Hobbit Socks

Shire-Dwellers and other Middle-earth rarities.

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Udwin
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby Udwin » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:54 am

That's a very cool extant find, Jake. It really does look like it could date from anytime between like, Otzi, and a few hundred years ago.
Now I have a few questions before bed: (This is the first I've heard of bag hose, so forgive my ignorance.)
-How were sewn hose like those worn? Would they have been worn beneath knee-breeches? (held up with a garter/tie of some sort?)
-Are they sort of 'socks' that only go up as high as one's boot-top?
-While I could probably figure them out from pictures, does anybody have a lead on how they were sewn? Pattern?*

Just for fun, let's not forget that hobbits (Bilbo and Frodo, at least) are several times are described as wearing "trousers" (sometimes in conjunction with pockets and/or a belt(?!), which I imagine as early 19th c. fall-fronts.

*Because my present 'muddy weather' hobbit wear is knee-breeches (sometimes with footless wool hose) and thick wool socks under a busted old pair of these boots. The transition from my breeches and chicken legs to the wide tops of the boots is quite comical. :lol:
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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jbook
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby jbook » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:35 am

Bag hose were a common style of stocking in the 17th and 18th century and very popular in the Scotland. They were worn under the kilt, but could also be worn with breeches with strips of material tied around to hold them up. There are patterns out there I am sure. I personally have not tried making them myself.

Here is a good image of a man with bag hose. They seem to be falling down on him.

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My bag hose worn with my 1745 highlander gear.

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jbook
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby jbook » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:38 am

I will say for the purpose of recreating Hobbits, I would want to go with a plain color as shown in the period image I posted, so I will probably not be using my highland bag hose just because they are to obviously Scottish. And I would think they should be made to fit to the boots you wearing. Bilbo's stockings do not seem to show outside of the boots he is wearing.
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Aethelfirth
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby Aethelfirth » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:19 am

Bag hose were universally worn in England, Scotland and Ireland through the 17th century. Knit hose were actually quite rare before the knitting loom boom of the 1730s. Knit stockings being more fragile and time consuming to make before the industrial loom was invented marked them as rather undesirable. They are literally a sock and worn just as a sock would be worn. They were still worn by the Scottish Highlanders in the 18th century but also the English, Irish and Colonist Americans over their knit stockings in the winter.
Here are some pictures on construction and them being worn as well.
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"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." J.R.R. Tolkien
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Aethelfirth
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby Aethelfirth » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:23 am

Here's a few more images, including tartan ones from the 18th century worn with breeches.
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"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." J.R.R. Tolkien
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Kortoso
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby Kortoso » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:58 pm

One thing I have run into when looking to re-create a particular fantasy world (such as the Hyborian Age) is that the original author would use certain "shortcut" words to name certain things in their world. These are chosen to give the reader a quick snapshot of the fantasy world's culture.

When Professor Tolkien uses the word "weskit", he is writing to an audience that will have an association with that word, or will look in up in a dictionary. My point is that if there were really such a world, and we went back there to see things, we wouldn't see clones of 19th century pastoral life, we'd see Middle Earth.

For my part, although historical reproductions are certainly handy, I'm interested in finding a non-historical take on historical garb.

Anyway, what's wrong with going barefoot? (Except that it's cold and snowy in many lands right now!)
There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.
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jbook
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby jbook » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:48 pm

I don't think anyone is looking to make a clone of anything, but something based heavily on reality. I think these socks could be made to fit nicely down in a boot. Made of wool to keep out the dampness, just like the passage quoted above states. And knowing what I know about historical garments of the mid to late 19th century, Tolkien's images posted by Udwin look VERY VERY similar if not exact.

Nothing wrong with going barefoot and I have before, but I think this is a great DOCUMENTED way for folks of hobbit inclinations to go abroad in middle earth, or even to Bree-Land without tearing up their feet.
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Aethelfirth
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Re: Hobbit Socks

Postby Aethelfirth » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:05 am

HEH, find a 100% fantasy form of sock/stocking that is completely functional with out historical prescience. Fantasy in general is an alternate reality with it's styling taken from various periods of history. Unless you are doing Sci-Fi with wholly invented clothing fantasy is invariably going to mirror some thousands of years of human history.

Weskit is a slang term from the late 18th century meaning "waistcoat" or as we'd normally call it today, a vest.

The point is we while we wouldn't see clones we would absolutely see similar styling. Professor Tolkien proved as much with his own drawings of Bilbo in quite pointedly historical fashions.

You'll get more effect out of BLENDING historical fashions that might even be thousands if not hundreds of years apart than you will trying to create something completely from scratch which, I promise, will share traits in common with a historical garment some where in some time.
"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." J.R.R. Tolkien

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