Here I am, innocently working through the night, as is my jam… and relaxing with my favorite hoodie and leggings on. I began as most do, with going to my favorite research, historical women’s production of textiles, and wound up with a lady from the old country who harvests stinging nettles and makes fiber out of them. She also made her own icelandic loom, and weaves on it.
Um… Granted, she is an archaeologist. Okay, Phil Harding is a heart throb and a half. I miss Timeteam.. but still. Making clothing out of stinging nettles. Then my brain went back to the story of the princess with 7 brothers who were turned into swans. Who had to make nettle shirts for all of them to be turned back into human. She got all but one sleeve done, and her brothers were saved, except for the one who had a swans wing the rest of his life.
Watching this archaeologist work with stinging nettles, I am fascinated. What with nahlbinding being one of the earliest fiber arts… I’m fascinated with the loom as well. Yet, thinking of that poor girl that had to make 7 shirts… which at the time were probably knee length tunics. 50-7 feet tall nettles do not give a lot of fiber, from watching the archaeologist.
So, I went back to my notes, and ended up watching the welsh viking on youtube with his tunic reconstruction. I can definitely make a tunic, especially with the construction being so simple.
I then fell down the rabbit hole of Bernadette Banner, Morgan Donner, and Mrs Crocombe… Holy Hannah. Ms Banner insists on Historical Accuracy as much as possible, freaks at fast fashion (buying off the rack) (rightfully so, but I can’t afford to buy tonnes of fabric) and yada yada yada…
Mrs Crocombe on English Heritage is a reinactor making things the Victorian way… I’m still a little off in the head, and am sorely tempted to try her recipes. However, I watched a video on her outfit. Her garb starts with a simple chemise (tunic) a petticoat or two, a corset (not a waist reduction corset but a back support and boulder holder) as well as a dress and apron…
I then ended up on my 2 goto sites, Amazon and Walmart.com and started searching… Um, in reinacting using sheets for fabric is frowned upon. Yet most insist that the innermost layer be linen. I can’t afford to go buy linen from a fabric store. Next thing I knew, I was on fabric.com and whirling through screen after screen of wools, cottons, and linens… I then looked at the cart. Coming back down to earth, the cost of enough fabric for 2 outfits to cover my overly copious carcas… 698.23 before tax.
My heart is still racing. I think that this summer, I’m going to go harvest some nettles. I think I’m going to have to seduce a shepherd. I think that I’m going to have to repair my spinning wheel, and I’m going to have to go into robbing banks. But in reality, I’m going to wait until certain sheets go on clearance, and wear what I can afford to wear.
Historical reinactors and archaeologists rock. However, they can suck it for the fabric. I can’t afford to drop basically 700 on fabric. I think I’m going to go have a liedown for a bit, until my heart stops racing, and the blinding migraine at the thought of spending that much goes away.
Take care, watch out for the slippery slope of historical reinacting, and have a good one. I am going to go lay down now. -L