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The red robe

Just finished this robe today. I didn’t know red was such a good color for Robin! This woolen garment would have been worn over a doublet by a upper class man. The dramatic shape of the sleeves is typical for the 15th century, as are the infamous nipple buttons! These are cast in tin and are a part of Robin’s ‘dirty mind collection’.

Buttons gained popularity throughout the late middle ages. The first toggle buttons would have been used to replace fibulas in the early middle ages, though they were not frequently used. When fashion became more fitted in the early 14th century, buttons became indispensable. They even were used as ornaments and status symbols. Manuscripts of the 14th and 15th century often show dresses with numerous buttons, very close to each other, even on sleeves. A well adorned doublet would have silver or gold plated buttons. Goldsmiths would even set precious stone in the metal. For the common people, who couldn’t afford such luxurious metals, there were tin buttons. Tin is often referred to as “poor man’s silver”. The lower classes of society would have to make do with fabric buttons, which can be described as little balls of scrap fabric sewn onto the garment.

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