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Historical Costuming FAQ

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Archive-name: crafts/historical-costuming
Last-modified: 15 Dec 1997

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The following is the second of three lists of Frequently Asked Questions for
the alt.sewing and rec.crafts.textiles.* groups.  I plan to use the same FAQs
for all newsgroups as long as most of the questions remain pertinent to both

Like most of us, I don't know all the answers, I've just collected the wisdom
of the net.  Many of these answers have been culled for postings over the last
year or so.  Many regular posters have contributed to this list through their
postings and e-mail.  Any additions or comments are appreciated and can be
mailed to me.   (Lara Fabans)  

(c) All the material in these faqs are copyrighted by the owner
of the FAQs (which may change).  Free use is encouraged. These
FAQs are not to be reused for profit.  This copyright must be
kept with the FAQ used in it's entirety.  
The first list concentrates on general sewing questions and supply information
and restoring antique sewing machines.  The second list concentrates on
costuming and historical clothing.  The third posting contains a list of books
that cover sewing, fitting and pattern drafting.

Some of these answers are fairly lengthy so I have used "ctrl-L" between the
different questions in this FAQ.  Note: within the "rn" news reader you can 
      g 1) 
at the "More --##%--" prompt to go directly to question 1). 

Questions addressed: 

1) Where is a good source of costuming information?
2) Are there any sources of historical costuming patterns and supplies?
2a) Medieval Miscellanea
3) What about period fabrics?
4) What about Civil War era stuff?
5) How about information on Seminole War re-enactments and frontier costuming?
6) Tips for making authentic historic costumes from modern supplies.
7) Administrative Note: historical authenticity, reproducing patterns and SCA
8) Acknowledgments
9) Where can I get an up to date copy of this FAQ?


1) Where is a good source of costuming information?

A good source for costuming information is the SCA, Society of Creative
Anachronism.  The avowed purpose of the SCA is the study and recreation
of the European Middle Ages, its crafts, sciences, arts, traditions,
literature, etc. The SCA "period" is defined to be 600 AD to 1600 AD,
concentrating on the Western European High Middle Ages.  Some members
extend the period from 450 AD to about 1650 AD.  More or less officially
the purpose of the SCA is "The study and re-creation of the Middle Ages
and Renaissance, not as they were, but as they should have been".

Most members of the SCA make and wear period costumes.  Furthermore,
most Kingdoms have active costumers guilds.  The SCA also host collegia
(classes) on all aspects of the historical period, including costume.

You can find SCA members in the newsgroup  If you post
there, be sure to mention your city and state so that those who respond
can suggest local SCA groups and sources. If you wish to contact the SCA
national headquarters you can write to:

The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.          
Office of the Registry
P.O. Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036-0789


Publications of the Society from the national office include "The Knowne
Worlde Handboke" and "The Complete Anachronist".  The Handboke is a
general information book about all aspects of the Society's activities.
It has a few sections on costume, and has some patterns drawn on a graph
paper grid that can be blown up.  The Anachronist is a bi-monthly series
of pamphlets on a single subject each.  The national newsletter,
Tournaments Illuminated, has occasional articles on specific aspects of

Note: The third edition of The Knowne Worlde Handboke is available as of
January 1993 for $12.  Membership in the SCA includes a subscription to 
Tournaments Illuminated.

There are two regular SCA postings, one posted by Wilson Heydt
(whheydt@PacBell.COM) and the other written by Arval Benicoeur
( or and Siobhan Medhbh
O'Roarke (

Another excellent source is the National Costumers Guild.  Their address is: 
P.O. Bog 94538 
Pasadena, Ca. 91109. 
They sponser shows all year long, and also run "Costume College" which 
teaches classes on all aspects of costuming from all periods.  They have a 
panel of specialists which offer free assistance to members needing assistance 
with a project. 

Historic Costume Maillist:
        Send an email to the above contact with 
        subscribe h-costume your-first-name your-last-name
        in the body of the message.
     Purpose:  This list concentrates on recreating period clothing, from
     the Bronze age to the mid-20th Century.  Its emphasis is on accurate
     historical reproduction of clothing, historical techniques for
     garment construction, and the application of those techniques in
     modern clothing design.  Other topics appropriate for discussion
     include adapting historical clothing for the modern figure, clothing
     evolution, theatrical costumes, patterns, materials, books, and
     sources for supplies.

Vintage Clothing And Costume Jewelry Maillist:
   Purpose:  The purpose of this list is to discuss existing vintage
   clothing and vintage costume jewelry, of all eras.  "Existing" is
   the key word here, and conversations concentrate on how to find such
   clothing and jewelry, where to buy it, how to judge its quality, how
   much to pay for it, how to wear it, etc.  Some restoration topics,
   such as how to use parts of damaged goods in other garments or jewelry
   settings are suitable topics, too.  Announcements for estate sales,
   advertisements for sale or wanted, and pointers to shops are all
   welcome on this list.

   Subscribing to vintage:
   Mail with the following message in the body:
	  info vintage
   and then follow the directions

   Vintage page on the WWW:
	Unknown: Please email me if you know where it moved to.

Fantasy Costume Maillist:
     Purpose:  This list concentrates on the creation of fantasy costume
     of all eras:  past, present and future.  The imagination is your only
     limitation.  Discussions concentrate on design, motivation and
     execution of fantasy clothing, costume, or wearable art.  Suitable
     topics include techniques of abstraction, theatrical costumes,
     serious Halloween and Mardi Gras costumes, mythological and other
     non-factual historic-type costumes, incorporating mixed media,
     creative and motivational forces, using and finding patterns,
     materials, books, and other sources for supplies.

French and Indian War Enactment: 
Contact Bryan John Maloney ( for more information,
including info on:
	Forces of Montcalm and Wolfe
	Fraser's 78th Highland Scottish Regiment of Foot
	Gage's Light Infantry 
The second and third groups are units within the Forces of Montcalm and
Wolfe.  M&W is dedicated to recreating the 1740-1760 period in North
America for educational and entertainment purposes (educate the public,
entertain ourselves).  It includes groups that portray military units of
the French, English, and Spanish armies of the period in North America,
groups that portray the Amerinds, groups that portray many aspects of
civilian society in North America 1740-1760CE.  

Other groups that may be of interest include:
  National Civil War Association (NCWA)
	taped message (+1 408 927 7651) 

  Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild ("Dreamers of Decadence")
	5214-F Diamond Heights, Suite 320
	San Francisco, CA  94131
	415/974-9333 (VoiceMail)
	Membership: $20/year (includes ICG membership)
	Subscription to monthly newsletter: $10/year

  Friends of the English Regency
	Newsletter "Haut Ton" $8/year, contact Elayne Pelz
	15931 Kalisher Street, Granada Hills, CA 91344-3951
	(818) 366-3827
NOTE: Haut Ton is no longer being published due to lack of interest.

Update: From 10/30/96:
Re: Friends of the English Regency, this mostly So. Calif entity which
has generally eschewed organization exists in that it puts on monthly dances 
(actually about 9 or 10 a year) an Autumn Ball and an Assembly in the spring.  
Those wishing more information may contact Sue Haseltine

  FIRES, the Florida Indian Re-Enactment Society.
	c/o Chris Kimball (Okahumpkee)
	Seminole War re-enactments.  $/year Send email to get info.

     California Independent Renaissance Guilds Association (CIRGA )

(Can anyone provide pointers to other historical recreation groups?)


There are also a couple of books that you might find interesting.

_Sewing and Collecting Vintage Fashions_ by Eileen MacIntosh:

This should be available or orderable from your local sewing shop or
bookstore. A good look at many aspects of vintage clothing.  Includes
sections for sewers and timid sewers. Tries to cover both "you want a
certain look, what era might it be" and "you want a certain era, what
styles were in vogue".  Also has a good chapter on "How accurate does
this have to be?" There is also a good section in the back listing
various resources, Groups, and references coded by period and what they

_The American Historical Supply Catalogue: A Nineteenth-Century
Sourcebook_ By Alan Wellikoff:

I found this in a used bookstore, but it should still be in print. This
covers a wide range of items. Not much on patterns, but if you are
looking for items to round out a costume, it may be helpful.

Norris, Herbert.  _Church vestments: their origin & development._  New 
     York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1950.  

This discusses vestments from the early church through the 15th c.  It 
describes the materials and colors likely to have been used with each 
style, and often gives simple diagrams of the garments laid flat, 
indicating angles where appropriate and sometimes measurements.  A bit of 
attention is given to trim, embroidery, hats, shoes, and other such stuff.  

There seem to be plenty of libraries out there with copies of this book, 
so most folks should be able to get it through interlibrary loan if they 
badger their local librarian long enough!
(thanks to Tiffany Severns!)

Note: These volumes are highly recommended by the NetReaders.
Another recommended series is _Costume and Fashion_.  v. 1 is 
Classical to Byzantine; v.2 is fall of Rome to 1485; v.3 is 
Tudors & Elizabethan, v.4 may be Stuart & Jacobean; then he 
skipped to Georgian or something.  I don't think he completed 
the series before his death.  He was a Victorian stage costumer, 
writing after he retired.  (Any more information on these??)

And here's a newcomer:
_Period Patterns_ by Doris Edson with text by Lucy Barton
 published 1942. The author (Ms. Edson) has taken costumes on display at
 the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and, I believe, a few other museums, and
 broken them down into chart/pattern format on grids "for the serious
 student of costume."  It contains photos of actual garments and some
 created from cotton to represent what garments no longer exist. Garments
 date from 1500's to early 1900's. This book claims to be a supplement to
 "Historic Costume for the Stage" which I have as yet been unable to

Costuming Periodicals

There is a new quarterly journal specializing in reviews of books on
historic costume, clothing, wearable art, textiles, etc.  

R. L. Shep
Box 668
Mendocino, CA 95460

Subscriptions will start in January, but a preliminary issue is scheduled
for October.  For one year, the cost is $14 for US subscriptions, $15 for
Canadian, 12 pounds 75 pence for the UK, and $20 US for anywhere else in the
Costuming Web Sites

California Ren Faire's home page on the Web:

Medieval/Renaissance Wedding Page

The Costume Site

Costume Shop

Costume Page

Jessamyn's Regency Costume Companion 

Museum Replicas
(you can request a catelog by emailing

A Theatrical Combat Group

Evermore Clothiers
Has a nice photo gallery for renaissance and fantasy clothing.

Ukraine Costumes

2) Are there any sources of historical costuming patterns and supplies?

A quick comment on patterns sent to me by someone who is a professional:
Old patterns such as those sold by Campbells, Past Patterns, Folkware, Old 
World Ent, Buckarroo Bobbins, etc. are rarely patterns which can be cut out 
and sewed, ending up with something that comes even close to fitting.

You had better be prepared to do much pattern work on them first. They 
were made to fit peoples bodies in another era, and don't really work 
with modern bodies. Day after day I have people call me asking why when 
they bought an old pattern and cut and sewed it very carefully it didn't 
fit at all!

A Victorian Era pattern in size 9 would be lucky to fit a 5 or 6 today. 
None of these pattern companies to my knowledge update their patterns, 
they just sell copies of old brown paper patterns. You are almost better 
making up a new pattern than trying to make one of those old patterns 
(thank you so much to the author from the faq maintainer)

Update: The faq maintainer (me) got a great rebuttal to this which I'll
cut & paste in:
There are definitely some patterns, and indeed whole pattern lines, that
are probably only useful as obscure torture devices of the innocent. But
I have had good results with patterns from Past Patterns, a company
which examines genuine vintage garments and draws up patterns from them
in modern-day sizes. And please be sure to check out the Greater Bay
Area Costumers Guild's "Great Pattern Review," which gives the lowdown
on every pattern any of their members have ever tried. I discovered it
recently and had a great time reading through it--not to mention was
glad I hadn't yet ordered a pattern from a company they thoroughly

It is important to keep in mind, too, that one MUST wear period
undergarments (particularly corsets) to achieve most post-medieval
period looks and for the clothing to fit right. If one expects
historical patterns to fit a panty-and-bra'd body, one is doomed to
frustration, and if one redrafts them, they may fit, but the end result
still won't look like those old photos/fashion plates/portraits.
Check out 
(thank you again so much to the author from me)

Patterns and Supplies:

Amazon Vinegar & Pickling Works
2218 E. 11th St.
Davenport, IA 52803-3760
(319) 322-6800
(800) 798-7979 - orders ONLY and only from the US
(319) 322-4003 - fax

- a) general catalog ($5/each?) b) historical patterns catalog ($7/each)
c) shoes and footwear catalog ($3/each).  This is "the
mailing list to be on".  Historical patterns selected from Folkwear,
Period  Patterns, early western, victorian, hoop-gown era, Past
Patterns, Attic Copies (1920's to 40's), Prairie Clothing, Amish, kilts,
ethnic and dance. 

formerly Raiments
3749 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA  91107
phone: (818) 585-2994
fax:  (818) 432-4530  (24 hrs)
E-mail, c/o Anderson:

Store Hours:
Tues, Wed, Fri: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Thurs:  10:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Sat: 11:00 AM to ;4:00 PM

Their 1996 catalog is almost 200 pages containing 1400 patterns, over 1000 book
titles, and all the hard to find supplies: corset bones, grommets, hoop
skirts, cloak clasps, feather fans, gloves, snoods and more.  The cost is
$5.00 for 4th class book rate delivery or $8.00 for priority mail delivery.
Visa/MC/AMEX/Disc accepted.

Atira's Fashions
3935 S. 113th St. 
Seattle, WA 98168

- catalog $4.  Authentic Middle Eastern costume patterns for
bellydancers, folk dancers and musicians.  More than 32 designs for men
and women. 

Body Hangings
835 Decatur St.
New Orleans, La 70116

1719 East Main
Nacagdoches, Tx  75961

111 East Main
Branson, Mo  65616

- Cloaks. For a couple hundred bucks, you can get pretty much anything you want 
in leather, velvet, velveteen and wool.

Campbell's Designs
Box 400
Gratz, PA 17030-0400

- $3.00 catalog. ($4.50 in spring 1991?)  Patterns from 1776-1945

Carolina Stitches in Time
Box 10933
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27108
(919) 764-0790

- Period clothing patterns.

Cinderella's Closet
287 Thayer Street
Providence, RI 02906

- Nice selection of capes in variety of colors.  Carry other Victorian garments.

Chivalry Sports
PO Box 18904
Tucson, AZ 85731-8904
Inquires  (602) 722-1255
Orders 1-800-730-KING

- They sell merchandise primarily aimed at people in the SCA, incl: Folkwear
Patterns, Embroidery Design Books ( a wide price range ), Ready made clothing
(small assortment).

Costume Connection
PO Box 4518 
Falls Church, VA  22044  
phone (703)237-1373 
fax   (703)237-1374
- This company purchased the rights to the Period Patterns that were produced by
Medieaval Miscellanea. The Costume Connection, Inc. is also producing an 
ever-growing line of their own patterns.  They also sell jewelry, books, etc.
Both wholesalers and retailers are welcome to contact.

Enhancements Costume Supply
P.O. Box 8604
Anaheim, CA  92812-0604
(714)  638-4545 (fax)

- The catalog is $ 2.00.  They carry millinery supplies, finished hats, buckram 
frames, underpinnings, (hoops, panniers, bustles) corset supplies, books, other 
misc.  costume supplies, archival supplies and wigs all geared toward historical

Fall Creek Suttlery
P.O. Box 530
Freedom, CA 95019
(408) 728-1888

- $2.00 catalog.  Civil War era items and patterns.

The Taunton Press
63 South Main St, Box 5506
Newtown, CT 06470-5506

- Only some of the original patterns have been reprinted, but Taunton
is reprinting others regularly.  Mostly Victorian and Early American
patterns. (see sewing FAQ for list of suppliers who have some older
patterns) NOTE: They are discontinuing a lot of the 'Ren faire'
style patterns (e.g. if you can find a Kinsale Cloak pattern, nab it.
They are no longer being produced).

Evermore Clothiers
P.O. Box 187 
Merrimack, N.H.  03054-0187

- Renaissance and fantasy clothing (men and women). Also a nice section for leather
wear. They currently charge $3 for our catalog, to cover production and postage. 
But, they'll send you a coupon for $3 off your first purchase.  Their web site
also has a nice photo gallery.

G-Street Fabrics
11854 Rockville Pike
Rockville, Md 20852
(301) 231-8998

Hanson's Leather
6900 Andressen Road
Sheridan, CA 95681
1-800-750-COWS (2697) 9am - 5pm M-Sat
f you would like a copy of our Catalog the cost is $ 3.00 for U.S.
customers and $ 4.00 for Foreign customers in U.S. funds only.
Lots and lots of leather. They have an online catalog with lots of
good pictures as well as a calendar of events where they'll be showing.

Hedgehog Handworks
P.O. Box 45384
Los Angeles, CA 90045

-$5/catalog refundable on the first $30 purchase.  They sell books on historical
costuming and needlework, historic-looking notions such as chatelaine pins and 
fancy metal clasps, and some fancy needlework tools.  Their needlework supplies 
include fantasy embroidery charts, glass beads and specialty threads including 
real gold and silver bullions.

Historic Patterns
5150 Mae Anne Ave
Reno NV 89523

- Victorian gown patterns and wedding accessories.  From an 
advertisement in Threads magazine.

JAS Townsend & Son
P.O. Box 415
Pierceton, IN 46562
(800) 338-1665

- Hats, cloaks, clasps. Large amount of Colonial clothing.  Also patterns, 
authentic cloth. A sutlery that provides mostly American Revolutionary War 
items and readymades, but has recently started branching out into other eras, 
most notably American Civil War and even has a pair of Medieval eyeglasses 
in their current catalog. Check out their forms compatible catalog on the

L'Victorian Couturier
2161 W. Williams Ave
Fallon, NV 89406

- Advertisements in Threads say the catalog is $4.25 (3/93).  The ad
features Victorian Gown Patterns and wedding accessories.  I suspect
this place may be oriented mostly towards bridal fashions. Can anyone
provide more info on this establishment?  [They may be the same as Historic
>>WARNING: I have just been informed by someone that they tried to
contact this place recently and they couldn't find this place.
If anyone has any other information, I'd appreciate it.

2982 Adeline Street
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 843-7178

- I went into this delightful place on a vacation day.  The store is full
of gorgeous laces, antique & new linens, textile creation tools (they had
one huge section relating to bobbin lace and one huge section for needle lace),
and books books books books.  They also had a great stash of Folkwear and Past
Patterns.  A catalog is $5.

La Pelleterie
P.O. Box 127 Highway 41
Arrow Rock, Missouri 65320
(816) 837-3261

- $5.00 catalog (as of 1/92).  Coats and cloaks, pre 1840.

Minnetonka Moccasin Co. is not a historical company, but they do offer a
wide choice of styles, including some high boots.  Their shoes are
advertised in other clothing catalogues, and are nice.

NE Shutsa Traders
P.O. Box 186
Haven, Kansas 67542
(316) 465-3359

- $1.50 catalog.  Cal/Mex era and horsegear.

Nicole's Eclectica
668 Bluff Dept OL1
Waynesboro, VA 22980

-$1 refundable on order.  Specializing in books and supplies for
lacemaking and historic costuming.  Fascinating depth of materials
including oriental lace arts and techniques.  Includes how to make 
horsehair accessories for the Victorian era.  Books include early German
tatting pattern books.

Old World Enterprises
Dept 302
29036 Kepler Ct
Cold Spring Minn 56320

- 19th century patterns.  $2 for catalog.  Their listing says they
specialize in 19th century garments.  Their patterns aren't copies of
existing garments, though, but originals based on the prevailing styles
at the time.  They offer multiple graded patterns in female sizes
8-10-12-14 and male sizes 38-40-42. 

3634 NE 19th
Portland OR  97212  (mail order only)
For Questions:

- A great description from the owner:
My partner and I run a company called "Pastiche"  which supplies theatrical
and historical costumers since 1975.  We carry an eclectic range of things,
including fabrics, trims, notions, beads, embroidery supplies, books, sewing
baskets, knickknacks, etc.  If people are looking for something specific, we
can probably find it for them.  

They don't have a catalog yet, but do have lists which are available for $1.50 and
a self-addressed stamped legal-size envelope.  And they're working on their web
page, so stay tuned.

Past Patterns
P.O. Box 7587
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49510
(616) 245-9456

- $3.00 catalog.  Good selection of early 20th century clothing. 

Prairie Clothing Co
3732 Tanager Drive NE
Cedar Rapids IA 52402
(319) 378-0125

- $1 catalog.  Lots of "Little House on the Prairie"-style clothing.
More or less current clothing styles adapted for a combination
prairie/Edwardian feel without tons of sewing details.

The Queen's Thimble
4864 Troth St.
Mira Loma, CA 91752-1845
WEB: (It will open 5/31/97)

Established in 1993 The Queen's Thimble has grown from a small hobby to 
a full time job.  The woman that owns the shop specialize in costuming from
Bronze Age-1900's.  She prides herself on historic authenticity.  She
designs her own patterns and handle almost all aspects of the costume,
right down to the shoes.  Mostly mail order, mostly custom designs. Free
on-line catalog and discussion/advice group for historical garments.

Box 668 
Mendocino, CA 95460. 

- 1990-91 catalog has 1000 items.  $2.50 catalog.  Books, magazines and 
reprints.  Books related to the costume and textile arts, including out
of print and hard to find books.  Shep has also reprinted a number of
older clothing books, including a couple of books of patterns for
Victorian and Edwardian clothing.

Remember When Collection
361 N. Ohio
Salina, KS  67401

- Send SASE for brochure.  "Romantic" clothing.  Current designs adapted
to a Victorian feel.

Sterling Silks/Sterling Cloth Company
6109 Whipple Ave. NW
N. Canton, OH, 44720 
Phone: 216-966-2487

- They carry Folkwear, Prairie and Past Patterns, as well as silk fabric
of all weights, silk threads (sewing and embroidery), beads, tools
(lucets), and dyestuffs.  Also some costume accessories and jewelry are
sold through their catalog.

Shootout Mountain Outfitters Inc.
901 Washington Avenue
Santa Monica, California
310-458-0319 Phone
310-394-1846 Fax
310-588-1332 Pager

- We are a subsidiary of the H Bar C Company which has been in the family
since its origin in 1897. We manufactured all of the clothies for Nudie,
Nathan Turk, Joe Taylor, and many of the big designers of the 50s and 60s.

We also made all of the garments for Roy Rogers, Tom Mix, Hoppalong
Cassidy, Clint Eastwood, and hundreds of other cowboys of the movies from
1920 to the present. Our garments have been in almost every western made
over the past 60 years and you will currently see our garments on Dr.
Quinn, The Outlaw Years, Chuck Norris, and many other TV shows.

We have a 24 page 11x14 catalog which shows a small portion of what we
have, and we are also prepared to make anything that someone could dream up
in our 58,000 sq. ft. Gardena California facility.

2003 Downing Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
- Catalog is $2.  Specialize in Victorian patterns and rich fabrics.

Victoriana's Closet
1868 Oakwood Ave.
Glendale, CA 91208
- Catalog is $5. They custom make Victorian clothing via mail order from
evening gowns to corsets. They feature Heidi Marsh, Harriet Engler, and
Godey designs. The fabrics are reproduction prints from 1835-1900.

Dave Uebele ( has provided a
fairly complete list of sources for 1850-1900 clothing and heavy
materials construction.  See his notes in Civil War Era Re-enactment. 

For patterns from the 30's and 40's, check thrift stores and estate
sales.  A comprehensive textile library may have books dedicated to
individual designers.  These books tend to be expensive, but the
pictures are fantastic. 

** Vintage Fashions
** Hobby House Press Inc.
** 900 Frederick St.
** Cumberland, M. 21502
** -- a bi-monthly magazine focusing on vintage apparel and instructions
** for their care and repair. One-year subscription $19.95, sample copy
** $2.95. 
** No longer published as of April 1992.


Some of these books are out of print. Most of them should be in a good
university library. Some of them will be in the public library:

Alcega, Juan de. Tailor's Pattern Book 1589. (reprint)

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their
  Construction c. 1660-1860; Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's
  Dresses and their Construction c. 1860-1940; New York. Drama Book
  Publishers, 1972. Also: Patterns of Fashion 3: The cut and
  construction of clothes for men and women c1560 - 1620; MacMillan
  London Ltd, 1985, ISBN 0-333-38284-6. Contains notes on construction
  techniques and fabrics. Very clear drawings show the inside of each
  garment.  Also: Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked.

Boucher, Francois. 20,000 Years of Fashion : The History of Costume and 
  Personal Adornment. c 1965 by H.N. Abrams, reprinted 1987. (but first 
  published much earlier). Also called Histoire du costume en Occident.
  459 pages.

Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail: Women's Dress 1730 - 1930.
  copyright 1968, 1981. George G. Harrap & Co, Ltd, London. Careful
  examination of 150-200 historical garments, showing general
  construction details and notes about trim, details, undergarments,
  supporting frames, etc. Some notes about inner construction and
  materials. Sketchbook style drawings with short notes. 

Brooke, Iris. Medieval Theatre Costume: A Practical Guide to the
  Construction of Garments, New York, Theatre Arts Books, c 1967.

Brooke, Iris. English Costume of the Early Middle Ages; The 10th to
  13th Centuries, London, A&C Black LTD, 1936.

Brooke, Iris. English Costume of the Later Middle Ages; The 14th and
  15th Centuries, London, A&C Black LTD, 1935.

[Iris Brooke has written others with more of a theatrical bent, but
these are the best ones for costumers who want to make *clothing*.
However, this FAQ keeper has received a lot of feedback that Brooke's
are not historically accurate, are poorly drawn and are often from
secondary or tertiary sources. Instead check out books by Yarwood, Nunn
and Payne instead.]

Burnham, Dorothy. Cut My Cote. Diagrams of actual historical (and
  ethnic?) clothing in the Royal Ontario Museum. Diagrams are graphed
  and shown with metric dimensions.

Covey, Liz. The Costumer's Handbook. Prentice Hall, 1980. A good
  basic source for the techniques of theatrical costumers.

Dunlevy, Mairead, Dress in Ireland, Publisher B.T.Batsford Ltd 
  London (1989) ISBN 0-7134-5251 x

This is a really good reference for Irish historical dress. The 
author uses a lot of actual examples found in bogs as well as 
paintings etc to illustrate her discussion. Occasional 
construction sketches

Fernald, Mary. Costume Design and Making.

Grimble, Frances.  After a Fashion: How to Reproduce, Restore, and Wear
  Vintage Styles.  8 1/2" X 11" quality paperback. 352 pages . 147 line
  drawings by Folkwear cover artist Deborah Kuhn. ISBN: 0-9636517-0-6.
  Publisher: Lavolta Press, 20 Meadowbrook Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132.
  Published 1993.  Price: $35 + sales tax for CA residents + $3.50
  shipping.  Bibliography, index.  About half focuses on reproducing
  historic styles from medieval through Art Deco.  The other half focuses
  on buying, restoring, and altering vintage clothes from Victorian
  through Art Deco.  Both men's and women's clothes are discussed.  The
  step-by-step instructions are suitable for beginning to advanced sewers.

Hansen, Henny Harald, Mongol Costume
  This is a translation of a Danish text cataloging Mongol costume from
  several Danish expeditions to Mongolia to study the nomadic tribes. The
  expeditions were from the turn of the century, the collected costumes were
  cataloged by Professor Harald Hansen in the early fifties, and the book was
  recently re-edited and released.

Hartley, Dorothy. Medieval Costume & Life; A Review of Their Social
  Aspects Arranged under Various Classes and Workers with Instructions
  for Making Numerous Types of Dress, New York, C. Scribner's Sons,
  1931. Includes workable patterns that make sense within the time

Hill, Margot Hamilton & Pater A. Buchnell. The Evolution of Fashion:
  Pattern & Cut from 1066-1930. [Susanna Richardson
  ( states this this book is often

Hillhouse, Marion and Evelyn A Mansfield. Dress Design: Draping and
  Flat Pattern Making. Riverside Press, 1948. Clear instructions on
  draping, with excellent drawings of bodice, skirt, sleeve, and
  neckline styles. Perfect for reproducing styles of the 1940's.

Holkeboer, Katherine Strand. Patterns for Theatrical Costumes. Edson,
  Doris & Lucy Barton. Period Patterns.

Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costumes in England and France, The 13th,
  14th, and 15th Centuries, London, A&C Black, 1965,1939. 8 plates in
  color, 350 drawings in black & white.

Houston, Mary G. & Florence Hornblower. Medieval Costumes in England
  and France.

Hunnisett, Gail. Historical Costuming for Stage. Hunnisett was involved
  in the costuming for the BBC's production of "Elizabeth R". 

Hunnisett, Jean.  Period Costume for Stage and Screen: Patterns for
  Women's Dress 1500 - 1800.

Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen, Patterns for
  Women's Dress 1800 - 1909 ISBN 0-88734-609-X published by: 
  Players Press, Inc. P.O. Box 1132, Studio City, CA 91614-0132.
  It is a very informative book, with a good description on how to create
  crinolines, and fitting a basic bodice. There are even many pages of various
  dresses and bodices with scaled diagrams (on graph paper)of each pattern
  piece. One of the many reviewers on the net looked at the earlier book 
  "Patterns for Women's Dress 1500 - 1800" and there are scaled diagrams in 
  that one as well.

Newton, Stella Mary. Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of
  th. Years 1340-1365. WoodBridge: Boydell Press; Totowa, NJ: Rowman &
  Littlefield, 1980. May be out of print. Check your local library.

Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume, 1200-1980. 1984. bibliography. 256
  pages. Good black and white line drawings.

Owen-Crocker, Gale R. Dress in Anglo Saxon England, Manchester Univ.
  Press, 1986. This book covers clothing from 500-1500. There are
  separate chapters for men's and women's clothing in each of several
  periods, including very detailed study of 5th-7th century English
  costume with photos of clothing from archaeological digs. The book is
  documented principally with archaeological and linguistic/literary
  evidence; it has good footnotes and bibliography. 

Payne, Blanche.History of Costume from Ancient Egypt to 20th Century. 
  c.1965. New York. Harper & Row. Includes patterns drawn to scale.
  Uses primary sources. ISBN: 0823049582

Peacock, John, The Chronicle of Western Costume - From the 
  Ancient World to the late 20th Century. Publisher Thames and 
  Hudson Ltd London (1991) ISBN 0-500-01490-6

John Peacock was senior costume designer for the BBC. This book is 
great for getting ideas for costumes - it is literally page after 
page of illustrations and sketches. The only problem is that Mr 
Peacock is not always careful about showing details (ie seams etc) 
and the illustrations are basically coloured sketches. I use it 
mainly for SCA newcomers to look through and decide a period that 
appeals to them before going on in more detail.

Scott, Margaret. The 14th and 15th Centuries. London, Botsford, 1986.

Schnurnberger, Lynn Edelmann. Kings, Queens, Knights & Jesters: Making 
  Medieval Costumes. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. Cross-listed under
  the juvenile section, but was produced in association with the
  Metropolitan Museum of Art. Might be useful.

Sronkova, Olga. Gothic Women's Fashion. Prague, Artia, 1954. [Bohemian 

Waugh, Norah. Corsets and Crinolines. Theatre Arts Books, copyright 1970
  (and 1954?). 176 pages, illustrated, bibliography. History of the
  corset, including the different shapes used in different periods (e.g.
  Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian). One reviewer from the net states this is
  a wonderful book. The back section contains many corsets and petticoats 
  that are in scale. It even includes the boning lines, as they sometimes 
  don't follow normal seam placement.

Waugh, Norah. From an article on sewing costumes in Threads #30: Waugh,
  Norah: _The Cut of Women's Clothes 1600-1930_ and _The Cut of Men's
  Clothes 1600-1900_ (Theatre Arts Books) Concise descriptions and
  drawings of men's garments from 1600 to 1900. Includes scaled patterns
  that can be enlarged. 

Yarwood, Dorren. European Costume: 4000 years of Fashion. 1975. 305
  pages. Includes bibliography. Good black and white line drawings.

Additional sources: 

One tactic for using scaled patterns to construct garments is to choose
a garment in a book, make a transparency of the pattern in the book,
and go buy a pattern as similar as possible. Then project the
transparency on the wall and use it to adjust the bought pattern to the
style of the garment in the book.

An annotated bibliography of pre-1650 costume sources (including books
and periodicals) is available from:
Puffs and Slashes
c/o L. R. Fox
P. O. Box 443
Bloomington, IN 47402-0443
$2.50 per copy

Susanna Richardson ( is presently (late
1992, early 1993) working on monograph/handbooks for women's clothing,
which should be about $6/book. Each one will detail making a particular
gown. She has books for Jane Seymour and Beatrice d'Este gowns done,
and ready for the printers. She will be providing mail-order for people
who do not attend SCA or ECW events.

Members of the SCA have written and published other books specifically
for costumes within the SCA periods. One useful book is. 
  _Medieval Costume_ by Mistress Katrine de Baillie du Chat. copyright
  1988. ISBN 0-943228-01-8. $7.25 (may be an old price). published by:
Raymond's Quiet Press
PO Box 35118
Albuquerque, NM 87176
This book includes text and line drawings describing some common
garments appropriate for SCA. Shows the basic cut of the garments. For
some garments the author discusses how to select an appropriate current
pattern and modify it for creating a SCA garment. Note: This book may
be out of print and unavailable.
Second Note: It is the opinion of some that this book may be
a duplicate of the first four volumes of Norris's books.  It is
the opinion of some that the books by Norris are a much better
reference.  Not having personally read this book, I the faq=keeper
cannot comment.

Dover has a Pictorial Archive catalog and a Needlework catalog. The
Needlework catalog includes several books that discuss Renaissance
embroidery. The Pictorial Archive catalog has a FEW books that cover
costumes. Typically these are books that contain pictures of people in
costume. There are few (none?) books with actual costumes drafted.
Dover Publications
31 East 2nd St
Mineola, NY 11501

The Whole Costumer's Catalogue
c/o Karen Dick, Editor
207 Main Street
Beallsville, PA  15313-0207
Can be ordered for $18/copy, postpaid

Be sure to check the list of sources and references in the regular
alt.sewing and rec.crafts.textiles.* FAQs. A number are appropriate for
costuming. If you are interested in drafting patterns, please be sure
to check out some of the books listed in the Textile Books FAQ. Books
that are labeled [HIST-COST] may be particularly appropriate for
historical costuming. 

2a) What happened to Medieval Miscellanea?   

They were purchased!

Costume Connection
PO Box 4518 
Falls Church, VA  22044  
phone (703)237-1373 
fax   (703)237-1374
- This company purchased the rights to the Period Patterns that were produced byMedieaval Miscellanea. The Costume Connection, Inc. is also producing an 
ever-growing line of their own patterns.  They also sell jewelry, books, etc.
Both wholesalers and retailers are welcome to contact.


3) What about period fabrics?

Ann Feeney ( is maintaining a list of sources
for fabrics appropriate for historical costuming. Write to Ann for the
most current copy of her list.

A slightly condensed version of Ann's list is included below:

A number of people recommended various fabric chains. In particular
some people mentioned Hancocks (particularly in Portland, Oregon and
Vancouver, Washington). Others mentioned their favorite bargain stores
that also sell many natural fabrics.

The Pendleton Woollen Mills has an outlet in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
They carry wools and occasionally have satin, velvet, and lots of modern
blouse and dress fabric. The by-the-pound table is mill ends or flawed

Pendleton Woolen Mills also has an outlet in Portland, Oregon as well as
a factory outlet in Pendleton, Oregon itself.

Leather Unlimited
7155 Cty Highway B
Belgium, WI 53004
(414) 994-9464
Mail order only

Fishman's Fabric Outlet
620 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 922-4170
Silks at about $5/yard

Textile Discount Outlet
2126 W. 21st Street
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 847-0572
No recent info, but used to have cottons at good prices

Aero Drapery Outlet
122 Messner Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
Minnesota Fabrics outlet

Roaring River Mills, in Altoona, PA, is now closed.

Horowitz Brothers: New Haven, CT, two blocks from the Coliseum. A
moderate to good remnants section that often has reasonably priced
tapestry fabrics. Good selection of wools (sales in the spring),
excellent trim section, moderate but reasonably priced velvets and a
good supply of cottons and linens of various weights.

New Haven Leather: Half a block closer to the Coliseum than Horowitz
Brothers. Three or four stories of leather piles in a ramshackle old
building that you will miss if you are not looking for it. A recessed
door and two windows and a faded sign mark the front. THIS is the shoe
source! Prepunched soles, heels, threads, dyes and just about
everything else you would need for shoes is hidden in here. Leathers
are reasonably priced and there is a fantastic selection if they will
let you upstairs. Armor grade leather was available last I looked.
They keep banker's hours.

Affordable Fabrics: CT, Rt 99 just south of the intersection with Rt 91,
in or near Enfield. $1.99 a yard for everything in the place. Open 7
days a week. Cottons in broadcloth and heavier weights, selection varies
with the season. Wools and blends especially in the spring. Including
pure linen, pure wool, and pure silk! And I'm told it's a chain with stores 
in New Haven and Milford.

Millie Mills: CT, Rt 99 just south of the intersection with Rt 91.
Diagonally across the street from Affordable Fabrics. Prices are
slightly higher, but the selection is a little better for odd fabrics. 

Zimmans: Lynn MA. An excellent supply of tapestry fabrics, at
near-wholesale prices. They have consistently been 20 to 30% lower than
the other local stores. Downstairs there is a 4'x12'x1.5' cabinet full
of buckles and other items for use on belts. Solid copper and brass,
with only a few items that have been plated. These are the leftovers
from the 70s and are tarnished, but polish up very well. Perfect for
costume or regular usage. Price varies by the clerk 2 for $.25 to 1 for
$.50 with the occasional discount for bulk purchases.

Fabrics and Findings: Rochester, NY, two locations; the downtown
location is rumored to have a larger selection. Huge warehouse of many
mill end and/or flawed materials at discount prices. Very large
collection of upholstery fabrics upstairs at heavily discounted prices.

Patchworks: 126 E. Main, Bozeman, Montana 59715, (406) 587-2112 carries
reproduction vintage cotton fabrics.  I quote from their Fall, 1993,
catalog: "There are currently over 600 bolts in our reproduction
department which span all three time periods: Pre-1890's,
Turn-of-the-Century, and the Depression Era.  These fabrics are ideally
suited for antique quilt repairs, reproduction quilt making, or vintage

I'm sorry that I am not able to provide accurate acknowledgements and
email addresses for some of these recommendations.


4) What about Civil War era stuff?

The following is from Dave Uebele (

Contacts from 3rd U.S. Artillery newsletter "The Cannon's Mouth", NCWA.
Sorry it's sketchy, but this is what it included that seemed helpful:

Abraham Lincoln Book Shop
(312) 944-3085

Alabam Trust CSN & Marine
- UK Re-enactment.

The Artillery Shop
(601) 323-2606
- Gear Equipment.

Artilleryman, The Magazine
(617) 646-2010

LL Bean
- The best Long Johns!

Border States Leatherworks
(501) 361-2642
-Saddles, harnesses.

Bounty Arts
- Brass Lanterns.

Coonie's Inc.
(505) 393-0166
- Black Powder Supplies.

Cumberland General Store
(800) 334-4640	

Chuck & Anita Fulks
(408) 728-1888
- Fall Creek Sutlery.

C & D Jarnigan
(601) 287-4977
- Large Sutlers.

Old Suttler John
(607) 775-4434
- Sutlers.

Past Patterns
(616) 245-9456
- Period Patterns (see listing above).

Paulson Brothers Ordnance
(715) 263-2112
- Ammo, Iron, Cartridges.

Prussian Press
(614) 654-3630
- Pamphlets and Periodicals.

Quartermaster Depot
(516) 472-3505
- ACW Boxes and Cr.

Quartermaster Shop
(313) 987-4127
- Uniforms ACW 

Regimental Quartermaster
(215) 672-6891
- Sights, etc.

Steele's Muzzleloading Supply
(501) 778-4459
- Powder.

Other places for miscellaneous items to round out a historic costume: 

Black powder/Muzzleloading supplies:

These places focus on muzzleloading gun equipment, but do have sections 
for clothing, tents, personal items, patterns, and miscellaneous camp
equipment. Big catalogs, lots of interesting stuff, very useful if you
want to do muzzleloading shooting or build/repair guns, but good
collection of miscellaneous items to go along with the black powder

Mountain State Muzzleloading Supplies
(800) 445-1776

Dixie Gun Works
Gunpowder Lane
Union City, Tennessee 38261
(800) 238-6785

Here is alternate source to Tandy Leather for leather working supplies. 
I think their quality is better, and I have been quite impressed
with how quickly they process orders.  They have a western bias (lots
of saddles and cowboy type information).

The Leather Factory
Fort Worth, Texas
Several Nationwide Toll free numbers, By state:
Arizona      (800) 432-7732
California  (800) 999-7371
Colorado     (800) 525-8134
Iowa         (800) 247-5566
Missouri     (800) 888-1993
New Mexico   (800) 327-6606
Pennsylvania (800) 233-7155
Tennessee    (800) 251-7782
Texas        (800) 433-3201
Utah         (800) 448-9250
Washington   (800) 822-8437

Another source is magazines devoted to different time periods.  These
come and go too fast to list, but even the most trendy touristy type
historical magazine is likely to have ads in the back for different
types of historical items. It's worth investigating, and if you find a
good resource, pass it back to this list.

Also, check with local historical sites or re-enactment groups.  They
probably have additional (and hopefully local to you) resources.

NOTE: Mail to this address bounces.  Does anyone have
an up to date address for this??
There are several re-enactors on the net. Check the newsgroup
soc.history. Also, (Alex Cain) is trying to put
together a re-enactors mailing list. Should be a good resource if/when
it happens. 

I don't mind answering questions or talking to people about sewing and
leather work for 1850 - 1900 costuming, and willing/interested in
branching to different time periods and different type of work. I tend
to focus on heavy materials construction techniques, but also do men's
clothing.     -Dave Uebele ( 


5) How about information on Seminole War re-enactments and frontier costuming?

This section contributed by: 
 Michael Brown 4/21/92

I am part of a group in Florida which is involved in re-enactments of
Seminole War (1830s) battle.  We 'play' the Seminoles.  We do research
and strive to re-create as accurately as possible the clothing worn by
the Seminoles in the 1830s.  Recently one of our members put together a
book containing instructions on how to create a Seminole Men's costume
of this era.  Much of this information would be of use to people trying
to recreate Creek and other Southeast Indian styles of that period.  We
also organized into an informal society and publish a pretty good
newsletter filled with information on this topic.

As for addresses:
To order the _Seminole Men Clothing_ book send $12 to:
Rick Obermeyer
2124 Miscindy Pl
Orlando, FL  32806

Our group is FIRES, the Florida Indian Re-Enactment Society.
To join it's $5 which gets you a bimonthly newsletter.
To do so, write to:
David Mott
2710 Fountain Cir #201
Naples, Fl  33942

There is another source of historical costuming information,
particularly American frontier, buckskinners, traders, etc., in a series  
of books put out by Muzzleloader Magazine.  They are titled _The Book of 
Buckskinning_ and there are about 7 of them.


6) Tips for making authentic historic costumes from modern supplies.

One tactic for using scaled patterns to construct garments is to choose
a garment in a book, make a transparency of the pattern in the book,
and go buy a pattern as similar as possible.  Then project the
transparency on the wall and use it to adjust the bought pattern to the
style of the garment in the book.

Tom Apple and several other readers offer the following advice:

For those of you who make reproduction historical clothing, I have a few
tips for you.  I've made clothing ranging in periods from 800 AD to 1865, 
some of which were for museums and interpretive programs.  I've learned
a few guidelines that aid in producing high quality, and highly
authentic, period garments. 

 1.  Always use natural fiber fabrics or mostly natural fiber blends. 
 2.  Always pre-shrink your fabrics (except silk) prior to using.
 3.  Never use cotton in pre-18th century clothing, references to
     cotton in these periods usually denote a type of wool.
 4.  Often the colors of commercially dyed fabrics are too bright
     to look like naturally dyed cloth, so additional washing or
     dyeing may be required to tone down the colors.
 5.  If using an untried or dubious pattern, make a mockup of the
     garment using muslin or an old sheet and make adjustments to
     the fit and cut to suit. Disassemble the mockup and use as your
 6.  Machine sew only the construction seams and hand sew all visible
     stitching, buttonholes, and lacing holes on pre-1850's clothing.
     On 1850-1880 clothing, hand sew the buttonholes and hand top
     stitch only on confederate or country type clothing. If the
     cloth has a coarse weave and is prone to ravelling, machine
     sew the buttonhole once around then handstitch over top with
     button and carpet thread of the same color.
 7.  Also, when selecting fabric, make sure the weave is of a period
     style. Colors other than black and sometimes blue should have a
     slightly mottled or speckled look to them.
 8.  If at all possible, inspect original garments of the period
     to get a feel for the stitching, construction, and fabric.

Hopefully these tips will prove useful.  You would be amazed at how
observant the public can be on minute details of clothing and uniforms.
I've often had people comment on hand stitched buttonholes and the like
when doing historic interpretation.  Details like these add to your
credibility as a historian. Making your clothing right the first time
will save you money on progressive upgrades.

Regarding suggestion 3), Donna Holsten adds the following:

Cotton, although rare, was used in Europe in [medieval/Renaissance]
periods. It was usually used in combination with another fiber (wool or
linen)--so cotton broadcloth would not be appropriate for use in early
garb, but cotton as a fiber would be.  It would be used only in very
fancy outfits--worn by *very* rich people.  I like to parallel its use
in medieval/Renaissance Europe with the use of linen in modern America--
it's available, but not widely used and not inexpensive.

and Tom added the following additional comments:

The main reason I recommended avoiding cotton for pre-18th century
clothing is that most cotton available today is not like cotton fabrics
available then. I have a book called _Arts of the Anglo-American
Community in the Seventeenth Century_, a Winterthur Museum conference
report of 1974. In an article on Textile Trade in Boston, 1650-1700, by
Linda Baumgarten, it contains a glossary of fabrics. The cotton related
fabrics are as follows:

Cotton: a woolen fabric with long nap, which gave a soft, fuzzy
appearance. Kendal Cottons, Manchester Cottons, and Welsh cottons, named
for place of manufacture, were well known woolens. Inventory references 
to cotton bedsheets mean Indian cotton or a cotton and linen mixture.

Other cotton (India) fabrics mentioned are: Calico, Rumal, Vermilion,
and Cotton-Linen (linen warp)

Generally the cotton I see people use is inappropriate stuff like
broadcloth, sport cloth, and cotton corduroy (Cul Duroy). For most
clothing linen is much more accurate to use. I concur that cotton was
used pre-18th century, but by very few people, and those who did were
quite wealthy.  I'm sure the cotton then looked a lot like the linen

NOTE: A dissenting opinion was sent regarding the derivation of corduroy:
"Cul Duroy" or "Cul du roi" means, when translated from the French, 
"The king's backside"

7) Administrative Note: historical authenticity, reproducing patterns and SCA

(i.e. disclaimers)

People reading this FAQ have many different standards of historical
authenticity.  Some readers are interested in costumes to use for social
events.  Others need reasonably accurate historical costumes to use in
theater productions.  Many readers are members of recreational groups
that demand various levels of authenticity.  A few readers are scholars
doing serious research.

Since I do not have the expertise to judge the sources in this FAQ, they
cover a wide range of historical authenticity.  When knowledgeable
readers have commented on the authenticity of a source, I include their
comments. Occasionally readers provide conflicting comments which I
attempt to reproduce.  Serious scholars should use the FAQ only as a
general starting guide....... or better yet check with a textile
historian at your local college or museum.

Similarly, the patterns available from sources in the FAQ require a wide
range of textile skills.  Many sources require pattern drafting skills.
When readers tell me they have had significant problems reproducing
garments from a source I try to include their comments in the FAQ.

Lara J. Fabans

8) Acknowlegements.

I used to have a listing of people, but it just got to 
be too huge.  So thank you to everyone who has sent in
information.  And thanks in advance to all of you who will
send in information.


9) Where can I get an up to date copy of this FAQ?

There are three textile related FAQs that I maintain. The first concentrates
on general sewing questions and supply information and restoring antique sewing
machines.  The second list concentrates on costuming and historical clothing.  
The third posting contains a list of books that cover sewing, fitting and 
pattern drafting.  

There are other FAQs available.  Please post a query to the newsgroup
asking about them.  Not all are archived on

When looking for an FAQ list, first do the obvious and check the relevant
newsgroup for articles with "FAQ" in the subject line.  If you don't know how
to check articles marked as read, your sysadmin can tell you. Next, try the
group news.answers since this FAQ is crossposted there.  Again, your sysadmin
can tell you the commands to use in searching.

If you cannot find the FAQ on your system, you can retrieve a copy from
Jonathan Kamen's archive of periodic postings.  For general instructions on
the server, send email containing the commands "help" and "send index" (no
quotes, separate lines) to
For a list of all periodic postings that are archives in news.answers, email
the command "send usenet/news.answers/index" to the server.

via anonymous FTP: 
Periodic postings including FAQs are archived at "" in the 
directory "/pub/usenet". The textile FAQs are:

via email server:
The address of the server is  To retrieve files,
send email to the server with a blank subject and one or more of these lines
in the body:
    send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/faq/part1
    send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/faq/part2
    send usenet/news.answers/crafts-historical-costuming
    send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/books/part1
    send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/books/part2
    send usenet/news.answers/crafts-textiles/books/part3

via WWW:
An html'ized version is located at:

  /\ /\       |   (Lara Fabans)  
   . .        |--------------------------------------------------------------
  =   =       |Adobe Systems Publishing Division 
    v         |
- Lara Fabans - Adobe FrameMaker UNIX Platform QA 	408-536-6610

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