cloaks and mantles

My next project will be to (finally!) make myself a mantle.  I’m debating the best way of constructing it – Marc Carlson’s site has the sknurmantel ( from Nockert, which is pieced in what I think of as a weird way.  It seems to me that a much more straightforward way of doing a semicircular or circular cloak (when you want to conserve fabric and not just cut a whole circle out, which forces a shorter cloak anyway) would be to cut your length of fabric into a whole bunch of triangles and then sew all those together – like a lot of gores (hopefully this makes sense).

Anyway, I’m interested in some feedback on what’s period, what has worked for people, what hasn’t, etc.  Thanks!


5 responses to “cloaks and mantles

  1. I should add that I also posted this to the 13th c. garb list and got one reply which was very helpful and argued strongly and convincingly for following the sknurmantel pattern. Teffania’s basic points were as follows:

    – cited other period examples using that technique, although sample size is small

    – handsewing one straight seem is a lot more pleasant than sewing a ton of gores

    – inserting many gores loses fabric due to seam allowance and gets v. bulky at the top; you also use a lot of fabric at the bottom when you cut your straight triangles into a circular hem

    – most period examples are not true half circles, are elongated – useful b/c we have shoulders. this shape is harder to do with gores.

    – more seams disrupt hang/bias of fabric more

  2. During a brief flirtation with 12th century (yes, I had one) I attempted to make a gored mantle out of a piece of silk that wasn’t REALLY big enough but I was bound and determined I was going to force it to be.
    Utter fail. It wouldn’t hang right, and I eventually trashed the whole project. Now admittedly, this was when I had less of a clue fabric wise, but I can’t think of a way I could have made it better @ the time.

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