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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Stupid questions

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  • Amy Heilveil
    Depending on the period, they re all correct. The pink is very period for most of the SCA time frame, as is the purple. The blue a little less so, but it
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 5, 2007
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      Depending on the period, they're all correct. The pink is very period for
      most of the SCA time frame, as is the purple. The blue a little less so, but
      it still works for most time frames.

      Smiles,
      Despina de la loves the purple you've got


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lilinah
      My apologies for this late response, but Yahoo has been bouncing my mail a lot in the last week and a half... ... First, questions are not stupid. If we don t
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 8, 2007
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        My apologies for this late response, but Yahoo has been bouncing my
        mail a lot in the last week and a half...

        Amal binti Hala Al-Chania wrote:
        >Sorry about my stupid questions, but if there is anyone who is able to
        >help me...

        First, questions are not stupid. If we don't know or understand
        something and we don't ask, we don't learn or we misunderstand.
        Asking questions and getting answers lifts the veil of ignorance. It
        is perhaps more stupid not to ask and remain ignorant or confused.

        >I am planning to make Arabian/Turkish dress from them but I want to
        >make sure first are they authentic or not.

        First, the vestimentary systems of Arab cultures are quite different
        from those of Turkish/Central Asian cultures.
        -- Arab systems feature garments that either slip on over the head =
        tunics (borrowed from the Greeks and Romans who ruled the area for
        many centuries) or wrapped garments composed of flat rectangles of
        various dimensions (indigenous).
        -- Turkish/Central Asian systems feature garments that open in the
        front ("coats"), although under tunics often slip on over the head
        and have long central slits in the front or, sometimes for men,
        off-center slits.
        -- Both systems have pants with a draw-string waist, worn by both men
        and women, but these pants differ. The sirwal (pl. sarawil) of the
        Arab system tends to have legs that are the same width from hip to
        ankle. The shalvar (various spellings) have legs that are quite wide
        at the hip and thigh, and narrow at the ankle.
        -- There are also differences in colors preferred or avoided, and
        motifs and the scale of motifs used in textiles.

        Second, i would ask "which Turkish?" There is a multitude of Turkish
        cultures that are important within the time span of the SCA, the
        Seljuks being the most significant; but there are also Uighur,
        Buyyid, Turkoman, etc.

        So it's important to differentiate, first, between cultures based on
        Central Asian clothing systems and those based on Arab systems, and,
        second, among the different Turkic cultures.

        Also, which culture and time period you choose will determine what
        fabric patterns and to some extent what colors are appropriate, not
        to mention the style of the garments.

        >I have couple of questions regarding
        >authentic fabrics (esp. in Asia/India area). I have two Sarees (both
        >silk) but I am a bit unsure about the colours. First saree is purple
        >silkchiffon
        >http://pics.livejournal.com/ignata/pic/0004e1xf/
        >with lighter pallu
        >http://pics.livejournal.com/ignata/pic/0004fr5y/
        >It's transparent and therefore I am not totally sure should I use it
        >at all.

        First, sheerness... From what i can tell, sheer fabrics were not much
        used in outer garments. Linen or cotton under garments were often
        *quite sheer*, based on both surviving garments and paintings from
        al-Andalus and the Persian and Ottoman Empires. Outer garments,
        however, were not sheer, other than head veils for women in some
        Islamic cultures.

        Outer garments were meant to present both a modest image and to show
        one's status. So unless one was a very devout and conservative
        Muslim, then one would have outer garments of the best fabric they
        could afford. Clearly that is your intent with intense colors and
        metallic threads, so you're on the right track.

        Next, the pattern in the fabric. The pattern looks good for Persian,
        if Persian paintings can be trusted to be close to reality (since
        what's shown in paintings is often different from designs on
        surviving fabrics). 15th and 16th C. Persian paintings often show
        both men and women wearing garments of a solid color with small gold
        motifs. Ottoman (if that is what you mean by Turkish) fabrics nearly
        always had VERY LARGE motifs (for example, a pattern might repeat
        only 1-1/2 times in a man's kaftan). So the fine motifs of this
        fabric are unsuitable for Ottoman. I am not sure about the Seljuks,
        as we have less material culture surviving from them - plenty of art,
        but fewer textiles.

        Third, the color is not particularly suitable for Arab or Ottoman
        garments (and i suspect not for Seljuk either). Purple was identified
        with the Christian Byzantines and therefore not used much in most
        Islamic cultures. The Persians often did things rather differently
        from the more Arabic cultures. However, i've never seen any actual
        purple Persian fabric. Also, the particular hue of purple (at least
        as it looks on my monitor) is very modern and not like what i've seen
        within SCA period.

        In Roman and early Islamic Egypt sometimes the tapestry woven clavi
        and segmentae on Roman style tunics were worked with "purple" wool.
        The color is now nearly black, but chemical analysis shows that often
        this wool was madder overdyed with indigo, which makes a dark
        brownish purple.

        The purple of clavi on important Roman men's togas and of Byzantine
        royal family garments was usually from murex (a sea snail, and which
        can give a range of colors from dark blue to purple to dark red). But
        to the best of my knowledge this dye was not used in the Islamic
        world.

        It is a beautiful fabric, but based on what i know, not really
        suitable for Near Eastern clothing, if you want authenticity. It
        might work for Indian - i know less about the Mughal/Moghul cultures
        than i do about cultures in the Middle and Near East.

        Re the blue sari:
        The color is a little closer to a "period" color. I can't tell what
        the scale of the motifs is, but they might be too small for Ottoman,
        so this might work for a garment from the Arab vestimentary system.

        Or are the blue and purple pictures from the same sari?
        In going back and re-reading your post, i think perhaps i am
        misunderstanding and these two pictures are parts of one cloth. If
        so, the colors appear quite different on my monitor, so i am not
        certain of what color the cloth is. However, if both are part of the
        same sari, it is still likely that the color is the modern so-called
        "purple", which is a blue violet and not "SCA-period", since dyes of
        this color only developed in the 19th century with the advent of
        synthetic dyes.

        Anyway, if you want a "purple" fabric, the more "period" color is
        that produced by some Indian lac insects. They make a color close to
        what in paint is called "purple lake", a color more like what we
        might call maroon or burgundy. And from what i can tell, this color
        is closer to what is meant by "purple" in period writing, and
        apparently still by the French today. What we call "purple" here in
        the US is a bluer color, called "violet" by the French, and available
        with the advent of purely synthetic dyes in the mid to late 19th
        century.

        >Second saree is pink(ish) silk with golden border
        >http://pics.livejournal.com/ignata/pic/0004g8yt/

        To me, the fuchsia looks a bit strong and synthetic for SCA clothing.
        I've seen muted rose colored silk in an early 17th century Ottoman
        garment (remember "dusty rose" from a few decades ago?), but it was
        not an intense color as this sari appears to be.

        Also, from what i can tell of my study of fabrics and garments of
        both the Near and Middle East, fully saturated colors were generally
        preferred, especially for reds. Yes, one can make a sort of "hot
        pink" from kermes, but from what i've seen of textiles of the
        SCA-period Islamic world, this was not a sought after color. It takes
        a LOT of kermes to give a strong red, so a saturated kermes/lac
        insect red was a way of showing off one's wealth, rather than a
        not-fully saturated fuchsia/"hot pink"/magenta/etc. Kermes was
        generally reserved for silk, although it will dye wool. Note that i'm
        speaking here of the Near and Middle East.

        For those who couldn't afford the rich cool-red of kermes or other
        lac insect dye there was madder root, which makes a warm-red and was
        rather commonly used. Madder can give a range of reds, from a rich
        warm red, a more orangey "tomato soup" red, a deep orange, red-brown,
        to a dark warm brown. More people could afford madder dyed fabric.
        Madder was used to dye wool, linen, and cotton, and less often for
        silk. The complex process later known to Europeans as "turkey red",
        was developed to dye linen and cotton.

        So if you want a reddish fabric, then a fully saturated red would be
        authentic, either a cool kermes (cochineal) red or a warm madder red,
        but this fuchsia doesn't look like a "period" color to me.

        As for other colors, indigo was generally used fully saturated, but
        less saturated indigo blues were also used. Besides being used on
        wool and silk, indigo was used to dye linen and cotton. Often a
        single linen or cotton fabric would have stripes - sometimes in both
        the warp and the weft - of two or three shades of indigo blue.

        Less saturated colors of all sorts show up as accent colors in
        complex brocades, especially in 16th century Persian and Ottoman
        Empires.

        To me the issue is less whether one can achieve certain colors with
        certain dyes, and more a question of whether people in a particular
        culture, in a particular time and place, actually wanted those less
        saturated colors.

        >Second problem is to decide that kind of dress to make if the silks
        >are ok to SCA-use :D

        In my opinion, if you want authenticity, the first thing to do is
        study the specific styles of garment fabrics - you don't need to know
        how to make them, unless you really want to :-) - but it helps to
        know what the fabrics of particular cultures and times period looked
        like BEFORE you go fabric shopping. Then it is much easier to buy
        suitable colors and patterns.

        We modern people have an amazing array of colors available to us
        today, both natural and synthetic. While modern natural dyers mix
        dyes from 5 or 6 continents all sorts of ways to create a wide range
        of colors, in the Near and Middle East of the SCA period, a much more
        limited range of colors was used. Overdyeing was used to produce some
        colors, such as a more colorfast green, but these were not the
        preferred dyes. For example, the Geniza documents from Fatimid Egypt
        indicate that green fabric (which was yellow, often weld, overdyed
        with indigo) was less expensive than fabric dyed with a single dye.

        I have a few examples of Persian fabrics on my web site:
        http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/persianfabrics.html
        and slightly more examples of Ottoman fabrics:
        http://earthlink/~al-qurtubiyya/RealOttoFabric.html

        A good general reference for textiles in the Islamic world is:
        Patricia L. Baker.
        Islamic Textiles.
        London: British Museum Press, 1995.
        ISBN 0714125229

        It is out of print and not cheap. I recommend getting it via ILL
        (Inter-Library Loan). It is the best survey of the topic and had many
        lovely full color photos, as well as some info on dyes and textile
        techniques. If the Islamic world is your area of focus, and
        authenticity is your goal, it's worth having in your library.

        To sum up, neither the colors, patterns, or sheerness of these saris
        is very suitable for SCA-period garments in the Islamic world.

        These saris may be suitable for Mughal/Moghal clothing, but i know
        less about that cultural area. There is an SCA list devoted to
        SCA-perid India where you could ask:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_India

        --
        Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
        the persona formerly known as Anahita
      • Lilinah
        BTW, you re looking into the period of the Abbasid dynasty. Black is definitely NOT suitable for garments in this period, unless you are part of the ruling
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 8, 2007
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          BTW, you're looking into the period of the 'Abbasid dynasty. Black is
          definitely NOT suitable for garments in this period, unless you are
          part of the ruling family, since black was "their" color and the
          color of their flag.

          --
          Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
          the persona formerly known as Anahita
        • Kathryn
          Urtatim wrote: I have a few examples of Persian fabrics on my web site: http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/persianfa
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 8, 2007
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            Urtatim wrote:
            "I have a few examples of Persian fabrics on my web site:
            http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/persianfa
            brics.html
            and slightly more examples of Ottoman fabrics:
            http://earthlink/~al-qurtubiyya/RealOttoFabric.html"

            These links don't seem to work for me. Is there a fix?
            Thanks, Kathryn


            **************************************************************************
          • Lilinah
            ... My apologies. This one is case specific: http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/PersianFabrics.html And on this one i left out
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 8, 2007
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              >Urtatim wrote:
              >> I have a few examples of Persian fabrics on my web site:
              > >
              >http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/persianfabrics.html
              >> and slightly more examples of Ottoman fabrics:
              > > http://earthlink/~al-qurtubiyya/RealOttoFabric.html
              >
              >These links don't seem to work for me. Is there a fix?
              >Thanks, Kathryn

              My apologies.

              This one is case specific:
              http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/PersianFabrics.html

              And on this one i left out several key parts of the address:
              http://home.earthlink.net/~al-qurtubiyya/Fabric/RealOttoFabric.html

              Sorry about that. And thanks for catching it.

              --
              Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
              the persona formerly known as Anahita
            • Beth and Bob Matney
              ... Urtatim, I ve acquired a pretty good reference collection on textiles most of the Islamic cultures, but I m a bit weak on Persian. What references do you
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 8, 2007
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                At 01:59 PM 3/8/2007, Urtatim wrote:
                >This one is case specific:
                >http://home.earthlink.net/~lilinah/Textiles/Actual_Persian_Fabrics/PersianFabrics.html

                Urtatim,

                I've acquired a pretty good reference collection on textiles most of the
                Islamic cultures, but I'm a bit weak on Persian. What references do you
                suggest?

                Most of my textile/costume reference books (though I have a long way to go
                for other topics) are now cataloged online at www.librarything.com Search
                for user "Castlegrounds".

                Beth
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