Typically the word 'cloak' implies to a long, loose outer garment often with a hood. Cloaks were a part of human clothes for thousands of years, so the first people wore animal skins, serving both as clothing and blankets.
Middle Ages cloaks were the main outer clothing of the era, so they involve a multitude of materials and decoration. In our medieval cloaks store, one can find lined and unlined models made of authentic materials, such as wool, velvet, and cotton. If you’re up for buying a medieval cloak, we'd recommend you learning about the basic period models, to ensure it fits your LARP or reenactment wardrobe.
Archaeological excavations are the main source for modeling of the period clothes. It should be noted though that being organic, textiles hardly preserve to the present day, which complicates the process of recreating the look of medieval cloaks, as the researchers keep only rare pieces of fabric that can be interpreted as a cloak. Shapes and styles are assumed on the basis of positions of the tissue pieces, the remnants of the seams, pictorial sources, written data and ethnography.
There were several varieties of the Viking Age cloaks. The first and the most common type is a rectangular cloak made of undyed wool fabric, which covered a half of the body, leaving one hand open. They also wore cropped cloaks of semicircle or trapezoid shape, which could be made of dyed fabrics, including two-color and striped. Since the width of the cloth does not exceed half a meter, the cloaks were made of several panels, which could easily be colored. The edge of the cloak could be decorated with embroidery or ornamentation. According to the sagas, the cloaks were fastened with fibulas or straps tied in the front middle of the chest or on the shoulder.
Styles of Medieval Cloaks
Initially, women’s and men’s cloaks of all classes were pretty similar, but over the centuries cloak underwent various changes, and in the 12th century something happened, what might be called the birth of fashion. One trendy style was replaced by another: simple pull-over style cloaks and capes were replaced by a light full-round ‘mantle’ cloak. This loose-fitting cloak was held on the shoulders only by a twisted silken cord or a decorative ribbon. Then, under the influence of Italian fashion, a ‘huque’ cloak gain widespread. Resembling a poncho, it was bell-shaped and had large folds in front. In the 14th century, it gave way to a ‘pelisson’ or pelice - a cloak with the arm slits, often fully-lined. Later it featured the short sleeves or the long bell sleeves and became a true coat in the modern sense of this word.
Besides the tabards, medieval knights wore riding cloaks fastened on the shoulder, leaving the right hand free. They could be decorated with heraldic emblems such as coat-of-arms and protected the armor from moisture and the sun heating.
Templar knights wore white cloak named 'habit', which symbolized purity. Since brothers of the Order fought and died defending Christianity, their cloaks were embellished with a red cross representing martyrdom. It went down in the annals of history as a major symbol of the Templars. Unlike them, Teutonic knights wore black cloaks with white cross trimmed with silver thread, - the well-known emblem of the Teutonic Order.
Putting on the road, travelers and pilgrims took care of the adequate outer clothes to keep comfortable during bad weather, so they opt for non-dyed warm cloaks made of coarse wool or felt. Fleece for its manufacture was hardly subjected to degreasing, resulting in a thin fatty film formed on the surface of the cloak, which along with dense and rigid thread, made the cloak waterproof.
Advantages of the ArmStreet cloaks:
- historical and fantasy models;
- custom sizes adjusted to your full height;
- natural materials;
- high-quality manufacture;
- international shipping with express option.