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18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Friday, 18 January 2013

French Clothing in the New World Part Seven.


o    DOCUMENTATION
1713-1745: 81 fabrics and 27 colours of breeches specified
o    1748--1758: 169 fabrics and 59 colours of breeches specified
o    1713-1758: 250 fabrics and 86 colours of breeches specified
o    ABBREVIATIONS:
+: fabric without twill weave (perpendicular pattern)
x: twill woven fabric (diagonal pattern)
v: velvet-textured fabric
-: weaving technique is unknown
o   
o   
from a merchants boutique were sold in 1756.[82] On engravings of the period, [83] people illustrated in scenes of daily life wore what appear to be very similar garments. However garments of this type which are mentioned in the Louisbourg documents are of various values, due to the degree of use as well as the quality of the materials and the workmanship. In general, vests worn separately were the same as those made for suits, except in the case of double-breasted vests (vestes "croisées"). These crossed over the front to button at the side. [84] The style was well known, for seven of the vests mentioned above as merchandise were double-breasted. However it was not a greatly popular style for only two other documents refer to them. [85]
o    Not all vests received all the detail demanded by the rules of good tailoring for there were several vests "without lining". [86]
o    Several types of woollen cloths and fabrics, toiles, cottons, even silk and leather were used to make vests (See Table ho. 5). Thus vests could be chosen from a, wide variety of materials besides those used for suits. It was the same for colours, which were not all sombre shades, but also covered a range of brighter colours.
o    On this subject; and this applies to breeches as well as to vests, it is interesting to note the change which followed the English occupation of 1745-1748. Reds and blues were more popular in the latter period than in the earlier one, when dark colours were more popular. An explanation of this phenomenon would demand an investigation beyond the scope of this study. Keeping that in mind however, we can put forward a few hypotheses which emerge at first glance. It would have to be shown that it is not merely a chance impression given by the sample without basis
in fact. This would require enlarging the sample by a similar study of a region of Europe or the colonies at the same period. An investigation of techniques of colouring or of the sources of Louisbourg's imports might be enlightening. Finally, it may be that civilians began wearing military garments after the events of 1745. The available evidence includes both support for and opposition to this theory. If these bright colours were uniforms, they would probably have been of one material, but this is not the case with red vests and breeches, which included "very strong" cloth ("diablement fort") [87] "beggar's velvet" (velours de gueux) [88] and camlet. [89] Among the blue materials were ribbed cloth (drap "canellé") [90] "very strong" cloth ("diablement fort") [91] and plush (panne). [92] On the other hand a discharged soldier returned to civilian life was wearing breeches of regulation blue ("Culotte Bleuf dammunition") when he was murdered in 1756. [93] Therefore it is not impossible that civilians had parts of uniforms, but it was not always the case even when their clothes were the same colour.
o    6. BREECHES
o    The same materials served for the making of both vests (See Table No. 5) and breeches (See Table No. 6) but in addition several velvet-like materials were used for breeches. Except for those of toileor cotton, breeches were usually of a single styles a waistband adjustable at the back, a brayette or pont fastening at the front and garters fastened below the knee.
o    Breeches were not always lined. Beside the unlined vest mentioned above is written "Breeches of the same type".[94] If there was a lining, it was in silk, [95] serge, [96] silken serge (serge de soie), [97] or simply toile. [98] Nor was it rare that leather be used, for a reference is made to nine "skins for the lining of breeches" belonging to a merchant of the period.[99]
o    Moreover leather was used not only in linings, but also for the breeches themselves. The occupation of those who wore leather breeches is not known in all cases. There was a "bourgeois" [100] who could well have had them for sale. The others were a fisherman, [101] a ship captain [102] and a beach master (maître de grave). [103] Evidently leather breeches were worn for fishing and related activities.
o    Seamen wore other garments of toile or cotton, which were unique to them. Garments for sale included long breeches "of toile, for fishermen".[104] Usually this unbleached cloth or canvas sometimes called "sail cloth" (toile à voile),[105] sometimes "sea-cloth" (toile de mer),[106] "was used only for making sails for ships"[107] but in this case, it was used for breeches which belonged to a fisherman and a boat captain.
o    There were also captains [108] who owned breeches described as "American style" (à l'américaine). It is possible that these were long. It is certain that they were made of cotton or toile and were usually striped.
o    D. OTHER TYPES OF VESTS, COATS AND OUTDOOR WEAR
o    The garments described in this section have been grouped according to the terms used in the primary sources. However the descriptions in those sources of the use of these garments does not always correspond to their theoretical definition. It is possible in fact that there were some reversals of common usage. Hence it will be useful to refer to Table 3 to clarify the terminology used.
o    This section deals with various kinds of vests and Justaucorps. Some of these, simply different styles, had the same degree of elegance and the same class of wearers as the usual suit (habit). Others, more modest but comfortable, were found in less elevated social groups. The same applies to outdoor wear where a particular style of wear was restricted to one group, the seamen.
o    The Louisbourg Institute of / L' Institut de Louisbourg de Cape Breton University ~ © 1995-present ~ Louisbourg.info@pc.gc.ca 
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o    CIVIL COSTUME AT LOUISBOURG: 1713 - 1758
MEN'S COSTUME
o    BY
o    MONIQUE LA GRENADE




2 comments:

docfire said...

Interesting stuff Keith. I was wondering if you had any info on the carving of gun stocks. I'm considering doing one now, and wondered what you might know.

Thanks,
-Doc

Le Loup said...

I know very little Doc. The ones I have made were done by trial & error! I used all hand tools, wood saw, jigsaw, horse hoof rasp, auger for the ramrod channel & chisels. If I had a band saw it would have been much easier I think.
I suggest perhaps googling gun stock making, or check it out on youtube.
Regards, Keith.