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  • cours - matière : mathematics
  • cours - matière : mathematics - matière potentielle : mathematics
Lesson developed for the Ethnomathematics Digital Library (EDL) by Magdalene Augafa, Pacific Educator in Residence (2002-2003) at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL). DISCOVERING PATTERNS AND SYMMETRY – WEAVING (Baskets/Mats) Mathematics Lesson by Magdalene Augafa This product was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a component of the National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Digital Library (NSDL), award number DUE0121749.
  • mats
  • twill mat
  • standards for school mathematics
  • mathematics representation
  • plain weave
  • mathematical patterns
  • strip
  • mathematics
  • 3 mathematics
  • paper



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Italian Renaissance Headgear Signora Giuliana Salviati (Jessica Wilbur) 843 Moffett Forge Rd. Herndon, VA 20170 essica
Italian fashions in the Renaissance were elegant, stately and often very unique. Headgear in particular was very different from its northern European counterpart. For the purposes of keeping this class th focused, we’re going to discuss women’s headgear in the 15 century.
Women frequently wore no headdress except for some jewelry and an elaborate hairstyle. However, there were a number of headdresses that were worn, with many regional variations. Some were fairly simple while others were elaborate and complicated.
I. Ghirlanda
Theghirlandawas a very simple headdress that could be left plain or highly embellished. It was essentially a padded roll worn around the head. Originally it meant “garland” and was exactly that, a garland of flowers or leaves. Later it became more stylized, with flowers made of precious metals or jewels. Pearls, feathers, beads, braid or embroidery were all elements added toghirlande. There is a record of Marco Parenti ordering hundreds of peacock feathers to be used for ghirlande for his th new bride in 1447 [Herald, pg 244]. The ghirlanda was worn mainly in the first half of the 15 century, in many parts of Italy.
Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, Jacopo della Quercia, Lucca, 1406
Scenes of the Months: MayPainter Unknown Castello del Buon Consiglio, Trent Before 1407
Scenes of the Months: JunePainter Unknown Castello del Buon Consiglio, Trent Before 1407
A ghirlanda is an extremely easy headdress to make, and as an added benefit, is very comfortable to wear. Simply cut a strip of your fabric six to eight inches wide, depending on how thick you want the roll to be, by about 36" long. This is probably too long, but you can cut off the excess once you’ve determined how much you’ll need to fit around your head. This will be much more than your actual head measurement. Fold the roll in half and sew down one short seam and the long seam (leave the other short seam open).
Turn the roll right side out and stuff it with either poly fiber-fill, cotton stuffing or unspun wool. Wool is the more authentic choice but can be hard to find and expensive. Make sure that the roll is stuffed evenly, so that it doesn’t look lumpy. Once it’s all stuffed, turn the edge of the open end under and stick the closed end inside. Hand stitch it down and you’re ready to embellish.
You can use all kinds of things to embellish your ghirlanda. Gold or silver toned beads shaped like flowers would be perfect. I would recommend stitching them to the front, outer side of the ghirlanda only - otherwise you’ll end up with little flower-shaped imprints on your forehead. Pearls were extremely popular in Italy during the Renaissance. Feathers were also used quite a lot. If using feathers, it’s a good idea to snip off as much of the thick part of the shaft as you can so that you don’t have that bulk to work around when attaching the rest. Once you’re done embellishing your ghirlanda, pop it on your head and go! I really like wearing them because they stay put, don’t require messing with, and unless you’ve made it too small, don’t give you a headache.
Period art shows ghirlande worn with acioppa, which is an Italian version of the houpelande. There are many versions ofcioppe, but a simple houpelande type gown will work well. A simple hairstyle is appropriate: a single braid down the back is period and documentable.
II. Balzo
Thebalzowas an odd little headdress - or not so little, as the case may be. It was peculiar to Italy and not seen anywhere else in Europe. It was worn mostly in the north part of the country and was especially popular in Lombardy. Its shape was large, rounded and bulbous, almost like a beehive hairdo, but tipped back on the head. There was an understructure that gave the balzo its shape, made of willow or possibly reeds steamed into shape. Then the balzo was covered with fabric or false hair and other embellishments. Some examples show braids of fabric criss-crossing around the balzo, while others have a single brooch decorating the front. It is thought by some that the balzo developed out of the earlier ghirlanda. Check out the drawings of Pisanello and his followers for some examples of fantastically wackybalzi.
Salome before Herod,detail. Masolino da Panicale. Battistero, Castello Olono. 1435
Drawing of a nude woman wearing a balzo understructure, Tuscan school, c. 1430.
Scenes from the Legend of Theodolinda of Bavaria, Franceschino, Gregorio and Giovanni Zavattari Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, Lombardy 1440s?
Saint George and the Princess of Trebizond, Pisanello Pellegrini Chapel, Sant'Anastasia, Verona, 1436 - 38
Saint George and the Princess of Trebizond, detail
Elizabeth Jones of the East Kingdom has a fantastic web page on balzi (and yes, it’s pronounced “ballsy”). I’ll summarize her instructions for making one here, but I recommend that you check out her page yourself (the URL is in the bibliography). She has tons of good information there, and more
details on the construction than I can put in this handout. At some point in the future I may teach a class specifically on making balzi.
You’ll need either basket-making reed, which is flat on one side and slightly rounded on the other, or willow branches such as the kind that are used to make wreaths. Craft stores such as Michaels usually carry one or both. The reed is probably a little easier to work with, and it comes in different sizes. You will also need wire, to hold the frame together. Florists wire is fine, as it’s easier to work with and cut. Twist ties would work too. In addition, you’ll need cotton batting, to cover the frame and even it out, fabric for the inner lining (linen is good, since it breathes well - remember, this will be on your head - and has some “tooth” to it and won’t slide off), fabric for an outer covering, false hair (if desired), and other decoration.
The reed has to be steamed so that it’s soft and pliable, so you also want to find a big pot that you can steam the reed in. At times during the process the whole balzo frame will need to be softened up, so make sure your pot is big enough to fit it in. Make the base by wiring reed together in a circle big enough for your head, then weave the other reed around it and over to form the bulbous shape. You’ll have to steam the balzo frame periodically to make sure it stays flexible.
Once the frame is done, cut a circle of cotton batting to cover it and stitch the batting down, folding the edge around the bottom of the base. Try the frame on - if it’s a little too big, you can sew a strip of thick fabric, like heavy wool or a double layer of batting, around the inside of the base so that it fits comfortably. Cut another circle of fabric for the inner lining - this is to keep your head from floating around inside the balzo and helps it fit better. Make the circle bigger than you need for just your head, because you’ll want to put your hair up inside the balzo. Stitch the inside lining to either the batting or the strip inside the base of the frame.
Next, you can cut another circle of outer fabric and stitch that in the same way as the batting, or you can start applying false hair. Bear in mind that the more layers you have, the heavier your balzo will be. You can get false hair at somewhere like Sally Beauty Supply, in a variety of colors. Wool strands would have been used in period, or even human hair, but synthetic hair is easier to find these days and cheaper as well. You can get human hair, but it doesn’t come in the same lengths that synthetic hair does. It is also about three times as expensive.
Once you’ve got your false hair, separate it into manageable strands. Wrap the strands around the balzo frame, starting in the front and going in a spiral. Use pins to hold the hair in place if necessary. Transparent nylon thread is very helpful for tacking the hair in place - Coats and Clark makes some that is available at Hancock Fabrics and probably JoAnns as well. This stuff is helpful because you can’t see it. It’s also a pain in the butt because you can’t see it. You could also use thread the same color as your false hair. Tacking the hair down will take a little while, and requires a little patience. A couple of thin hair nets roughly the same color as the false hair will help keep the frizzies and flyaway strands under control.
The last step is decorating the balzo. If you’ve gone with the fabric-covered version, a jeweled brooch in front is appropriate. For the hair-covered version, braids of fabric wrapped around the frame are well-documented. You can use bias strips of linen or wool, braided together, wrapped around and
tacked down. Just remember to keep the fabric light. When wearing the balzo, it’s a good idea to braid your hair and wrap it around your head, or sew a small comb into the lining of the balzo, to keep it firmly anchored.
III. Cuffia
Thecuffiais essentially an Italian coif, which could either be open or closed in back. Somecuffie were very plain, just white or maybe red fabric with no decoration, or they might be completely beaded and embroidered. Other examples show a simple row of pearls stitched to the front edge. One example shows two ties in the back, which held it onto the head. A diaphanous veil might be attached to the top in back, to float down the back or be pulled around over the shoulder. There might also be a point at the top in front; sometimes very subtle and other times highly exaggerated. Cuffie were th worn throughout northern and central Italy, mostly in the second half of the 15 century.
Portrait of a Young Lady of Fashion,Paolo Uccello, Florence, 1450s
Bust of a Young Girl, Circle of Andrea del Verrocchio, c. 1470.
Making a cuffia is relatively straightforward. It is tougher than making a ghirlanda, but easier than making a balzo. The trickiest part is drawing out the pattern. I’ve included mine in this handout but you may need to futz with it to get the fit right. When you’re checking the fit, it’s a good idea to wear your hair the same way you’ll wear it with the cuffia. I make two braids and wrap them around my head.
Portrait of a Lady in Red, Florentine School, 1460 - 70
You’ll need some buckram, heavy and light weight linen, millinery wire, needle and thread.
Use the line in the low part of the curve to adjust the fit, if necessary. You can either cut out a little if your head is smaller than mine or add in if it’s bigger. An important thing to note is that the pattern does nothave seam allowance. We’ll add it in later. Once you’ve got a pattern that fits, cut it out and lay it on the buckram. Cut out two pieces of buckram with the pattern - you need two to give the cuffia proper body. Then cut out two layers of heavy linen, the interlining. This will also add to the body of the cuffia and soften the stiff outline of the buckram. Put the layers together in a kind of sandwich: linen - buckram - buckram - linen. Then baste them all together with needle and thread.
Take your millinery wire and stitch it to the top, curvy edge of the cuffia form. This will help it maintain its shape. Next, cut out your outer fabric. Use the paper pattern, but add a half-inch seam allowance all the way around. Again, you’ll need two pieces. Sew the two pieces together along the sides and curvy top, leaving the bottom open. Clip the curves and turn it right side out. Now insert the wired cuffia form in so that the curves all match up. (You may actually want to check before sewing the wire to the form that it actually fits well into the outer fabric - that way if it needs a little trimming here and there, it can be easily done.) Fold under the seam allowance along the back and stitch it closed.
I put two laces in the back of my cuffia to hold it shut. Mark your two holes, then take an awl and poke through the fabric and buckram. Do a buttonhole stitch around the hole with sturdy thread. If you want, you can use split rings or jump rings to strengthen the hole. Just place the ring behind the hole and stitch over it. Make two more holes on the other side of the cuffia. You can use any kind of ribbon or lucet cord or something like that for your laces. Just make sure they are of a material that will stay tied.
If you want, you can embellish your cuffia with jewels or pearls. A nice row of pearls looks very elegant and is easy to stitch on. If you want to get really ambitious, you could bead the entire thing like the Lady in Red. You’ll obviously want to bead the cuffia before you put it together. You could pin a brooch to the top, or attach a veil to the back.
A cuffia was most often worn with agamurra, or dress with fitted bodice and pleated skirt, often of velvet or brocade.Maniche, or sleeves were usually separate, and often of rich fabrics as well. An over dress called agiorneamight be worn also.
Birbari, Elizabeth.Dress in Italian Painting, 1460 – 1500.London: John Murray, 1975. [Out of Print]
Brown, David Alan, ed.Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo's Ginevra de' Benci and Renaissance Portraits of Women. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
Frick, Carole Collier.Dressing Renaissance Florence: Families, Fortunes, and Fine Clothing. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.
Herald, Jacqueline.Dress in Renaissance Italy 1400 – 1500.London: Bell & Hyman, Ltd., 1981. [Out of Print]
Jones, Elizabeth (Maestra Damiana Ilaria d’Onde) htt :// ones429/balzo-new.htm
Levi-Pisetzky, Rosita.Storia del Costume in Italia Vol. II.Milano: Istituto Editoriale Italiano, 1964-69.
Roettgen, Steffi et al.Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance 1400 – 1470.New York, London, Paris: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996.
Vangelista di Antonio Dellaluna.The Florentine Persona.