Sun Motif The Company of Saint Sebastian Picture: Some Group Members
About the group...
Brief notes on history
Group kit and equipment standards
Group contact details
Useful links
Re-enactment event calendar
Photo galleries
A map of this site


Company of Saint Sebastian kit and equipment standards (continued)



Choosing the right fabrics

It's important to remember that the modern, man made, synthetic fibres that we take for granted today were not in existence during the fifteenth century. It should therefore go without saying that they should never be used in re-enactment kit manufacture. The principal fabrics in use for the period and class that our group re-enacts are wool, linen and, in some cases, silk. In addition to this canvas is used for items such as guardians (the period equivalent of a man-bag!).

The sumptuary laws

MediŠval Sumptuary Laws governed the types of materials, fabrics and colours that could be used according to an individual's social status. These even went as far as stipulating the net purchase values.

MediŠval colours

As detailed above, the use of colours was regulated.

Linen Available in a variety of grades and colours the group preference is for white (high status) or off white (lower status). Linen is strong, light-weight, hard-wearing and easy to wash and dry. It is used in the manufacture of nearly all undergarments, shirts, linings and for a variety of other uses including patterns, draw-string bags and bandages.

Image: Tips

When making doublets or other lined garments, use linen for your initial pattern. This can then either be retained for future reference or used to make the lining.

Linen can be purchased by the metre from most fabric retailers and from mediŠval re-enactors' markets.

Wool Available both felted and un-felted in a variety of grades and colours. Primarily used in the group for doublets, hose and livery coats. It is best to try to buy wool which has been naturally dyed.

Wool is a versatile fabric which breathes sufficiently to keep you warm or cool when necessary (even when wet).

Unless you are of high status it is also best to avoid dark colours such as black, which would have been very costly to come by. (Such fabric would have been dyed numerous times to achieve the colour which was a very expensive process). Purple should also be avoided as this was reserved for the nobility.

Image: Tips

Look for stretch on the bias when buying wool for hose, and thick, well felted wool for doublets.

The best variety of good quality wool is generally available by the metre at mediŠval re-enactors' markets and from specialist wool merchants.

Silk Dependent of status this can be used for linings etc. It is light-weight, delicate but strong. However, if it gets wet can retain moisture and provides little protection from the cold.







Commission of Array
Archery & Archers' Equipment
Armour & Sallets
Padded Jacks & Arming Doublets
Pole Arms & Hand Held Weapons
Doublets & Gowns
Livery Coats
Shirts & Other Linen Garments
Joined & Single Leg Hose
Belts, Pouches & Accessories
Boots & Other Footwear
Hats & Headgear
Miscellaneous Other Items
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This site was designed by WW Forsythe and is ę Company of Saint Sebastian, 2009. All photographs and other artwork are property of their respective owners, used with permission and credited accordingly.