Shalwar Kameez

I predominantly wear Florentine clothing. However a Middle Eastern event popped up locally and dressing in theme is always fun. I have a couple of Turkish coats but not much else.

As I was browsing through an op shop I found a costume that looked “period enough” in a tunic and pants way.

I was very interested in the originality of the costume and the historical back ground behind it.

After a bit of research I found that the costume I had purchased was a modern Punjabi costume, worn often by people from Pakistan and India.

The clothing originated in the Mughal Empire in the early 16th century. The Mughal Empire was a Persian empire extending over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and ruled by a dynasty of Chagatai-Turkic origin.

I’ve ordered some books to do further research and hope to update here with lots of images when done.

Kilgallon,Conor. India and Sri Lanka (Cultures and Costumes: Symbols of Their Period)
Bhandari, Vandana. Costumes, Textiles & Jewellery of India
Paine, Sheila.  Embroidery from India and Pakistan
Elgin, Kathy. Costume around the World India
Eraly, Abraham (2004). The Mughal Throne (paperback) (First ed.). London: Phoenix. pp. 555 pages. ISBN 978-0-7538-1758-2.
Boroian, Michael and de Poix, Alix .India by Design: The Pursuit of Luxury and Fashion
Berinstain,Valerie. India and the Mughal dynasty
Kahlenberg, Mary Hunt. Asian Costumes and Textiles: From the Bosphorus to Fujiama
Anawalt, Patricia Rieff. The worldwide history of dress
Kennett, Frances. Ethnic Dress
Wilcox, Ruth Turner. The dictionary of costume
Wilcox, Ruth Turner. The mode in costume.
Dhamija, Jasleen. The woven silks of India
Sarkar, Jadunath (1997). Fall of the Mughal Empire. (4th ed. ed.). Orient Longman. ISBN 9788125011491.
Steele, Valerie. Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion
Schimmel, Annemarie & Burzine K. Waghmar. The Great Empire of the Mughals: History, Art and Culture, London: Reaktion Books (2004).
Schimmel, Annemarie (1963). Gabriel’s Wing: A Study Into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal. Brill Archive. p. 9.
Shukla, Pravin.The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India
Hansen, Waldemar (1972). The Peacock throne : The Drama of Mogul India. (1. Indian ed., repr. ed.). Motilal Banarsidass. p. 121. ISBN 9788120802254.
Edwardes, S. M.; Garrett, H. L. O. (1995). Mughal Rule in India. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. p. 96. ISBN 9788171565511.
Bernier, Francois (1996). Travels in the Mogul Empire. Asian Educational Services. p. 103. ISBN 8120611691.
The Diwan of Zeb-un-Nisa: The First Fifty Ghazals, Translation by Magan Lal and Jessie Duncan Westbrook. John Murray, London, 1913.[19] Packard Institute
Annie Krieger-Krynicki (2005). Captive Princess: Zebunissa, Daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195798371.
Humayun-Nama : The History of Humayun by Gulbadan Begum, Tr. by Annette S. Beveridge (1902). New Delhi, Goodword, 2001. ISBN 81-87570-99-7.E-book at Packard Institute Excerpts at Columbia Univ.




Midwinter 2014 Costuming challenge. Dyeing the fabric. Post #8


First we had to wash the fabric. Robyn described how many fabrics have extra products in them to keep them stiffer, and heavier looking for appeal. If the fabric is not washed before dyeing, the dye may catch to those products, and the dye job will not work very well.


After we washed the fabric, we rinsed it and then started mixing the dye according to the instructions. As we wanted a darker gold fabric, we mixed all the yellow dye in, and added a spoon full of the brown to hopefully get a darker gold fabric.

The goal is to make the pattern stand out a bit more, and put a bit more colour in the fabric, as I was hoping to get the gold to “pop” a bit more.


After mixing the dye completely, we added the fabric in. Using gloves we swished the fabric every ten minutes for forty minutes, keeping an eye on how it was “catching” the dye.


After forty minutes, and the fabric looking quite pleasant, we took it out and rinsed it. The colour looks a lot darker whilst the fabric is wet. After we rinsed it in the bucket, we filled it up with water again and put vinegar in the water. Robyn said that this would give the silk a bit more shine again as all the washing and stirring had left the silk a bit dull.






The fabric was then hung up on the washing line to dry.


The silk, post dyeing.



Comparison shot:



Midwinter 2014 Costuming Challenge Post #6 Hats!


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I have chosen the hat worn by Judith in these pictures by Lucas Cranach the Elder. I love the feather trim in particular. This hat is shown in many portraits, and it comes in several colors. Mine will be made in black velvet as I think the contrast will look nice, and black is a more versatile choice in terms of matching other outfits.



Constructing the Hat:

Wire for the hats. It needed to be shaped using pliers and manual handling to bend to the form of the buckram.




The buckram after ironing it. Buckram can’t get wet as if it does, it gets sticky. As such when ironing you need to make sure there is no water in the iron.


The buckram before ironing- obviously not very usable in this form, until ironed.


Materials needed:

Scissors- for cutting thread

Pliers- for shaping wire

Clippers- for cutting wire

Needle and thread- joining the buckram and wire together




When joining the buckram and wire, use double thread to stitch it down.



Close up of the stitching. The wire needs to be on the furthest edge of the buckram.



First part of the hat done. Next step cover and create the top piece.

Midwinter 2014 Costuming Challenge Post #1 Introduction to the Project


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My Laurel, Mistress Mathilde asked my Apprentice Sister, Ceara and I to attempt the Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition for Midwinter.

The challenge is “Court Garb (From any period, special attention to recreating all the layers)”

We both have been meaning to make a Saxony gown for a while, so Saxony gown it was.

As Mathilde is overseas, we are having Mistress Rowan also help and guide us in this adventure.

Ideally , I wanted to make an outfit out of blue and silver materials as per my Heraldry. Unfortunately at the time we chose the material, we had not been able to find reputable sources saying blue was an acceptable courtly colour, and so the colours I have are red and gold.