torsdag 5 april 2018

Making a 14th century night cap

In only a month the SCA camping season starts with the event Double Wars. And since we are having a very cold spring (due to the record high temperature at the North Pole pressing down cold air further south) I am more than a little worried about keeping warm in my pavillion before hubby joins me after four days.
Asking advice about heating the pavillion (I am leaning towards this) a guy in our local group mentioned that you (obviously) shouldn't keep it running when you are asleep, and that you heat up you pavillion, put on your cap and crawl into your sleeping bag.
Well, I do have a sleeping bag, and lots of modern caps (I'm an enthusiastic knitter), but I thought: wouldn't it be cool with a period night cap?

There are lots (well, relatively) of preserved ones from the late 16th - early 17th century, like this one, from the Cleveland Museum of Art:

But since I mostly make earlier periods I wasn't that interested in making one of those. I am also sure that it wouldn't be comfortable to sleep on the embroidery - they were after all probably mostly worn as undress rather than for sleeping.

But they did use night caps, for instance Les Quinze joies de mariage from the 14th century mentions the wife providing night caps for overnight guests. And there are images, though it took me a few hours of browsing through my vast collection of 14th century Italian images to find a few:

The women here appear to be sleeping in St.Birgitta caps. Which is only reasonable, they're extremely practical.

However, I wanted something warmer, made at least partly from wool, and found these Italian paintings:

Barnardo Daddi:

Memmo di Filippuccino:

The last one is from San Gimignano, and from 1306, which is one of the periods I mostly wear. I find it interesting that sh'es naked except for the cap :) And it shows that women also wore this kind of cap at night.

So I made a night cap from red wool, lined with white linen. The lining is slip stitched in place at the edge and easily removable for washing.

And finally: Some ordinary caps that I thought were intriguing and could be used for night caps too maybe:

2 kommentarer:

  1. That's a lovely nightcap you've made, and it's clever to make the lining easily removable for washing!