Clothing the Low Countries is a joint project (labour of love) housing the combined research, theories and practical experiments of two historical costumers: Karinne Taylor and Margaret George. It covers the Low Countries (modern day Belgium and The Netherlands) for the beginning of the Early Modern Era1, with a focus on 1480-1530 and the late 1500s-1620. Also a time most historical costumers associate with the Renaissance.
We share our theories and subsequent projects either as articles on the blog, or as summaries under the “Make” menu.
We compile our research, including in-depth looks at clothing items specific to the Low Countries at this time such as starched white headwear or black cloaks worn on the head, or a list of Dutch terms for clothing and fabric. All can be found under the “Research” menu.
We write summaries of our observations of the general styles of this time and place. Over time we hope this will become a valuable resource for the costuming community as so little work has been done in this area (at least in English).
We publish class notes for any workshops that we teach in the SCA or in Living History circles, under the “Teach” menu.
Our hope is that this site will also provide guidance to other costumers on clothing from this region in this time period, so that those who are hunting for ways to create a Dutch or Flemish persona for this era have a hub of information to help their work.
Karinne lives in Sydney, Australia. She has been making costumes for as long as she can remember (beginning with her Grandmother’s cast-off curtains as ‘fairy wings’) and in 2014 was made is a member of the Order of the Laurel in Lochac for her work in this space (she actually suspects they gave her this recognition to encourage the wearing of silly items on her head). She was a one-time moderator of the MedCos site where she discovered the joy of sharing tips and inspiration with international costumers.
Margaret lives in Northern California, USA and has also been making costumes for as long as she can remember, starting with Wonder Woman bracelets made from old blue jeans and Rapunzel hair made from rope. She has been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism for her entire adult life and currently lives in the Kingdom of the West where she works to teach and encourage the use of starch and the wearing of silly things on the head.
As the authors speak “a common language separated by a sea”, you will find both British and American English spelling on this site. That’s fine, we’re all adults and can cope with a few differences in spelling – it’s nothing compared to Renaissance English!
Margaret and Karinne met via the very excellent Elizabethan Costuming group on Facebook, and immediately recognised a fellow wearer-of-silly-but-excellent-Dutch-clothing.
This site was originally authored by Karinne, and has had three incarnations. You may have come across it in a past incarnation.
- Student days: All articles dated between January 2012 and April 2012 were written in 2004-05, when Karinne started really looking into this area and needed a place to publish (and to practice HTML and CSS). The site was hosted on her University’s server and hence was taken down once she finished her degree and no longer had access. One of the original pages, glossary of clothing terms, was so useful that another costumer asked permission to reproduce it. That site has since also been taken down, but is archived at…?
- WordPress.com: In late 2011 Karinne started to re-kindle her interest in this area and wanted to begin publishing again. All articles from April 2012 – May 2015 are from the second incarnation. These include her participation in Leimomi Oakes Histrocial Sew Fortnightly (now monthly), a fun, if intense challenge.
- Own hosting: Sometime in mid-2015 the possibilities for expansion of the site became hampered by the wordpress.com setup, and so Karinne decided to move it to a self-hosted option. At the same time conversations with Margaret suggested there was benefit in sharing the site and hence iteration three was born.
- defined in the Cambridge History of Europe as 1450-1600 ↩