It all started last November with a visit to the Pendleton store. Just look at what I found – an exceptionally lovely woven plaid. Not surprisingly, 11 yards came home with me. While I knew that I could document plaid fabrics to 14th century England (Museum of London, Textiles and Clothing pg. 50), I was not certain about using it for a houppelande.
And so, I set out to find evidence of woven plaid wool used to make a houppelande – and I found it! Located in Germany, at the Heidelberg University Library, is a text produced in workshop that existed in 1418 Alsace, France. This book tells Rudolf von Ems’ French tale Willehalm von Orleans (1235–1240). It is the story of an ideal knight striving to survive in a harsh world of practical realities. Imagine my excitement as I examied each page (wonderfully photographed and posted online) to find multiple plaid images.
And so, I’ve begun the process by cutting out the gown. Now I’m committed to the plaid – and loving it!