Since I am planing to do some extensive embroidery on the cranach dress I am currently gathering information and materials for, I started reading up on medieval/renaissance embroidery a bit more. And even though this has been said about fivehundred times and even if I have been aware about this before – it is not in the modern human beings nature to picture different parts of a costume as seperate pieces of work.
We want to be able to do them ALL and ofcourse – with perfect result.
It is hard to remember that for instance the fur lining of something was not made by the tailor. And that the embroidered decorations were the work of someone else aswell.
Or 5 someone elses in some cases…
When we do our reconstructions, we want to do what perhaps 4 different masters made together – but we want to make it even better than they did back in the days.
Now, isn’t that slightly insulting to the skills of the old time masters?
Or actually – isn’t that WAY to much preasure to put on oneself?!
To make a master embroiderer or embroideress you had to be aprenticed for at least 8 years according to the regulations for Paris embroiderers drawn up and aproved 1303. (Medieval craftsmen, Embroiderers, Kay Stanland, Tne Brittish Museum Press, Page 13.)
You were not allowed to work after sunset and you were not allowed to work on any fast days or holidays.
Now, we can omit all that, but the fact remains: This was their day job and they worked really hard to gain the skills of a Master or Mistress.
We do not pressume to emidiately have the same skills as a Saville Row Tailor theese days.
We do not think that by just liking and having an interest for architecture we would be able to draw and build our own house with a perfect result – on our first try.
But when it comes to recreating medieval or renaissance cotumes – we sometimes tend to think that we can achive what it took masters YEARS to achieve – in just a few weekends.
So, what I am trying to say is that we should sometimes give ourselves a break.
And be good enough.
Do really good for a first try.
And dare to admit that we might not be able to be a Master tailor, Master embroiderer, a Master goldsmith and a Master weaver at the same time