A man's cotte and surcoat from the Manesse Codex

Made in 2003

This outfit is based on the Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift, also known as the Codex Manesse. This manuscript has almost 140 illuminations showing famous german Minnesänger (trobadours) and scenes from their life or their poetry. This manuscript is a veritable goldmine for the costumer wanting to re-create early 14th century dress. There are different styles depicted, but the variety is greater for men than women. This combination, with a cotte and a surcoat with long sleeves and a v-neck can be seen here and here. The cotte is made from thin light blue wool twill and has buttons at the neck and sleeves and trim in "gold" and blue around the sleeves and neck. The sleeves are made like the sleeves on Herjolfsnes 41, which produces a sleeve which is rather narrow yet flexible. In fact it is a bit too narrow for this style, but it was a test. Not that you can see the sleeve of the cotte in this picture, but still. The surcoat is made from a thin wool blend twill and lined with yellow linen. This was a compromise for comfort's sake, making the surcoat cooler than if I had lined it with wool, but I also didn't have any wool in a suitable colour.

The examples given above are lined with fur, two with vair and one probably with sable. Unfortunately I couldn't afford having my garments lined with vair or sable even if they were readily available, which they aren't, and I didn't detest sewing fur so much. I HATE getting all that fluff everywhere. Fur is by far the most common lining in clothes in medieval documents from Scandinavia and although I haven't personally done any research on the rest of Europe other dress historians' work suggest that this was the case in the upper classes in the rest of Europe too. However, cloth and lighter woollens are also mentioned as linings, as well as silk, and there are also two rare norwegian examples of linen lining. None of those garments are this type of cotte though.

 Under the cotte Rickard is wearing a hand sewn linen shirt with gores at the sides, hand sewn breeches and thin wool hose tied to a belt. He also has side-laced shoes that he made himself.

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