Female, Full Entry

1150 CE Female Bliaut 4

Title: 1150 CE Female Bliaut 4
Entry #: GGB2021.036
Alternate Names:  
Year: 1150 CE
Time range: 1150-1250’s CE
Era: High medieval
Gender: Female
region: Europe
Countries/cultures: Europe, france, england
Maker: Vincent De Vere
Difficulty: 2
Confidence: Image Examples


Women’s or men’s over-garment characterized by the tunic like construction with side closures resulting in a more fitted silhouette.  The attached skirts were full and floor length for women and shorter for men and the sleeves were commonly fitted above the elbow and trumpet shaped or widened out below the elbow.


Although similar to the basic t tunic dress the differences in the sleeves and the under-bust to waist area distinguish them.  The sleeves vary in style, but predominantly are characterized by the fitted upper sleeve and the widened lower sleeve.  The lower sleeve by be in the form of a trumpet sleeve or as extreme as examples that drag the floor.  A lined sleeve that could be turned back to expose an expensive inner liner would also be seen. 

The other major distinguishing feature is the under-bust puckering of the fabric.  There remains multiple ways to achieve this look, but many have had success by elongating the under-bust to waist dress length by some number of inches and by adding lacing on the side of the dress to achieve the fitted look. Most evidence of the dress is found in areas of French fashion influence.

This bliaut is purple linen with gold silk around the collar as well as lining the sleeves. 

Inspiration Images

Common Materials

  • Fabrics:
    • Some think images of fine pleats to represent silks
    • fine wools
    • rich fabrics
    • perhaps linen
  • Ornamentation:

Effective Substitutions

  • Fabrics:
    • cottons
    • linen blends
    • wool blends
    • muslin for undergarments
  • Ornamentation:

Ensemble Components

  • Underdress
  • Bliaut overdress

  • various head coverings


  • a belt wrapped around the body
  • pouch or purse
  • wimple or veiled head covering





Version: 3
date: 3/6/2021
Source of Period Pic: Chartres cathedral ,Angers cathedral, France, sculpture at West Portal , Sculptures on the exterior of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres
Photographer: Vincent De Vere

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