lundi 15 octobre 2018

Photoshoot of the ''robe à la française''

Hello,

It was during a cloudy afternoon of October that I had the pleasure to do a photoshoot with the photographer Catherine Leclerc in the goal to fix in picture my first ''robe à la française''.  I am proud to present the result of hours of work and hand sewing. It is true that with the cloak we do not always see the dress but there was a risk of rain, I had to be ready for the eventuality.

The stomacher and the ''manteau de robe'' (literally coat of the dress) were made entirely by hand. I cheated for the long gathering sewing of the petticoat. I think I may allow myself more of that kind of cheating in the future projects.



Once upon a time...


It is not too cold outside, finally !


Thoughts about that silver ring

The photographer suggested that pose. It was not easy to keep...


Détail of the Watteau pleats, the signature of that kind of dress. The waist is also highlighted.




I love the femininity of the hand on the rock










Movements of the diferents fabrics...


Who is afraid of the big bad Wolf?


It is so dark here...








And if we talked about the Little Red Riding Hood?





The favorite of this seance of my photographer.


Again a big thank you to Catherine Leclerc, photographer for the marvellous pictures. I just want to make more reproductions to make another photoshoot with you!

Mlle Canadienne

The wig makers in New France

Hello,

To go further with the theme of french wig maker, I want to highlight that this profession was not exclusive to France and there is traces of wig makers in New France. 


The first time I ever heard of a wig maker in New France, it was last June (2018) at the museum of Château Ramezay in Montréal. Their exhibition that was in the basement was about a valet-barber-wig maker that I do not remember his name, and his masters Jean-Baptiste-Nicholas-Roch de Ramezay and Louise de Ramezay, the sister 
Jean-Baptiste-Nicholas-Roch.

Michel Thévenin and I were looking for informations about wig makers for our conference we gave in August for les rendez-vous d'histoire de Québec about the men hairstyle of 18th century. Informed of that project, Sophie Imbeault, who is historian and editor, gracefully gave us a list of wig makers that were claiming back money in declarations of the papers of Canada of Québec and Montréal for the years 1763 and 1764. 


In that list, there is many different financials terms that I was not familiar with and require definition for a better understanding of the list. Because of that, I will begin with an explanation of the different types of papers that appear in what the French people call ''L'Affaire du Canada''.


The question of the papers of Canada is maybe the thing that was the more shocking in France after the loss of New France. During the years of wars, papers of money circulated in New France to palliate the lack of metallic usual money. ''Monnaie de carte'',  ''ordonnances'' and ''lettres de changes'' were used to pay all needs for the daily colonial life. In the decade that followed the loss of New France, the French crown had look to liquidate the depts they had by using the papers of money and try to refund them. 


The ''monnaie de carte'', literally cards of money, was give out by the administrative authorities of the colony (mostly the intendant) with the permission of the king to overcome the lack of singing metal money that was in the Canada. Those papers were something ''in waiting'' of having ''real money''. The ''monnaie de carte'' was intented to be burn when exchange to metal money. In the beginning, those were written on playing cards. In 1674, Jacques Meules was the instigator of using ''monnaie de carte'' in the colony of Canada.  


Reproduction of ''monnaie de carte''  of 1714



After, playing cards were substituted by white pieces of cardboard. The ''monnaie de carte'' was having smalls amounts like 7 ''sols'' and 15 ''deniers'', or 15 or 30 ''sols''. It can also have bigger amounts like 3, 6, 12 or 24 ''livres'' (pounds).


''Monnaie de carte'', 1749

The ''ordonnances'' (ordinance may be a good translation) look like they appeared more lately. They were produced at the '' imprimerie Royale'' (Royal prints) in Paris, numbered and signed by the intendant. The ''ordonnances'' were usually having bigger amounts between 20 ''sols'' and 1000 ''livres'' (pounds). The ''ordonnance'' is an obligation of the intendant to pay back the amount he had written on the paper before a determinate date. 

''Ordonnances'' and  ''monnaie de carte'' circulated among people of the colony and were used as current money, as real metal pieces of money were continualy lacking in New France. 

A third type of money of paper was called ''lettre de change''. They were produced by the ''trésorier général'' (general treasurer). This is the only type of money paper that was used on the Old Continent, in contrary of the ''monnaie de carte'' and the ''ordonnances''. In the 18th century Canada, Canadians were meeting the ''trésorier'' to exchange their  ''monnaie de carte'' and ''ordonnances'' into ''lettre de change''.


On the left: Ordonnance of 1753; on the right: lettre de change of 1759



All those description to have a better understanding of what colonial French wig makers were owning in the end of the French and Indian War. Here is the list of the wig makers, their names, their city and the amounts of money they were claiming back during this transitional period.


Montréal 

Tison, perruquier, Montréal, 2004 livres en ordonnances et 578 livres en lettres de change Eustache Parant, perruquier, Montréal, 1164 livres en ordonnances 
Toussaint Rebou père, perruquier, Montréal, 805 livres en ordonnances 
Michel Rebou fils, perruquier, Montréal, 803 livres 10 sols en ordonnances 
Joseph Pampalon, perruquier, Montréal, 593 livres 10 sols en ordonnances 
Pinguet, perruquier, Montréal, 210 livres en ordonnances 
Pierre Compain, perruquier, Montréal, 3333 livres en ordonnances 
Saint-Jean, perruquier, Montréal, 2125 livres 10 sols en ordonnances 
Laviolette, perruquier, Montréal, 3436 livres en ordonnances 
Larche, perruquier, Montréal, 4299 livres en ordonnances

Boucherville
Charles Carpentier, perruquier, Boucherville, 380 livres en ordonnances

Québec

Pierre Onel, perruquier de Québec, pour son frère Onel, absent de la colonie, la somme de (24 livres en monnaie de cartes et 852 livres 10 sols en ordonnances) appartenant à ce dernier, 9 avril 1764 
Jean-Baptiste Derouvray, perruquier de Québec, 3000 livres en letttres de change, 1230 livres en ordonnances, 5 mai 1764

What is surprising, in my humble opinion, is that most wig makers of that list were living in Montréal despite that Québec was the capital the Canada at the time. I can not explain why. Maybe it is because Montréal was the heart of fur trades and because of the migrations of men made they were having more beards to shave and hair to cut than in the capital... Maybe someone more documented could have a better explanation for this. 


For this article, I made my apologies for translating terms I am not familiar with. More essentially, I want to publicly thank the generosity of Sophie Imbeault for her discussion about the papers of Canada. You can read her work about money papers in her article here: 
La dette de la France: les papiers du Canada (in french). A better description of the differents papers of money is available in this book: 1763. Le traité de Paris bouleverse l'Amérique. (in french)


I hope you enjoyed that article,


Mlle Canadienne

samedi 13 octobre 2018

Photoshoot de la robe à la française

Bonjour,

C'est par un après-midi d'octobre légèrement nuageux que j'ai eu le plaisir de faite une séance photo avec la photographe Catherine Leclerc afin d'immortaliser ma première robe à la française. C'est avec fierté que je vous présente le résultat des heures de travail de l'hiver dernier. Bon oui, avec la cape, on voit moins la robe mais il y avait risque de pluie, il fallait se préparer!

Pour la petite anecdote, sachez que la pièce d'estomac et le manteau de robe ont entièrement été confectionnés à la main. J'ai triché pour les grandes coutures d'assemblage de la jupe mais je crois que je vais m'autoriser cette triche pour mes prochaines recréations.



C'est l'histoire du petit chaperon rouge...


Finalement il ne fait pas si froid dehors!


Une bague d'argent à la main amène des réflexions.

Cette pose est la proposition de la photographe, et pas la plus facile à garder en position...


Détail des plis à la Watteau, si caractéristiques de ce type de robe. On voit aussi comment la robe cintre la taille corsetée.




J'adore la féminité de la main posée sur la roche






La robe et la cape en mouvement...


Qui ose se promener dans les bois à cette heure tardive?


Il fait si sombre...








Et si on revenait à l'histoire du petit chaperon rouge?





Le coup de coeur de la photographe de cette séance.


Encore une fois, un grand merci à Catherine Leclerc, photographe pour ces merveilleuses images. J'ai juste envie de faire d'autres reproductions pour revenir les prendre en photo avec toi!

Mlle Canadienne

Les perruquiers en Nouvelle-France

Bonjour,

Pour continuer le thème des barbiers-perruquiers, je voudrais tout d'abord faire remarquer que le métier de perruquier n'était pas limité à la métropole et qu'il y a eu des perruquiers en Nouvelle-France.


La première fois que j'ai eu vent de la présence d'un perruquier en Nouvelle-France, c'était lors de ma visite en juin dernier (2018) au Château Ramezay. Leur exposition au sous-sol mettait en vedette un valet-barbier-perruquier dont le nom m'échappe malheureusement, aux côtés de Jean-Baptiste-Nicholas-Roch de Ramezay et de sa soeur Louise de Ramezay.

Apprenant que nous, Michel Thévenin et moi-même, préparions une conférence sur la mode capillaire masculine du XVIIIe siècle pour les rendez-vous d'histoire de Québec d'août dernier, Sophie Imbeault, historienne et éditrice, nous a gracieusement fait parvenir une liste de perruquiers apparaissant dans les déclarations de papiers du Canada de Québec et Montréal pour les années 1763 et 1764.
 

Afin de mieux comprendre les termes financiers apparaissant dans cette liste, je vais commencer par vous expliquer les différents types de monnaie de papiers en lien avec ce que les Français ont nommé l'Affaire du Canada.


La question du papier du Canada est peut-être ce qui a le plus ébranlé la France après la perte de la Nouvelle-France. En effet, durant les années de guerre, manquant de liquidités, la monnaie de carte, les ordonnances et les lettres de changes ont été utilisées pour payer les besoins divers de la société coloniale. Dans la décennie qui a suivi la perte de la Nouvelle-France, la couronne française va chercher à liquider les dettes engagées par l'utilisation de cette monnaie et à les rembourser.


La monnaie de carte, était émise par les autorités administratives de la colonie (principalement l'intendant) avec la permission du roi afin de pallier le manque de monnaie sonnante et trébuchante dans la colonie canadienne. Elles étaient un ''en attendant'' d'avoir l'équivalent physique de monnaie et étaient destinées à être brûlées lorsqu'échangées pour de ''la vraie argent''. Au début, elles étaient inscrites sur des cartes à jouer. En 1674, Jacques Meulles est l'initiateur de l'utilisation de la monnaie de carte dans la colonie du Canada.




Reproduction d'une monnaie de carte de 1714


Par la suite, les cartes à jouer ont été remplacées par des bouts de carton blancs. La monnaie de carte avait souvent de petites valeurs comme 7 sols et 15 deniers, ou 15 ou 30 sols. Elles pouvaient aussi avoir une valeur un peu plus grande comme 3, 6, 12 ou 24 livres.


Monnaie de carte, 1749

Les ordonnances semblent être apparues un peu plus tardivement. Elles étaient produites à l'imprimerie Royale à Paris, numérotées et signées par l'intendant en place. Les ordonnances sont associées à des montants plus importants variant de 20 sols à 1000 livres. L'ordonnance est un engagement de l'intendant dans lequel il promet rembourser la somme qu'il a inscrite sur le papier de l'ordonnance avant une date déterminée. 

Les ordonnances et la monnaie de carte circulent librement dans la colonie et sont utilisées majoritairement comme monnaie courante, considérant la rareté continuelle de pièces de monnaie dans la colonie.

Un troisième type de papier de monnaie s'appelle les lettres de changes. Elles sont produites par les trésoriers généraux. Ce type de papier monnaie était également utilisé sur le continent européen, contrairement aux ordonnances et aux monnaies de carte. Au Canada, au début d'octobre, les canadiens allaient voir le trésorier afin d'échanger leurs monnaies de carte et ordonnances en lettres de change.

À gauche: ordonnance de 1753; À droite lettre de change de 1759


Tout ceci pour mieux comprendre l'ampleur des avoirs des perruquiers à la fin de la guerre de Sept Ans. Voici la liste des perruquiers, leurs noms, leur lieu de pratique et les sommes demandées en remboursement de leur monnaie de papiers durant cette période de transition.


Montréal 

Tison, perruquier, Montréal, 2004 livres en ordonnances et 578 livres en lettres de change Eustache Parant, perruquier, Montréal, 1164 livres en ordonnances 
Toussaint Rebou père, perruquier, Montréal, 805 livres en ordonnances 
Michel Rebou fils, perruquier, Montréal, 803 livres 10 sols en ordonnances 
Joseph Pampalon, perruquier, Montréal, 593 livres 10 sols en ordonnances 
Pinguet, perruquier, Montréal, 210 livres en ordonnances 
Pierre Compain, perruquier, Montréal, 3333 livres en ordonnances 
Saint-Jean, perruquier, Montréal, 2125 livres 10 sols en ordonnances 
Laviolette, perruquier, Montréal, 3436 livres en ordonnances 
Larche, perruquier, Montréal, 4299 livres en ordonnances

Boucherville
Charles Carpentier, perruquier, Boucherville, 380 livres en ordonnances

Québec

Pierre Onel, perruquier de Québec, pour son frère Onel, absent de la colonie, la somme de (24 livres en monnaie de cartes et 852 livres 10 sols en ordonnances) appartenant à ce dernier, 9 avril 1764
Jean-Baptiste Derouvray, perruquier de Québec, 3000 livres en letttres de change, 1230 livres en ordonnances, 5 mai 1764

Ce qui est étonnant à mon avis, c'est de voir que la majorité des perruquiers exerçaient à Montréal alors que la capitale de la colonie du Canada est Québec. Présentement, je suis incapable d'expliquer cette différence de répartition. Peut-être que Montréal, étant le centre de la traite des fourrures, était plus propice à avoir des barbes à raser et des cheveux à tailler vu la quantité d'hommes de passage en direction ou en provenance des Pays d'en Haut que Québec. Peut-être que quelqu'un d'autre pourra expliquer cette dispersion mieux que je ne le puis.


Pour cet article, j'aimerais remercier publiquement la générosité de Sophie Imbeault pour le partage de ses connaissances sur les papiers du Canada. Pour de plus amples détails sur la monnaie de papier dans la colonie, lire son article: 
La dette de la France: les papiers du Canada. Une meilleure description des différents papiers de monnaie disponibles en Nouvelle-France se retrouve dans le livre: 1763. Le traité de Paris bouleverse l'Amérique.


J'espère que vous aurez apprécié cet article,


Mlle Canadienne

lundi 8 octobre 2018

The challenges to find quality fabrics for reproduction

Hello

This is a long title. I want to share my thinking and compromises essential when trying to do reproductions of historical clothing. To more explain myself I will talk about the difference of quality between actual ressources and the one of the 18th century.

I did a point by point to stay focus on the topic.



1- Fiber origins

This is the first thing that I look. Fabric must be 100% natural and come from fibers that where available in the 18th century. I so no to synthetic fibers.

To avoid absolutely:

Polyester, vinyle, acetate and artificials fibers. they might have other names, I do not know them all. Historical costume is made of many layers. Artificial fibers might be cheap but it does not breathe. Greenhouse effect happens when wearing only one layer of artificial fibers, so 3-4 layers made people suffocate. Moreover, these fibers look often cheap, even with an historically accurate pattern. Using artificial fibers contributes to the spreaded opinion that clothing were really hot in older time for the public and people wearing it.

OK but not historical:

I mean artificial natural fibers. Bamboo and viscose are example. The fibers are natural but the process to made it into thread is chemical. Since the technologie were not available at the time, they are not historical but they breathe. So they can be a compromise.


Historical fibers:

They are natural. The choice will depend of the character you want to interpret. Wool, linen and hemp for working classes silk and cotton for healthy people. When I choose fabric I am wary about mixed fabric. For example, I won't choose a blend of silk and cotton voile for a neckerchief because I do not know if mixed fibers was a thing and if it was blended in the same way of hte fabric I have in my hands.

Isolants en laines animales - Laine de mouton
                                            Wool of sheep
2- Weaving

I will not go into too much technical details. It is the way of the thread are crossing to change the apparence of clothing.

Vocabulary is wide today and then. Knowing what is what is a real challenge. The challenge of associate the historical name and the modern one is a challenge that I have not finish and that I may never finish.

Knit, voile, taffeta, velvet, damask, brocade, serge... All these words describe a different way to assemble threads together to make fabric.

For example, a knit of cotton will be good for stocking but never for a shift.

Silk knitted stocking, satin silk garter, linen petticoat

3- Quality of thread

Today's natural fabrics, I think about linen and silk, have more often ''defaults'' in the threads, like little bumps. The best example that I have in mind is silk dupionni but it is found often in modern linen caneva (I'm not sure about that name fabric)



European 100% Linen Cream

Dupioni Silk Fabric Iridescent Bittersweet


This bumps are because the way of thinking did change. Mercantilism of the 18th century had been changed by industrial capitalism. A special thank to Cathrin Davis who still help me to make the differentiation.

18th century, natural fibers were more selected to make diverses quality of product but generally superior of todays. That process reduces the bumps finding into the fabric. Those bumps in fabrics where considered of bad quality. Mercantilism assured products of quality and by paying crafters adequately in fonction of the products made.

Today to save on money industrials try to use all the material of the fiber. That reduce the quality of thread and then the fabric. Another way to reduce cost is replace crafters by machines. The result of it is that there is more bumps in the fabric. Finding a linen fabric today that does not have these bumps is today something really hard, almost impossible, but is was easy in the 18th century. So, even if it is hard to believe, fabric quality of natural fabrics is way cheaper today then it was in the 18th century. Planned obsolescence of everyday objects is for something. In other words, objects today are made to be thrown after a determined period of time. So we can buy new one.

Dupionnis now... If today silk dupionni is aesthetic, it wasn't in the 18th century. People that would have been able to buy silk would have refuse those bumps on silk. Why buy an expensive fiber if it looks rustic and neglected?

There is an exemple shown in a German Museum of a 18th century clothing made with this type of silk. For the hundreds of others silk clothing from that period that survived until now and shown in painting, may I  underline that it is an exception.



Credit photo: Freya Hourani

4- Density of thread by square centimeter

There is may be a more specific term for that. Again, linen fabric are today weave more loosely than in the 18th century. It's possible to find some that the weave is as tight as in the 18th century but it is really hard to find and when found it is really expensive. (60$ by meter for a shift that will be covered, it hurts the wallet)

Density and quality of thread will give the weigh to the fabric.



5- Fabric design

It applies to all fabric that are not plain. This point is so wide to explain that it could have it's own article.

5.1- Stripes

18th century stripes are only made by changing the color thread during the weaving process. They were never printed. I don't know exactly when technology made it print so affordable to be able to print stripe. Stripes has to be uniform, or symmetrical and not random.

IL044 716    - 100% Linen - Middle (5.31 oz/yd<sup>2</sup>)


5.2- Patterns

Patterns are easy way to make mistakes. To begin the reflexion about fabric design I highly suggest this  article of couturière parisienne.

5.2.1- Brocades et Damas

The pattern is made by the way the threads are weaved.


An example of Silk damas ici.


5.2.2- Embroidery

Do I really need a definition here? In doubts, embroidery is a technic where stitches recovers a piece of fabrics to make a pattern.


Embroidered waistcoat made in India, probably for the European market, mid-18th century.


5.2.3- The ''indiennes''

In the beginning, that word in french designed toiles of cotton painted and not painted. The painted ones were painted by brush or block prints. Later it was only use for the printed fabric.

The ''indiennes'' are mostly in flowers in an peticular pattern. And the patterns evolved during the 17th and 18th century.

There is a lot still to discover about ''indiennes'' according to me. They were offcially banned of the France country until Louis XIV. So it was smuggling material. Despite of that there is traces of those fabrics in France and New France in inventories.
Hat-brim lining
Victoria and Albert Museum

For french speaker that would have lost themself on that article and not on the french one, this article is about ''indienne''s in France in the 18th century.

If you are in Québec near Montréal, there is an interactive and interesting exposition in Fort Chambly about smugglers. They talk a little about ''indiennes''.




So I'm not very legal for the period for wearing an indienne dress!





There is the an overview of the questions I'm asking myself before buying a fabric for confection. It's a  a beautiful problem to want to represent adequately the century of Enlightenments.


Mlle Canadienne




P.S. In french, an interesting article about technical aspect of  fabric: http://100associes.free.fr/Expo4/ExpoTemp4.html



Photoshoot of the ''robe à la française''

Hello, It was during a cloudy afternoon of October that I had the pleasure to do a photoshoot with the  photographer Catherine Leclerc  in...