Archeological finds from reenacter’s closets

Isn’t it appropriate to start the Real Blog by confessing some old sins?

Cat P is appalled by the finds.

Cat P is appalled by the finds.

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.

 

 

Cornettes!

Cornettes!

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.

 

 

 

I have actually worn these in public...

I have actually worn these in public...

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.

 

At least it was made of metal.

At least it was made of metal.

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!

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2 Responses to Archeological finds from reenacter’s closets

  1. Elina says:

    Tää on kamalan voimaannuttavaa tämmöinen vanhojen mestariteosten kaivelu. Ja voi että, miten elävästi muistankaan noista vaatteista monet, ja miten niitä olen aikanaan ihaillut. Ja arrgh, sen palavyön jalokivet olivatkin muovia!

  2. Uta says:

    On se voimaannuttavaa! Mutta toisaalta oon ihan tyytyväinen, että aivan kaikki tekeleet ei ole enää tallessa. Riittää varmaan, jos sanon – vaikka ihan hiljaa mielessäni – sanan “loimusametti”…

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