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Gulf Wars

Arts & Sciences

Champions Battle

ID#: 062668EBB

Entry Category:
Costuming -
Antiquity to 600 CE

Geographic Region of
Entry: Roman Gaul

Date of Entry:
Late 2nd Early 3rd
Century C.E.

Gallic Coat
A suit of clothing for a Gallo-Roman woman based
on the extant garments from La Ncropole de

Late 2nd Early 3rd Century C.E.



Inspiration ................................................................................................................................................... 3

Summary Page ............................................................................................................................................ 4

Materials ..................................................................................................................................................... 5

Tools ........................................................................................................................................................... 7

Explanation of Choices ........................................................................................................................... 7

measuring............................................................................................................................................. 7

Shears................................................................................................................................................... 8

Needles ................................................................................................................................................ 9

Methods..................................................................................................................................................... 11

Summary of Period Methods vs. Methods Used in Entry ..................................................................... 11

The Coat .................................................................................................................................................... 12

My Analysis of the Authors Notes on the Coat .................................................................................... 12

Summary of the sources: ....................................................................................................................... 22

My analysis of the Photographs ............................................................................................................ 25

Summary of the photographs: ............................................................................................................... 45

My Decisions, Based on Analysis of the Sources and Photographs: .................................................... 46

Stockings ................................................................................................................................................... 47

My Analysis of the Authors Notes on the Stockings ........................................................................... 47

Summary of the sources: ....................................................................................................................... 52

My Analysis of the Photographs: .......................................................................................................... 54

Summary of the photographs: ............................................................................................................... 63

My Decisions, Based on Analysis of the Sources and Photographs: .................................................... 63

Sash ........................................................................................................................................................... 64

My Analysis of the Authors Notes on the Sash ................................................................................... 64


Summary of the sources: ....................................................................................................................... 70

My analysis of the Photographs ............................................................................................................ 72

Summary of the photographs: ............................................................................................................... 87

My Decisions, Based on Analysis of the Sources & Photographs: ....................................................... 87

Bibliography ............................................................................................................................................. 89

Appendix: The Grave Goods from Tomb D ............................................................................................. 92

My presentation of the Grave Goods: ................................................................................................... 94

Woolen textiles:..................................................................................................................................... 95

The Basket Tray: ................................................................................................................................... 96

Blue Glass Carafe: ................................................................................................................................. 98

Fruits & Nuts: ...................................................................................................................................... 101

Coin in a Scrap of Wool: ..................................................................................................................... 103



In 1893 workmen digging for clay in a field owned by Monsieur Chalvet Pierre Fredot discovered a
number of cinerary urns and several coffin burials. The workers were forced to tie scarves over the
mouths and noses due to the carbonic acid saturating the ground from an ancient volcanic spring located
in the area. Upon opening the coffins, the bodies of the interred lay before them in almost lifelike
condition for a few moments. But as the gas that had filled the coffins was replaced with fresh air, the
bodies crumbled into dust before their eyes. All that remained of the deceased were they textiles they
were buried in, and their hair.

The first coffin, later identified as Tomb D, contained the body of a young woman of about 20 years of
age, with golden blonde hair. According to the testimony of one of the workman, Monsieur Vimont,
who was interviewed by Auguste Audollent in 1921, her body was enveloped by an ample robe held at
the waist by a narrow belt. She wore stockings that came up above her knees, and flat leather shoes
trimmed with nails. Next to one shoulder was a hairpiece similar in color to the hair on her head. Next
to the other shoulder was a flat basket containing fruit and a small, blue glass carafe. In one had was a
scrap of woolen cloth containing a coin.

This description sounds more like a script for an Indian Jones movie than a real-life archeological
investigation, but modern science has confirmed that it likely happened very much as described. The
carbonic acid permeating the ground in that area infiltrated the coffins and pushed out the oxygen.
Carbonic acid is a salt, so the bodies and grave goods were essentially dried to the point of becoming
dust over the course of 1700 years. This description, and the remarkably preserved clothing, were the
inspiration for this project.

The items are presented as if they are being viewed in the grave.


This project is a recreation of the extant Gallic coat and stockings discovered in the tomb of a 20-year-
old woman near Les Martres-de-Veyre in France. The garments found in the grave consist of the outer
gown, called a Gallic coat, a long sash, and sewn stockings.

Only woolen textiles survived in Tomb D, though some linen textile scraps did survive in one of the
tombs. Audollent notes that the woman wore her hair in a four-strand braid at her back, but no ribbon or
cord for securing the hair survived. It is also well established that women in this period generally wore
linen tunics under their woolen gowns, but no trace of a linen undergarment was identified with this
grave. Nor was any trace of garters found in association with the stockings, though it seems clear that
they were worn with garters in life.

The Gallic coat and stockings have all been hand sewn out of 100% wool fabric using a bone needle and
hand-spun wool thread. The tools used in this project were: a bone needles and small shears
approximating Roman shears. All measurements of the garments were made using body measurements
(hands, arm length, etc.). The sash was hand-woven using a rigid heddle loom from hand-spun, undyed


Chart of Period Materials vs. Materials Used in Constructing this Entry:

Item Material Used in Material Used in Is this a substitution?

Extant Item Entry

Gown/Tunic - Fabric Dark brown tabby wool Carmel brown plain No

woven w/ paired wefts weave tabby wool
(Warp - Z-spin, 10-12 (Warp: 17 per cm;
per cm; Weft: 2 Z-spin; Weft: 13 per cm)
9-13 per cm.) Traces of
blue paint all over the

Gown/Tunic - Thread Variously colored wool Hand-spun, undyed, No

(brown, tan, and white) single ply wool thread.

Gown/Tunic - Brown wool plaited Cording made from No

Cording cord weft threads pulled
from leftover fabric

Sash - Fabric Grey wool woven in a Hand-spun, undyed No

tabby weave with a white wool yarn woven
predominant warp to size on a rigid
(Warp: Z-spin, 12 per heddle loom (Warp 5
cm. Weft: Z-spin, 5 per Per cm; Weft 4-5 Per
cm.) cm)

Sash Embroidery Not stated, assumed to Wool yarn No

Thread be moderately thick or
doubled wool. Original
color unknown.

Stockings - Fabric Dark brown wool in a Carmel brown plain No

2/2 twill weave (Warp weave tabby wool
and Weft: Z-spin, 9-10 (Warp: 10 Per cm;
per cm). Weft: 10 Per cm)

Stockings - Thread Brown wool thread Weft threads pulled No

from leftover fabric
and hand-spun,
undyed, single ply


Chart of Period Tools vs. Tools Used in Constructing this Entry:

Task Tools Used in Period Tools Used in Entry Is this a substitution?

Measuring Unknown Body Measurements No

Cutting Simple bronze or iron Simple Sheers No


Sewing Bone and/or iron needles Bone needles No

Weaving (for Rigid heddle loom Small Rigid heddle No

sash) loom

Weaving (for Wood or bone shuttle Small wooden shuttle No



We dont know how Romans or the Britons measured cloth to be cut and sewn into garments. We can
guess that they did what even experienced seamstresses do today when in situations where they must
make a garment without any access to yardsticks and tape measures they used a combination of
estimates based on their own experience in measuring using their own body, and wrapping or draping
the fabric on the person being clothed. This system works well for these garments because they are not
fitted to the body.

The principle cutting and construction of the garments was done while sitting field side at SCA events,
without access to either clean, flat spaces or measuring tools. I used the following measurements
which I repeated with a tape measure to create the guide in the chart below. In this context, the term
Hand* refers to the natural position of grasping something (such as fabric, string, or a tape measure)
between the thumb and the index finger. I am right handed, so all measurements use my right hand

and/or extended right arm. Since this type of measuring will not be exactly precise each time it is
repeated, the measurements are approximate.

Body Measurement Measurement

Tip of little finger (laid flat)

Thumb width (at knuckle) 1

Thumb length (tip to inner crease) 2

Hand width (across the palm, without thumb) 3.25

Hand width (across the palm, with thumb) 4

Hand* to elbow 13

Hand* to shoulder 24

Hand* to mid-chest (to the sternum) 32

Hand* to left side of neck 36

Hand* to Hand* (right outstretched hand to left outstretched hand) 60

These measurements were sufficient for most of the process of creating these garments. Only the
stockings required on-the-body draping to achieve a reasonable fit.

Shears as a set of blades which are squeezed together in a cutting action. Shears were commonly used by
the Romans, and it is believed that the Romans brought the use of shears for cutting with them wherever
they went. Shears made of iron blades riveted onto a bronze spring were common, and many have been
found during the excavations in Pompeii. The Royal Ontario Museum maintains a large collection of
Roman iron shears, and early scissors, collected in Egypt and dating from the Roman period.

The University of York Department of Archeology has been conducting extensive excavations at Elms
Farm, Heybridge, Essex, United Kingdom since the mid-1990s. Elms Farm was the site of late Iron
Age, Roman, and Early Saxon settlements. The Department publishes an online, open access journal,

Internet Archeology, in which they publish catalogs of finds from their

various excavations, in addition to other articles about the excavations and
analysis of items found. According to Ros Tyrrells catalog of tools excavated
from the Elms Farm, shears seem curiously under-represented, with only
two pairs, neither of which is from a well-stratified context. However, it is
difficult distinguishing between fragments of shear blades and knife blades.

Only one pair of sheers is illustrated (above). This pair is in three pieces and
measures 182mm long with a handle 48mm long. Tyrrell notes that the basic Figure 1. Extant Roman
shears from the Elms
shape is not unusual for Roman shears, although the handle on this example is Farms excavations.
unusually short. Another, partial, pair of sheers was also found but not
illustrated. Only half the shears were found, as the handle is broken below the loop, and the blade on the
extant half is also broken. The handle on this pair of shears is 75mm long, and the partial blade is 18mm

The shears I was able to obtain for this project are not made of iron, but they are operated in the same
way as Roman shears and are constructed as hardened steel blades riveted onto a softer metal spring.
The blade length is approximately 30mm long by 11mm wide, with a handle length of 70mm.

Romans used both bone and metal needles. The majority of Roman needles found by archeologists are
very large and clumsy by modern standards. Nina Crummy experimented with a 6mm diameter needle,
sewing through hessian cloth with seven warp threads per 10mm. She found that the, since the needle
was moving the warp and weft threads aside, rather than punching holes in the fibers, it did not leave
large holes because each successive stitch helped to close up the previous holes. Needles with spatulate-
heads caused less displacement than round ones. Clearly, though, it would be advisable to always
select the thinnest possible needles when sewing finer materials and to use a thread of approximately the
same diameter as those from which the cloth was woven.

The University of York Department of

Archeology has been conducting
extensive excavations at Elms Farm,
Heybridge, Essex, United Kingdom since
the mid-1990s. Elms Farm was the site
of late Iron Age, Roman, and Early Saxon
settlements. The Department publishes
an online, open access journal, Internet
Archeology, in which they publish
catalogs of finds from their various
excavations, in addition to other articles
about the excavations and analysis of
items found. According to Ros Tyrrells
catalog of the sewing needles found at
Roman settlements at Colcester and Elms
Farm, there were seven bones needles
found, including needles with both
pointed and flat heads, seven copper-alloy
needles, and 10 iron needles/needle

Diagram of Roman needles found by Crummy at Colchester and Elms Farms.




Task Methods Used in Methods Used in Is this a substitution?

Period Entry

Measuring Unknown My right hand, my No

body, and on-the-body

Cutting Shears Small shears No

Sewing Running stitch Running stitch No

Sewing Single folded hems Single folded hems No

Sewing Run-and-fell seams Run and fell seams No

Fringing Plaited fringe Plaited fringe No

The specific methods of construction used in each piece are detailed within the following sections.



Date Author Coat/Gown Notes: My Analysis:

1923 Audollent, Measurements: 1 m. 25 cm. It is difficult to say because the best photos I
Aug tall x 1 m. 70 cm. wide w/ the have of the garment have the sash lying over
sleeves extended. Each sleeve most of the tuck, but the tuck appears to be
40 cm. A tuck of 8 cm; "A wider than 4 cm (1.6"). Assuming that the
single piece of cloth constitutes tuck is a *total* of 16 cm (8 cm/3.15" on
the garment." each side of the fold), the original fabric
width would be 141 cm (55.5"). This is 11.4
cm (4.5") narrower than my modern 152.4
cm (60") wide fabric.

We do not know how tall the young woman

was, nor do we know how long the garment
was on her. I am 163.8 cm (5'4.5") tall. A
finished garment length of 125 cm (49.2"),
as noted in the extant garment, would fall to
mid-calf on me without belting. Since there
is no pictorial or literary evidence that
women in Gaul wore their skirts knee-length,
I will assume that the deceased woman was
substantially shorter than I am (and probably
slimmer as well).

If we guess that she stood 152.4 cm (5'0"), a

gown with a length of 122 cm (48") would
reach approximately to the top of the foot. A
finished gown of 125 cm (49"), worn belted,
would then be approximately ankle length.
To scale up the gown length I would need a
finished length of 134.3 cm (52.9") [152.4
tall /125 long = 0.82; 163.8 tall x 0.82 =
134.3 long] Therefore, my tuck needs to be a
total of 18.1 cm (7.13"), or 9.05 cm (3.56")
per side. This translates to 1 cm (0.41")
longer per side than the original tuck to
achieve the same relative length.

The original garment width is given as 90

cm (35.4"), which would give a total
garment measurement of 180 cm (70.9")
around. At 48 years old I am not as slim as I
was at 20 years, so while a 71" garment will
fit me fine, it will not have the same
aesthetic as it would on someone
significantly slimmer. On the other hand,
since the width of the garment forms the
shoulders and part of the sleeves, there is a
limit to how far the width can reasonably be
scaled up. Again, since we have no skeleton
to use, we must make some guesses.

As an experienced seamstress I know that

the average shoulder width for women is
35.6 - 38 cm (14-15"). My own shoulders are
actually 41.9 cm (16.5"). If I scale the width

of the garment using shoulder width as my

guide I get 106.2 cm (41.8") per side or a
total garment measurement of 212.4 cm
(83"), which should more accurately reflect
the excessive width of the original garment.
([41.9/35.6 = 1.18; 90 x 1.18 = 106.2]

Per Audollent, each sleeve on the extant

garment is 40 cm (15.75") long. This makes
the garment 150 cm (59") wide from cuff to
cuff across the shoulders [40 + 70 + 40 =
150]. If we then subtract our guess of a 14"
shoulder width, we get a total sleeve length
(dropped shoulder plus sleeve) of 68 cm
(26.8"). [150 - 14 = 136/2 = 68] If I use the
same scaling factor as I did for the shoulders,
I get a sleeve piece length of 47.2 cm
(18.6"). [40 x 1.18 = 47.2] and a total sleeve
length of 67.55 cm (26.6"). [82.6 + 47.2 +
47.2 = 177 - 41.9 = 135.1/2 = 67.55] This is
just slightly shorter (less than 1/2 cm) than
the extant sleeves, so I am using the original
sleeve length. This results in sleeves that are
wrist length when the arm is bent and which
cover most of the hand when the arm is
hanging at the side.

"The sleeves are almost as The sleeves are 28 cm (11") wide [or 56 cm
wide at the wrist (26 cm) as at (22") around] at the point where they are
the shoulder (28 cm)." sewn onto the body of the garment. There is
a very slight, 3 cm (1.18") taper to the
sleeves so that they are 26 cm (10.24") wide

[or 52 cm (20.5") around] at the cuff. This

shaping is likely produced by angling the
stitch line and increasing the seam allowance
as is noted at the shoulders, rather than by
cutting the sleeves to shape.

A hem [tuck] of 8 cm to make Since the stitches on the tuck appear to be

it shorter, was made with white the only stitching mentioned as being carried
wool using a double rank of out in white wool, I would assume that the
course stitches tuck was put in after the original
construction was completed in order to alter
it to fit the wearer.

"The two extremities are sewn From these comments, and from close
under the arm without much examination of the available photographs, it
art. The same is true for the appears the majority of the seams employed
sleeves, whose seam is very some variety of flat felling. This results in
apparent on the outside." both visible stitching on the outside of the
garment and a visible lump where the cut
edges are contained.

"Here and there, on the edge, is This is not particularly helpful as "here and
noticed a hem in the form of a there" could mean almost anything! Since
twist, similar to the one to be the fabric of the garment is turned sideways,
discussed below, No. 50" it is unlikely that this technique is used in

#50. Sample of 26 cm. by 15 either location. Wild distinctly mentions that

cm. cut at right angles and the fabric of the neckline is simple turned

bordered by two edges; one under and stitched down. Pages describe the

formed by two cords of seven creation of a corded edge using exposed

strands each, the other by a warp threads. This technique could be

hem of complicated twisting applied to the small section of the side seam

over the entire width of the that was left unsewn near the hem

cloth." [for a more detailed (presumably to allow greater freedom of

description, see C. Pages movement). Close examination of

below] photographs showing that area of the

garment do appear to show a thickened,
rounded edge there. The ends of the cording
could then be caught up in the felled seam
running up the side of the garment. Desrosier
& Lorquin mention that the reinforced
selvage edge is contained within both sleeve
seams, which I interpret to mean that the
selvage is found inside the underarm seam.
This means that the warp would be running
in the proper direction to use this kind of
finishing on the sleeve hems. Close
examination of visible stitching on the sleeve
in one of the photographs reveals that the
sleeves are actually hemmed with a small
rolled hem. This leaves the side "vent" as the
only logical location for this type of
finishing treatment.

"Elsewhere, the cloth is After closely examining all of the

finished with a single thread photographs, I could not find a location on
overlock." the *outside* of the garment that appeared to

use a "single thread overlock" as an edge

finish. This leads me to conclude that this
method of finishing was used on the *inside*
of the garment, possibly to reduce bulk in the
felled seams.

"The two sides of the dress are The garment has been deliberately
distinguished by no appreciable constructed to be as identical as possible on
difference." the front and back.

1923 Pages, Fabric: Warp: wool, single

Charles thread, approx. 550 twists per
meter, left torsion. Warp: wool,
single thread, approx. 450
twists per meter, left torsion. 10
warp threads per cm x 8 weft
threads per cm. Weft is
doubled. The wool is fine and
shiny. Relatively lightweight

Sample #1: "curious hem in the As noted above, the only place I can visually
form of a twistmode of identify as using this method of edge
execution is thus deduced as finishing is on the unsewn edges of the side
follows: 1- The fabric is "vent" located at the hem of the garment.
dissected from B to C by This finishing relies on having exposed warp
tearing off the weft, leaving threads, so the sideways orientation of the
bare warp threads on for a few fabric limits the places where it can be used.
centimeters. 2- at B, the first An additional consideration is the fact that
two warp threads are twisted this method of edge finishing creates a
together (right twist); 3- they somewhat bulky, stiffened area in the fabric,
are joined to one of the cords as seen in the photographs of the extant
and the whole is twisted garment. This would also limit the areas

together with a right twist (true where it would be a practical seam finishing
selvage from A-B was formed technique. In order to use this edge finishing
by two cords of 7-strands each technique on the "vent, it is necessary for
twisted together). 4- The next the hem of the garment to be reinforced with
two threads are twisted the twined cords (two bundles of 7 strands
together (right twist). 5- These each) used to reinforce the original selvage
two threads are joined to the edge. Since my selvage does not use these
second cord and twisted twined cords, it was necessary to create
together with a right twist. 6- them and apply them to the selvage edge of
The two cords are then twisted the fabric.
together strongly (left twist),
tightening the edge of the
fabric. Work continues across
the entire width of the fabric.

1985 Wild, the shoulder were seamed, The shoulders are seamed with the selvage
John-Peter leaving a slit for the neck, turned over and stitched down. The neckline
which was edged with a simple is created by leaving a gap in the seam. As
turned-over hem noted by in Fournier's pattern, by Smith, and
by my own analysis of the garment via
photographs, the shoulder seams are not flat
but angle downward slightly. This is likely
achieved by angling the stitch line and
simply securing the selvage to the body of
the garment, rather than by cutting the
shoulder line to the desired shape.

1998 Desrosiers, Fabric: wool, tabby weave w/ See comments above about the wool fabric
Sophie & paired wefts. Warp: Z-spin; 10-
Alexandra 12 per cm. Weft: 2 Z-spin; 9-13
Lorquin per cm.

Measurements: H 125 cm x W See comments above about measurements,

90 cm (without sleeves); each shaping, and using the fabric with the warp
sleeve L 43-44 cm x W 28-29 running horizontally.

T-shaped, woven in three

pieces (body and two sleeves)

Warp runs horizontally

at the waist, 8 cm tuck sewed

by 2 rows of running stitches

Reinforced selvedges (bottom The presence of the selvages inside the

of tunic, within both sleeve sleeve seams determined how the sleeves
seams) were cut out.

Transverse edges with finishing It is unclear to which areas of the garment

cord (two sides of the body and this statement refers. The first time I made
one sleeve bottom) this garment I interpreted it to mean that a
cord was used to reinforce the side seam
(either internally or externally) and then it
was duplicated on the folded side of the
garment, and along the sleeve hems. Having
found additional, high quality photographs
of the extant garment and examined them
closely, I no longer believe this to be the
case. Initially I interpreted "sleeve bottom"
as "cuff/hem" because the same article
references the reinforced selvedges located
within both sleeve seams earlier. It would be
very helpful now to be able to examine the
garment in person, but since that is not

possible I will confine my use of "finishing

cords" to those locations discussed above.

2010 Gidney, B. a conspicuous tuck, 8 cm deep, See relevant discussions above.

A. and has been made towards the
Louisa middle of the garment with a
Hons double row of large stitches in
white wool

Fournier shows sloping

shoulders on his small scale
drawing which also appear in
the museum photos

There is a slight taper on the

sleeves as well as the shoulder

It is thought unlikely that the

cloth would have been cut to
shape. Instead, the seams were
used to give the shape, without
losing any cloth.

Fournier's pattern clearly This detail, as noted here, does appear in

shows that the tuck widens at Fournier's pattern diagram but does not
the sides and narrows center appear anywhere in his text. It becomes
front and back. readily apparent in some of the photos when
you look for it. Unfortunately, none of the
authors who handled the garments took
measurements of the width of the tuck at

different locations across the body of the

garment. Analysis of the photos will give us
an approximation.


o Brown wool with a undistinguishable pattern all over it in blue paint
o Fiber count: 10 warp x 8 weft per cm
o Weft is doubled
o Fabric is relatively lightweight, and is fine and shiny
o Finished garment measurements: 125 cm tall x 170 cm wide
o Body 125 cm tall x 90 cm wide, with the tuck
Original body length (before the tuck) 141 cm (note: this is actually the fabric
width as the fabric is used sideways)
o Tuck 16 cm total length (8 cm finished length)
o Sleeves 40 cm long x 28 cm wide at the join (56 cm total) & 26 cm at the cuff (52 cm
o Adjusted Measurements for My Reconstruction:
Scaling based on height:
Extant gown estimated to be about ankle length on a woman 152.4 cm
(50) tall 125 cm finished length; 141 cm original extant fabric width
I am 163.8 cm (54 ) tall. I need 134.3 finished length; 152.4 cm
modern fabric width
152.4 (estimated height)/125 (extant length) = 0.82; 163.8 (my height) x
0.82 = 134.3 scaled finished length.
Modern fabric width 152.4 134.3 (my finished length) = 18.1 cm total
tuck length; 9.05 cm per side
Scaling based on shoulder width:
Garment width:
o Extant garment width 90 cm (total diameter 180 cm)
o My shoulder width 41.9/35.6 assumed original shoulder width =
o Extant width 90 x 1.18 = 106.2 cm scaled width (212.4 total
o Extant Garment:
In most humans, the total arm span is equal to their height,
so our estimated 152.4 cm tall woman would have an arm
span of approximately 152.4 cm.
The average womans hand is about 16 cm long, We can
estimate that our deceased woman may have had a

measurement of approximately 120 cm wrist-to-wrist (with

arms held straight out to the sides).
Sleeve length adds about 10 cm to this distance for each
arm, thus 140 cm from wrist to wrist.
The extant garment is 170 cm wide, so it probably reached
to about the fingertips on each hand. It could probably be
worn covering the hands when it was cold, and with the
sleeves rolled up at other times.
o Scaled Garment:
My total arm span is 163 cm. My hands are 17 cm long.
Arm span 163 + 20 bent arm additional length = 183 cm
total garment width including sleeves.
Total garment width 183 106.2 scaled width = 76.8/2
sleeves = 38.4 cm sleeve length. Since this is actually
SHORTER than the original sleeve length, I will use the
original sleeve measurements.
o Sleeves 40 cm long x 28 cm wide at the join (56 cm total) & 26
cm at the cuff (52 cm total)
o Seams:
All the seams are noted as being unsophisticated
There is a seam down the side where the fabric is joined together, and under the
There is at least one area on the garment that uses a complicated edge finishing,
created by twisting exposed warp threads into a pair of twined cords used in the
reinforced selvage. This would have been used in the small vent at the hem. Other
locations are uncertain.
Other hems are formed by folding the edges under and sewing them down
(standard hemming)
Other fabric edges finished with a single thread overlock
o Shoulders:
The shoulder line is formed by sewing the fabric together and leaving the space
for the head/neck open. The selvage around the neckline is turned back and
stitched down.
The line of stitching across the shoulders angles downward toward the outer edge.
The fabric is not cut to shape shaping is accomplished via the stitching.
o Tuck:
The stitching on the tuck is the only stitching mentioned as being done in white
o Sleeves:

There are selvages inside the sleeve seams, which run under the arms.
o Unclear statements:
Transverse edges with finishing cord (two sides of the body and one sleeve
o None mentioned aside from the unreadable pattern in blue paint all over the fabric


c. 1895, the Muse de Clermont: The

first item is a photograph of the original
display dating from the end of the 19th
century at the Clermont Museum. This
photograph was published in Desrosiers &
Lorquins article Gallo-Roman Period
Archaeological Textiles found in France.
I was unable to find a better copy of the
photograph. Even so, it serves as a
valuable reference tool for the fit and
general appearance of the clothing.

1921, Audollent
Les Tombes de

This is one of the few

photos I found where
the tuck in the waist
can be seen clearly.
The garment is oddly
draped, which
disrupts the lines.
There is a better copy
of this photograph in
Audollents article
published in 1923.

1923, Audollent
Les tombes
inhumation des
Veyre (Puy-de-

Note that the

display is the
same, but the
angle of the
photograph is
slightly different
and the printing is
superior, which
allows details to
be seen more
clearly. The two
lines of stitching
that create and
secure the tuck are
clearly shown.
The bottom of the
tuck is not secured
to the body of the
garment, as was done in some of the Roman tunics from Egypt made during this period.

This close-up photo looks more closely at the tuck. The Second line of stitching appears to follow the
first line faithfully. As you can see from the scaled ruler, on the left side of the photograph, the second
line of stitches is about 2 cm below the first line. It does not appear that the second line of stitches
secures the tuck down the body of the garment. My theory is that the second line of stitching was
actually put in first, in an attempt to shorten the garment for wearing. The first tuck may not have
shortened the garment enough, so the second line of stitching was put in. The additional reduction in
length of 5 cm (1.96) would make a substantial difference to the wearer if the gown was intended to be
ankle length (or to the top of the foot).

Unfortunately, this photograph is not clear enough to be able to judge the stitch length, but it is clear that
the stitching in the tuck is a simple running stitch using relatively large stitches.

1956, Pattern Diagram from Fourniers article Patron dune robe de femme et dun bas gallo-
romains trouves aux Martres-de-Veyre:

Fourniers pattern depicts the approximate shapes of the finished pieces, as if they were cut to shape.
These patterns are not useful for cutting out the garments, but are very useful in visualizing the seam
lines to create the resulting shapes without cutting the rectangles of fabric.

c. 1980, Clermont Museum photo from undated guidebooks and postcards:

Its impossible to say if the way the garment is displayed is creating the appearance of a very uneven
hem, or if the hem is truly that uneven. In this display, the hem does not appear to curve upward, as
described by Fournier. In addition, the tuck appears to slope downward at the sides of the garment.

2010, from The History Guru blog. ( Posted

on June 18, 2010:

This photograph is
interesting because it
shows the scale of the
extant garment. This
retired history teacher
interpreted this as a tunic
for a very large woman.
I believe that the
placement of the sash over
the tuck in the museum
case actually creates a
distorted picture of what
this garment probably
looked like when worn.

c. 2012,
Photograph of the
current display at
the Muse de
published in the
Site of the Month
on the Actu-
blog Civilisations
Antiques Grecques
et Romaines


This nearly straight down view of the entire extant garment provided a good image to work out many
patterning questions and issues.

The first step was to remove the background and level the image of the garment. Due to the wrinkling on
the right side of the garment, I opted to use the flat sleeve as my scaling measurement. The ruler image
has been scaled to the garment and the same, scaled ruler has been used in all of the images.

This means that the neckline opening is approximately 30 cm wide.

Although barely discernable in the printed photograph, the stitching securing the hem around the
neckline lies a little less than 1 cm from the folded edge of the neckline. The stitching also appears to
continue along both sides of the shoulder seam where it secures the seam allowance (selvage) inside the

This photograph shows the slope of the shoulders. Although the two shoulders do not appear to slope
evenly, that may be due to the way the garment is lying in the case, stretching of the fabric, or a number
of other factors. My analysis of the photograph showed a drop of about 2 cm on the left shoulder (as you

are looking at the garment), and a drop of about 1 cm on the right shoulder. The fabric on the right
shoulder is rolled forward, so that the shoulder seam is facing upward, so I will use the left shoulder as
my reference source.

This photograph shows that the upper line of stitching on the tuck falls approximately 60 cm below the
highest point of the shoulder line. That falls at the level of the low waist/high hip on my body. The
museum has oriented with upper edge of the sash to be level with the upper stitching line of the tuck.
This would place the body of the sash around my hips. As noted by Gidney, this is reminiscent of a
1920s flapper dress and does not correspond to any iconographic evidence that I am aware of from this

This photograph shows the curve of the hem, which is created by the tuck. Fournier noted that the tuck
widens at the sides and narrows at the center front and back. The hem is on the selvage, so it was not
cut to shape. Interestingly, this image seems to show a substantial curve to the hem, while the early, flat
museum display does not. The difference in height between the lowest point of the hem (at center front)
and the highest (at the left side) is 5 cm.

The white wool stitches creating the tuck vary from - 1 cm long, with a space of - to 1 cm between
stitches. The stitching appears to be quite irregular.

To the right is an enlarged view of the lower right

corner of the garment, showing the thick, rounded
line of the plaited cord finish described by
Audollent and Pages. This is the vent in the
garment, described several times above. The vent
is approximately 15 cm long.

2008, Photographs of the Clermont Museum Textiles, by Michael J. Fuller, Professor Emeritus of
Anthropology, St. Louis Community College from his Virtual Museum of Medieval Archaeology

You can see what appears to be a trace of the blue paint pattern in this image.

More traces of the blue paint on the back of the left sleeve
where it has been folded over. The seam joining the sleeve to
the body can just barely be seen in the fold at the very left
side of the photograph.

The seam running along the underside of the sleeve is

visible on the right side of the photograph. It appears be
a felled seam. The stitches securing a very narrow
rolled or folded hem are just visible on the cuff (upper
right corner of the photograph). These stitches are also
angled, and since there is no lump as you might expect
with a double-rolled hem, I believe that this is a single
rolled hem with more single thread overlock. As noted
elsewhere, the visible stitches are all in a light-colored
thread, possibly the same white thread used for the tuck.

The line of securing stitches for the felled seam lies approximately cm from the seam line. Note that
the thread of the visible stitches is light colored possibly the same white wool as the stitching of the
tuck. It is less visible on the outside due to the small size of the stiches.

The visible stitching on the outside of the garment along the sleeve seam varies in length from 2-3 mm,
spaced - 1 cm apart. The stitching is a bit more regular and uniform than that on the tuck. The
stitches appear to be at a slight angle, possibly indicating that they form the single thread overlock
finishing on the inside of the garment described by Audollent.

A view of the seam on the underside of the

other sleeve, which is revealed where the sleeve
is folded over. This seam closely resembles the
seam on the other sleeve, which is more readily


o Neckline 30 cm wide
o Shoulder angle drop from the edge of the neckline of 2 cm
o Vent 15 cm long
o Tuck 60 cm down from the sides of the neckline
The Hem curves up 5 cm at sides, so the tuck must be 2.5 cm narrower at the
center front and back than it is at the sides
o Thread Color the stitching of the tuck is clearly white, or light colored, thread. The
visible stitching of the felled seam on the sleeves is also light colored and may be the
same thread. I had intended to pull threads from the leftover fabric for sewing, but I will
try using the same white wool thread for construction as I planned to use for the tuck.
o Felled Seams the sleeve seams, and presumably the side seam, are felled. The line of
felling stitches lies approximate cm from the seam. The visible stitches are slightly
irregular, approximately 2-3 mm in length and are generally about cm apart. The
stitches are angled, suggesting that the internal finishing is a single fold over secured by
the single thread overlock described by Audollent.
o Hems the neckline is visibly hemmed by folding over the selvage and stitching it down.
The securing of the selvage/seam allowance continues along the shoulder line to the
sleeves. The hem on the sleeve cuff appears to be a single-fold hem with single thread
o Parallel lines of irregular running stitches used to create the tuck
Second line of stitches is approximately 2 cm below the upper line of stitches
o The remnants of the blue paint are visible, but no pattern can be identified.


o I am using a caramel brown plain weave tabby wool
o Warp 17 per cm; Weft 13 per cm
o Moderately lightweight fabric with some shine
o 60 wide
o Used sideways, with the selvages at the shoulders and hem
o Finished Garment Length 134.3 cm
o Garment Width 106 cm (212 cm around)
o Tuck 9 cm at the sides; 6 cm at the center front and back
Located 60 cm below the shoulder at the side of the neck (58 cm below the
shoulder at the sides of the body)
o Sleeves 40 cm long x 28 cm wide at the shoulder; 26 cm wide at the cuff
o Neckline 30 cm long
o Shoulder Angle drop of 2 cm from side of neckline to edge of shoulder
o Vent 15 cm long
o Hand-spun, single ply, undyed white wool thread
o All visible stitching on the outside is hem stitching
Stitches are 2-3 mm long
Approximately cm between stitches
Line of hem stitches approximately cm away from seam
o All construction seams, except shoulders & tuck Running stitch with right sides
together, then raw edges paired and hem stitched to one side.
o Using bone needles and hand-spun thread to sew this garment was more difficult than I
expected. My stitch work is larger and messier than I would have liked, but improved as I
became more practiced with the materials.
o The twisted thread fabric edging used on the vent is extremely difficult to duplicate. I
tried it several times before getting the knack of it, which caused me to have to cut back
the corner on one side a bit. In the end I had to secure the twisted roll with some stitches
made with threads pulled from the warp in order to stabilize the twisted edging.



Date Author Sash/Belt Notes: My Analysis:

1921 Audollent, Fabric: Wool fabric Brown wool fabric. The description "rise
Aug Color: Brown to the middle of the thigh" does not agree
with the eyewitness statement of "over the
Measurements: Not given
"Course scale, which had to
rise to the middle of the thigh"

1923 Audollent, Fabric: "brown felted wool" Brown "felted" wool probably actually
Aug Color: brown means fulled? Felting refers to non-woven
fabric made from wood fibers matted
together to form a type of cloth, whereas
fulling takes woven cloth and felts it to
various degrees. In Roman times, this
process was called "scouring" where
workers (usually slaves) continuously
walked on wool cloth submerged in vats
of human urine. The purpose of fulling
cloth was to thicken it and make it
stronger; it also makes it more resistant to
unraveling. A certain amount of fulling
makes sense for socks, especially socks
that might sometimes be worn with
sandals in the Roman fashion. My wool
fabric was felted via agitation in hot
water, not human urine.

Measurements: Leg portion, These measurements confirm my

including the heel - 55 cm comments above. 55 cm (21") comes to
high; foot portion - 20 cm long the top of my knee. Audollent does not
say if this measurement includes the
fringe or not? If it includes the fringe,
then the threaded garter would be just
below my kneecap, in the logical place for
a garter. Again, Audollent does not say
exactly where on the foot piece he took
his measurement. If the piece measures 20
cm (7.9") from the point at the top of the
foot, then these stockings would fit my
feet. If the measurement runs from the
point at the side of the foot, they are a
little too short for me.

"They consist of only two No width measurement is provided for the

pieces: one for the leg leg portion of the stockings, which appear
including the heelsewn from to be constructed as a straight tube. I am
behind; The other for the foot, not a young woman with skinny legs. If I
sewn underneath" make these stockings as a straight tube,
either I will be unable to fit my 52 cm
(20.5") calves into the stockings, or they
will bag excessively at the ankle. The legs
of my stockings are cut as rectangles to
accommodate my legs, with the shaping
accomplished in the seaming (as was done
with the Coat/Gown).

"They are adjusted by a very It is unclear to what this statement is

coarse point." referring.

"The top is terminated by a The fringe on the stockings is 2-4 cm long

sort of short fringe, 2-4 cm (0.8 - 1.57"). Although Audollent states
long. A little beneath it still above that, the fabric was "felted, it was
appears a fold, which was probably lightly fulled. If it were heavily
perhaps used to pass a string fulled, there would be no need for the
to hold up the bottom, serving fringe at the upper edge. Indeed, it is quite
as a garter." difficult to create fringe from a heavily
fulled (or felted) fabric.

Towards the same place, at the There is speculation that the initials "PRI"
edge of the seam, one of these may have been a makers mark on the
stocking is marked P R I with cloth, or the manufacturer of the
white wool. stockings. I used my own mundane
initials as my makers mark - EBB.

1956 Fournier, Fabric: Wool Seam locations are provided here: One
Pierre- "each stocking is made of two seam runs down the back of the leg and
Francois pieces of fabric: one of the leg turns under the heel, the other runs

and the heel, sewing from underneath the foot. Fournier's diagram

behind, the other for the foot, appears to show the seam running

sewn underneath" underneath the center of the foot. The

Final seam is the join between the two
pieces, which runs across the front of the
ankle and under the instep. There is no
discussion of whether these seams turn to
the inside or outside, how they are
finished, etc.

1998 Desrosiers, Fabric: wool, 2/2 twill weave, This is the only evidence provided for the
Sophie & probably shrunken and nap theory that the garter was threaded
Alexandra raised. Warp & Weft: Z-spin, through the top of the stocking like a
Lorquin 9-10 per cm. drawstring. In examining the photographs

Color: dark brown color, closely, I am not convinced of this. If I

probably natural because of am looking at the correct spot, the slit in

the presence of pigments and the stocking runs parallel to the top of the

the negative results of dye stocking. If a garter or cord were threaded

analysis by ITF through the fabric of the stocking, I would

expect the opening to be oriented the
Measurements: Leg piece 50
other way (around the leg instead of up
cm high; foot piece 20 cm
and down the leg), and I would expect to
see several of them rather than just one.
"1893b (Audollent tomb D): a While a threaded garter would be quite
ca. 20 year old woman comfortable and convenient, I do not
wearing a large dress held at believe this is what was done. I suspect
the waist with a belt, stockings that a more traditional, wrapped garter
reaching higher than the was used and the old fold noted by
knee" Audollent was where the stocking was
composed of two pieces: one folded down over the garter. This also
for the leg including the heel, assists the theory that the garters may
sewn behind; the other for the have been made of linen, which rotted
foot, sewn underneath away in the grave. If the garters had been
interwoven through the wool stockings,
Weaver's Mark - PRI -
surely there would be more evidence of
embroidered with paler thread
it? It is possible that the body was dressed
in probably corner of cloth
for burial after death and no linen
Plaited fringe of warp thread
undergarments were put on her. In that
(3-4 cm long) at top.
case, they might have simply slid the
A short way below [the stockings onto her legs without tying on
fringe], there is a section garters, which would again support the
where the weave is theory that the garters were not threaded
interrupted, leaving some of through the stockings.
the warp threads bare. This
could have been used as a

channel for threading a


2016 Smith, Fabric: 2/2 twill wool See discussion above.

Heather Color: undyed wool

"constructed from a tube of

fabric sewn up the back of the
leg and heel w/ a slight cut
curve on the front to the ankle
to accommodate a D-shaped
piece of fabric which wrapped
around the toes and was
seamed under the instep"

"Topped with a fringe - no

drawstring or garters found
but suggested by missing
threads in the weave under the

2017 Harlow, The stocking were also found I do not agree with this statement. While
Mary to be problematic and when we are used to modern, seamless, or
reconstructed had an mostly seamless socks, reenactors who
uncomfortable seam that ran wear period fabric socks and chausses do
under the foot not find the seams overly uncomfortable.
By fulling the cloth, the maker eliminated
the need for bulky seams, resulting in a
relatively comfortable pair of stockings.

They were also made for feet These measurements indicate that the
larger than those suggested by stocking would be slightly longer in the
the shoes [Note - Audollent foot than the hobnailed shoes and the
gives measurement of both the slippers (which were not identified as
hobnailed shoes and the belonging to any specific tomb and so are
slippers as 23 cm long and the not included in this project). It is possible
foot portion of the stocking as that the stockings were purchased "off the
measuring 20 cm minus the rack" (so to speak), since they have what
heel.] has been interpreted as a maker's mark on
them. In which case, they would be a
rather generic fit but loose stockings
would not necessarily preclude the shoes
from fitting properly over them. I have
worn my husband's chausses with my own
shoes; the excess fabric simply puffs out a
bit at the back of the ankle.


o Brown wool fabric, naturally colored (no dyes present)
o Lightly to moderately fulled
o 2/2 twill
o 9-10 threads per cm
o Leg part (including the heel) 55 cm high
No width given
o Foot part 20 cm long
no width given
o Leg part is sewn up the back of the leg and under the heel
o Foot part is sewn under the foot
o Join is sewn around the foot at the instep

o Possible decoration or makers mark initials PRI crudely embroidered at the top of
one stocking, near the corner of the fabric
o 3-4 cm long plaited fringe at the top of each stocking
o Authors suggested a threaded garter, I believe it would have been a wrapped garter


1921, Audollent Les Tombes de Martres-de-Veyre:


1923, Audollent Les tombes gallo-romaines inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-


1956, Pattern Diagram from Fourniers article Patron dune robe de femme et dun bas gallo-
romains trouves aux Martres-de-Veyre:

c. 1980, Clermont Museum photo from undated guidebooks and postcards:


2008, Photographs of the Clermont Museum Textiles, by Michael J. Fuller, Professor Emeritus of
Anthropology, St. Louis Community College from his Virtual Museum of Medieval Archaeology

This view clearly shows the seams on the stocking. The seam allowances are clearly found on the inside
of the stocking and the seams appear to be sewn with running stitch. There does not appear to be any
seam finishing, which fulled wool would likely make unnecessary.

Close up of the photo from the previous page. You can see the seam that runs under the bottom of the
foot. It also appears to be sewn with running stitch with the seam allowances on the inside.

Close up of the fringed top of one stocking and the crudely embroidered initials.

Enhanced view of the stocking top and embroidery. The color has been lightened to show details.

A view of the other stocking. This view clearly shows the straight lines of the leg portion of the
stocking. The woman who wore this stocking would have been slender with small calves.


o Thread Color the stitching appears to have been in a lighter colored thread. I will use
the same hand-spun thread as I used for the gown.
o Seams all seams appear to be sewn with running stitch, with the seam allowances
turned to the inside. There is no visible evidence of seam finishing or felling. Thanks to
the fulled wool, seam finishing is not necessary.
o Hems there is no hem. The upper edges of the stockings are finished into a fringe.
o There are three initials crudely embroidered in light colored thread near the upper edge of
one of the stockings


o I am using a dark brown twill weave fulled wool
o Warp 10 per cm; Weft 10 per cm
o Moderate weight fabric with no shine
o 60 wide
o Height 50 cm
o Foot piece length 22 cm
o Leg piece modified to a wedge shape in order to fit my legs
o Hand-spun, single ply, undyed white wool thread
o All construction seams, except shoulders & tuck Running stitch with right sides
together, then raw edges paired and hem stitched to one side.
o Upper edge of the stocking is fringed



Date Author Sash/Belt Notes: My Analysis:

1921 Audollent, Fabric: Wool fabric Wool fabric; now in two parts but
Aug Color: Not mentioned reconstructed intact; total length 4 m 30 cm
(4 yards 25.29" or 14'1 1/4"). This seems
Measurements: 4 m 30 cm w/
extremely long! There are many unknown
factors, such as the waist/hip size of the
belt now in two parts woman, where on the body she wore this
sash, and exactly how she wore it. See more
discussion under Derosier & Lorquin

1923 Audollent, Fabric: "This belt is, like the Woven of undyed wool (now gray) without
Aug dress, entirely of single-strand any special selvage edge
wool, with a selvage without a
particular border or edging."

Color: "The warp and weft,

the condition of which is very
good, do not appear to have
been dyed."

Measurements: 3 m. 90 cm Body of the Sash: 3 m 90 cm (12'9.5" or 4

w/out the fringes which read yds 9 1/2"). Fringe: 20 cm (7.9") at each
20 cm at each end. Total end
length of 4 m. 30 cm; width of
12 cm.

"The dress we have just Worn as a belt according to the eyewitness

considered was, in the testimony, in spite of iconographic

testimony of Mr. Vimont, held evidence that the so-called "Gallic Coat"
at the waist by a belt was *not* worn with a belt. Later 2nd
(cingulum?), now separated century Roman-style gowns, which were
into two pieces" made like Roman tunics, were constructed

"a sort of narrow scarf, almost identically and were worn with

ornamented with fringes at its belts. Could this garment be erroneously

extremities." labeled as a Gallic Coat simply because of

its location?

"Not far from the fringes, Applied decoration at each end and in the
three thin braids, distant middle of the belt.
between them of 3-4 cm, a
clear space between two dark
lines of wine, cut the scarf
perpendicularly. These are, I
think, mere ornamental motifs.
Towards the middle, two more
of these decorative tresses
reappear in two places."

"The quality of the wool Of relatively coarse, rather than fine, silky
seems coarse and without wool.

1923 Pages, Fabric: Warp: Wool, single I chose to weave my own sash using a
Charles thread, approx. 350 twists per small, portable rigid heddle loom. I used
meter, left torsion. Weft: wool, undyed, naturally cream colored (not
single thread, approx. 300 bleached) hand-spun wool yarn. My threads
twist per meter, left torsion. 12 are not as fine as those used in the extant
Warp threads per cm x 5 weft sash, so my thread counts lower (?? Warp x
threads per cm. No particular ?? weft per cm).
border to selvage. The quality

of the wool is coarse and dry.

Medium weight fabric.

Color: no dye present

1956 Fournier, Fabric: Wool See other commentary.

Pierre- Measurements: 12 cm wide x
Francois 4 m 30 cm long, including the
fringe on each end

the belt held the loose dress in

at the waist

now in two fragments

1998 Desrosiers, Fabric: wool, tabby weave,

Sophie & warp predominant. Warp: Z-
Alexandra spin, 12 per cm. Weft: Z-spin,
Lorquin 5 per cm.

Color: gray, with 8 rows (3 All of the authors who claim to have
near each end and 2 in the handled the items agree on the overall
middle) of a structure looking length, they disagree on the length of the
like weft twining or chain fringes. If we postulate that this was
stitch embroidery. Dye actually a garment worn in a Roman style,
analysis of embroidery threads Roman-style sashes tend to be worn at the
without results. high waist. Depending on your body, this

Measurements: L 430 cm can add 5-8" or more to "waist" to floor

(and 12 cm long fringes at distance which would accommodate

each extremity) x W 12 cm slightly longer hanging ends. Even so, if we


"1893b (Audollent tomb D): a assume that the deceased had a 76 cm (30")

ca. 20 year old woman under-bust/high waist measurement,

wearing a large dress held at wrapping the sash around the waist three

the waist with a belt, stockings times before tying would still leave about

reaching higher than the 101 cm (39.8") hanging on either end. That

knee" is a manageable length, but longer than

what is typically show in art of the period.
In discussing this with other costumers,
several suggestions were made: that
perhaps the sash was wrapped around the
torso in the manner of the ancient Greeks?
First and Second century Romans did not
do that, nor is there any evidence that the
Celtic tribes did either. Besides, at 12 cm
(4.7") wide, this sash is too wide for that. It
was suggested that maybe it had been worn
in life as a fascea (breast band), but the
long fringes would make that highly
impractical and the coarse wool would
likely be uncomfortable. However, if the
sash were folded in half prior to wrapping
around the body, the fringed ends could be
passed through the loop created by the fold
and tied. This makes the belt a much more
manageable length [430/2 = 215 - 76 = 69
cm (27")] that is much more manageable
(approximately knee length vs.
approximately ankle length). This more
closely resembles extant art, and the stress
placed on the fold at or near the middle of
the sash might explain why the extant sash

broke apart in that location and no other.

Even on my decidedly un-girlish figure
with a high waist of 114 cm (45"), wearing
the sash this way leaves hanging ends that
are 50.5 cm (20") long, reaching nearly to
my knees.

Fringes grouping several war There is no mention made of knotting the

threads twisted together at fringes to keep them from untwisting. I
both ends believe that I can see a hint of a knot on one
of the fringes, so I have knotted these as
they last longer that way.

No compounds detected with

DMF/MeOH rinsing

2010 Gidney, B. Measurements: 4.3 m L See the commentary above on the length of
A. and (including fringes) x 12 cm W the sash and my hypothesized method of
Louisa (measurements from wearing it. Although this theory partially
Hons Audollent) explains the sash, it does not account for

a girdle was found on the torso the width of it 12 cm (4.7). This is very
but no clear account of the wide for a sash/belt! Extant artwork from

position or manner of the period shows visible belts that appear to

wrapping it on the body was be a few inches wide, but none of them

made appears to be as proportionally wide as this


sash. Admittedly, I am short-waisted, but

my total waist to under-bust distance is
only 15.24 cm (6). The extant sash is more
than 75% of that total width. This sash
would fit me more like a Japanese obi than
anything depicted in contemporary art!
While we cannot take the stylized art of the
period as being 100% accurate, it cannot be
entirely dismissed either. My initial thought
was that perhaps, in addition to being
folded in half, the sash was folded along its
length as well. Close examination of the
photographs does not appear to show any
lengthwise creasing, though this remains
my best guess at how it would have been
worn in life. Experiments with simulated
sashes made to the extant measurements
were unattractive and uncomfortable to
wear without folding the sash lengthwise.

2016 Smith, Measurements: 4.3 m long w/ See discussion above.

Heather fringe x 12 cm wide

"some form of woven scarf or

sash was found on the body"

"It has not been suggested how

this piece would have been

"alternating band of two other This is the only source that appears to
colors, possibly brown & tan mention that the decorative embroidery at
that appears either woven or the ends of the sash is actually in two
different colors! It is clear from the

embroidered into the piece photographs that the two outer bands are in
close to the ends" one color, and the middle band is in another

2017 Harlow, a large, long-sleeved wool See discussion above.

Mary tunic with a tuck, a pair of
twill, knee-length stockings
and a long length of cloth
interpreted as a belt or sash

Creases on the tunic and initial

reports by the original
excavators suggest that the
belt was originally tied at the


o The Sash is made of undyed wool which is described as gray, and as being coarse and
dry, without any shine.
o The threads are single-ply and not as tightly twisted as those used in the Coat/Tunic or
Stockings (Warp 350 twists per meter, left torsion; Weft 300 twists per meter, left
o The fabric is a warp-dominant, simple tabby weave with no reinforcement on the
selvages. It is a medium weight fabric.
o Thread count: 12 warp x 5 weft threads per cm
o The Sash is a total of 430 cm (14 1 ) long, including the fringe.
o The fringe is either 20 cm (7.9) long (according to Audollent), or 12 cm (4.7) long
(according to Desrosiers & Lorquin).
o The Sash is 12 cm (4.7) wide
o There are 8 lines of applied decoration on the sash, in what appears to be chain stitch
embroidery, or possibly weft twining
o There are 3 lines at each end of the belt, above the fringe.

The outer two lines are both in a darker (brown or wine) color; the inner line is in
a lighter (tan or yellow) color
The 3 lines are not touching each other, there is a clear space between each line,
with a total distance between the outer lines of 3-4 cm.
o There are 2 additional lines at the middle of the sash
o The sash is finished at each end with long fringes made by grouping several warp threads
together and twisting them into a fringe.
o Eyewitness testimony from the excavation claims that the belt was wrapped around the
waist of the deceased in the grave. This claim appears to be substantiated by the presence
of creases on the tunic.
o The belt appears to be excessively long and wide for practical use, unless it was perhaps
folded when worn.



c. 1895, the Muse de Clermont:

The first item is a photograph of the
original display dating from the end
of the 19th century at the Clermont
Museum. This photograph was
published in Desrosiers & Lorquins
article Gallo-Roman Period
Archaeological Textiles found in
France. I was unable to find a better
copy of the photograph. Even so, it
serves as a valuable reference tool for
the fit and general appearance of the
clothing. Notice that the fringes of
the sash appear to fall to about the
knee, and the sash appears to be
folded as it passes around the waist.

1921, Audollent Les Tombes de Martres-de-Veyre:

This photograph clearly

shows that the sash is broken
into two unequal parts. It also
shows an abundance of crease
marks, both vertical and
horizontal. It is impossible to
know if the crease marks are
original to the sash, or if they
were created by the original
display of the items.

My initial reaction to this

photograph was that it
disproves my theory about the
sash being folded in half
when worn. Upon reflection, I
realized that this is not
necessarily the case. The sash
could simply have torn at
another location, possibly
even during the removal of
the clothing from the coffin. It
is also possible that the sash
was not folded into two equal
parts, but was folded
unequally. An unequal fold
would allow the two fringed
ends to hang at different
lengths, which would be quite attractive.

1923, Audollent Les tombes

gallo-romaines inhumation des
Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-

This photograph appears to be either

the same photo that appeared with
the 1921 article, or it was taken of
the item in the same display at the
Clermont Museum.

c. 2012, Photograph of the current display at the Muse de Clermont published in the
Archeological Site of the Month on the Actu-Histoireantique blog Civilisations Antiques
Grecques et Romaines (

This was the first

modern, color
photograph I found that
showed the sash. For the
first time we are able to
see the actual size of the
scarf in proportion to the
coat/gown. I feel that the
visual proportions are
thrown off by the
inaccurate placement of
the sash. The museum
has placed so that it is
covering the majority of
the tuck, but if you look
closely at the first
photograph you can see
that the tuck actually falls
at the hips. The
museums placement of
the sash creates an
optical illusion that
makes this relatively full,
ankle-length garment for a woman look as if it might be a knee-length tunic for a very large person with
skinny arms.

2008, Photographs of the Clermont Museum Textiles, by Michael J. Fuller, Professor Emeritus of
Anthropology, St. Louis Community College from his Virtual Museum of Medieval Archaeology

This is the first photograph in a series focusing on the sash. The bands of embroidery at one end and in
the middle are barely visible from this angle.

close-up clearly shows the weave of the sash. It is a
relatively loose weave you can contrast it against the much
denser weave of the coat beneath it. The warp runs vertically
through the larger section on the right of the image, and
horizontally through the section behind it. Although not
described by any of the authors, it appears to me that some
of the threads may be paired, but the two sections do not
appear to use the same threads, density or weaving pattern. I
am not an expert weaver, but it is possible that the sash was
inexpertly woven and the techniques and materials used
varied over the course of the 430 cm. It would be interesting
to be able to look closely at the weave across its entire

Previous page: Close up of the chain stitch

embroidery on one end of the sash. Although
faded, you can clearly see that the three lines of
stitching are in two different colors. The uneven
spacing between the lines is also visible.

View of one of the fringed ends of the sash and a portion of the length. A closer view of the fringe is
below. The mostly intact length of fringe on the left appears to be knotted at the end.

Close up of what I assume is the other end of the sash,

though the fringe is hidden from view. The three lines
of embroidery are easily seen, with tails of excess
thread hanging down. The Embroidery is thick and
appears to have been worked with thick yarns or double
threads. The tails appear to be plaited and
approximately the same length its possible that they
were originally turned back and tacked down and have
come loose due to the damage to this part of the
underlying fabric.

On this end of the sash, the lines of embroidery appear to be about cm wide. There is a space of 3
cm between the first line (on the far left) and the middle line. There is a space of approximately 3 cm
between the middle line and the one on the far right. At this level of magnification you can also see that
the stitching is imperfect and the tails, which appeared to be plaited on the earlier photo look as if they
might be twisted instead.

The lines of embroidery appear to be approximately cm wide at this end of the sash. There is a space of
2 cm between the first line, at the top, and the middle line. A distance of about 2 cm separates the middle
line from the one below it.

The close-up view of the sash end blown up to approximately life size for reference.


o The color photographs show that the undyed wool appears to be a grayish-white color.
o It appears to be very loosely, and coarsely, woven compared to the fabric of the tunic and
appears to use much thicker thread
o There are many weaving faults visible in the photographs.
o The photographs seem to confirm my speculation about the excessive width of the sash
compared to the overall dimensions of the coat.
o The early photographs of the sash on its own show both horizontal and vertical creasing,
but this may be due to the use of the sash in the original museum display, rather than due
to creasing resulting from the grave. Later museum displays do not show this.
o The lines of embroidery are actually in two different, alternating colors
o The lines of embroidery are not evenly spaced, nor are the lines perfectly straight
o The lines appear to be embroidered with relatively thick, or perhaps doubled, threads
o The stitching looks a little bit uneven as well
o On one end of the sash, the tail ends of the embroidery threads are left hanging off the
sash appear to be plaited and of a uniform length.
o They were possibly plaited to start and/or finish the line of decoration, and the tails
turned back and stitched down. The underlying fabric is heavily damaged on this section,
so these tails may have come loose.
o A mostly intact length of fringe appears to be knotted at the end.


o The fabric of the sash is comparatively coarse and has many weaving faults. It is possible
that this sash was manufactured at home, rather than in a workshop. Using this as
inspiration, I chose to weave my own sash on a small, rigid heddle loom. I am not an
experienced weaver, so my sash also has many weaving faults.
o I chose to use plain, un-dyed, un-bleached wool for my sash because the extant sash
shows no evidence of having been dyed. After it is no longer needed in an Art/Sci
capacity, it will be given to my husband (a Knight in the Society) as a wearable love

o My hand-spun threads are not as fine as the threads used in the extant sash, so my thread
count is much lower. I did have some finer thread, but I did not have enough of it to warp
the sash for the entire length necessary. I alternated the finer threads with thicker threads
in the warp, and used a two-ply thread in the weft rather than doubling a thinner thread as
appears to have been done (based on some of the photographs). My sash is not as fine as
the extant one, but it is sturdy, and will serve well as a knights belt.
o I do not believe that the extant sash was worn without being folded over, or crumpled.
Since neither I, nor my husband, have the figures to support wearing a nearly 12 cm (5)
wide sash, and it is ultimately destined to belong to him, I made my sash 8 cm (3) wide.
This is his preferred width and was a conscious compromise.
o The chain stitch embroidery was worked in two shades of doubled brown wool threads.
o The thread was twisted together for approximately 2 cm () before beginning to stitch
onto the fabric of the sash. This starting tail was folded over the edge and caught down by
the stitching. A second tail was twisted at the other end, which was then folded over and
stitched down.
o The placement of the stitching lines imitates that on the extant item.
o As seen on the extant item, multiple warp threads were taken together and twisted to form
a long fringe, which is knotted on the ends.
o It is my theory that the sash was folded in half both across and along its length when
worn. My sash does not need to be folded along its length, but it is being displayed folded
roughly in half and knotted through the fold.
o I believe that the sash would have been worn, in the Roman fashion, at the high
waist/below the bust, and it is displayed that way.


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Audollent, in Les tombes gallo-romaines inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dme) published

in 1923, lists the contents of each grave that are known to be found in the Clermont Museums
inventory. Lost items and those of uncertain origin are not included. The items he lists as having been
found in Tomb D include:

a mat of blonde hair plaited into a braid (from the deceaseds skull)
a hairpiece made of a length of braided and wrapped blonde hair
the dress
hobnailed leather shoes
a wicker basket tray with fruit
a glass carafe

There are additional items mentioned in the text of his article that are not included in this list, such as the
1st or 2nd century copper coin wrapped in a wool rag that had been placed in the young womans hand.
Other items are not specifically mentioned in the testimony of Mr. Vimont, the local man who was
present when the coffins were opened, but which can be assumed based on his description of the other
coffins include blankets and other textiles of varying quality.

It is also important to note that, with one exception, the only surviving textiles found in most of the
graves at Martres-de-Veyre were made of wool. Audollent specifically mentions that, in the 1893
discoveries, two intact heads of hair were found both gathered behind the head into a braid, for which
the hair ribbon has completely disappeared. Given that the body does not retain a linen undergarment or
other linen textile in an area known for linen production in Roman times, and some linen textiles were
found in the elaborately prepared tomb of the little girl, it must be assumed that the same properties that
allowed the woolen textiles to survive also caused the linen textiles to rot away. Because no scraps of
linen have been found in this tomb, none have been included in this presentation though they have
been created and are included in the appendices to the documentation in order to show the
garments as a wearable outfit.

Taken from the testimony of Mr. Vimont regarding the excavation of Tomb D:

Cinerary urns (urns for holding a persons ashes after cremation) were found at a depth of about
one meter, with the coffins found much lower. They consisted of wooden coffins, where the
deceased were dressed up. However, one of the dead, a man, recognizable by his long beard,
had been buried without a coffin, on the ground.

In the first case, [in a coffin] made of perfectly preserved fir wood, lay the body of a young
woman, with golden blonde hair, about twenty years old. An ample robe enveloped her,
held at the waist by a narrow belt; she wore stockings that came higher than the knee and
flat shoes, of leather, trimmed with nails. Next to her shoulder was a curly braid, sewn onto
two pieces of skin; the color resembling that of the hair of the deceased. At the same height,
on the other side, was a basket of wicker, almost intact, containing fruit.

A second coffin belonged to a woman of middle age, with braided hair of dark chestnut; her
wooden shoes were finished with heavy fabric inside.

The two women, according to Mr. Vimont, each had in their hands a coin of copper,
folded in a small woolen rag, but very rough, one certainly from the first century, the
second appeared to be an Antoninus [Antoninus Pius a coin issued between 138 161

(Audollent. Les Tombes Gallo-Romaines a inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dome).

Pp. 284-6.)

Audollent noted that, thanks to the work of Mr. Chalvet Pierre Fredot in the field, some of the objects
exhumed were able to be put directly into the safe keeping of the Clermont Museum. Unfortunately, not
all possible precautions were taken in the field to preserve the entirety of the finds and many amateurs
were convinced to give up the items they had taken into the keeping of the museum. He also noted that
excavators took apart the wooden coffins and used the boards as pathways to ease the passage of their
wheelbarrows through the loose soil of the quarry. We can help but wonder how much invaluable
information and relics were lost in this process?


It is beyond the scope of this project to manufacture the hobnailed shoes, weave a willow basket, create
a blown-glass carafe, or scalp someone in order to provide an authentic mat of blonde hair. It was also
beyond my abilities to build a wooden coffin of fir, or create an authentic experience by having the body
crumble into dust upon the opening of the coffin. Despite these limitations, I wanted to present the
clothing in a manner as evocative of their discovery as possible, so I have included grave goods in my

In choosing which grave goods to present as part of the display for the entry, which consists of the
extant clothing items only, I wanted to be evocative without being overly cluttered or overwhelming the
available space for this entry. I also wanted to enhance the entry, without distracting from it. As a result
I chose to include the following items:
Wool textiles
Basket tray
Glass carafe
Fruits & nuts
A coin in a scrap of wool

I chose not to include a pair of shoes or any of the hair. Although I saved the 18 of hair I recently cut
off of my own head, and could create a small hairpiece to include in the display, I cannot represent the
extant portion of the young womans hair and scalp without resorting to a modern hair piece. Since I
cannot begin to equal the skill of the Gallo-Roman shoemaker, I would have to purchase shoes to
display. I do not believe that the inclusion of either the shoes or the hair would provide any additional
enhancement to the display, and, on the contrary, would tend to add more clutter and greater confusion.

A discussion of each included element in the display can be found on the following pages.


Although no additional textiles are mentioned as being found in Tomb D, aside from the clothing worn
by the young woman, the descriptions from other graves all include mention of at least a cloth found
under the body. The body of the woman found in 1851 rested on a red and black striped woolen cloth,
and was covered by three layers of wool fabrics ranging from very fine to very thick and course. The
body of the little girl found in 1893 was covered with a layer of fine linen, and had been laid upon a pad
of folded linen fabric covered by a blanket of white wool with fringe at the ends.

Since no linen textiles were noted from Tomb D, there is no covering layer of linen for the body in
this display. The body is laid on two layers of wool. The bottom layer is a fairly scratchy wool shawl
that I found in my local thrift store while searching for a wool blanket or yard goods made of an
inferior grade of wool. Although the design and manufacture of the shawl are modern, it is appropriate
that a woman of modest means would be laid to rest on older clothing or household items. The top layer
is my Gallic mantle with fringed ends, which is made from hand-woven blue twill wool fabric woven by
Hon. Lord Lars Knarrarsmidr. The fringed ends mimic the white wool textile mentioned in the grave of
the little girl, and again, it seems appropriate that a young woman might be laid to rest with her best


On page 306-7 of . Les Tombes Gallo-Romaines a inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dome)

Audollent discusses the baskets found in the tombs, and the basket tray from Tomb D specifically:

Two very interesting pieces, but of very unequal conservation, represent the work of the basket-
maker: they are two round baskets. Mr. Col recognized willow, without being able to determine
specifically the species of the genus salix they belong to. He insists that he remarkable
preservation of the tissues is doubtless due to the tannins which abound in the cord.

The first [from Tomb F] is badly damaged. Only the bottom and some fragments of the edges
remain. On the whole it is somewhat mottled by deposits from a tattered, muddy cloth. Fruits, of
which was shall soon speak, are deposited there.

Identical to the preceding one as to material and work, the second [basket] is on the contrary
almost intact. The flat part has the appearance of a while with tight rays against each other; The
edge, around which runs a double twist, is still upright, formed by simple intertwined strands.
The basket, of a remarkable lightness, weighs, empty, on 58 grams.

Its diameter is 0 m 26; its height 0m 04.

It is a perfect specimen of an industry widely diffused in Roman Gaul, and the armchairs of the
kourotrophic goddesses, the statuettes in the white earth of the Allier, or the steles of the museum
of Sens, for example, attest to the diffusion. The direct study of the fragments obtained,
moreover, allowed Mr. Col to conclude that these basket-made trays were of common use. For
the presence of an outer zone, where the wooden vessels [branches?] themselves are crushed,
indicates that the willow has been gathered after the vernal awakening of the vegetation, while
the presence of fruits, such as grape, pear, or apple, indicates a burial at a different time of the
year. They have not, therefore, prepared these baskets specially for them to place in the tombs
which us; They were used in the regular production, which used willow stems harvested in all

Plate VII, #13. (Tomb D) [photo on the next page]

Vintage basket tray found in the local Baronial collection Second century AD Gallo-Roman willow basket tray
and used to serve bread at feast. Height ??.? cm, diameter from the village of Martres de Veyre located 24
?.? cm. Though the size and shape are not identical to the kilometers outside of Claremont. Discovered in 1893 in
basket tray found in Tomb D at Martres-de-Veyre, they are tomb D. Diameter 26 cm, height 4 cm, weight 58 grams.
similar enough to be highly representative of the grave From Plate VII, #13 on page 329 of A. Audollents
goods that accompanied the young woman buried there into article Les tombes gallo-romaines inhumation des
the afterlife. Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dme) published in 1923.


Second century AD Gallo-Roman Vintage hand-blown glass carafe

glass carafe from the village of purchased on Etsy. Height ??.? cm,
Martres de Veyre located 24 diameter ?.? cm. Though the color,
kilometers outside of Claremont. size, and shape are not identical to the
Discovered in 1893 in tomb D. glass carafe found in Tomb D at
Inventory Z 210. Height 12.8 cm, Martres-de-Veyre, they are similar
diameter 8.2 cm. 1st century AD enough to be highly representative of
glass found in a 2nd century AD the grave goods that accompanied the
context. From young woman buried there into the afterlife.

On page 299 of the same article, Audollent discusses the blue glass carafe:

Although none of informants mention it, I do not hesitate to add to the list a graceful light blue
carafe, 0 m 12.5 cm high, and measuring 1 m 27 cm circumference at the paunch. Their silence is
surprising in regard to a specimen so characteristic; it might lead one to believe that this piece
was mistakenly inserted among the furniture of our tombs if it had not somehow left its authentic
mark on another of the series. In the midst of a basket of wicker, which will be discussed below,
there remains a rather thick deposit of round shape, hollow with a regular furrow, like that
produced by the foot of a vase; The foot of the carafe adapts exactly. Such a coincidence cannot
be fortuitous, and we must admit that the two objects were together in the tomb of the
young woman of Martres.

This glass carafe is very light; The weight of the carafe is only 95 grams. Besides its delicate tint,
it is still recommended by its very elegant curve; the belly, the neck and the orifice form a
harmonious line; Only the handle is a little heavy in tis upper part, the two folds which have been
added overload it without embellishing it.

For what purpose was this receptacle deposited in the grave? It had to contain a liquid which
evaporated without leaving any appreciable traces.

Plate VII, #6. (Tomb D) [below]



On page 308-310 of . Les Tombes Gallo-Romaines a inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-

Dome) Audollent discusses the fruits and nuts found in the tombs:

Many of the receptacles which have just been described, especially in the sepulcher of the little
girl (Tomb F), contained an abundance of nuts and fruits.

I cannot think of examining one by one all the fruits which pious hands had profusely poured
into the vases and baskets. The enumeration would be fastidious, and useless besides. It will
suffice to indicate rapidly the species represented. Some are recognizable at first glance; Others
are less easy to identify.

In the first group [of burials], hazelnuts are extremely abundant. Those which have been
extracted from the tomb of the little girl (Tomb F), it seems, still possessed their green envelopes
[skins] in all their integrity. These skins have, for the most part, now disappeared; Those which
remain have a more brown tint; As for the wood [shell], it is most often intact, rarely split. Some
leaves, with their very characteristic veins, accompanied the fruits.

Two nuts were collected, one not opened with its shell intact, the other broken.

There is no shortage of grapes. They had to be deposited in clusters in this collection because
several stems remain; but many of the fruit have separated, before the discovery of the sepulcher;
or since, during the successive manipulations which these objects have undergone; They are not
split in the middle of the other fruits. Their volume has been reduced and their skins flattened,
these grains nevertheless remain always recognizable.

The doubtful fruits are generally fleshy. In their number are certainly apples, perhaps also pears
and quinces, but apples dominated, even if they had not been exclusively admitted.

In my recreation of the grave good, I wanted to include the glass carafe and the basket tray, so it seemed
important to also include some fruit as was found on the extant basket tray. The difficulty was in
finding a way to represent a tomb that has just been opened, which excludes fresh fruit, while not
decorating the table and hall with the presence of old, putrefied fruits. I decided to use a combination of

hazelnuts in the shell, since they were found in large numbers in the other tombs, and old grapes (aka
grape stems and raisins). The raisins are a reasonable substitution for 1800+ year-old grapes.


The two women, according to Mr. Vimont, each had in their hands a coin of copper,
folded in a small woolen rag, but very rough, one certainly from the first century, the
second appeared to be an Antoninus [Antoninus Pius a coin issued between 138 161

(Audollent. Les Tombes Gallo-Romaines a inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dome). P.


Unfortunately, no coins appear to have been retained by the Clermont Museum in association with these
tombs, nor does anyone appear to have recorded which coin was found in which tomb. Nor was the
nature of the first century coin recorded. Purchasing a real Antoninus Pius for use as a display prop is
beyond my price range, and I was unable to find any affordable replica coins from the right era. I
decided to use one of the first coins I ever received in the SCA as a reasonable substitute. Its a silver
coin, rather than copper, but I believe that it is evocative of the original.