28 July 2012

Lengburg underwear: more articles

Seeing as I know there are a few of us out there who are waiting with baited breath for any fresh details regarding the Lengberg underwear finds, I thought I would share these two articles from medievalists.net. The latter article is particularly interesting as it describes the four 'bras'/'corslettes', including the placement of the sprang which had been mentioned previously. Apparently it is between the cups on at least one of the 'bras'.

And, of course, now that I go look there appears to be several new articles that have popped up over the last few months, which I have not noticed before:

  • Page from the University of Innesbruck describing the underwear, mentioning some interesting details
    • Several of the shirts show pleats on the collar or sleeves (it does not say if at armscye or cuff); some also have textile buttons and buttonholes "with a small cuff circumference" (does this imply a separate piece of fabric as a cuff, as in later shirts, or simply the opening at the bottom of the sleeve?)
    • 3 out of 4 'bras' have fingerloop braids sewn on (suggested to be decorative, but possibly also to reinforce and add stiffness to the hem)
    • All 4 'bras' have needlelace decoration (in some cases attaching the fingerloop braid to the hem)
    • The researchers consider the bikini-like pants to be male garments NOT female garments
    • Two of the 'bras', the pants and two other garments were radiocarbon dated; all confirmed a dating of the 15th C
  • Another page from the University of Innesbruck describing some of the other textiles and elaborating about the needlelace, with interesting details including:
    • A photo showing the remains of the linen lining of a blue wool dress, which shows what I would tentatively describe as ruching or pleating at the centre, between the breasts, to give shape
    • A photo showing the remains of a linen shirt with a partially preserved left sleeve
    • A photo showing the remains of a "sleeveless linen shirt or blouse with pleating at the shoulder"
    • Close-up photos of some of the needlelace, and diagrams theorising how they were made
  • Blog post at medievalhistories.com with interesting information about the other textiles and non-textile items found, also with PHOTOS of the sprang (yay!)
    • An intriguing find, not mentioned elsewhere, is "a fully preserved male linen hose"
  • Article by Beatrix Nutz in the BBC History Magazine discussing the 'bras' and the bikini-like pants, including some quotes regarding 'breastbags' and 'shirts with bags for the breasts' and a discussion on womens' pants (or the lack thereof)
  • Article from CNN with some quotes from Beatrix Nutz regarding the social context of the 'bras' (including who might have worn them)
  • Article from The Province with another photo of the bikini-like pants
  • Article from Boingboing with a photo at a different angle of the 'bra', clearly showing the eyelets down the left side
  • Polish article with additional photos of the underwear, including a close-up of the sprang
There are also a whole load of other short articles that are basically re-hashes of the same information. It seems after the Daily Fail got wind of things (presumably via of the BBC History Magazine) the whole internet went a little wild.

There are, of course, the earlier articles still kicking about, including the abstract for NESAT XI, a PDF in German. A list of links can be found at the bottom of this page, which also shows a rather unclear photo of what appears to be men's hose (red wool, lined with blue wool, with some sort of white/off-white facing at the top and one side?).

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