September 12, 2013

Open Sesame

Some time ago now, I looked at Dagmar Drinkler's pdf "Die Rekonstruktion eng anliegender Bekleidung aus Antike und Renaissance,' online at

This summer I went looking for more primary evidence that would bear out her findings on form-fitting sprang pants and sleeves in the ancient world and medieval Europe.  It was like knowing that someone before me had said "open sesame" and seen a treasure trove, as it were, full of exciting information.  All I needed was to find the right place and the right keywords to search with.  I found some form-fitting pants shown in tapestries from around the 1500s.  I did a broad search of Attic pottery on the British museum website and saw hundreds of images of pots, mostly showing fillets that might have been made with the språng technique.

I saved my place and didn't get back to it for a while.  Then one day I picked up the search again and came across a reference to an Oriental, a rather dated way of saying someone from Asia.  The figure, on British museum number 1912,0709.1, wears pants and sleeves that correspond with Drinkler's research.

From there I searched with the that keyword and found more examples, then I searched for Persians and Amazons and found many more.  A couple were wearing form-fitting garments on their upper bodies that looked integral to the sleeves, for example numbers 1867,0508.941 and 1837,0609.59.  The patterns are a lot of fun to look at.  I've pinned as many as I could on Pinterest, hereång-leggings-and-garters/.

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