Saturday, 12 December 2015

Working on Coifs

17th C. Coifs

We had the unexpected pleasure of studying a few of these little babies during a study session at a Museum. And little they were! They were so delicate as we carefully lifted them out of the box of caps at the Manchester Costume Museum and so very different from the 18th c caps we'd come to study.

Sadly we're not allowed to share our images online but have put here instead images of our re-creations.

These coifs are literal head caps and the shaping created by the gathering circle positioned at the crown is gorgeous and simple. We learnt so much about their construction it was incredible. There was one Blackworked Coif that hadn't been made
Our Classic Coif
up yet so we got to see that stage of the preperation, and then looking at two other you could see how they were put together. 
With the top seam finished and complete, the two finished edges get abutted up to one another and sewn. The length was somewhere between 2 3/4" to 3" long. What was left over was delicately hand stitched into a circle and joined.

Our Blackwork Coif
The rest was unshaped except for a channel running the length of the hem for a ribbon. One of the coifs had instead of a channel, a line of loops through which 2 ribbons passed through. Each ribbons was secured at the other end so that they acted as a draw-cord. Very clever, except, perhaps a little too clever for us as we still can't figure out what they did with the ribbons then - where did they tie them? Has anyone seen image of ladies with a tie around their neck from their coifs, because we haven't. Not that we've massively studied the 17th c yet - still being happily stuck in the 18th - but this is a little mystifying. If they tied the ribbons together then it pulls the hem of the cap under and would no long sit nicely. Anyone else know?

Anyway, through this study session we have developed a Blackworked Coif, a Gentle-Eared Coif (our words lol - not a 17th c term) and the Classic Coif. The Blackwork Coif comes with a Forehead cloth as did one of the originals in that wonderful box and our forehead cloth has been created to mimic that one.

Here's a quick video of one of our Coif Sampls: Coif Footage (please click here!)

No comments:

Post a Comment