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58544Re: [Authentic_SCA] Kragelund assistance?

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  • Heather Rose Jones
    Dec 30, 2010
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      Some thoughts based on both reconstruction of this garment and some comparative studies.

      On Dec 29, 2010, at 8:47 PM, Zhara wrote:

      > Greetings. Hoping to tap the collective wisdom of the group.
      > I have pulled the standard exploded diagram of the Kragelund tunic
      > here,
      > http://www.forest.gen.nz/Medieval/articles/garments/Kragelund/Kragelund.html
      > and here,
      > http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/kraglund.html
      > and printed it onto graph paper, and then planned to put it to fabric.
      > The problem is that I fear that the diagram is not to scale. In order to get a chest circumfrence of 48", I have a garment that dangles mid-shin on my friend who has requested it. We're pretty sure that's a bit too long, but I'd like to hear from the experts.

      Mid-shin is probably about right. I did some (rather rough) comparative statistics for various dimensions of geometric-construction tunics (both secular and ecclesiastical) from the 11-14th centuries in order to try to identify both some typologies of proportions and a way of identifying stylistic outliers. The analysis is here:


      Among the Scandinavian secular tunics from Skjoldehamn, Kragelund, Moselund, and Boksten there's a fair amount of consistency in the ratio of the total armspan to garment height (roughly 1.45-1.50) suggesting a certain similarity in style. The four garments fall into two groups when comparing the ratio of the upper back height (i.e., shoulder down to the start of the gores) to the total garment length, with the Moselund and Skjoldehamn garments having a ratio of 0.35 and the Kragelund and Boksten garments having a ratio of 0.50 indicating a slightly shorter skirt portion proportionately. The three other than the Kragelund garment were found accompanied by human remains for which the height could be estimated. Subtracting out a typical head height from those, we can calculation the ratio of the total garment length to the body height from shoulder to ground. The two garments estimated to have slightly longer skirts have a garment-to-body height ratio of 0.81-0.83 while the Boksten tunic has a slightly smaller ratio of 0.78. Taken together, we can guess that the length of the Kragelund tunic most likely also represented about 78% of the shoulder-to-ground height of the wearer. For all four of these garments, that corresponds roughly to mid-shin.

      Assuming that the Kragelund tunic was worn by a man of similar height and proportions to the other three garments, the sleeves on this garment would be expected to have been slightly over-long, needing to be pushed back slightly to keep the hands free.

      > In any case, trimming it to length is easy enough, but scaling it to fit a 48" chest also results with armhole openings of nearly 30 inches around!

      When I was doing the above analysis, I was primarily interested in getting a sense of heights and garment lengths, so I didn't gather up the data on armhole openings. But many of the arm openings for garments at this period are relatively large and 30" is not at all outside of the normal range.

      > The other issue plaguing me is the huge amount of wasted fabric that results, no matter how many cutting configurations I've attempted. The historical logic of making the most efficient use of the yardage is not turning up.

      When I do reproductions of specific historic garments I take two different approaches. In general, the first time I work from a garment I'll do an exact-size reproduction to get a sense of how the proportions of the original worked. But after that, I'll try to follow the "strategy" of the garment's construction but adapt it to both the person I'm trying to clothe and the fabric I'm working with. Since modern fabric proportions are almost never identical to the historic widths, there's always going to be either some adaptation or some waste. One of the places I most often adapt is that my gussets may be either wider or narrower than the original, depending on the fabric layout.

      If I were laying out this particular cut on a modern fabric, I'd mark out the main body part along the length of the fabric then see how the other pieces fit into the leftover strip, If the fabric is so narrow that you can't get all the pieces from that strip, then I think I'd lay out the larger sleeve pieces across the grain. But I'd have to know the dimensions of your fabric and your wearer to be more specific.

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