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Garment Construction Details

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  • Carey G
    Does anyone know of any information available regarding some of the finer details in regards to period garment construction? I m willing to take anything from
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 21, 2011
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      Does anyone know of any information available regarding some of the finer details in regards to period garment construction? I'm willing to take anything from within or near period as I know that is difficult information to come by in European garments. Some of the specifics I'm looking for are what kind of stitches they used to sew their garments, what kind of seam finishing if anything they used, if they used linings and if so what kind of linings. That's all I can think of right now but I imagine there are other details that would be nice to know in documenting the construction of period clothing.
      Thanks
      Agnes
    • LJonthebay
      ... 1. Seam finishing is not as much of an issue as it is with European garments for the simple reason that Japanese textiles were (and still are) woven to
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 21, 2011
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        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Carey G" <agnesvonh@...> wrote:
        >
        > Does anyone know of any information available regarding some of the finer details in regards to period garment construction? I'm willing to take anything from within or near period as I know that is difficult information to come by in European garments. Some of the specifics I'm looking for are what kind of stitches they used to sew their garments, what kind of seam finishing if anything they used, if they used linings and if so what kind of linings.

        1. Seam finishing is not as much of an issue as it is with European garments for the simple reason that Japanese textiles were (and still are) woven to relatively narrow bolt widths, which means lots of selvaged edges. You'd simply adjust your seam allowance wider or narrower to fit the wearer. That said, most of us have to deal with cutting modern fabrics to the necessary. I hand-sew everything, so my seams are done with running stitch, then the raw edges get folded inward on themselves and bound with an overcast stitch.

        2. They definitely lined things. Many of the color combinations used for court ladies' kasane describe colored linings that compliment or contrast with the robe they're built into. Winter robes might also contain a layer of silk padding trapped between the outer fabric and lining. (The padding was made of unrolled cocoons stretched out into a sort of sticky tissue wadding that would more or less stay in place without elaborate quilting, from the descriptions I've read.)

        Conversely, the word "hitoe" refers specifically to certain types of unlined robes: there's a man's garment, a woman's garment and it's also used as a term for modern summer kimono. Unfortunately, I have not been to Japan and have been limited to studying most garments and textiles by way of books and the 'net, so I can't tell you a lot about what period linings looked like. However, my modest vintage kimono and haori have linings in both silk and cotton. In fact, some may be a combination of both, with the fancier (or colored) fabric showing at hem and sleeve edges while the lined body (from about shoulder to knee length) may be quite plain. The other extreme is the secret luxury of highly decorated linings which came into vogue during the Edo period as a way to get around strict Shogunal sumptuary laws. Modern men's haori are very plain, but the linings frequently are elaborately decorated.

        (Another feature of a couple of my modern vintage unlined yukata is what I can only describe as a butt panel - there's a rectangular piece of fabric about where one's sit-upon would come in contact with the fabric. Makes a lot of sense for an unlined garment used as lounge or bath wear.)

        3. Running stitch is the work horse stitch and I've seen examples where the stitches are fairly big and far apart. That makes for quick and easy disassembly for cleaning or re-tailoring, not to mention making by-hand construction go pretty quickly.

        Blind stitch is great for attaching collars: do one edge with running stitch, then fold over and blind stitch the other side. I banged my head on a glass case at the Asian Art Museum peering at the inner edge of a hitatare sleeve on a Noh costume - it was beautifully finished with tiny (and I mean TINY) hem stitches.

        Hope this helps some,

        Saionji no Hana
        West Kingdom
      • Carey Gorla
        Thank you very much I hadn t thought about how the narrow fabric width would actually play into the seam finishing. I know it s a detail that most people don t
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 21, 2011
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          Thank you very much I hadn't thought about how the narrow fabric width would actually play into the seam finishing. I know it's a detail that most people don't even care about but I like to at least know what is appropriate even if I end up choosing to use my sewing machine to actually do the sewing instead. In regards to linings, I can't think of the proper terms right now and my Google Fu is failing me, do you know if the linings are more often just a reverse of the garment sewn along the edges or if each lining piece was attached to each outer piece then all attached?
          Again Thanks
          Agnes



          ________________________________
          From: LJonthebay <wodeford@...>
          To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 4:23 PM
          Subject: [SCA-JML] Re: Garment Construction Details


           
          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Carey G" <agnesvonh@...> wrote:
          >
          > Does anyone know of any information available regarding some of the finer details in regards to period garment construction? I'm willing to take anything from within or near period as I know that is difficult information to come by in European garments. Some of the specifics I'm looking for are what kind of stitches they used to sew their garments, what kind of seam finishing if anything they used, if they used linings and if so what kind of linings.

          1. Seam finishing is not as much of an issue as it is with European garments for the simple reason that Japanese textiles were (and still are) woven to relatively narrow bolt widths, which means lots of selvaged edges. You'd simply adjust your seam allowance wider or narrower to fit the wearer. That said, most of us have to deal with cutting modern fabrics to the necessary. I hand-sew everything, so my seams are done with running stitch, then the raw edges get folded inward on themselves and bound with an overcast stitch.

          2. They definitely lined things. Many of the color combinations used for court ladies' kasane describe colored linings that compliment or contrast with the robe they're built into. Winter robes might also contain a layer of silk padding trapped between the outer fabric and lining. (The padding was made of unrolled cocoons stretched out into a sort of sticky tissue wadding that would more or less stay in place without elaborate quilting, from the descriptions I've read.)

          Conversely, the word "hitoe" refers specifically to certain types of unlined robes: there's a man's garment, a woman's garment and it's also used as a term for modern summer kimono. Unfortunately, I have not been to Japan and have been limited to studying most garments and textiles by way of books and the 'net, so I can't tell you a lot about what period linings looked like. However, my modest vintage kimono and haori have linings in both silk and cotton. In fact, some may be a combination of both, with the fancier (or colored) fabric showing at hem and sleeve edges while the lined body (from about shoulder to knee length) may be quite plain. The other extreme is the secret luxury of highly decorated linings which came into vogue during the Edo period as a way to get around strict Shogunal sumptuary laws. Modern men's haori are very plain, but the linings frequently are elaborately decorated.

          (Another feature of a couple of my modern vintage unlined yukata is what I can only describe as a butt panel - there's a rectangular piece of fabric about where one's sit-upon would come in contact with the fabric. Makes a lot of sense for an unlined garment used as lounge or bath wear.)

          3. Running stitch is the work horse stitch and I've seen examples where the stitches are fairly big and far apart. That makes for quick and easy disassembly for cleaning or re-tailoring, not to mention making by-hand construction go pretty quickly.

          Blind stitch is great for attaching collars: do one edge with running stitch, then fold over and blind stitch the other side. I banged my head on a glass case at the Asian Art Museum peering at the inner edge of a hitatare sleeve on a Noh costume - it was beautifully finished with tiny (and I mean TINY) hem stitches.

          Hope this helps some,

          Saionji no Hana
          West Kingdom




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • LJonthebay
          ... EEP! That would complicate things. I know that for a kosode (for example), I cut and assemble a lining that mirrors the outer shell except for the collar
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 22, 2011
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            --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Carey Gorla <agnesvonh@...> wrote:
            > In regards to linings, I can't think of the proper terms right now and my Google Fu is failing me, do you know if the linings are more often just a reverse of the garment sewn along the edges or if each lining piece was attached to each outer piece then all attached?

            EEP! That would complicate things. I know that for a kosode (for example), I cut and assemble a lining that mirrors the outer shell except for the collar (which folds over).

            Remember, the garment might be completely taken apart, basted back into its bolt form so it could be cleaned and stretched for drying, then the "bolt" unstitched and the cleaned garment put back together. Ditto any linings.

            Saionji no Hana
            West Kingdom
          • Andrew Trembley
            ... The modern terms you re looking for are bag lining (where the lining is the garment made inside-out and then sewn to the outside) and flat lining
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 23, 2011
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              On 12/21/2011 3:32 PM, Carey Gorla wrote:
              > In regards to linings, I can't think of the proper terms right now and my Google Fu is failing me, do you know if the linings are more often just a reverse of the garment sewn along the edges or if each lining piece was attached to each outer piece then all attached?

              The modern terms you're looking for are "bag lining" (where the lining
              is the garment made inside-out and then sewn to the outside) and "flat
              lining" (where lining and outer pieces are stitched together before the
              garment is constructed).

              I've got no evidence that flat lining was ever a medieval Japanese
              construction technique. The washing process would suggest otherwise
              (it's more work to disassemble a flat-lined garment completely).

              andy
            • Carey Gorla
              Awesome that makes sense. Thanks Agnes ________________________________ From: Andrew Trembley To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday,
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 24, 2011
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                Awesome that makes sense.

                Thanks
                Agnes



                ________________________________
                From: Andrew Trembley <attrembl@...>
                To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 11:55 PM
                Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Garment Construction Details


                 
                On 12/21/2011 3:32 PM, Carey Gorla wrote:
                > In regards to linings, I can't think of the proper terms right now and my Google Fu is failing me, do you know if the linings are more often just a reverse of the garment sewn along the edges or if each lining piece was attached to each outer piece then all attached?

                The modern terms you're looking for are "bag lining" (where the lining
                is the garment made inside-out and then sewn to the outside) and "flat
                lining" (where lining and outer pieces are stitched together before the
                garment is constructed).

                I've got no evidence that flat lining was ever a medieval Japanese
                construction technique. The washing process would suggest otherwise
                (it's more work to disassemble a flat-lined garment completely).

                andy



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • JL Badgley
                Fwiw, Jidai Ishou no Nuikata has both bag-lined garments as well as examples of garments lined as they were constructed (I don t. Know if that is the
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 24, 2011
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                  Fwiw, Jidai Ishou no Nuikata has both bag-lined garments as well as
                  examples of garments lined as they were constructed (I don't. Know if that
                  is the "flat-lined" or something else). This appears to have been common
                  in the Nara period, when the garments were also more tailored.

                  There are also cases where the outside and inside are the same fabric,
                  folded over at the hem; especially some hakama and some hou.

                  Hems can be straight selvedge or rolled in unlined garments. Lined
                  garments might just meet, but more often, the outer garment is just a tad
                  bigger, so that the lining won't be seen.

                  I don't know that I have seen very complex stitching; usually just a
                  running stitch. They don't usually bother hiding thr stitching, but they
                  may at the hems, where more of a blind stitch might be used.

                  The thread, btw, is often undyed. Otherwise it will be a color to match
                  the fabric, if possible.

                  When joining two unlined pieces, it is often just a running stitch with the
                  sides splayed out and (sometimes) tacked down.

                  These are thoughts off the top of my head as I'm traveling and away from my
                  books.

                  -Ii


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Andrew Trembley
                  ... I would need more description before I would say this conforms to flat-lining technique. But your point that Nara clothing styles are very different is
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 24, 2011
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                    On 12/24/2011 5:02 AM, JL Badgley wrote:
                    > Fwiw, Jidai Ishou no Nuikata has both bag-lined garments as well as
                    > examples of garments lined as they were constructed (I don't. Know if that
                    > is the "flat-lined" or something else). This appears to have been common
                    > in the Nara period, when the garments were also more tailored.
                    I would need more description before I would say this conforms to
                    flat-lining technique.

                    But your point that Nara clothing styles are very different is well taken.

                    > There are also cases where the outside and inside are the same fabric,
                    > folded over at the hem; especially some hakama and some hou.

                    Iiiiinteresting. I can't say that's a unique construction technique, but
                    it's not one I've run into before.
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