This week I am focusing in on the use of short sleeves and loose sleeves on dresses in the medieval/early renaissance period, particularly in the 1400’s, give or take a few years. It seems like unlike earlier periods it became common to have short sleeves on the outer dress with a shift or an underdress beneath it. I am mostly looking at this using visual source material, such as paintings and drawings. I am mostly interested in Northen Europe. I am aware that short sleeves is a thing earlier in southern Europe.
At the marked this weekend it came to my attention that I know quite a bit about the shapes of medieval and renæssance clothing but much less about the medieval fabric colours- both how they were used and how they were made – so I decided to educate my self and share what I learned in the process. I decided to investigate both the fabrics used and the colours and dyes.
In this post I take a closer look at the medieval use of colours and dyes. I also look at who wore what colours and a bit about the symbolic use of colour.
Knowing about medieval fabric when sewing your own garment for reenactment make your clothing look more historically accurate and more real. In the medieval and renaissance period what fabric you wore as much as the shape and pattern of the dress would indicate your social standing. A medieval peasants would not wear the same clothing as the rich or the nobles.