Monthly Archives: August 2015

What the apprentice wore- Coif

That none should wear on her head any lawn, cambrick, tiffany, velvet lawn, or white silk wires, either in any kerchief, koyfe, crest cloth, or shaddow, nor any linnen cloth therein, saving such linen cloth only, as should not exceed 5s. the ell, nor any lace or edging upon the same or any part thereof“… [1]

English ell is equal to 5⁄4 yard, or 1 ell= 1.25 yards.

£1 = 20 shillings (s)
1s = 12 pence/penny (d)

Measuring Worth [2], calculates a 16th century £1 = £199.10 in 2014 values. In US dollars £1 = $1.57, or $321.54 to £1 in the 16th century. [2] This mean a female would be restricted to linen that is under 5s per ell or modernly, $62.22 per 1.25 yards.

Linen used in this project retails for $9.75. It is a nice medium weight linen, with an even weave. It performs well in a work environment and holds up well under repeated laundering. I am using a basic woman’s coif pattern as seen in extant examples.

Here is the completed coif and forehead cloth.
forehad hat

The edges have been left unadorned as per the requirement:
nor any lawne, velvet, tiffany, cobweblawne, nor white silk cipres at all, other than about their neck or otherwise ; nor any linnen cloth but of the price of 5s. the ell, or lace or edging whatsoever, but plain hem and one stitch “[1]

[1] Some account of the Worshipful company of grocers of the city of London- BY BARON HEATH  (John Benjamin Heath)
[2] Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel H. Williamson, “Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount, 1270 to Present,” MeasuringWorth, 2015.

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in 16th Century, English


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What the apprentice wore

As part of my A&S path, I am trying to put together a proper clothing kit for “Alesone.” She is a Grocer’s apprentice in 16th century London, England. There are a number of statutes she would be bound to follow, from class to trade for what she would be allowed to wear.  I am starting this dress diary to track the progress of her apprentice clothing. Let’s begin with what restrictions were placed upon her.

And as with the other diaries, we begin with the intended design.This is a blue kirtle with a dark gray over dress. Starched whites complete the outfit. This represents a middle class English woman, appropriate to time, place, and station.

Design based upon the illustration by Lucas de Heere, Drawing of Four Citizen’s Wives, from his manuscript Corte Beschryuinghe van Engheland, Schotland, ende Irland, c.1574 located here.

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in 16th Century, English


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