I was asked to give a short lecture to a very small 5 person class of Vision students about clothing from the timeframe of 1625 to 1750.

I dressed in my mantua and full Golden Age of Piracy outfit made from Reconstructing History patterns.

Spinning on a hand spindle. I am not very good at it.

My wheel is completely inaccurate but it is the only one I have so I used it.

In addition to demnstrating spinning, talking about the difference between woolen and worsted and touching briefly on the way textile manufacturing was organized at that time in history. I also gave out my top clothing and costume myths and we talked about them. My top myths are:

  1. Historical movies are a good way to see what the clothing was like.
  2. Stays, bodies and corsets are tight and uncomfortable and you cannot breathe or work in them.
  3. Lower classes only wear hand me downs from upper classes.
  4. Lower class clothing is cut the same as upper class clothing just from poorer fabrics or less embellished.
  5. Fabrics are all coarse and rough.
  6. Only browns and drab colors are available.
  7. Scottish wore tartans and Irish wore green.
  8. Clothing was unshaped and baggy. 
  9. Poor people didn’t hem or mend their clothing.
  10. Embroidery and embellishments were only for the wealthy. 
  11. Women could show their shoulders. 
  12. Women could not show their feet or legs.
  13. No one had underwear.
  14. No one took a bath or washed their clothing.

I had a good time, the kids asked good questions and I think the teacher learned more than the kids.