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About>Galleries>Projects Gallery 2>Early Period "Celtic" Style Tunic

Circa 10th Century

This is a recreation of a man's 10th Century tunic, embellished in a Celtic style.

I used a very nice fancy woven and hand embroidered cotton imported from Africa for the body of this tunic. It retailed at $50 a yard but this remenant, which contained around 2.5 yards, had been marked down 75% off. For the collar, cuff and hem facings, I used a nice, fulled medium weight wool. The seams are all french seamed to encase the raw edges as there is no lining.

The off center neck opening was found commonly in period. I used it mainly to do something different than a common 'keyhole' neckline.

The embellishment on the cuffs and hem is carried out by couching down several strands of soutache braid, dyed to match the embroidery. The embroidery on the neckline is carried out in simple chain and stem stitch and uses common Celtic motifs.

I chose these particular shades of green after seeing a demonstration on the various colors that can be obtained from woad, using period mordants.

Acloser look at the details of the above garment:

Detail of embroidery Detail of cuff and couched cord

The pattern for this tunic is the commonly used one diagramed below. While there are instances in period of tunics being cut from cloth in this manner, it's a very wasteful way of making the garment.

Most often, the period tunic was constructed using rectangular pieces to build up the garment. This is what is known as 'rectangular construction'. It requires more seams but uses much less fabric and, if done just right, there is virtually no waste fabric left. A common pattern for a 10th Century tunic using rectangular construction is given below:


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