— Note: This guide is my interpretation of my own methods in making an Arming Cap, and is meant for individuals living in Singapore. This guide also requires some basic knowledge of using a sewing machine. —
— Also, this is a Work-In-Progress and I do not have pictures of my own Arming Caps, due to a lack of documentaion from doing so. I’ll start making another and improve upon this post once I have the time, so excuse the lack of visual representation. —-
Two weeks has passed and I still haven’t posted anything relevant with the Renaissance Project, to grow a Singaporean community about a bunch of people wearing girly caps and beat each other with metallic sticks.
So, to alleviate this issue of nearly succumbing into what people call, being a homeless bum, I’ve decided to take the initiative to start The Workshop Category, part and parcel of how-tos and knick nacks, if it’s a perfect excuse to stop my talk-to-self blog postage spree.
A friend of mine requested for a tutorial on making stuff, so for today’s post, I’m going to show you how to make Girly Arming caps.
Yes, Men of the Middle Ages embraced it with such pride and glory.
A red arming cap without straps, from http://www.landsknecht.org
Arming caps were used back in the Middle Ages as a form of insulation for the wearer against the weather. These headwear were usually made out of cotton or wool, with the colour unbleached(white), and it’s popularity contributing to how easy it is to make. Another practical use is a padding for soldiers who require it to cushion their heads from metal helmets.
Onto the subject of making Arming Caps, here is what you’ll need to get started.
1)Access to a sewing machine, a basic sewing machine set (threads, pins, scissors, etc), and some basic skills on the sewing machine, an iron set.
2)Template for the Arming Cap. An easy find on the internet. You’ll need to measure and scale the template for this tutorial before you proceed to 3) and 4)
3)1m x 1m of fabric, preferrably cotton, linen or wool (This generous amount is meant for 1st timers)
4)Thick art paper, to cut out as a reference. A3/A2 size.
5)Tailor Chalk, VERY IMPORTANT
1) So first off, you’ll need to learn abit of machine sewing skills before proceeding to make your arming cap. If you don’t have access to a sewing machine at home, try to ask around your school(if you’re a student), ask an old relative(chances are, they might have their own machines), find a Craftspace/Makerspace in Singapore, or find a Sewing interest Group online.
Check out how to set up a Sewing Machine if you’re learning how to sew, also check out Single Fold Hem, Double Fold Hem, they are essential to making your arming caps look neat.
Irons are essential for fabrics since they will help to flatten/fold them while stitching and also help to remove creases on your cloth.
2) The Template can be easily found with just a google search, but I find this template easy to work with, it’s rather straightforward.
Very simple template, just ignore the dotted lines, they are meant for padding the caps. Copy this image and print it out, I’ve set it to A4 size
3) The most convenient way of getting cloth/wool/linen is to search for Spotlight shops at your local mall, or if you’re in for a trip or to get something cheaper, there is always Arab Street near Bugis MRT.
A usual Fabrics store from the hundred shops in Arab St. the store owners will likely point you to the right store for your needs.
A convenient option for those that lack the time but can spare the cash.
4) Drawing Block would do, but you might want to go to an art shop to get an A2 size.
5) Tailor chalk is very important to trace on your fabric.
Essential for tracing, can be found on any sewing supplies stores.
Making your arming cap:
For most of the time, the tutorials from the internet are quite technical and lengthy, so my version of this guide will be a more straightforward method.
A) First off, get the template from 2) and print it out, A4 size.
B) Measure the circumference from your forehead to the back of your neck, in this diagram.
C) From the measurement of B), Compare it to the length of the center piece of the template. This will be your scale ratio.
The measurement ratio I’ve got is 1:2 or 1:2.5, depending on the size of your head. The reason of this improvised measurement is to easily scale the size of the Arming Cap for the wearer’s head.
D) Measure out the scale of the template into your Art paper 4), trace out the template, and cut it out.
E) Get the cut out paper and trace the fabric together with tailor chalk. Give an extra 1cm size on the tracing, you’ll need to fold the fabrics when stitching them together, VERY IMPORTANT
F) Cut out the traced fabric, the cutout fabrics should look like these:
A are the sides of the cap, B will be the straps of the cap that you tie together to secure the cap on your head, C is your center piece.
G) You’ll need to fold the fabrics as stated from E), and you can fold them either with pins or using the iron to fold the fabrics on place.
H)Onto the sewing machine, machine sew over the fold with a simple stitch.
I)Combine the fabric pieces together by overlapping them and stitch them together.
The sides of A will be connected to C, while B will be stitched onto the ends of A
This whole making experience will take at most 2 hours or so, so enjoy the fruits of your labour when it’s done. It’s a rather cooling cap to wear even in a humid weather in Singapore, and certainly an effective padding when wearing helmets as such, but society frowns upon normal people wearing mismatched headwear, so put them on in Medieval Fairs/Cosplay/LARP/Fencing stuff and so on.
Oh, and do comment if you wish to feedback about my post. The Workshop is a hands-on branch for my blog, and I intend to make more entries regarding the crafting/making of related items of the Renaissance/Medieval Eras.