What Clothing Did Medieval Peasants Wear?

In the early Middle Ages, clothing was simple and mainly served basic utilitarian functions, such as modesty and protection from the elements. Woolen fabric was woven with precision, but the quality of fabric for working-class women was mediocre at best. They knew that dirty clothes could spread fleas, lice and diseases caused by infested clothing. Women wore long robes, usually up to the middle of the calf, which essentially turned them into dresses.

Some were even longer, with drag trains that could be used in a variety of ways. If any of her tasks required her dress to be shortened, the average peasant girl could tuck her tips into her belt. Ingenious folding and folding methods could turn excess fabric into a bag for carrying harvested fruit, feed for chickens, etc.Medieval peasants wore basic functional clothing made of wool or linen. Many women made the fabric themselves and it may not have been dyed, or it may have been dyed with basic colors that are easy to make, such as grays, browns, and sometimes blues.

Both men and women wore several layers of similar clothing. Men and women wore a hose, a shirt (a long shirt similar to a tunic) and a tunic or kirtle, an outer blouse or a dress made of a prettier fabric. Men also wore loose-fitting breeches and pants tied around the waist and knee.Peasant clothing was often made from undyed fabrics or basic colors such as browns and grays. However, blue was not uncommon, even for the peasant classes.

For lords and royalty, clothing would include the most expensive and luxurious items such as silk or velvet. A heavier fabric called “damask” was also used, and leather was often used to trim the sleeves or ornaments of an outfit. The nobility also used bright colors, as dyes were often expensive to produce and were a sign of their high social rank.A person was expected to wear a specific type of clothing depending on what class they belonged to. The great distinctions between the nobility and the peasant class were evident in the clothing of the Middle Ages.

Not only did the workers and peasants cover their clothes with their girdles, but they also held tools, wallets and bags for public services to them. It was unusual for peasants and workers to wear bedding, but it wasn't entirely unknown; some of the clothing of the prosperous, including underwear, was donated to the poor when the bearer died.Corsets also became popular during this time, but once again many peasant women couldn't afford these styles and continued to wear loose, utilitarian dresses. All clothes were sewn by hand which took a long time compared to modern machine methods. However due to the cost of clothing and limited clothing of the working class it is quite possible that many workers and peasants slept naked at least on the hottest days.Look throughout medieval times sumptuary laws were enacted that restricted the type of clothing that peasants could wear.

The most prosperous peasants and artisans tended to have several suits of clothing and more than one pair of shoes depending on their needs. The nobility wanted to keep the distinctive features of their clothing separate from those of the peasantry.

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