Astrid – Red Kaftan with Maille
Minnesota Renaissance Festival – 2016
Astrid was a character that didn’t really see much street time, but I loved her nonetheless. As a well travelled shieldmaiden, I wanted her to appear imposing, relaxed in her prowess. I selected a two-toned red for the kaftan, using historical dye method tests to ensure the tones selected would have been attainable. Though the color appears to be an incredibly brilliant scarlet, it is actually the combination of a deep madder red (more brown-toned) and a medium scarlet. Both of these colors would have been appropriate for a worldly and somewhat wealthy warrior of the viking era.
While the shirt and pants are made from patterns based on historical specimens, the kaftan was made to be a bit more tailored than would have been historically accurate. I drafted a simple princess-seamed coat pattern with bias-cut sleeves for additional ease.
I used a cotton herringbone flannel (as a stand-in for wool herringbone, which would have been more historically accurate) with linen and rabbit fur accents.
Cotton Flannel, Linen, Rabbit Fur
Photos by Nude Carbon Studios