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This long, waisted medieval dress or kirtle is made of sturdy cotton fabric (canvas). The skirt piece is fitted with so-called gores (wedge-shaped / triangular pieces of fabric) that give it a generous flare, and the upper part features a centre front lacing made of thick cotton for individual adjustment. The ends of the tie string are equipped with metal tips that allow for easy threading through the stitched eyelets. While we are well aware that laces require significantly more time than a zipper when getting dressed, we have deliberately opted for a lacing closure in order keep the look of the dress as authentic as possible.
The cut of this gown is based on medieval illustrations from the 13th to 15th centuries. While the women's garb had been rather loosely cut and figure-concealing until then, this era saw the rise of garments of increasingly close fit. The cotehardie, which evolved from the French loose-fitting cotte and approximately translates to daring cotte, presumably owes its name to its bold, tight-fitting nature.
A typical kirtle or cotehardie usually featured lacings or a button closure at the centre front. The introduction of laces and buttons as functional fasteners (rather than pure ornamental items) is actually what made tailored, form-fitting fashion possible in the first place. Another distinctive characteristic of these dresses was the wide neckline, which seemed to get lower and lower with time and was particularly popular with women during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. The cotehardie was usually combined with a chemise or shift, a veil and a narrow belt. Short-sleeved variant was also often worn with removable, interchangeable pin-on sleeves.
Historical illustrations of 15th c. kirtles can be found amongst others on the June calendar page of the Duc de Berry's Book of Hours, a French illuminated manuscript (original title: Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry), or in the Book of Simple Medicines (Woman and Unicorn) illustrated by Robinet Testard.
- Available sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
- Colour: wine red (also available: brown)
- Material: 100% cotton
- Length overall size M: approx. 145 cm (measured from the highest shoulder point down to the bottom hem)
- Care instructions: Machine wash at 40°C, gentle cycle, do not tumble dry. We recommend washing the natural-coloured tie string separately.
|Size Chart - Women - Dress|
How to find the right size:
- To take your body measurements correctly in order to determine you clothing size, please always wrap the measuring tape horizontally around your body at the fullest part.
- For dresses, sizes are based on your chest circumference.
- If you happen to fall between two sizes, we recommend that you go up a size.
- Ease is included in the pattern and reflected in the finished measurements.
Delivery includes the dress only! The other items pictured above are available separately in our online shop.
As authentic as possible, as modern as necessary!
This medieval cotehardie is part of Battle-Merchant's line of period clothing and medieval garments for men, women and children. From the first sketch to the last stitch, this garment was planned, designed and handcrafted with particular attention to detail. Our clothes are modeled (sometimes accurately, sometimes less so) on historical examples, grave finds and original museum pieces where they exist. We always endeavour to keep the necessary adjustments to today's standards, e.g. in terms of size and manufacturing process, to a minimum. Just see for yourself!
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