torsdag 12 november 2015

17th century knitted waistcoats

As you may have seen I have been working on a smallish project with the museum in Gothenburg, where I live. One of the things that I studied was knitted waistcoats from the 17th century. The word waistcoats is here used in the period way, which means that they had sleeves too, unlike modern waistcoats. Background research was done mainly through literature on the subject, such as the works of Maj Ringgard, Martha Hoffman, and Gunnel Hazelius-Berg. But I also went through 17th century probate inventories from Gothenburg to find knitted waistcoats, which I also did, thereby providing a background for the silk knitted waistcoat that they have in their collections.

This work was concerned with damask knitted waistcoats of the type found almost exclusively in the Nordic countries (there's one that belonged to king Charles I too).

Brocade knitted waistcoats, what we today would refer to as stranded multicolour or fair isle knitting are on the other hand found all over Europe.

Since they appear to have been worn mainly as undershirt or informal wear there are few images of them from the period, Maj Ringgard suggests in her article “Silk Knitted Waistcoats - a 17th-century fashion item” that this portrait, from Nyborg church in  Denmark may show knit silk waitcoats at the neckline or cuffs.

Here's an example of what I think is a brocade knitted waistcoat worn by a Dutch girl, painted by Adriaen van der Linde. The painter died in 1609, so it's either a late 16th or early 17th century portrait.

There are quite a lot knit waistcoats for children preserved and it seems reasonable to use this both more comfortable and cheaper alternative to silk brocade for children.

I should now also declare how much I hate tumblr - where people post images of knit silk waistcoats withut and link to where they're from. So these will have to unattributed for now. The top one is probably one of the Norwegian ones though.

Links to more knitted 17th century silk waistcoats online
Red embroidered damask knitted waistcoat at the Gothenburg City Museum, Sweden
Charles Is damask knitted waistcoat
Red damask knitted waistcoat in Norway
Green damask knitted waistcoat with all over embroidery, Norway
Light blue silk waistcoat with gold embroidery, Norway
Another light blue damask knitted waistcoat with embroidery, Norway
Green silk waistcoat with gold embroidery at the neck, Norway.
Brocade knitted waistcoat at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Another brocade knitted waistcoat at the MFA, Boston USA
Brocade knitted waistcoat at the V&A, Great Britain
Red and gold waistcoat at the V&A, Great Britain
Gold and silver brocaded waistcoat at the V&A
Green brocade knitted silk waistcoat in Cleveland USA
Red damask knitted child's waistcoat, Belgium
Green and gold brocade knitted waistcoat, Belgium
Child's sleeveless brocade knitted waistcoat, Belgium
Red, gold and silver brocade knitted waistcoat, Canada
Sleeveless brocade knitted waistcoat at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA
Green short sleeved (altered) waistcoat, also at the Met
Brocade knitted waistcoat at Nordiska Museet, Sweden
Yellow and gold brocade knitted waistcoat, Glasgow, Great Britain
Florentine brocade knitted waistcoat
Brocade knitted sleeveless waistcoat from Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy
Green and gold brocaded waistcoat at an auction site
Red and gold brocaded waistcoat, Nationa Trust, UK
Brocaded knit waistcoat at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum
A brocade knitted waistcoat at Musée de la Mode et du Textile, Paris, France
Red damask knitted waistcoat at Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo Norway
Another damask knitted waistcoat at Norsk Folkemuseum
Short sleeved brocade knitted waiscoat at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Köln, Germany
Blue and silver brocade knitted waistcoat at Germanisches Nationalmuseum
The same in colour.
Yellow and silver brocade knitted waistcoat at the MFA, Boston, USA

Hazelius-Berg, Gunnel, “Stickad tröja” in Fataburen: Nordiska museets och Skansens årsbok. 1941, Nordiska museet, Stockholm, 1941
Hoffman, Martha, ”Of knitted 'nighthirts' and detachable sleeves in Norway in the seventeenth century' i Geijer, Agnes, Estham, Inger & Nockert, Margareta (red.), in Opera textilia variorum temporum: to honour Agnes Geijer on her ninetieth birthday 26th October 1988, Statens historiska museum, Stockholm, 1988
North, Susan & Tiramani, Jenny (red.), Seventeenth-century women's dress patterns. Book 1, V & A Publishing, London, 2011
North, Susan & Tiramani, Jenny (red.), Seventeenth-century women's dress patterns. Book 2, V & A Publishing, London, 2012
Orsi Landini, Roberta. & Niccoli, Bruna., Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e la sua influenza, Pagliai Polistampa, Firenze, 2005
Ringgard, Maj, “Silk Knitted Waistcoats - a 17th-century fashion item” in Mathiassen, Tove Engelhardt, Nosch, Marie-louise, Ringgaard, Maj, Toftegaard, Kirsten & Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel (red.), Fashionable encounters: perspectives and trends in textile and dress in the early modern Nordic world, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2014
Ringgaard, Maj, "To par strixstrømper oc en nattrøie naccarat". Tekst : filtede og strikkede tekstiler fra omkring 1700 fundet i Københavnske byudgravninger - og sammenhænge mellem tekstilers farve og bevaring : ph.d.-afhandling, 1. oplag, Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, [Kbh.], 2010
Turnau, Irena, History of knitting before mass production, Akcent, Warszawa, 1991

2 kommentarer:

  1. I Think tehse knitted waistcoats are so interesting- and Beautiful!

    1. And I can't spell and yes, I hate Tumblr too!