Posts Tagged landsknecht

Landsknecht German Garb: Overview and Resources

8 May 2012

In our Landsknecht/German Garb at Court. Photo by Lady Arielle

The Landsknecht were famed German mercenaries from the late 15th century to the middle of the 16th century. The daring soldiers were well compensated for their dangerous work, and when you combine that with the fact that they were exempt from most sumptuary laws, you get a group of people who enjoyed dressing flamboyantly. Their clothing tended to be bright (dye was pricey) and slashed (showy and hid tears and rips). Feathers were common because the merchants who followed the train sold them, and it was easy to buy one and just “stick a feather in your hat.” To learn more about the history of the Landsknecht, I highly recommend the 2002 book, Landsknecht Soldier by John Richards — it is well researched and illustrated.

A number of resources for Landsknecht garb is available online. Here are links to several I find very helpful:

Renaissance Costuming FAQ – Scroll down to the section on Landsknecht about midway down for a good overview of what men and women wore.

St. Maximilian – The web site of a company of the St. Maximilian Landsknecht Re-enactment Guild (check out the Costuming Guidelines).

Landsknecht Guild of St. Maurice – Check out their Resources page!

Landknechts & German Ren – Many images, woodcuts, and modern illustrations

Trossfrau and Landknechts – Period woodcuts depicting the women of the Landsknechts

Landsknect Dress Diary – Good detail!

Landsknechtsportal – Translated from German, and not updated recently, but full of patterns, information, and cultural information

The Real Landsknecht Page – A bit hard to follow, but some useful images and information

FiberGeek’s Landsknecht Diary – Dress diaries, image sources, and details on constructing a Woffenrock

German Captain’s Woffenrock – Dress diary, resources, images

The Frazzled Frau – An entire web site documenting German women’s garb. There isn’t much Landsknecht specifically, but several of the styles in the first half of the 16th century translate to female Landknecht wear

SCA German Renaissance Garb – Excellent resource with lots of images, research, and projects!

Woffenrock Dress Diary – Not entirely period, but interesting — and contains a number of links to source images which are helpful.

Hats and Underwear of the German/Swiss Woman from the 15th century – Not in English, but full of great information.

Gregor in his Woffenrock and Tellerbarret

Early German Renaissance Costumes – Excellent dress diaries

Landsknecht Woodcut Gallery – 24 images!

German Ren Costume – list on Yahoo Groups (will have to join to see messages)

Patterns:

Woffenrock by Reconstructing History – I used this to make Gregor’s Woffenrock and I think it turned out well.

Kampfrau or Common Woman’s Dress by Reconstructing History – Haven’t used it, but have it

German Accessories by Reconstructing History – I’ve tried several of these accessories and they worked well

German Tellerbarett for Landsknecht and Saxon

6 November 2011

16th century Germans wore many hats, one of which we call a Tellerbarett (platter hat). You can see versions of this large, round, flat hat in many paintings and woodcuts of the era. I could find no reference to surviving hats from this era, so I have only images to go by. It seems clear to me that the hats were constructed in different ways — each of the three images below shows a slightly different construction — but they all share the large, round shape and feathers are common.

Doppelsoldner and Campfrau

Magdelena of Saxony

Judith

So I set out to create my own. I wanted one in red wool, with the top slashed to show black wool underneath, and white ostrich feathers. Here’s my result:

My Red Tellerbarett

Top of Tellerbarett

Tellerbarett Underside

This is a big hat, and I may need a shot of courage to wear it, but I really like it. The feathers are wispy and fun. And I like the pattern I slashed into the top (they are winged hearts) — it’s not traditional, sure, but it makes it unique and personal.

Here’s how I made my Tellerbarett:

  1. Cut out two pieces of wool (one in main color, one in constrasting color) in 20 inch diameters.
  2. (Optional) “Slash” (cut with good, sharp fabric shears) a pattern in the circle of your main color wool. If your wool is likely to fray, either hem the edges of the slashings or use something like FrayBlock on the edges.
  3. Baste the two circles together along the edge.
  4. Cut out a strip of wool in your main color 8″ wide by 63″ long (63″ is the circumference of the 22 in-circle you cut in step 1).
  5. Sew a casing with a narrow ribbon along one edge of your wool strip. You will later use this  ribbon to pull in the strip to the circumference of your head in step 8.
  6. Sew the raw edge of the wool strip to the edge of the wool circle, right sides together. Sew the narrow ends of the wool strip where they meet.
  7. Take two wire clothes hangers, cut each to form a long wire, secure the ends of the two wires together (I used duct tape because it was handy), and bend the now one long wire into a circle. Sew this circle to seam edge of your wool circle, trying to stay as close to the seam you created in step 5.
  8. Turn your hat right side out, pull your ribbon in the casing tight until it fits your head, and try it on. If you need help keeping the hat on, as I do, you can sew ribbons to either side of the casing to tie under your chin.
  9. (Optional) Embellish with feathers!

This project took me about 4 hours.

 

 

 

Pennsic Prep Goes Into High Gear

29 July 2011

Gregor's Landsknecht Hat

Gregor arrived safely today (hooray!) to finish up last-minute projects and prepare for Pennsic! He tried on his new Landsknecht schlappe hat … I must say, I thought it was an unusual hat and I wasn’t sure how well it was going to work, but he REALLY wears it well! It goes well with his personality — big and a little off kilter! Love it! (Oh, and it seems to fit perfectly — I cut the linen lining on the bias so it would have some extra give, and it seemed to have worked! I love it when stuff works out as planned.)

Gregor was impressed with all the garb I’d made. He tried on the doublet and it fits him well! He offered he’ll try on his garb later so we can take photos!

We also did a test setup of the awesome pavilion that my friend Tracy (Duchess AnneMarie) is lending us for Pennsic. We managed to get it up without too much trouble and it looks awesome — it’s amazingly roomy inside. It’s 8’x’8′ at the eaves and 15’x15′ at the base. We also did some tests on the shade fly I put together. We need to finish that up, but it should work out nicely.

Doing a test setup of the pavilion

After the pavilion setup, we went to Lowe’s to get some 1/4″ hardwood plywood, wood glue, and ratcheting straps so we can make Gregor a shield. We’re going to try bending it around the tree in the front yard. We’ll see how that goes!

Gregor also showed me his full Gothic plate armor. Wow. It looks amazing … and very heavy and hot! He’s going to need a LOT of water to bear all that on the field.

So tomorrow will be shield bending, shade fly work, whatever sewing I can squeeze in, and (if my son has his way) some boffer sword repairs!

 

Gregor’s Red Wool Schlappe “Starfish” Hat — With Feathers Like the Landsknecht!

26 July 2011

Red Landschknecht Hat

Since last night’s experiments making a Landsknecht hat went went, I started working on it again as soon as I got up! I used some lightweight red wool, with red linen for the lining. I made the hat bigger in all ways — bigger brim, bigger slashings (the loops that stick out, bigger cap on top. I thought last night’s seem a bit too modest for a Landsknecht. I machine stitched the loops to the brim, then handstitched everything else. It didn’t take too long, especially once I finally tried using the beeswax I’d received in “AnneMarie’s Favor” Award from Duchess AnneMarie’s Half Century Holiday — what a difference the beeswax made in avoiding snags and tangles in my thread!

"Landsknecht with Helmbart" by Erhard Schon (1491-1542)

Landsknecht were German mercenaries in the 15th and 16th centuries, with a reputation for being very good fighters. Gregor has a particular interest in them, and one day would like to don the entire garb of a Landsknecht! To the right you can see an illustration of a Landsknecht with a similar hat — this illustration is a woodcut by Erhard Schön (1491-1542) from Nuremberg, Germany.

I am very pleased with the results! I cannot wait to see it on Gregor — and he arrives from the faraway lands of Draca Mor in just three days! I can’t wait to see him.

Landsknecht "Starfish" Hat

Top of Landsknecht Hat

Lining of Landsknecht Hat

If anyone is interested in how I made this hat, leave me a message here. I’d put the pattern up now, but I need to get back to sewing … Pennsic is so close and I have so much to do! Just know that you will probably need to wait until after Pennsic for a detailed response.