The Florence Files:Kat's Rapier Garb based on everyday mid 16th C Florentine clothing
Recreated by La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.






Start: 25/9/05
It has been many, many years since I have played rapier. Back, in the mid 1990's I was the Innilgard Rapier Marshal for some years (including during the Big Ban). I had to give up due to injury of the right wrist and knees. And here is proof that I did play! This is an Ancient History of Innilgard pic - of some of the early Innilgard Rapier Acadamy, as it was called then. Our motto was 'It is not how good you are, but how good you look!' It was taken at a tourney attended by Uta (L) and Edmund the Lame (in black). From L- R: Uta, Aylwin, Haos, Edmund, Leonhardt and myself (a much younger self). On this day I managed to kill a knight (Sir Haos) and utter those immortal words -

Ha! I am not left handed!

Maybe it is just turning 40 that has kicked me in the butt, or is it that I have three people (now) on my back to take it up again. I do not know how well I will do against the current crop of rapier fighters, but here I go. Oh, dear. It has been about 7 years since I have taken up the rapier. Unfortunately I will never be able to use the metal schlagers.... pity.
Firstly, I will make my garb, do some practice and (if my past injuries do not play up) then I will authorise and play again! If all else fails I can authorise in rubber band gun!

Inspiration: to make a rapier outfit based on everyday clothing worn in mid 16th Florence, using period patterns and techniques, while adjusting to comply to the Lochac rapier rules. Of course, being the garb nerd I am, if the garb does not work. Forget it!
I have always fought in skirts and prefer it. So I am hoping to make a period dress and doublet, in period methods, to look like everyday garb (This will definately be a long term project) but still to conform to the Lochac rapier rules. The best thing? All of this is made with materials I have in my cupboard stash! Ha!


A rough diagram to show the theory.

Layers for Rapier Requirements:

I will have to have the following punch tested: UPDATED 3/09 & 4/10
ORIGINALLY: the concept was ... Top: 2 (layers linen = GIEORGERIA/partlet), 2 (1 layer velvet/ 1 layer lining = GIUBONE/doublet worn over the dress). In 2009 , due to the heat of the guibone, this layer was altered to allow for easier removal of a layer, when hot)

Layers: Revised in 3/09 & in 2/10

  • Head: 3 layers of coif (hood) cloth and 1 layer of linen (embroidered) = 4 layers  = Puncture Resistant
  • Upper Imbusto: Partlet to replace guibone :1 layer linen lining + 3 layers interlining and linen lining   +1 layer velvet decoration layer = 4-5 layers = Puncture Resistant
  • Lower Imbusto: 1 layer  linen (camicia) + 1 layer linen (Camicia) + 1 decorative material  layer (Sottona/dress) + 2 layers  lining (Sottana/dress) =  4 = Puncture Resistant
  • Lower Body/ Groin: 2 layers linen (calzone/abdomen) + 1 layer sottana material  + 1 layer linen (Camicia) + 1 layer faldia (optional) = 4-5 layers on adbomen, 2-3 layers on legs  = Puncture Resistant
  • Arms: 1 layer linen (Camicia sleeves) = Abrasion Restistant
  • Armpit4 layers linen (Camicia gusset to 1/2 way down arm) = Puncture Resistant
  • Legs: 1 layer linen (hose) = Abrasion Restistant
So, in keeping with Lochac Rapier Armour rules, the camicia will be made of linen, with 4 layers at the underarm gusset. This should also allow for a sleeveless jerkin to be worn in summer - to be cooler. This will be covered in an Italian doublet of 2 layers, with short sleeves to again cover the upper arm, giving 4 layers. 
This added up to a lot of work... argh! What was I thinking! So let me start at the beginning...

Puncture Testing: 
11/05: the first three samples were punch tested. The second (guibone -doublet)  initially failed but only the outer layer was damaged, so it passed. This would be the area on the upper chest. I decided to add two layers of drill lining, just in case. It appears that velvet is not as strong as one would think. The revised layers were retested for the black velvet partlet, in early 2010.

Neck and Head:   based on extant embroidered linen hood; Blackwork by Mary Gastelow HOOD DIARY

  • The gorget was second hand and needed some adjustment.
  • 4 layers/ Puncture Resistant  + decorative layer

Upper body:

  • 4 layers  torso. (1 layer linen camicia + 3 layers for the sottana. As the camicia is an Italian low neck one, the upper chest will also have a 4 layered giorgeria to give the  layers for this area. The giorgeria will have an overlap at the front, so that it cannot not be breached by the rapier. 

Arms and Armpits:

  • 4 layers on the armpit (linen camicia has a 4-layered gusset at the armpit) 
  • abrasion resistant materials (1 layer) on the arms. 
  • I made a pair of leather gloves, but will hopefully make another pair with embroidery, in the future... far future most like.
  • CAMICIA DIARY / SOTTANA DIARY 

Lower Body:

  • the groin area must have the equivalent of 4 layers of trigger cloth (1 layer is provided by the layer linen camicia, 1 by the linen calzone (drawers), 1 by the faldia and the final one by the sottana's skirt.)
  • the legs must have equivalent of 1 layer (calze (hose) + plus the upper legs will be covered by the linen calzone.)
  • CALZONE  DIARY / SOTTANA & FALDIA DIARY/ CALZE DIARY\
Alternative Rapier outfit (can be used for practice also)
  • made from left over drill and linen linings
  • 3 layers of cotton drill + 1 layer of linen lining
  • Sleeves have 4 layers to half way down upper arm
And finally, the finished product at my  1st tourney after re-authorisation at Suth Moot II.
(I have shorted the skirt and added another pintuck, as it was still too long).
 

Bibliography:

  • Egerton Castle, Schools and Masters of Fencing - from the Middle Ages to the Eighteeenth Century. Dover Publications. NY, reprint 2003. ISBN: 0-486-42826-5
  • Lochac Rapier Rules: www.sca.org.au/
  • Web Gallery of Art: http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/
  • Arnold Janet, Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, Maney, Leeds, 1988, ISBN:0-901286-20-6
  • Arnold Janet, Patterns of Fahsion, MacMillan, London, 1985. ISBN: 0-333-38284-6
  • Juan Alcega's Tailor's Pattern Book, 1589 Facimile, Ruth Bean, Carlton, Bedford, 1979.
  • The Milanese Tailor's Handbook http://costume.dm.net/Tailors/
  • V&A Museum website: http://images.vam.ac.uk
  • Bath Museum of Costume: http://www.museumofcostume.co.uk/ http://www.museumofcostume.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseAction=SM.nav&UUID=013DFA14- 32A6-4A33-B3CDA4E8E00C9D49)
  • Tudor & Elizabethan Portraits: http://www.tudor-portraits.com/Costumes.htm
  • "How much yardage is enough" Susan Reed, 1994. http://patriot.net/~nachtanz/SReed/fabuse.html
  • Suggested Yardages for Elizabethan Garments by Drae Leed. http://costume.dm.net/yardages.html# (29/5/03)
  • Smocks and Chemises (Drae Leed) http://www.dnaco.net/~aleed/corsets/chemise.html (5/8/00)




And for those who like LIVE JOURNALS... However be warned, I do not update regularly.

All intellectual content, photos and layout are copyright to La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia (K Carlisle), except those original renaissance artworks and extant articles whose copyright remains with the current owner.
If you would like to use something from this site, please contact me, and cite this website reference.

(c). K.Carlisle, 2007-2010

l-align: top;"> Alternative Rapier outfit (can be used for practice also)
And finally, the finished product at my  1st tourney after re-authorisation at Suth Moot II.
(I have shorted the skirt and added another pintuck, as it was still too long).
 

Bibliography:





And for those who like LIVE JOURNALS... However be warned, I do not update regularly.

All intellectual content, photos and layout are copyright to La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia (K Carlisle), except those original renaissance artworks and extant articles whose copyright remains with the current owner.
If you would like to use something from this site, please contact me, and cite this website reference.

(c). K.Carlisle, 2007-2010