Share this project


Share this project

OM2 is an expanded and updated version of the original Orbis Mundi, covering the reality of Medieval European Life for Role Players.
471 backers pledged AU$ 17,777 to help bring this project to life.

What use is Orbis Mundi? Part 4 ...

Posted by Phillip McGregor (Creator)

So, when we saw Aelfric last, he was having a ludicrously expensive meal at The Silver Star tavern ...

With the ill-gotten gains from robbing the Castle, he decides it's time he got some fancy new duds ... so he heads off to John the Taylor's workshop to have a look at what he's got in stock ...


Ah. What stock, exactly? 

Medieval Tailors make clothes from cloth the customer brings to them and make them to order. They do not have 'ready to wear' clothing ... if Aelfric wants something like that he'll have to go to a Pawnbroker. Yes, pawning clothes was common and many people probably never bought a new set of clothes in their lives, but rather bought second (or third, or fourth ... depending on how poor they were) hand when what they were wearing was no longer fit for purpose (or for their perceived social status ... it's likely they'd sell their 'old' clothes at the same time to defray part of the cost of the 'new' set).

Ah, well, so Aelfric heads down to Weaver's Lane to check out the bolts of cloth available at William Mercer's shop and, in consultation with William, decides how much cloth he'll need for the new tunic he wants. There's a nice lightweight cotton that would be great summer wear ...

!BZZT! No. Cotton's from India and isn't yet known in England (or Europe) and, in any case, it'll first start arriving when it's grown in Egypt ... and, with no Cotton Gin, picking out the bits of seed and seed pod from the Cotton Boll is slow ... and expensive ... so cotton won't be cheap even when it first appears! After 1400.

So, the choice is usually Linen or Wool ... or hessian or nettlecloth in some places. Usually linen for undergarments and wool for outerwear. Aelfric chooses an expensive Scarlet cloth, thinking the bright colour will make him stand out from the crowd ...


Apart from it being unwise for a thief to stand out from the crowd, scarlet cloth in medieval parlance is not necessarily a bright red (in fact, the name refers simply to the quality of the weave, not the colour). 

Scarlet could be any of a range of colours including red, white, blue, green, and brown. Brown or Green would be an excellent choice for a thief or rogue who wishes to skulk and blend in in rural environments ... like Will Scarlet from the Robin Hood tales. Maybe Aelfric wants to try his hand at the forest outlaw shtick?

So, with his length of fine scarlet cloth tucked under his arm Aelfric heads off to John the Taylor's workshop and plonks it down. John's apprentice measures him up and Aelfric and John consult on what style he wants ... and they arrange for him to pick it up in a couple of days.


Well, maybe ... if John has no other commissions, or has many Journeymen working for him, which isn't likely. There are no sewing Machines, everything is hand sewn, It'll be amazing if they can get it done in a week, more like a couple of weeks. Unless, of course, Aelfric would like to pay extra to jump up the queue?

... so let's leave Aelfric for the moment as he tots up the need to get the work done quickly vs the additional cost.

Elrico, Tim, and 7 more people like this update.


Only backers can post comments. Log In