A garment that stretches back into Antiquity, the cloak is the completion and final layer to almost any pre-modern wardrobe. (Even today, it clings to life in the opera cape.) As a wrap, it serves as an outer layer, can be easily moved aside to free the arms, or removed and used as blanket. We have chosen to introduce our cloaks with a simple, half-circle design that first appeared in Europe during the late 11th century. It quickly supplanted the older rectangular cloak, and variations of its design remained in use for the next eight centuries. We have chosen a very basic style that is period appropriate to our entire men’s and women’s product line, including all our Full Wardrobes from the late 11th to the 15th century. Most medieval cloaks did not have an integral hood. Instead, it was worn with a separate wool hood that usually had a cowl that fell completely over the shoulders. Although the lack of integral hood at first seems odd, when you wear all of the layers together in cold or very wet weather, the reason becomes clearer. You now have two layers over your neck, throat and shoulders, which works much better to keep rain, snow and cold air out. When the liripipe tail of a dagged hood, or linen hood is wrapped around your neck and tucked in, it also becomes a scarf. In a world where “escaping the cold” was limited to the size of your hearth fire and the amount of warm fabrics you could pile around you, every little bit helps. The next time you’re out in the elements in your garb, try wearing all of these layers, and you’ll be surprised at how much it helps keeping your throat and collar triple wrapped in wool! Made of rich, warm wool, this 59” long cloak will fall between mid-calf an ankle on most customers. The cloak fastens shut with tasseled cords, the most common method of closure in the 12th -14th centuries. For a a fancier look see our Medieval Cloak Closure in antiqued silver.
Drawing after tombs erected to two of Edward III’s children who died in infancy circa 1325-1350
Wool Cloak worn over a Surcoat , and Undertunic with a Dagged Wool Hood for head coverage and warmth. Worn beneath his Tunic are 14th C. Braies, Chauses, Leather Buckled Garters, and Medieval Ties Boots. Around his waist is a Decorated Medieval Belt along with his leather Kidney Pouch. He dons a Hound and Hare Badge under his cloak.
Wool Cloak worn over an Undertunic and Tunic . Beneath are 14th C. Braies, Chauses, Wool Buckled Garters, and Medieval Ties Boots. On his Surcoat he sports a St. George Badge. His waist is wrapped with a Decorated Medieval Belt and his leather Kidney Pouch . He finished off his look with a Wool Brimmed Cap for protection against the cold.