Isn’t it appropriate to start the Real Blog by confessing some old sins?
Old wardrobes needed to go, so they had to be emptied. It was a bit like attending archeological excavations – I had forgotten so many of the things I had buried there.
I started reenactment when I had short hair so I have had my share of hair faking attempts. The first one was a hair case made of fabric à la 12th century – basically it looked ok, but you should’ve seen how and with what I used it: with a 14th century cote, with just a coronet and without a veil, and only one hair case at a time, hanging down my neck, not as two “braids” on the sides. Talk about a skeleton in the closet… Luckily my own hair started to grow so that I gave up the hair case as soon as my hair no longer fitted in it.
The excavations also revealed something I had completely forgot: at some point, maybe about 10+ years ago, I (fortunately) started using 2 cornettes, mid-14th century side braids. I have actually done something almost right that many years ago! This time the cornettes were made of fake hair, braided and folded in two. The cornettes have a narrow band going across the head, leaving the braids hanging in front of the ears. Ok, yes, I admit the band is modern cotton bias tape, the “hair” is something very plastic, and without a coif to attach the band to, the whole thing didn’t quite stay on the head. (At the time, it was common knowledge that only men wore coifs, so naturally I couldn’t wear one…) Also, the braids are too long and one braid is somewhat longer than the other, but at least these cornettes fit my period a lot better than a lonely hair case from 200 years earlier hanging down the neck.
And a real hair piece, I had that too! It was a kind of a lump that was probably meant to have been pinned to your chignon, but I stuffed it in a hairnet with my own hair. Oooh, and the hairnet – crocheted in silver coloured thread, with beads here and there – fit perfectly the silver coronet I wore for 2 years. But what did all these items have to do with mid-14th century? Nope, don’t answer. Probably just as little as the purple/lilac veil edged with silver beads. The veil is made of one of those fabrics you shouldn’t have even in the same room with lit candles.
I never really learnt to braid my own hair into pretty little cornettes, so for years I hid my own long hair under a veil and a wimple. I was just lazy: didn’t have to think about my hair at all.
And oh my, I’ve had a plaque belt made of metal. I stopped using it for almost 15 years ago, pretty much because the materials and the design may not have been the most authentic: yellow metal X, plastic gems, and links between the plaques. But boy didn’t it look great once upon a time back then, almost like in the paintings!