This site is an online reference for re-creational medievalism, which involves making a sincere effort to reproduce the lifestyle of a race or region of the distant past. I am interested in researching and re-enacting life as a member of the Fifth Century (AD/CE) Irish Celtic nobility. If you found this page without checking my index page first, you will find more information there. Individual sections of this site may be linked to or reproduced for non-commercial purposes (including SCA events and publications), as long as proper attribution is included.
Works cited included in the clothing bibliography.
Echna's Celtic Garb Inar and Trius Page
Some of the information on this page is my own, some comes from various subscribers to the "SCA-ARTS" mailing list (dedicated to generic SCA crafts, including costuming), and the "HIST-COST" mailing list (dedicated to historical costuming of all time periods). The rest comes from either "Old Irish and Highland Dress" written by H.F. McClintock, or, "Dress In Ireland" written by Mairead Dunlevy, or, "Ancient Danish Textiles From Bogs and Burials" written by Margrethe Hald, or, "Dress in Anglo-Saxon England" by Gale Owen-Crocker. If you are wondering about the non-Irish references, these books detail neighboring cultures of the same time period.
Detailed measurement information and a discussion of the fabric types to be used can be found on my Measurement and Fabric Page. There was too much information to fit on one page.
Inar and Trius
A specific form of period male garb was the inar and trius combination. The inar was a jacket of sorts that was cut like a modern bathrobe; it was often made of patterned (checked, striped, plaid) wool. In sources found throughout Ireland, it is universally described as being a garment worn by common soldiers.
Paired with the inar would be trius - pants that were worn from just above the knee to full-length. There are even pictoral and written examples of "stirrup"-styles with ankle loops designed to fit around the sole of the foot to keep the pants in place.
Not much information on inar and trius are provided in the McClintock book. I'm still searching for other works that would provide more information. A few possibilities can be extrapolated from what was said in McClintock, as well as visual representations of the garments. The following statements are my own interpretations, and will be modified as I learn more:
- Since the inar and trius were worn by common soldiers, they most likely would lack much in the way of extra decoration outside of the initial weaving. While you could use plaid or striped fabric to make them, excessive needlework should probably be avoided. Or, if it is ornamented, it should be with wool or linen cord rather than silk or metallic threads.
- Common sense should be combined with authenticity. While nobles are the preferred social class for historical re-creation, a léine and brat are not the most sensible garments to wear in combat. Not only will "One fall reveal all" (as there are no period undergarments for Irish men), but, the width of fabric and draping is such that combative range-of-motion would be restricted. Therefore, even the "noblest" warrior should at least consider acquiring garb that allows him to fight and stay "in period". That is what the inar and trius are for. Soldiers wore them for a reason - I would guess that it was a combination of economy and sensibility.
I have been provided with two descriptions of how to possibly form a set of these garments, based on what other re-enactors use. The first is an inar worn by one of the members of a Viking-Age Irish group. The trius below are one stye of pants worn by fifth century Anglo-Saxon re-enactors. As such, they are merely interpretive suggestions, not historical patterns!
- Adair's Inar (from Ann Riley email@example.com)
45 inch wide fabric, fold over like a tabard to form shoulders, however long you want, cut out neck hole, then cut panel away from center front as wide as the neck hole is. Stitch up the sides, leaving generous armholes. Put contrast fabric binding about 3 inches wide around the neck and front open edges. This version is a big, long, open-front vest. You can add sleeves as described above on the various tunics, to make it sleeved.
- Anglo-Saxon Style Trius (from Melanie Wilson MelanieWilson@compuserve.com)
These pants are formed from two rectangular leg tubes and a center flap rectangle that folds from the belly to down between the legs, back up to cover the rear. The center flap is the crotch of the pants, and the two larger regtangles cover the legs and outer hip area. Sew the edges of each leg rectangle together about 3/4 of the way, to form a pair of tubes. Take the smaller center rectangle, and fit it between the two leg tubes as described above. Stitch all together, and you should have a definate pants shape!
The seams on the pants legs should run along the inner leg when sewn (forming the inseam). Fold over the very top of the waist, and sew a cord inside to tie the pants off for wearing.
Here are the dimensions for these generic trousers, meant for a man with a 34 inch waist and who is about 6 feet tall. Leg tubes 26 inches width, length to fit leg length. Center flap width 9 1/4 inches, length front waist down between legs up to back waist (30 inches), when sewn the waist is a total of 52 inches, which should fit most men. Leg tubes are based on max width of thigh, center piece width is based on approx 1/3 of that measurement, lengths as explained above. If you're making pants for a very muscular or heavyset man, check the measurements of the upper thigh, and confirm that the leg tubes will fit!
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Updated: Saturday, June 11, 2005 4:25:58 PM