What I Know About Underwear

We had a lot of fun brainstorming possibilities for PieceWork’s first-ever underwear issue, but the articles and projects that made their way into the final pages of our most recent issue are even better than I’d imagined. Who knew the history of underwear was so compelling?

Here are a few of my favorite tidbits:

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Knitted linen lace trim based on the needle lace of a 15th-century bra found in the Lengberg castle vault in eastern Austria.

  • The strap on one of the bras discovered in the Lengberg Castle in East Tyrol, Austria, dating back to the fifteenth century, was embellished with needle lace. Author and designer Laura Ricketts worked with the lead researcher at the Institute for Archaeolgies at the University of Innsbruck to create a knitted-lace edging based on the lace from this 600-year-old bra. Cool!
  • The sad tale of Boy Jones, child-thief of Queen Victoria’s knickers who was eventually deported to Australia.
  • Dating back to the fourteenth century, wedding guests began to believe that obtaining a piece of the bride’s clothing would bring good luck. To this end, the crowd would rush the bride at the altar to snatch away a piece of her attire. The wedding garter evolved as a way to combat this wild tradition.
  • Caps during the Middle Ages were considered undergarments and were even worn in the bathtub!
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  Anne DesMoine’s textured silk cap based on those worn during the Middle Ages.

What I can imagine about this issue is that you're going to love learning the amazing history of undergarments and making the companion projects from this issue—garters, camisoles, medieval caps.


P.S. It's that time of year when we announce our needlework contest. Back by popular demand: Pincushions 2015! Get the details and contest rules and get stitchin'!