Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fashion in prehistoric times

Last weekend, we enjoyed a few days away, and because I (almost) always get my way, I got to choose the destination. We went to Avifauna (birds) on the first day and the second day was totally dedicated to Archeon. In this park, they have sections dedicated to the Prehistoric period, Roman times and the Middle Ages.
For me, the Prehistoric was just one big salivating trip. Yes, they didn't have electricity, yes, the houses were tiny, they slept with their animals ánd the smoke would suffocate anyone sitting next to the fire, but look at this for a place to spin, weave and craft!
You can see the loom on the left and baskets with wool scattered about, with spindles inside. There was nobody to demonstrate at the time, and I just sat there and breathed in the atmosphere.
They had a fashion show, showing what amazing clothes they could make even before we invented sewing machines and carding drums. Here you can see fashion in chronological order (from right to left): seal and beaver skins, progressing via the first woven outfits from linen to dyed woolen dresses and shawls.
It's hard to see, but that dress she's wearing? A-ma-zing. All handmade, the spinning, the dyeing and the weaving. I just loved it.
In the Roman town, Hannah got a hair make-over. The lady used a needle and thread to make a complicated braid - well, as complicated as you can make it with quite short hair... We also made a fibula and did some mosaicing.
They had quite a display of clothes out, and it was so cool to see how they made the most lovely decorations from simple materials, not only nice to look at, but also functional. During the fashion show, a Roman soldier showed us all the different ways of wearing a blanket. I know that the highlanders were quite innovative when it comes to 'blanket wearing', but the Romans, once they arrived up here, in the cold North, also appreciated the diversity of a simple woolen blanket. The colours started to get a bit more abundant too, with mostly the men wearing hints of red to indicate their 'importance'. The women mostly wore demure brown, as you can see in the next photograph (the lady to the right).
The Middle Ages started to become more colourful and tailoring started to creep in. Imagine what you can do with proper scissors! You're no longer beholden to the square shape of fabric, but can cut things to size, give hats silly long points and lots more.
In the weaver's house, we saw this lovely loom. Of course, Hannah wanted to pose with it a bit.
And what about all these bands? All woven with cards, in the most wonderful designs.
The ladies of the Dutch Spinning Group were also there, to show people what beautiful things you can do with yarn now. Hannah had a go at spinning and continued working on it at home. A few more practice sessions and she'll be as hooked as her mommy...

2 comments:

hannahsknits said...

Wat een mooi verslag is dit. Het was zo te lezen zeer interessant én leuk. Toch ook maar eens een keertje naar toe gaan....

Mike said...

It's pretty amazing the type of cloths they were able to make way back when even without sewing machines and other machines we have today. Were spoiled I think with sewing machines and other tools.