Рабинович «Древняя Одежда Народов Восточной Европы»


"Men’s Shirts of the End of the 16th to the Beginning of the 17th cent. from Graves of Tsar Fedor Ivanovich, Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich and Prince M.V. Skopin-Shuiskij in Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin”

By T.N. Koshlyakova

The Appendix of Drevyaya Odezheda Narodov Vostochnoj Evropy edited by M.G. Rabinovich

Translation by HL Sofya la Rus, Mka Lisa Kies

[Translator's Note: As usual, parenthesis are from the original Russian text. Items in brackets are my comments .]

In the year 1963, with a goal of archeological and anthropological study of the remains of Tsar Ivan IV, Tsar Fedor Ivanovich, Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich and Prince Mikhail Vasil’evich Skopin-Shuiskij, the opening of their tombs in Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin was carried out under the leadership of M.M. Gerasimov (Veksler et al, 1973). The fragments of clothing of Tsar Fedor Ivanovich, Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich and Prince Mikhail Vasil’evich Skopin-Shuiskij were reconstructed with the restoration of the State Museum of the Moscow Kremlin by T.N. Koshlyakova, M.G. Baklanova and I.F. Sotskova. It was ascertained that all the funeral clothing was related to those known by archeological materials and ethnography as a variety of Russian shirt [rubakha] with its characteristic cut and decoration.
The fabric of the shirts from the burials in Archangel Cathedral was fully destroyed. Preserved only in fragments were the breast, shoulder and hem embroidery threads, and the lining [подкладка] of red taffeta fastened in strips. Survived also the lastovitsy [underarm gussets], hem of the sleeves, and the hem of the same red taffeta. Was preserved the braid and ribbons, with which were edged the seams of the shirts, the lastovitsy, the edge of the sleeves and hem, which gave the ability to establish the full cut and ornamentation of the shirts.
The tunic-shaped shirts were “built” in antiquity of whole/un-broken linen with full use of fabric, in which not one piece was missed. The ancient cut was distinguished by unusual simplicity. The main part of the shirt was composed of a whole width of fabric folded-in-half along the weft without seams on the shoulders. In the location of the fold was made the opening of the collar. To the sleeves were sewn in wedges, widening it in the area of the shoulder, to the wrist of the sleeve it was narrowed. The width of the linen, to be sure, was not sufficient for the full volume of the shirt, therefore to the main width of fabric was sewn in at the sides additional straight pieces in half of the whole linen, folded lengthwise. Under the sleeves were sewn in rhomboid lastovitsy. To the wrong side of the shirts, at the chest and back was undersewn a piece of linen for greater durability, having a triangular form – the so-called podopleka [подоплека]. Inserted in front and back were 4 wedges a bit widening the shirt to. below. Ill. 95 - shirt of Fedor Ivanovich, front & back
The length of shirts: of Fedor Ivanovich – 130 cm [51.18 in], (Ill. 95, а, б), of Ivan Ivanovich – 131 cm [51.57 in] and of M.V. Skopin-Shuiskij – 119.5 cm [47 in]; the shirts, consequently, were below the knee.
On the shirts of Fedor Ivanovich and Skoponin-Shuiskij the seams were made with the following method: details of shirt were laid on folded-over edges one on another and sewn together. These seams, in appearance of two strips of stitches of red silk on a white background, besides a construction purpose, served also as decoration. Closely to seams was sewn in decorative crimson-gold braid, plaited of 10 threads, - four crimson and six gold, with alternation of 2:2 (Ill. 95, 96). On the third shirt, of Ivan Ivanovich, for the decoration of seams was used banding of edge/selvedge of red silk taffeta. The clipped edge of the selvedge/edge was concealed by the turned-up edge of the fabric of the shirt and sewn also with stitches in two rows of red silk.
Decoration of all three shirts – chest (peredtsy), shoulder (voshvy) and hem (napodol,niki) – is of the same type, but differentiated in the details.
On the shirt of Fedor Ivanovich all these are decorated with stripes of braid. Rows of braid in pairs alongside of the slit on the chest, on the shoulders and on the hem are attached horizontally, with spacing of one millimeter. These stripes served as conventional fastening: on careful inspection is visible that the braid, in width of four millimeters, is sewn of a folded-in-half piece of soutache. The bend is turned to the slit of the shirt. From one side of the slit the bend forms eyelets, while on the other at the bend is tied a small knot, which served as a small button. On the outer side, the ends of the soutache were turned inside and neatly sewn up. The rows of the bends along the external edge with the eyelets with small buttons inside along the slit form an elegant raised contour (Ill. 96). Ill. 96 - shirt of Fedor Ivanovich, collar embroidery
On the peredets [chest decoration], of the 68 eyelets-buttons were fastened only 13 at the bottom. On the voshvy [shoulder decorations] and napodol’nik [hem decorations] were fastened all the little buttons. The silk lining [podkladka] under the voshvy and napodol’nik on the shirt of Fedor Ivanovich were not slit, although the placement of the braids assumed a slit.
The shirt of Ivan Ivanovich was decorated the same, but was a difference in that on it was sewn not braid, but an imitation of it, of narrow strips of crimson taffeta, sewn in such a way that formed two raised gathers with flute/grooves in middle, as with soutache braid. Turned out as if “embroidered braid”. The shirt of Ivan Ivanovich in general was more modest, on it no gold and the crimson trim was executed with not-brilliant silk (Ill. 97). Ill. 97 - shirt of Ivan Ivanovich, front & back The decorative ornament of the shirt of famous commander Mikhail Vasil’evich Skopin-Shujskij surpassed the tsar’s. It was decorated on the same principle with horizontal stripes of braid, but interlaced of one gold thread and placed over golden embroidery on a red background. The embroidery presented itself as a pattern “pobezhok” with motifs of tree of life, completed with spun gold thread – with a variety of chain stitch [тамбур] (Russian name “in loop”) with catching not one, but two previous loops. Stripes of braid were grouped in three. Also like on the two other shirts, they form miniature eyelets and buttons. On the peredets [chest decoration] of the thirty-nine small button-knots were fastened the nine lower. On the voshvy and napodol’nik were fastened all the buttons, but in distinction from the shirt of Fedor Ivanovich and Ivan Ivanovich the lining taffeta here was slit, and this slit very basted/fastened. The shirt of Skopin-Shujskij is distinguished also in that the neck of it is decorated with patterned embroidery (Ill. 98).
At the collar on all three shirts was sewn on identical string-laces.
Slits of decorative tabs and edge of all three shirts have red edging/piping, double red stitching, but shirts of Fedor Ivanovich and Skopin-Shujskij are also with braid (these details of decoration are laid in one centimeter width).
The edge of the hem and sleeves of all three shirts are formed in the following way: the hemmed edge of white fabric of shirt was laid on red hem and stitched with a double seam of red silk which also served as decoration. About the seam on the shirt of Skopin-Shujskij and Fedor Ivanovich go crimson-gold braid. The hem was turned up inside such that on face side remains very narrow edging/piping. Wide edge of hem sewn on to hem and sleeve at wrong side. As a result on the red taffeta from wrong side along outer edge was not a seam.
In forming the slits on the chest, shoulders and hem was received red edging because of somewhat projecting edge of lining under the tab. Braid along the slit on completion of it formed an expressive/significant eyelet. On the shirt of Ivan Ivanovich, where there was no braid, on the edges of the slits such eyelets were formed with double red stitching. Ill. 98 - shirt of Skopin-Shuiskij
The laconic simplicity of the trimming imparts to the shirts strict expressiveness. Their cut is maximally efficient, the decorative decision a mark of high taste and sense of arrangement, color range constructed as effect of combination of red, gold and white.
The workmanship amazes in execution of decorative tabs. They look as if forged on metal on the shirt of Fedor Ivanovich. The pattern of braid here resembles eyelets of gold chain on a crimson field.
The laid-out-with-gathers red braid on the shirt of Ivan Ivanovich creates an effect of light-and-shadow [svetotenevoj] play, intensified by the very decorativeness of the perceived result.
Soutache stripes on the shirt of Skopin-Shujskij, laid over gold embroidery, project on the white linen an especially stylishly ornament the shirt.
Besides decorative pieces, all the shirts are decorated with red lastovitsy and crimson-gold braid, or red ribbons, laid along seams and thus reveal the strictly thought-out construction of the garments. The restored shirts are kept in the State Museum of the Moscow Kremlin.
COPYRIGHT (c) 2008 by Lisa Kies. You may make copies for personal use and to distribute for educational purposes but only if the article remains complete and entire with original authorship clearly noted.
Return to Russian Materials.