Monday, July 30, 2018

Materials for the "Catskin" Mittens

Here are the materials I am going to use for the "catskin" mittens for my völva costume. A photograph showing both the leather I am going to use as the "outside" and the white faux fur for the "inside" appears to the right.

In her book, Primitive Shoes, Margrethe Hald devotes quite a few pages to leather mitten finds from areas in the Arctic and subarctic, such as Canada.  All of them have a very similar appearance to the Akranses mitten; a rounded top (with the palm-side gathered to the back side) and a set-in thumb.  The pattern of a garment, originally made from leather, being made in the same shape in fabric much later in time after suitable fabric is available, has occurred a number of times in clothing history.  The most recent example of which I am aware involves the tunics worn by the women of the Amerind tribes of the central American plains..  After the whites began trading cloth to them, they continued to make cloth dresses in a similar style to the deerskin tunics they had previously worn.

This is going to be an interesting project, though a challenging one.  With the exception of a tiny pouch I have never sewn leather before, not even the thin soft stuff I have selected here, and it will be interesting fitting the outside and inside layers together.  It seems reasonable to begin with the inside "fur" layer, because once that is made it will set the size for the leather part, since the inner fur layer will have to fit inside the leather one.

EDIT:  (8/3/2018) Clarified my thoughts about Amerind women's deerskin tunics by reining in a couple of runaway sentences in the text above.
EDIT:  (8/10/2018) Corrected a fact and made a grammatical change for better readability.

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