technology, and so forth. To my mind, the true experts on Medieval shoemaking all died centuries ago. At best, I am a student of their work. As such, I am continually learning more about these things, and as I learn them, I will present them hear as I can. To this end, I will present the research that I have done (when I am able to), as well as that done by those before me, and those who are currently doing such research today..

Medieval Shoes from the Bata Museum Collection, Toronto, Ontario
A Collection of photographs on Medieval Shoes, covering three pages.

Fragment of Medieval Shoe from Newcastle upon Tyne
(Site Excerpt) During the course of excavations carried out at the waterfront in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1984-5, hundreds of fragments of leather were recovered from waterlogged deposits of the 13th century. They were incorporated in waste matter which was taken down to the riverside and dumped as part of a process of land reclamation. Leather, textiles, wooden objects, ceramics and animal bones were all included in this material. The waterlogging had preserved the organic materials, with the result that the leather was in good condition. This included a knife sheath and some belt fragments, but most of it was in the form of fragments from cobblers' workshops: offcuts, scraps and worn-down soles.

History of Shoes--Medieval Shoes
(Site Excerpt) Footwear styles continued to change during the Medieval age. The sole and upper were no longer thonged but stitched together with thread and the toe became a sharp point, known as scorpion tails, they began to get longer in the 1320's and became known as pikes, crackowes or poulaines. The length of ones toe was an indication of status. The King and his court had shoes with the largest toes. This style wasn't worn by women. The ankle shoe remained popular, it was usually side laced with three pairs of holes.

Making Medieval Arrowheads (This article is actually an article on making Medieval Shoes)
(Site Excerpt) Shoes in the late mediaeval period were constructed in a somewhat different manner to their modern day equivalent. The following is a construction guide for anyone who wishes to make a pair of authentic turnsoles. What you will need: Sole Leather - 4-7mm thick vegetable tanned ; Upper leather - 1.5 - 3mm thick vegetable tanned ;A square of canvas about 40 - 50cm each side ; Two saddlers needles (heavy duty blunt needles) ; Linen thread ; An awl - diamond section, very sharp; A Stanley/Craft knife; A tape measure; A pencil ; Scissors ; Leather thonging ; Beeswax

Early Medieval Irish Shoes
(Site Excerpt) Finding reference materials for early shoe types has turned into an exciting form of treasure hunt, but I'm starting to make some headway. When 8 hardy souls met in an Emeryville, California house to "make
shoes" on April 6, 1997, we thought we had just about all the information we needed to go ahead, and in fact, a number of attractive and comfortable pairs of shoes were made from the two buffalo hides we decided to buy as a group. When we started, we had a xerox copy of the out of print book Primitive Shoes by Margrethe Hald, a printout of Footwear in the Middle Ages, by I. Marc Carlson, several art and archaelogy books on the Celts, a couple of paper patterns from a local tannery (now out of business) and one of our number had made numerous shoes for Renaissance Faires. It was a brave beginning, and we made the most of it. Now that some time has passed and more information is available, though, I'd recommend a somewhat different approach!

Documention on the recreation of a pair of Medieval Hide Shoes
Adobe Acrobat required to view this research paper.

MOAS Atlantia Shoemaking Links

How to Tie a Medieval Belt
(Site Excerpt) Step 1: Find a wide belt that is two to three feet longer than your usual size. This belt should have an open ring (not a standard buckle) of two or three inches in diameter depending on the width of the belt.

Medieval Belt decorations
This site is an amateur archaeologist's page with photos of medieval belt decorations.

Post Medieval Collection
Archaeological photos of medieval belt fittings

Leatherworking : 13th Century belt and pouch
by Jurgen von Baden
(Site Excerpt) There were various forms of girdles used in the 13th century. They are well illustrated in illuminations and effigies from this period. There have also been a number of girdles that have been excavated along the Thames River in London. The excavated girdles were made of leather, silk, linen and wool. Judging from the excavated examples, and examining the surviving buckles and strap-ends, it seems likely that dress belts were 60mm or less in width throughout the period (Egan & Pritchard p. 35) I had a strap of leather approximately 40mm wide that I used for this piece. The leather strap that I used was pre-dyed black. One medieval method of obtaining a black dye would be to use madder with iron as a mordant. Nearly all of the surviving examples made of leather were worn with the grain (smooth) side out and were usually made with a single thickness of leather. This can be verified by observing which side the belt mounts were attached to. 13th Century girdles were typically fairly long and often reach to
nearly the ankles in period illustrations. When I wear this particular belt, it reaches to below my knees.