3rd Online Display – Ibrahim al-Rashid

Name: Ibrahim al-Rashid

Location: Ostgardr/Whyt Whey

Wiki: https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/wiki/Ibrahim_al-Rashid

The doublet is one of the fundamental garments of male wardrobe in the 16th century.  This version aims to replicate the style of the 1580s, which had a moderately short waist but otherwise a mostly natural silhouette.  

I was inspired to make this doublet by the fabric, which I found on sale.  It is a changeable taffeta (modernly called “shot silk”).  The fabric is woven with different colored threads in the warp and the weft – in this case black and a very autumnal orange.  I assume, given the price, that this fabric is at least partially synthetic.  However, it has the properties of a true silk taffeta.  

The doublet is embellished with pinking.  This is the practice of making cuts and slits in the fabric or using a shaped punch to remove pieces for a decorative effect.  Nothing is done to prevent fraying of these cuts; the frayed ends and fluffiness are part of the desired effect.  In my case, the cuts are made on the bias (diagonal to the direction of the threads in the weave) which does naturally limit the degree of fraying.  There is a second layer of the same fabric behind the pinked layer – a common practice in the later 16th century.  A related detail is the use of a narrow folded piece of fabric snipped into tabs (at the top of the collar, the wrists, and serving as epaulets) for additional embellishment.  

This doublet is sewn entirely by hand, however it uses a “light-weight” or “summer-weight” construction so the only structural layer of fabric or padstitching is the stiffening of the collar.  The remainder of the doublet consists only of the double layer of taffeta and a light-weight linen lining.  The construction seams were sewn with a black silk sewing thread, however areas where I was concerned about color matching were sewn with orange threads unravelled from the cut edge of the fabric or with a matching embroidery floss (which was also used for the buttonholes and to create the thread-wrapped buttons).  

My album with progress photos is here: 

This portrait shows a doublet with a similar pattern of pinking that I used for mine: 

Additional resources for patterning and construction: 

The tailor’s book of Juan de Alcega (1580): 

The tailor’s book of Diego de Freyle (1588): 

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion, c. 1560-1620, Drama book publishers, 1985.  

Braun, Costigliolo, North, Thornton, and Tiramani. 17th Century Men’s Dress Patterns, Thames & Hudson/Victoria & Albert Museum, 2016.

Davenport, Milia. The Book of Costume, Crown Publishers, 1948. 

Gnagy, Mathew. The Modern Maker Vol. 1:  Men’s Doublets, self-published, 2014. 

Gnagy, Mathew. The Modern Maker Vol 2: Pattern Manual 1580-1640, self-pulished, 2018.  

6 thoughts on “3rd Online Display – Ibrahim al-Rashid

  1. This is absolutely beautiful.
    As a weaver, I sometimes shudder at pinking, but it’s definitely a way to show off wealth!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Those details – the pinking, the buttons, the button holes – make my head spin. Now I have to go figure out how to duplicate that shade of silk….

  3. Tbis is so stunning!! Again, the attention to details, no matter now subtle, is just sublime.

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