In Tudor times, wealthy people had portraits painted to show their wealth and status. They enjoyed showing themselves in very expensive and impressive clothing. Portraits show a lot of information about the shapes of clothes and accessories, and how they were embellished with embroidery and jewels.
Robert the Rat also dresses to impress. Find out how to make Robert's Tudor cloak and dress a Tudor gentleman.
As a wealthy man living in St Nicholas Priory, one of the larger houses in Elizabethan Exeter, Nicholas Hurst would have worn garments made from fine cloths and coloured with expensive dyes, although he might not have worn the latest fashions that were seen in London.
Fine cloth would have been cut and sewn by a tailor. If Nicholas Hurst wanted to have his cloak lined with fur, his tailor would send the unfinished cloak to a furrier. Working with fur was a special skill separate from tailoring. Smaller items such as shirts, ruffs or other linens would have been made by a seamstress.
At this time, tailors were always male. In Exeter, there are records of tailors that include Tudor Ellis (1596), Bastyn Whytehead (1600), and Hannibal Carwitham (1605).
Nicholas Hurst has a lodger in his house who scurries around unheard and hears and sees everything. From the shadows Robert the Rat sees the modern fashions and he pays a visit to his tailor, Master Threadneedle. The tailor made Robert a new cloak, and left some instructions for you to make your own.