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    « Rostro | Main | Capirote »



    The capotillo, or Spanish cassock, was an essential travel garment. Carmen Bernis points out that the capotillo allowed women to "travel on horseback, a feat which was difficult in a mantle (long cloak)” (Bernis 46). Queen Ana of Austria, on a visit to the monastery of las Huelgas in 1571, wore "a black capotillo and hat with colored feathers and white and yellow, bordered in gold, with collar and edgings of gems and many fine diamonds and pearls of inestimable value” (Bernis 46-7). Royal inventories of 1595 and 1611 note the presence of capotillos (Bernis 47) and the style is widely pictured in paintings and engravings like the following:


    Pietro Bertelli. Diversarum nationen habitus



    Since the capotillo is basically a shortened version of a male capo (cloak) and is frequently mentioned in extant tailor's manuals, the pattern drafting stage was fairly simple. I chose a pattern from the Freyle manuscript for my garment:

     Diego de Freyle. "Ropilla y calcon de pano de (bbt) bb."


    I also referenced Burguen's pattern #146: Calcon de seda, ropilla, y jubon al sesgo.


    The capotillo is made of lightly fulled purple wool lined with gold silk. The same gold silk is used for the border and the collar edging. The collar is interlined with hemp canvas to maintain the shape, but the rest of the garment is left un-interlined for comfort. The garment is fully handsewn with silk thread; each edge was finished with a whipstitch, the lining was stitched down over the outer shell, and each seam was whipped closed.

    The sleeves, like those of the Bertelli engraving, are left unstitched at the front armscye to allow the sleeve to fall decoratively behind the garment. The sleeves are stil functional, although quite snug, and are fully lined with silk.

    The decorative edging is loosely based on Bertelli's engraving above. The gold silk bands were applied to the garment after it was constructed, and were edged with black commercial braid that closely resembles braid patterns found in many Spanish portraits.

    The buttons are inspired by the extant images on Cathy Snell's website (Kate's Corner). Each button is constructed of black linen floss wrapped over a wooden core. Gold linen floss is then laid down between the black ribs and wrapped.



     Further plans for the capotillo include adding more rows of silk and braid, as well as added the distinctive diagonal bands on the sleeves. Finally, I plan to add tabs or wings to the sleeve cap to finish the look.



    Banyard, Jack. "Freyle Cassock and Breeches." Accessed online February 2009.

    Bernis, Carmen. El traje y los tipos sociales en el Quijote. Madrid: Ediciones el Viso, 2001.

    Bertelli, Pietro. Diversarum nationen habitus. Venecia, 1594.

    Burguen, Francisco de la Rocha. "Pattern #146: Calcon de seda, ropilla, y jubon al sesgo." Geometria y traca perteneciente al oficio de sastra, Valencia, 1618. hosted by Renaissance Tailor. Accessed online February 2009.

    Freyle, Diego de. "Ropilla y calcon de pano de (bbt) bb." Freyle Manuscript, 1588. hosted by Renaissance Tailor. Accessed online February 2009.

    Hoefnagel, J. Civitates orbis terrarium, Colonia, 1573.

     "Sleeved Cloak of Don Garzia de Medici." Extant garment. Image hosted by Annabelle Wake. Accessed online February 2009.

    Snell, Cathy. "Making Buttons." Accessed online February 2009.

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