Clothing made to be worn in Poplar Cottage, a timber-framed ‘wasteland’ cottage originally from Washington, West Sussex, built between 1630 and 1650. The house has been interpreted as a shoemaker’s cottage as it might have been around 1630.
The woman wears a linen coif and smock, a ‘fustian’ green waistcoat with separate yellow sleeves, a red woollen petticoat and a blue linen apron. All fabric has been hand-dyed on site using a range of natural dyes, including madder for the ‘red’ petticoat (using an alum mordant), weld (with a copper mordant) for the green waistcoat and safflower for the sleeves.
‘This informant says that the petticoat which was found in the custody of Dorothy Burgess she knows to be hers by the strings and the gathering of it and she further says there was a red bordering to the petticoat which is pulled off since she lost it and this informant does verily believe that the said Dorothy Burgess has new dyed the coat since she lost it …’ (Evidence of Mary West taken at the Lewes Quarter Sessions, October 1670, ESRO QR/E168).
‘… about two days after Green fair last past the aforesaid Katherine Furlonger the younger came into her house bringing a card of lace with her (whereof she … guessed there was a dozen yards) which lace the said Katherine then said that she bought of Humphrey Bell’s wife at the said Green fair and then she gave to her … about three yards thereof to edge a band, a coif, a cap and other small wearing linen for her child and the rest of the said lace she then carried away with her …’ (Evidence of Elizabeth Michelbourne taken at the Chichester Quarter Sessions, October 1614, WSRO QR/W8).
The man wears a linen shirt and ‘fustian’ doublet.
A frock was a loose, A-line garment worn by working men to protect their under-clothing: ‘… the said James Farnden was at that time a servant to the said John Lickfold and had but one suit of apparel except a pair of canvas breeches and a canvas coat called a frock and a little black cap which he did usually wear …’ (Evidence of Robert Farnden taken at the Chichester Quarter Sessions, September 1658, WSRO QR/W92).
For more information about the Poplar clothing project see separate section.