Oh My, Are These Really Your Undies?!



24 February 2007

This is a long over due addition to my wardrobe.  These really do ad another layer of comfort to a 16th century ensemble.  Draws were known as 'calzone' in some parts of Italy.

There is some conjecture as to the correctness of Nobli wearing these, as some see them purely as a fetish item worn only by prostitutes and courtesans. I dismiss this as a purely modern interpretation.  Face it, Ladies really do need to wear something like that for comfort.

I elected to make 2 styles of draws.  The first is in the fashion of the mens 'Venetian' pants as researched by Janet Arnold in her 'Patters of Fashion 1560 - 1620', using measurements appropriate to myself naturally.

The second style made were based on a pair of pants in the Topkapi Palace Museum.  These were all straight line cuts.  These appear to have a draw string waistline and open cuffs. 

I have elected to make my draws out of a cheap cotton I had on hand.  The next ones might be made out of a nice medium weight linen in my stash.  I have put all of them onto waist bands and use button fastenings.  The buttons are gold metal buttons that were in my stash waiting for a good application.  The front opening is left open.  The two extant inspirations also appear to be left open.  The waists are gathered into the band.

As 'Oonagh' lives in Venice, I thought it appropriate that a touch of lace to finish off the legs was in order.  

There is a 'Trousseau of a Sicilian Woman' house in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Independent Scholar, Kathleen Page, was recently granted access to this collection.  Her survey has shed new light on this collection.  Not only were the draws of two different styles; one on a gathered waistband (above left), the other on a drawstring waist (above right).  They were both trimmed with exquisite gold and polychrome lace and, embroidered in polychrome silks and bullion.  Both appear to fasten with a cord.  The gathered displays the bullion,  the drawstring shows the polychrome embroidery.  Due to copyright restrictions, I am currently unable to display her photos or further information.


Now with 4 sets of draws in my wardrobe, I should be set for some time to come.  

Venetian Draws. Venetian draws side view. Possibly Venetian second half of the sixteenth century.  Black silk embroidered linen.  The embroidery is arranged in a regular geometric pattern featuring text that translates to 'I want the heart'.  Correr Museum, Venice.  Note that these have a button fastening waist and ties at the knees.
Turkish cut draws.  Square cut with sqare gusset. Side view Knee length pants (Saksir). Made of Crepe (Burumcuk) 16th century.  They appear to have a drawsting waist and fastening. Topkapi Palace Museum 13/778
Detail of lace trim on the knee finish Button fastenings Gathering into waist band.


See Venetian Draws as worn by a courtesan dated to 1600 by unknown artist in a private collection.


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All intellectual content, composition, layout, designs and photographs, unless otherwise noted are copyright 2007 to Deborah Lane , or, copyright 2003 to Deborah Murray also known as Mistress Oonagh O'Neill . All Original renaissance art works and artefacts are not copyright to Deborah Murray, and are shown for educational use only .  If you see something you'd really like to use, please contact me!