Anglo Saxon Women's Clothing for the 11th Century



This is by no means definitive, but will give you some ideas of the differences !

The look is quite a layered one

Chemise

Linen or silk, rarely seen, simple T tunic.

Undertunic

Wool, simple T tunic again, but this appears to have very wrinkled sleeves, this could be due to extra length in the sleeves so that they can be dropped to keep the hands warm, or may be due to elaborate pleating as a fashion item.

Overtunic

This Tunic is made again of wool, although the very rich may have had elaborate heavy silk ones for best. As you can see from the diagram the main difference is that the sleeves become much larger at the wrist end, illustrations vary, but the hem comes mid calf to ankle length usually. The inside of the sleeves may be of a contrasting colour. Borders may have tablet woven or embroidered decoration.



Veil

This covers the neck opening of all the tunics. It is either a semi circular, rectangular or circular piece of cloth. Usually white. In the circular version a hole for the head is cut off centre (see illustration). The veil is at this time usually pinned to a fillet worn UNDER the veil. The brightly coloured ends can sometimes be seen hanging down the back, below the veil edge. The hair is work plaited under the veil, again giving a good base to pin the veil to. Gold fillets are seen on high born women on occasion.

Mantle

The mantle appears to be elliptical, irregular diamond or semicircular. The most obvious feature is that the mantle is higher at the front than the back, suggesting a head hold placed off centre. (See illustration) Again adding to the layered look.

It would generally be made of wool, and could be lined, with more wool, linen, silk, or fur.

Jewellery

Finger rings and circular brooches mainly.

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