Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Medieval Dress: The Bliaut

The Bliaut was a long gown worn by wealthy men and women from around 1100 and is thought to have originated in France, but is known to have been worn by the wealthy throughout Europe. It is it's long outer garment that we associate with the late Middle Ages.

The female bliaut was fitted, with the sleeves widening from the elbow to the wrist. Women wore the bliaut all the way to the ground and its skirt had many folds and used twice as much fabric needed for a flat skirt. The male garment was a looser and stopped at the ankle. You might hazard a guess as to the fabrics used in these garments, if you said wool for the peasant and silk for the wealthy you would be correct.

Sadly none of these garments survive today and we only know of them from statues carved into medieval architecture such as the example you see here or depicted in Victorian paintings.

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