Photograph © SW Churchill, 2009
Common throughout the period, joined
hose are the equivalent of modern, skin-tight, hip-slung trousers.
They stretch along the bias enabling them to be relatively tight
fitting whilst retaining a degree of 'give' to prevent splits.
Made from wool cut on the bias, joined
hose consist of leg sections, a combined back and crotch section and
a modest cod-piece (providing adequate cover to preserve decency,
whilst holding everything in its proper place!). They are attached
with points to a pourpoint or doublet to ensure that they are held
In England, during the period, hose
was of single colour. ('parti' hose - in two colours - were
common as a fashion in other parts of Europe).
You will need: 1 yard (or 1.828 metres) of wool and some
linen for pattern making and to line the codpiece. Remember to
cut the wool on the bias (at just under 45°)
to ensure that it can stretch. Also remember that wool has two
sides and ensure that each half of the pattern is the mirror of
Start by making your back piece by
cutting two panels and joining them as illustrated.
Cut two leg sections (one mirroring the
other) and stitch to make tubes. Rotate until the seam is
central to the back.
Affix the back section to both legs. Hem
along the top.
Cut two small panels of wool and of
linen following the shape of the codpiece illustration. Stitch
the outer curves of the wool together (repeating for the linen).
Stitch the lining and the outer together, leaving the portion at
the base undone.
Turn the codpiece through the hole at
the base until it is the right way in.
Stitch the base of the codpiece to the
bottom tip of the back piece where it extends through the legs.
Finish by adding pairs of point holes
(positioned to match those on your doublet or pourpoint). Add a
pair of point holes to each side of the codpiece (matched to
reciprocal holes on the hose). Add single point holes at either
side of the front hem to tie together.
Making joined hose
© WW Forsythe, 2009
Additional notes: Hose may
seem simple but the manufacture process is quite time consuming and
is very easy to get wrong. We suggest making and fitting a linen
pattern before cutting any wool.
measurements: The outer leg measurement should be taken from the
hip, and the drop for the gusset and back panel according to the
wearer's inner leg measure. We suggest making the cod piece last as
its measurement can be derived from the gap at the front of the hose
(and the outer curve tailored for the wearer's comfort).
Both joined and single leg designs require points to
suspend them from a doublet or pourpoint. Although often seen at
re-enactment events, 'magic' hose - that either stay up by themselves or are
held by a belt - were not used in the fifteenth century.