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Garment construction

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  • Heidi Wright
    Greetins, All! This is Clarissa s husband Coinneach, temporarily hijacking her email to pose a query to those who may be able to provide an answer. Several
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 1, 2008
      Greetins, All!

      This is Clarissa's husband Coinneach, temporarily hijacking her
      email to pose a query to those who may be able to provide an answer.

      Several things I've read, recently and not-so-recently, say that
      garments in the Elizabethan period and later were cleaned by
      taking them apart, washing the pieces, and reaqssembling the garment.

      In modern garment construction, the outer shell (the "fashion
      fabric") is assembled as a unit, the lining is assembled as a
      unit, then the two are combined. This would make the
      disassembly/reassembly procedure quite cumbersome.

      It seems to me a more plausible construction technique, for a
      garment you know will be disassembled many times over its
      lifetime, would be to sew together the fashion fabric and the
      lining of each piece (left front, back, sleeve, etc.) right sides
      together, turn and close the seam, then assemble the pieces.
      Does anyone know if this technique makes sense, or was actually
      used in period?

      Thanks in advance for your answers!

      Coinneach
    • tudorldy
      Hello! I tried answering this once, but it looks like it s been eaten. What you re describing in the first instance is called flat lining. The usual practice
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 2, 2008
        Hello!

        I tried answering this once, but it looks like it's been eaten.

        What you're describing in the first instance is called flat lining.
        The usual practice now is to use a bag lining (i.e., what looks like
        a separate garment which is then felled in whole, as opposed to linng
        the individual pieces of the garment). Flat lining was known in
        period. I honestly can't say if it was more or less prevalent than
        bag lining, but I can imagine that for some garments it simply made
        more sense, and may have been employed more frequently than we see
        today.

        The thing is - the sort of garments that needed to be picked apart to
        be cleaned were picked apart because the laundering technology of the
        time wouldn't have done well on a highly constructed garment. Even
        now to some extent this is true, although in the last few decades
        clothing has become less constructed. For instance, you wouldn't
        toss the jacket from one of your business suits in the washer, would
        you? It may ruin the fabric, but aside from that it would simply be
        rather hard on the suit itself and never look right again.

        Also - keep in mind that people were as clean as they could be under
        the circumstances (and that 'clean' is relative - go camping for a
        few days) but rarely laundered outer garments. Body linen, yes, but
        not doublets and petticoats and the like, except rarely. Much can be
        accomplished with brushing and spot cleaning.

        So, yes, there were garments that were unpicked to be cleaned, and
        they may well have been flat lined. Just remember that they didn't
        throw something in the wash after every wearing, only when it really
        needed it. If you need to know why, do laundry by hand sometime :)

        Best regards,
        Elizabeth Blackdane
        in this year of 1590
      • Sandra
        Thank you for your input on this subject.. I like how you related it to the mundane... it makes a clear-er point.. to me at least.. And yes hand washing your
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 3, 2008
          Thank you for your input on this subject.. I like how you related it
          to the mundane... it makes a clear-er point.. to me at least.. And yes
          hand washing your laundry is a pain... even with modern detergents.
          Reminds me of when I had my two weeks of training for National Guard
          last summer. I have found that trying to pack 2 weeks worth of clothes
          is next to near impossible... I also was one of few women (the guys
          probably didn't.. we could tell) who did launder at least our
          undergarments and that was a daunting task... I did try to wash my
          outer clothes, ACUs or previously were known BDUs, but it seemed
          pointless as it was going to get dirty again and took a long time to
          dry. Long hot shower and intensive scrubbing were in order when i got
          home! So after that it is no wonder and I can completely understand
          your argument.... and to think I was just doing mine.. imagine if you
          were doing others as well which might have been the case in time
          period! Cleanliness really is next to Godliness!!

          ~S
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