So... let's talk about gloves.
Gloves like the ones Shakespeare's dad made were probably less fancy than most of the ones we have in the Victoria & Albert museum, most of which came from the wardrobes of nobles and the crustiest part of the upper crust. The rest - such as we have - live on in fragmentary bog finds, shipwrecks like the Mary Rose, and the marginalia of Joris Hoefnagel's maps.
Paintings of the renaissance show a variety of cuts and decorative techniques, including the same pinking and slashing techniques used on other garments.
|Marginal characters from Nonesuch Palace engraving by Joris Hoefnagel|
As a longtime leatherworker, I have the skills and tools to make a pair from scratch... but they're a finicky sort of thing with a lot of handsewing and overall a bit of a pain in the butt. This is confounded a bit by the fact that Washington's faire season falls in the hottest part of our summertime (as do many others), so I rarely need gloves with a costume. The mornings are wicked cold around here though, so from time to time...
All of which makes it a mixed-bag spending anything like the money and time necessary to make a decent and attractive pair suitable for the time periods in which I work.
Eventually, I'll be getting around to making my own, but for now, I needed a pair of gloves that looked okay from ten paces away and won't detract from whatever costume I happen to be wearing at the time. It was time for a cheap alternative.
Which is when I remembered a costume party awhile back, where my friend Patrick dummied up a pair of gloves for his bomber pilot costume by dying a pair of standard workgloves a darker shade of brown and turning back the cuffs. They looked pretty good, all things considered.
And then I said to myself, we're remodeling. We have a lot of work gloves lying around right now...
We buy them bulk, actually. Nice deerhide leather work gloves in threepacks from Costco. So I grabbed a pair of scissors and a hole punch and started changing them from workgloves circa 2011, to something approximating the right protection for a renaissance hand.
Maybe even a steampunk glove, who knows?
|Feibings "Cherry" leather dye and a hole punch|
|The biggest change was re-cutting the cuff in a crenelated pattern|
similar to what you can see in the Hoefnagel engraving above.
For something I may wear a couple of hours a year? They're perfect.