Tuesday, 24 March 2009

So close... and yet.

I'd like to note that Linen Garb seems to be a fairly new site with a limited selection, so they may start basic and improve.

Materials: good, it's all linen. Colours: good, except for one example of black. (Yes, black was possible, even cheap. But it was extremely unpopular for any time in which tunics were worn.) Quality: the garments look well-made in the photos.

Construction: pretty good, and the site even stops to explain it honestly: 'The tunic is a stylized smash up of sever [sic] historical styles. The tunic is long and comes to about the knees of most folks. The sleeves are long and taper to the wrist. They have gores inset under the arms to allow freedom of movement. The body is a straight tube with gores inset on the sides. Again to allow freedom of movement and it mimics the historic examples.' The only possible problem here, besides the v-neck, is the under-arm gores; otherwise this cut is accurate for 1000-1100 Scandinavian at mid-thigh length or for 800-1000 Anglo-Saxon at knee length, and may also be suitable for later periods if cut longer (it's harder to find a source for that online).

Detailing: Oops. Here is where we fall short. Tunics like these should have bands of another colour of material, of tablet weaving, or similar ornamentation. There should be a choice of neck styles - a simple boat-neck for a very early style, a round or keyhole neck for a later period. The v-neck they're using is right out. The sleeves should also be longer, and have a narrow wrist, so that they're wrinkled along the forearm. The sleeves of an undergarment should NOT show at the wrist.

There are no horrors here, but in a way that's worse: people looking at this site will take their clothing for accurate, and misconceptions will get passed along.


  1. Sadly, you can't survive these days without offering your garb in black. Think of all the fighter types and little gothies who get drawn to this stuff!

    Note how hard they're going for a tough guy image with that black tunic. Big buckly leather belt, black boots, drinking horn, Viking jewellery. Yup, definitely appealing to the manly men.

    I might also note that some of the tunics are modelled with chainmail necklaces. Slavish accuracy is not a priority here, though I would say these products are good enough for SCA.

  2. Thanks for the review! Yea - the black is a chemical black vs historic but there were too many requests to say no. There are new neck lines and longer lengths and styles coming soon. You need to check back before the soccer ball get replaced cause its a serious possible fugly! check back often - we are adding stuff as we can!