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58466Re: [Authentic_SCA] Summer Garb: Middle Eastern

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  • lilinah@earthlink.net
    Jul 19, 2010
      Fionnuala wrote:
      >Summer garb? I'm an Elizabethan. There's no such thing. Velvets and
      >silk in January....velvets and silk in July. Just hydrate.

      (sympathetic grin) I was an actor at Ren Faires for a number of
      years, as merchant class, then as nobility, and it could be over
      100oF.

      >Middle Eastern, when I used to indulge with an alternate persona,
      >froze to death in the winter and was only mildly comfortable in the
      >summer in Persian garb. Got too fat and no longer fit into that garb.

      One shouldn't be freezing in winter in proper Persian clothing.
      Medieval Persians didn't want to be cold any more than we do, and
      winters can be quite cold in Persia. One just needs appropriate
      layers made of appropriate fabrics. For winter, they layered on qaba
      make of wool and often wore fur lined qaba, as well.

      >Use natural fibers so you don't die of heat.

      I agree, and they generally keep one warmer in winter, if one picks
      the right fibers.

      My personal experience is here in The West Kingdom, where most events
      are weekend long camping. It is usually in the 40s at night, spring,
      summer, and fall (and it can be in the high 20s at night at the week
      long Estrella War in Arizona in February). During the day in The West
      it can be in the 50s (even in the summer) to the 110s, depending on
      time of year and event location.

      My 14th c. Egyptian tunic is linen, and my underlayers (kamis and
      sirwal) are also linen. Early on, i had tunics and sirwal made of a
      cotton/linen blend, and also of cotton because cotton is historically
      accurate for tunics in the Mamluk period. I have found that linen is
      much cooler in heat and warmer in cold than cotton, and handles
      humidity better than cotton, too. Real linen holds up well to machine
      washing and various websites offer it at reasonable prices.

      My Persian pirihan is sheer cotton, based on a couple surviving
      examples. My outer kaba is dupioni silk lined with dupioni silk. My
      inner qaba are often of cotton with appropriate prints lined with
      china silk = habotai. They have kept me warm at events at night, and
      i am sensitive to cold. I only wear heavy jacquard woven fabrics as
      the loose upper layer and often skip that. Even though people then to
      call jacquard ''brocade'', it is VERY far from real brocade. Real
      brocade would be bearable because, except for the motifs, it is only
      plain weave or twill weave and often quite thin. Little *real*
      brocade is still woven today, tends to cost around US $1000 per
      meter, and is about 36'' wide.

      Let me add that different silks in different weaves behave
      differently in heat, and i have found that with the addition
      humidity, most silks can be *very* uncomfortable, even with cotton
      ''underwear''.

      Frankly, i have often been puzzled by the assumption in the SCA that
      Middle Eastern clothing is necessarily cooler than European. In much
      of North Africa and the Middle East, people wear outer garments made
      of wool, even in hot paces. And traditional clothing quite fully
      covers males and females, leaving only hands and feet exposed, and -
      depending on location, traditions, and gender - neck and face. The
      heads of both males and females would also be covered. This makes
      sense as this protects the wearer from sunburn and dehydration.

      In modern times, however, men and women in the Middle East often wear
      polyester and other synthetics, and women's abaya (where they are
      worn) are often black and synthetic, guaranteed to be miserably hot
      and suffocating in summer and insufficiently warm in winter.

      Yet even with this professed desire to wear Middle Eastern clothing,
      i see SCAdians wearing all sorts of modern and fantasy garb, such as
      the so-called Ghawazee coat with slits up to there! and a wide and
      deep upper front window of opportunity, a garment that existed no
      earlier than the 1970s (yes, late 20th c.), along with giant poofy
      pants which are also not SCA period.

      Frankly, early medieval European tunics are just as comfortable as
      Middle Eastern and North African tunics and made of the same
      materials: linen and wool. So i'm not sure why SCAdians who want
      cooler clothing don't shift from later SCA-period European to earlier
      European in the summer. I suspect that SCAdians go for ME in the
      summer because of: a desire for a change from one's usual garb; a
      desire for the ''exotic''; and cultural misunderstandings, such as
      looking at and liking 19th c. European Orientalist art, much of which
      did not represent reality, but was intentionally erotic, and was
      stimulated by or stimulated sex tours by white male Europeans to the
      Middle East.
      --
      Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
      the persona formerly known as Anahita

      Dar Anahita
      http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah
      info on Near & Middle Eastern garb, medieval Egyptian knitting, and
      period feasts and recipes
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