Making the Irish Leine
Carreg Wen Academia, Nov. 7th, A.S.

Lady Meghan Paget

Outline and sewing notes Pictures and historical paintings Pattern pages

Warning - graphics intensive!

These two pictures are by an artist named Lucas de Heere, a Dutch painter who lived in England from 1567 to 1577. The picture on the right is dated 1570, the picture on the left is circa 1575. Although he never visited Ireland, it is believed that he copied his figures from other documentary evidence, likely based on early sixteenth century originals.  In the earlier print, de Heere confuses English and Irish styles.  The later print avoids this confusion.  One source I read speculated that the later source works de Heere used were clearer. As you can see, two of the people in the pictures are very similar -the artist seems to have been taking another crack at the same thing.

Confusion with other cultures' styles were common problems with pictures such as these. They were made by non-Irish artists, sometimes working from word-of-mouth descriptions or copying other pictures. Also, they were interpreting these descriptions in light of their own culture's standard of clothing.

The man in the left picture is wearing a belted leine and the bratt, a blanket-like cloak. The woman in the left picture (& on the left of the right picture) is wearing a leine and an overdress. The overdress has sleeves that lie on top of the leine sleeves, open so as to let the leine sleeve hang down. In the right picture, the rightmost man is wearing a bratt - and presumably a leine under it - while the left man is wearing the leine and an ionar (jacket).

Also, note the two women had their hair covered. In 15th-17th centuries, young unmarried girls wore their hair loose down the back, while married women bound it up and covered it with a cap or cloth.

Various pictures of people in leines

Leines make great maternity garb! To the left, leine only. Right, leine and skirt (really too good a color match, that one. . .)

They can easily be adapted to nursing garb.

Here's a picture of me in a leine that shows the pleated sleeves with the cuffs. ---->


More pictures of leines being worn can be found at our Wedding Page!


Leine Outline and sewing notes Leine Pattern pages
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