Muscadins costumes from “Harlequinade” - by Robert Perdziola
une reine sans le hameau | iridessence shot with Kelly Lenza
How did cotton win over linen anyway?
In short, colonialism, slavery and the industrial revolution. In length:
Cotton doesn't grow in Europe so before the Modern Era, cotton was rare and used in small quantities for specific purposes (lining doublets for example). The thing with cotton is, that's it can be printed with dye very easily. The colors are bright and they don't fade easily. With wool and silk fabrics, which were the more traditional fabrics for outer wear in Europe (silk for upper classes of course), patterns usually needed to be embroidered or woven to the cloth to last, which was very expensive. Wool is extremely hard to print to anything detailed that would stay even with modern technology. Silk can be printed easily today with screen printing, but before late 18th century the technique wasn't known in western world (it was invented in China a millenium ago) and the available methods didn't yeld good results.
So when in the late 17th century European trading companies were establishing trading posts in India, a huge producer of cotton fabrics, suddenly cotton was much more available in Europe. Indian calico cotton, which was sturdy and cheap and was painted or printed with colorful and intricate floral patters, chintz, especially caught on and became very fashionable. The popular Orientalism of the time also contributed to it becoming fasionable, chintz was seen as "exotic" and therefore appealing.
Here's a typical calico jacket from late 18th century. The ones in European markets often had white background, but red background was also fairly common.
The problem with this was that this was not great for the business of the European fabric producers, especially silk producers in France and wool producers in England, who before were dominating the European textile market and didn't like that they now had competition. So European countries imposed trade restrictions for Indian cotton, England banning cotton almost fully in 1721. Since the introduction of Indian cottons, there had been attempts to recreate it in Europe with little success. They didn't have nearly advanced enough fabric printing and cotton weaving techniques to match the level of Indian calico. Cotton trade with India didn't end though. The European trading companies would export Indian cottons to West African market to fund the trans-Atlantic slave trade that was growing quickly. European cottons were also imported to Africa. At first they didn't have great demand as they were so lacking compared to Indian cotton, but by the mid 1700s quality of English cotton had improved enough to be competitive.
Inventions in industrial textile machinery, specifically spinning jenny in 1780s and water frame in 1770s, would finally give England the advantages they needed to conquer the cotton market. These inventions allowed producing very cheap but good quality cotton and fabric printing, which would finally produce decent imitations of Indian calico in large quantities. Around the same time in mid 1700s, The East Indian Company had taken over Bengal and soon following most of the Indian sub-continent, effectively putting it under British colonial rule (but with a corporate rule dystopian twist). So when industrialized English cotton took over the market, The East India Company would suppress Indian textile industry to utilize Indian raw cotton production for English textile industry and then import cotton textiles back to India. In 1750s India's exports were mainly fine cotton and silk, but during the next century Indian export would become mostly raw materials. They effectively de-industrialized India to industrialize England further.
India, most notably Bengal area, had been an international textile hub for millennia, producing the finest cottons and silks with extremely advance techniques. Loosing cotton textile industry devastated Indian local economies and eradicated many traditional textile craft skills. Perhaps the most glaring example is that of Dhaka muslin. Named after the city in Bengal it was produced in, it was extremely fine and thin cotton requiring very complicated and time consuming spinning process, painstakingly meticulous hand-weaving process and a very specific breed of cotton. It was basically transparent as seen depicted in this Mughal painting from early 17th century.
It was used by e.g. the ancient Greeks, Mughal emperors and, while the methods and it's production was systematically being destroyed by the British to squash competition, it became super fashionable in Europe. It was extremely expensive, even more so than silk, which is probably why it became so popular among the rich. In 1780s Marie Antoinette famously and scandalously wore chemise a la reine made from multiple layers of Dhaka muslin. In 1790s, when the empire silhouette took over, it became even more popular, continuing to the very early 1800s, till Dhaka muslin production fully collapsed and the knowledge and skill to produce it were lost. But earlier this year, after years lasting research to revive the Dhaka muslin funded by Bangladeshi government, they actually recreated it after finding the right right cotton plant and gathering spinners and weavers skilled in traditional craft to train with it. (It's super cool and I'm making a whole post about it (it has been in the making for months now) so I won't extend this post more.)
Marie Antoinette in the famous painting with wearing Dhaka muslin in 1783, and empress Joséphine Bonaparte in 1801 also wearing Dhaka muslin.
While the trans-Atlantic slave trade was partly funded by the cotton trade and industrial English cotton, the slave trade would also be used to bolster the emerging English cotton industry by forcing African slaves to work in the cotton plantations of Southern US. This produced even more (and cheaper (again slave labor)) raw material, which allowed the quick upward scaling of the cotton factories in Britain. Cotton was what really kicked off the industrial revolution, and it started in England, because they colonized their biggest competitor India and therefore were able to take hold of the whole cotton market and fund rapid industrialization.
Eventually the availability of cotton, increase in ready-made clothing and the luxurious reputation of cotton lead to cotton underwear replacing linen underwear (and eventually sheets) (the far superior option for the reasons I talked about here) in early Victorian Era. Before Victorian era underwear was very practical, just simple rectangles and triangles sewn together. It was just meant to protect the outer clothing and the skin, and it wasn't seen anyway, so why put the relatively scarce resources into making it pretty? Well, by the mid 1800s England was basically fully industrialized and resource were not scarce anymore. Middle class was increasing during the Victorian Era and, after the hard won battles of the workers movement, the conditions of workers was improving a bit. That combined with decrease in prices of clothing, most people were able to partake in fashion. This of course led to the upper classes finding new ways to separate themselves from lower classes. One of these things was getting fancy underwear. Fine cotton kept the fancy reputation it had gained first as an exotic new commodity in late 17th century and then in Regency Era as the extremely expensive fabric of queens and empresses. Cotton also is softer than linen, and therefore was seen as more luxurious against skin. So cotton shifts became the fancier shifts. At the same time cotton drawers were becoming common additional underwear for women.
It wouldn't stay as an upper class thing, because as said cotton was cheap and available. Ready-made clothing also helped spread the fancier cotton underwear, as then you could buy fairly cheaply pretty underwear and you didn't even have to put extra effort into it's decoration. At the same time cotton industry was massive and powerful and very much eager to promote cotton underwear as it would make a very steady and long lasting demand for cotton.
In conclusion, cotton has a dark and bloody history and it didn't become the standard underwear fabric for very good reasons.
Here's couple of excellent sources regarding the history of cotton industry:
The European Response to Indian Cottons, Prasannan Parthasarathi
INDIAN COTTON MILLS AND THE BRITISH ECONOMIC POLICY, 1854-1894, Rajib Lochan Sahoo
hi! do you have any information on how hanfu were traditionally washed and stored? thank you :)
First, sorry that it has been so long. Then, sorry that it is a short answer. Hope it is alright.
Expensive clothes were not washed. In the old days they used a lot of plant dyes and those things discoloured when they came in contact with water. Modern plant dyes are slightly better due to the fixative used in dying but the colour still faded with every wash. Hence, people in the old days used to wear layers to avoid dirtied their fancy clothes with sweat.
Clothes can be scented with something called 熏笼/Xūnlóng (lit. "smoke cage").
It is usually made from bamboo, but rich people could have them made from porcelain, like this one from the Three Kingdoms period.
A book on incense from the Song dynasty, 洪氏香谱/Hóng shì xiāngpǔ (Hong's Book of Fragrance), recorded the method of scenting clothes: first placed a bowl of hot water to moisturize the clothes, then smoke the clothes with incense.
Sometimes clothes could be washed separately.
护领/Hùlǐng (lit. "Collar protector". They are usually white in colour) were often detachable so people only needed to wash that instead of the whole clothes. It could also be made from paper.
Those type of embroidered/painted collars from Song dynasty were attached separately, so it was possible that they were removed while the body of the clothes were washed separately.
People usually washed clothes in water with the aid of a 捣衣杵/dǎoyī chǔ or 洗衣杵/xǐyī chǔ 搓衣板/cuō yī bǎn wash stick and/or a washboard.
The earliest type of of soap recorded being used was 草木灰/cǎomù huī (wood ash). Other plant based soaps were also used, such as 皂荚/zàojiá (Gleditsia sinensis, black locust), 无患子/wúhuànzi (Sapindus saponaria, soapberries), 茶箍/chágū（the dregs from pressing oil from camellia seeds plus hay) etc.
There were also records of potassium soap. Those soaps however were usually in liquid form and often used in fabric manufacture [我国古代的洗涤剂].
猪胰子/Zhū yízi Pig pancreas was also used. 白国斌/Bái Guóbīn (in 2021) wrote how they made pig pancreas soap when he was young - pasted the pig pancreas, then dried and powdered it. Later mix with alkaline water and made into ball to air dry.
澡豆/Zǎodòu was made from the combination of powdered pig pancreas, bean powder and other herbs. There are many recipes, such as a recipe by 孙思邈/Sūn Sīmiǎo from Tang dynasty includes 16 materials. They were also known as 胰子/Yízi.
Aromatic herbs and other xiang (fragrant things) could also be added into the water in the end to add pleasant fragrance to the clothes, such as a book in Ming dynasty《多能鄙事》/Duō néng bǐ shì ("I can do a lot of humble things") by 刘基/Liú jī recorded: Tree Peony Bark 31.25g and Spikenard 3.125g, powdered.
Louis, Anne, Philippe, Mazarin, Beaufort, and most importantly, Pistache
Maidens with Swords - 1540′s
It’s been a long time coming but it feels so good to finally redesign these iconic villains! Maleficent was a little bit of a challenge… and yet very little changed. And I know, I know, I didn’t keep her horns…. But I was really struggling to draw the pointy medieval headdresses so I went with this one instead. There are historically inspired costumers that have come before me for Maleficent in a houppeland so the content is out there if you're interested!
I am the artist!!! Don’t repost without permission & credit! Thank you! Come visit me over on: https://instagram.com/ellen.artistic
↑Chinese Traditional Clothing Hanfu in 【Han Dynasty】
↑ Chinese Traditional Clothing Hanfu in 【Wei & Jin Dynasties】
↑ Chinese Traditional Clothing Hanfu in 【Tang Dynasty】
↑ Chinese Traditional Clothing Hanfu in 【Song Dynasty】
↑ Chinese Traditional Clothing Hanfu in 【Ming Dynasty】
↑ Chinese Traditional Clothing Hanfu in 【Ming Dynasty-Late Ming Period】
[Hanfu · 漢服]Chinese Traditional Costumes Hanfu From Han Dynasty to Ming Dynasty BY Artist: @DT-杜田
※There are still many forms of Hanfu in each dynasty that have not yet been included.
※ Above is a display of some part of Hanfu from each dynasty.
Artist @DT-杜田 Weibo & Twitter ：
Twitter ( @Ddt81879274) :https://twitter.com/Ddt81879274
golden ring of queen Teodora found in 1915. in Banjska Monastery
today it is kept in collection of National Museum in Belgrade
FASHION HISTORIANS OF TUMBLR HEADS UP!!!!!!
What do you call this kind of sleeve
a snap from the fête. // IG
An Introductory Timeline of Western Women's Fashion
I think a good place to start to get into dress history is general overview of the whole timeline. Understanding especially how the silhouettes change is really important ground knowledge to build the rest of the information on.
I'll start the timeline from Middle Ages and go till the first world war. I'll focus on upper class England/French sector, so keep in mind that before 17th century there were huge regional differences in fashion inside Europe and class differences too. There is a lot variance, changes and nuance inside any century and decade I'm about to discuss, but I'll try to keep this short and introductory and very simplified. I used a very scientific method of basically what makes most sense to me to divide the periods. I've made sketches what I would consider to be the basic silhouette of the period stripped mostly out of the detail and then I give couple of primary source examples.
12th century (Middle Ages)
Dress was simple one or more tunics over a chemise. They were overly long for upper classes, made out of straight lines. There were loose tunics often worn over another tunic, and tunics with laced bodice called biaut. In France bliaut sleeves often widened from the elbow, in England they often widened in frists.
13th century (Middle Ages)
Clothing was mostly very similar as in the previous century, though bliaut was mostly gone and new popular style was a loose sleeves surcoat.
14th century (Middle Ages)
Tailoring basically revolutionized clothing production, since clothes weren't made out of rectangles anymore and could be better made to fit form. Also functional buttons and lacing was popularized resulting in very fitted styles. The underlayer tunic, kirtle, became a fitted supporting layer.
15th century (Middle Ages)
Improvements in weaving technology and trade and growing prosperity in Europe showed in clothing as excess of fabric and variety of trends. Houppelande, a loose A-lined overdress lined with fur and fastened with a wide belt under chest, became a very popular clothing item, and in later decades developed into the iconic Burgundian dress (the red dress). Fitted overdress continued to be popular alongside the warmer houppelandes.
1500s-1550s (Tudor period)
In the renaissance era clothing became increasingly structured and elaborate. The bodice was heavily boned and the skirt was also structured.
1560s-1610s (Elizabethan Era)
Both structuring and elaborate decoration reach it's peak during Queen Elizabeth's reign. She became the defining fashion icon of the late renaissance.
In baroque era the bodice was still heavily structured, but more curved than the conical Elizabethan bodice. Otherwise though structuring was replaces with dramatic excess of fabric.
In the late 17th century there was a huge shift in the clothing industry as mantua, a loose open robe inspired by Japanese kimono, came to dominate fashion. Rigid bodice was replaces by structured under layer, stays. Stays brought back the conical silhouette of Elizabethan era.
Mantua developed into the iconic Rococo dress in France, robe à la francaise (first example picture), and in England robe à la anglaise with closed bodice. Rococo fashion was characterized by the wide silhouette of the skirt.
Since Tumblr won't accept more than 10 pictures per a post I'll have to continue in a reblog. So to be continued!