Medieval Velvet Kirtle / Cotehardie Isabell, long-sleeved, black
This medieval velvet dress or kirtle has a snug-fitting bodice and an A-line skirt. The skirt piece is fitted with so-called gores (wedge-shaped / triangular pieces of fabric) that give it a generous flare and make it sway nicely as you walk. The garment closes at the centre front with multiple faux antique brass buttons. The wide-cut sleeves are gathered below the elbow into broad cuffs which also close with buttons. The neckline and cuffs are piped with satin. The heavy cotton velvet fabric gives this full-length dress a noble appearance, further accented by all the subtle details.
The cut of this gown is based on medieval illustrations from the 13th to 15th centuries. While the women's garb had been rather loosely cut and figure-concealing until then, this era saw the rise of garments of increasingly close fit. The cotehardie, which evolved from the French loose-fitting cotte and approximately translates to daring cotte, presumably owes its name to its bold, tight-fitting nature.
A typical kirtle or cotehardie usually featured lacings or a button closure at the centre front. The introduction of buttons as functional fasteners (rather than pure ornamental items) is actually what made tailored, form-fitting fashion possible in the first place. Given the new tightness of the clothes, the closure usually consisted of a large number of buttons that were very closely spaced to prevent them from springing open. Another distinctive characteristic of these dresses was the wide neckline, which seemed to get lower and lower with time and was particularly popular with women during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. The cotehardie was usually combined with a chemise or shift, a veil and a narrow belt.
Historical illustrations of late medieval kirtles can be found amongst others on the The Romance of the Rose, an Old French narrative poem from the 13th c. (original title: Le Roman de la Rose), or in the Speculum humanae salvationis, an early 14th c. encyclopedia of popular theology. The gown found on a bog body in the Moy Bog, Irland, and dated to the 14th/15th century, was also a cotehardie with numerous buttons.
Velvet took its rise in the 14th century Mediterranean and was predominantly woven in Italy. Velvet garments were luxury items, not only due to the complexity of the craftsmanship involved in producing them, but also to the fact that the fabric was originally made out of silk. Velvet was a very popular textile in Burgundian fashion during the Renaissance period.
- Available sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
- Colour: black (also available: red, green)
- Material: 100% cotton
- Length overall size M: approx. 150 cm (measured from the highest shoulder point down to the bottom hem)
Cotton velvet should not be machine washed to prevent irreversible creasing. Ironing should also be avoided at all costs, as to do so will crush the pile. To remove light stains, we recommend using a clothes brush to gently brush the stained area in the direction of the nap. For larger stains, it is advisable to have the dress dry-cleaned by a professional.
|Size Chart - Women - Dress|
How to find the right size:
- To take your body measurements correctly in order to determine you clothing size, please always wrap the measuring tape horizontally around your body at the fullest part.
- For dresses, sizes are based on your chest circumference.
- If you happen to fall between two sizes, we recommend that you go up a size.
- Ease is included in the pattern and reflected in the finished measurements.
Delivery includes the dress only! The other items pictured above are available separately in our online shop.
As authentic as possible, as modern as necessary!
This medieval cotehardie is part of Battle-Merchant's line of period clothing and medieval garments for men, women and children. From the first sketch to the last stitch, this garment was planned, designed and handcrafted with particular attention to detail. Our clothes are modeled (sometimes accurately, sometimes less so) on historical examples, grave finds and original museum pieces where they exist. We always endeavour to keep the necessary adjustments to today's standards, e.g. in terms of size and manufacturing process, to a minimum. Just see for yourself!
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