The Florence Files: 16th Century Manichino(Muff) 
Recreated by La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.

Finally, I have made a manichino (muff) that has been on my list to-do for some years. This example is from Vecellio (left), Donne at Tempate., though this is Venetian. Vecellio records black velvet or silk cloth, lined with sable or marten.

According to Moda a Firenze (p168, 169), the manichino was lined with fur or swansdown and fastened wtih buttons. These could be  of gold or crystal.  The manichino could also be suspended, from the neck, by ribbons.  1550: A purplish-violet velvet manichino is recorded to have been made for Eleanora d'Toledo. This was lined with miniver fur and had a ribbon. Don Garzia had a muff of red satin.  
The drawing shows
  •  possible damask material, 
  • diagonally slashed trim, 
  • large round buttons (possibly 4-5) as closure
  • fur lining.
The trim was cut from left over sateen lining and made into bias strips. I slashed the trim diagonally, at intervals.

This was pinned to the damask material (left over from sottana)
The trim was handsewn onto the damask.
The buttons were made from some large wooden beads, covered in material, with thread and faux-pearl trimming. This was my first attempt at material covered buttone.

1. The loop closures were made by fingerknitting. 2. the sateen covers a large wooden bead (approx. 25mm diameter) and secured. 3. I used the same thread as the loop closures, to wind over and up through the centre of the covered bead. A fake pear was added.

4. The thread was used to sew the button to the material. 5. the same thread was used to wind around the material shank (buttonhole stitch helps). 6. the finished buttons on the material. I used left over damask material (red) from my last sottana project,

The fur lining was re-used from an old fur coat. (I have been collecting them from op-shops and 2nd hand stores, for about 15 years....) The coat was unpicked, the linings removed. This was the first time I have sewn fur and was an experiment on lining. I brushed the fur away from the seams, put some paper (greeseproof that I use for patterns and everything!) over the fur to keep it in place, then pinned the material over the paper. I machine sewed the seam (some fur needed trimming on two of the seams, to reduce bulk) with a heavy (non-leather) needle. I ripped the paper away  after the seam was done. Not much 'tidying up'/brushing  back of the fur was needed.
I sewed 3 3/4 sides, leaving an area to turn the manichino inside out. The remaining hole was handsewn closed.
This is the final manichino.

Manichino Made:
1. . Blue and gold with satin covered buttons, lined with fur. (largess: Fighter Auction Tourney, (21/2/10)
2. Red daminishino with satin covered buttons, lined with fur

  • Orsi Landini, Roberta & Niccoli, Bruna. La Moda a Firenze 1540-1580. Pagliai Polistampa, Firenze, 2005. ISBN: 88-8304-867-9.
  • Rosenthal, Margaret F, Jones, Ann Rosalind. Cesare Vecellio's Habiti Antichi et Moderni: The Clothing of  the Renaissance World. Thames and Hudson, London. 2008. ISBN: 978-0-500-51426-9.
  • Veccellio, Cesare. Vecellio's renaissance Costume Book. Dover Publications. NY. 1977. ISBN: 0 48623441X 
  • How to Cut and Sew Fake Fur.
  • Burda: How to sew fake fur Muff.

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(c). K.Carlisle, 2009.