A 17th century Interactive exhibit...

             The start of one, at least.  I have been commissioned by the Saugus Iron Works to make a group of costumes, representative of everyday clothing for a reasonably prosperous 1640s family.

              Clothing and the materials for clothing were quite expensive, they were made of mostly linen and wool, with many layers of fabric and stiffening, and therefore could only be made in a professional setting, usually by a tailor.

The culture of clothing was very different than our own; clothes were worn for years, sometimes decades. So, a person emigrating in the 1630s, in the 1640s they would, in all likelihood, be wearing the same clothes.
All of these things were, of course, a large factor in my decisions when designing the clothing.

         Over the next weeks, I will be sharing about the process and layers that go into the reproductions, as well as, some of the history of 17th-century clothing.  For now, I will be sharing some images that have been in my mind as I designed the costumes.

For the Men:

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 14.52.03
Detail from The Saltonstall Family c.1636

Doublet, 1635-1640, England, Great Britain.  Glazed linen, embroidered with…:
Doublet 1635-1640.  Image from the V&A Collections

View Plate P1997 - Hollar Collection - The bowing gentleman -state 2- - University of Toronto Libraries:
Wenceslaus Hollar c.late 1630s. Image from University of Toronto

Men's and boy's clothing of the 17th-century consisted of, a shirt as the first layer, with a suit, or breeches and a doublet, with sundry accessories, mostly linens.  

For the women:

Women's and girls clothing was somewhat more varied than men's.  They could wear, with a matching or coordinating skirt, waistcoats.  Waistcoats were a more informal garment, usually worn over a pair of bodies(stays) as they were not boned or stiffened, and, therefore, could be produced, at least partly, by a seamstress.
Jacket Fustian handsewn w/linen thread, embroidered with silver thread and spangles, edged w/silver bobbin lace   English 1630-1640  V Search the Collections:
Waistcoat 1630-40. Image from V&A Collection

Object Name: bodice  Place of Creation: Europe, United Kingdom  Date: 1625-1640:
Waistcoat 1625-1640. Image from Manchester Art Galleries

17th Century Dutch Clothing | Bodices See contemporary references, they were unlikely to have had ...:
Wenceslaus Hollar c.1630-40. Unknown Source

Wenceslaus Hollar | Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus (The Clothing of English Women), Wenceslaus Hollar, 1640 | Engelse keukenmeid, in profiel naar rechts, een grote mand met groenten aan de arm. Ze draagt een kapje afgezet met kant op het hoofd  en een onversierde halsdoek om de schouders. Trippen aan de voeten. No. 26 uit de serie Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus:
 English Kitchenmaid, Wenceslaus Hollar c.1640s. Unknown Source

 Otherwise, women wore gowns or, bodices with skirts.  The main difference between a waistcoat and bodice, is that a bodice is boned and stiffened and is not worn with a pair of bodies. 

English Townswoman, Wenceslaus Hollar c.1640. Unknown Source

English Women's Dress of the 17th Century - Wenceslas Hollar Engravings Lady with a handkerchief:
Englishwoman, Wenceslaus Hollar c.1640s. Unknown Source

Hester Tradescant and her Stepson, John, Thomas de Critz, 1645:
Hester Tradescant and Son c.1645
Citizen.s Daughter Theatrium:
London Citizen's Daughter, Wenceslaus Hollar c.1640. Unknown Source 
1640 - Lady with scissors:
Lady with Scissors, Wenceslaus Hollar c.1640. Unknown Source

Over the next month, I will be covering these topics more in depth.  As well as, including pictures and information regarding the making of the costumes.



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