Wednesday, June 22, 2016

a cozy sleeping hood

in which our plucky heroine starts on what may seem an oddball project, a new sleeping hood...

A while back, my pal Luz Clara gave me some beautiful wool yardage that was handwoven by her mother... I decided that a new SCA hood would be a great use for a portion of it. Back in the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages, a hood was a common garment, it keeps the head and shoulders warm, and was made in many different styles over the centuries and in different locations. Since I do medieval re-creation as a hobby, and I also live in a poorly insulated house, this will be useful to keep me warm both in my everyday life in the wintertime here, and also to keep my head warm while sleeping in a tent at outdoor summertime events.

I first made a "sleeping hood" years ago, after getting tired of trying to pull my blankets over my head in the middle of the night while camping; that hood was wool, which I lined with cotton flannel for softness. Learned in time that cotton flannel gets quite clammy with any moisture at all, and compared to wool it is nowhere near as durable.  So this new hood will combine the best of ancient technology with the useful modern textile tech as well... The outside will be beautiful handwoven wool, and the lining pieces will be cut from some excellent vintage Polartec fleece that I bought on a longago trip to Massachusettes where we stopped at the old Malden Mills location and I brought home some high quality technical fleece. Other garments made from that fleece have worn like iron, though much softer!

My inspiration for this hood is the garments found in Herjolfsnes, a settlement begun in the 10th century in Greenland... there were quite a few different medieval hoods among the archeological finds. I am hand stitching this project.

This is the center front, where the gore joins the center seam.

The tablet woven Laurel trim I made back in 2014 looks really nice with the green stripey wool, and once the hood is assembled and lined, it will be stitched in place.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Ruthie... that is always my goal

  2. When I go camping I sleep with a hat on b/c I like my head to be warm! And that is a perfect use for the wool! The fleece lining will be so cozy. I am looking forward to seeing you model the hood!

    1. I was never successful at keeping a hat on my head while asleep... tried it, but I thrash around too much when I sleep, the hat always fell off! I will do my best to get some photos of me wearing the hood at the next event, so you can get the full effect.