MediaEval Miscellanea LLC

26 - HOUPELANDES

Period Pattern ™ No.26
Houpelandes, c. 1390-1460 A.D.

Includes patterns for 6 houpelandes with interchangeable sleeves and necklines, in sizes woman's 8-18 & men's 36-48. The undersleeves on all views except II & VI, and the neck-filler on view VI, can be left off and replaced by a cotehardie (Period Patterns no. 21 or 23), doublet (no. 43) or a 2nd houppelande. These garments should be worn with a chemise (women, from no. 90) or hose (men, from no. 43). They go well with capes from no. 92 and purses and pouches from no. 101.

Houpelandes were the last fashion which was found throughout Europe in the Renaissance, as well as being the last unisex fashion (other than capes) until modern times.

This comfortable style, flowing from the shoulder to the hem, apparently first developed in Italy around 1380 A.D, but by 1400 A.D. was found throughout Europe. Belted or loose, houpelandes were usually worn over a cotehardie (Period Patterns no. 21 and 23) or a second houpelande with tight sleeves, as well as a chemise (Period Patterns no. 90), or shirt (Period Pattern no.43) and, for men, hose (Period Patterns no. 43 or 101).

If this sounds like a lot of fabric to wear, especially during summer in southern Europe, remember that Europe was just entering the Little Ice Age, and temperatures were noticeably colder than before or after that period.

No.26, view IV prototype, green and yellow, with sleeves from view V - Virginia
left 26, view I houpelande with hem dagged, worn with 23, view IV, hood, and 101
No.26, view VI, middle,  with sleeves from view V - Virginia, 1985
No.26, view VI - Coryn Weigle, Estrella
No.26, view V altered, houpelande - Gulf Wars, March 1992
No-26, view II, worn with hose from No-101, view VI

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You will find the pattern views on the cover in the album section

As with almost all medieval and Renaissance clothing, houpelanes could be plain and somber, or wildly colorful; they could be made of plain linen and wool or brocaded velvet with gold threads woven into the design, whatever the owner could afford (and the sumptuary laws allowed!). By 1450 there were many variations of sleeves, and necklines. Women's houpelandes were always floor-length, although men's houpelandes varied from very short to very long. Only a few variations were limited by sex or geographical location. By 1475 houpelandes were no longer considered fashionable (although still occasionally seen). Men's cotehardies had developed into doublets, and the houpelande became a gown or robe often worn open down the front (Period Patterns no. 43 and 53).

Comments we've received on this pattern:

  • We have lost the name of the person who said this.“We made your cotehardie for our 2nd event, & people thought we’d been in for years. Our young friend made your patterns, & he had never sewn before”.

    We have lost the name of the person who said this.

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