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Author Topic: Donning Of Capes in Worship  (Read 2919 times)

yardbird

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Donning Of Capes in Worship
« on: June 18, 2020, 05:15:11 pm »
Some time ago in the northern reaches of the Great Sonoran Desert, those conducting the ceremonies donned capes. this accoutrement very much added to the dignity of this event to honor Odin, but was also said to have the effect of warding off those whose walking in the left hand path , whose ostensible objective it was to cause a spatial  disruption.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 06:00:44 pm »
Some time ago in the northern reaches of the Great Sonoran Desert, those conducting the ceremonies donned capes. this accoutrement very much added to the dignity of this event to honor Odin, but was also said to have the effect of warding off those whose walking in the left hand path , whose ostensible objective it was to cause a spatial  disruption.

It's not clear from your post, are you referring to ceremonies that you attended? If not, can you clarify who this group is?
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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 03:40:27 am »
It's not clear from your post, are you referring to ceremonies that you attended? If not, can you clarify who this group is?

This is a bit of a self indulgent tangent but .... I would really love an Aztec cloak. I just think it would be really cool. Unfortunately, I'm not sure where I would find an authentic one.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 08:09:04 am »
This is a bit of a self indulgent tangent but .... I would really love an Aztec cloak.

I sympathise - for ages I'd wanted a 'druid' robe and couldn't find anything I liked within my price range.

I'm extremely fortunate, a friend had been on a trip to Egypt (years ago) and picked up a robe which after his return home he no longer wanted so when he was having a clear out he gave it to me.  (It's extremely oversized for me, so I have to wear it with a belt around the waste and hitched up so I don't trip over it, but something about it being Egyptian made felt really satisfying to me - it's also really nicely finished.  And I also really love that sort of serendipity when it occurs.)  I'd been considering getting a friend who was starting out in the costume making business to make a commission for me prior to this gift - do you have anyone in your neck of the woods who could perhaps create a replica for you, Yei?

Some time ago in the northern reaches of the Great Sonoran Desert, those conducting the ceremonies donned capes.

For me, there's a semantic distinction between capes and cloaks (and then there's robes).  A cape, in my definition, is shorter - usually around waist length.  A cloak is a longer garment, usually draping down to about ankle length, or even to the ground.  (And finally a robe is, in short, a garment which resembles a dress or even a cassock.)

I suspect I'd feel a little on the silly side wearing a cape rather than a cloak, although I can't really put my finger on why that should be the case.  Possibly it'd depend on what else I was wearing under the cape/cloak.  And I'm not judging anyone who chooses to have & wear a cape (or anything else) - I think it's very much personal preference.

Having said this, also, I've never yet had occasion to wear my new 'druid' robe since acquiring it as I don't really do ritual or anything, at least at this point in my path.  (It's possible that when I do I'll feel a little silly wearing it, at least to begin with!)

I must get around to doing some work on making my 'druid' staff, too, as having the 'full set' might help with the not feeling 'silly' (I was aiming to try and do this today, but events have conspired and I'm not sure whether I'll get that far, now).
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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 06:56:58 pm »
For me, there's a semantic distinction between capes and cloaks (and then there's robes).  A cape, in my definition, is shorter - usually around waist length.  A cloak is a longer garment, usually draping down to about ankle length, or even to the ground.  (And finally a robe is, in short, a garment which resembles a dress or even a cassock.)

I suspect I'd feel a little on the silly side wearing a cape rather than a cloak, although I can't really put my finger on why that should be the case. 

Huh. For me, the semantic distinction is more about how they're used/worn: a cloak is functional outerwear, worn so its edges meet in the front, and may have a hood, while a cape is more decorative and often worn behind the shoulders. Personally, I'd prefer sleeves in all cases.

... I've wanted an Assassin robe (as in Assassin's Creed) ever since I first saw it. Hmm, and linen is on sale at the fabric store right now ...

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 06:12:57 pm »
I sympathise - for ages I'd wanted a 'druid' robe and couldn't find anything I liked within my price range.

I'm extremely fortunate, a friend had been on a trip to Egypt (years ago) and picked up a robe which after his return home he no longer wanted so when he was having a clear out he gave it to me.  (It's extremely oversized for me, so I have to wear it with a belt around the waste and hitched up so I don't trip over it, but something about it being Egyptian made felt really satisfying to me - it's also really nicely finished.  And I also really love that sort of serendipity when it occurs.)  I'd been considering getting a friend who was starting out in the costume making business to make a commission for me prior to this gift - do you have anyone in your neck of the woods who could perhaps create a replica for you, Yei?

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who could make me a cloak. But now that I think about it, I may be able to find someplace that could make it as a custom order for me. I expect it would be expensive, but I should at least check.

Thanks for the idea.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 06:15:08 pm »
Huh. For me, the semantic distinction is more about how they're used/worn: a cloak is functional outerwear, worn so its edges meet in the front, and may have a hood, while a cape is more decorative and often worn behind the shoulders. Personally, I'd prefer sleeves in all cases.

... I've wanted an Assassin robe (as in Assassin's Creed) ever since I first saw it. Hmm, and linen is on sale at the fabric store right now ...

You say that (about the sleeves), but I think a cloak would be good on an Autumn day, when the air is slightly chilly, but the sun is out. In such weather, a coat can be too heavy and hot, but you still need something to keep the breeze off. Hence the cloak, which still leaves your arms free and able to breathe.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 07:00:46 pm »
You say that (about the sleeves), but I think a cloak would be good on an Autumn day, when the air is slightly chilly, but the sun is out. In such weather, a coat can be too heavy and hot, but you still need something to keep the breeze off. Hence the cloak, which still leaves your arms free and able to breathe.

My answer to that is a lighter weight coat, usually :P In my climate, it's pretty much a necessity to have 2-3 coats for different temperature ranges.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 07:12:04 pm »
Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who could make me a cloak. But now that I think about it, I may be able to find someplace that could make it as a custom order for me. I expect it would be expensive, but I should at least check.

Thanks for the idea.

The actual design process for making a half circle or full circle cloak is not super hard compared to almost any other piece of clothing (the only thing I've found easier is making a chiton, which is "two rectangular lengths of fabric, pin and hem in a way that is pleasing and does not reveal bits of you you do not wish to reveal") as it's basically "draw a circle with radius the length you want it to be, cut a smaller hole for your head than you think you need, and adjust accordingly." (Source: made one myself in college.)

The trick is that you end up with a lot of fabric, and if you don't have a sewing machine, hemming the circumference can take a while. (Adjusting for how the weight of the fabric itself stretches things, also an art form.)

The bulk of the cost, though, if you're looking at buying one, is usually the fabric - midweight or heavier wool is just usually not cheap if it's decent quality. You can sometimes get lucky and find lighter weight wool for a good price.

There are bunch of things like Etsy sellers who can do amazing things off (carefully taken, though again, much less of an issue with a cloak) with measurements. I have a really lovely winter coat (my "wear for fancy occasions" one) that I got that way, and I love it, even if I almost never wear it. (I got it when I was going into a winter with a bunch of job interviews, and needed something better than my daily scruffy options.)
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Haptalaon

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2020, 08:21:02 am »
You say that (about the sleeves), but I think a cloak would be good on an Autumn day, when the air is slightly chilly, but the sun is out. In such weather, a coat can be too heavy and hot, but you still need something to keep the breeze off. Hence the cloak, which still leaves your arms free and able to breathe.

I've started wearing my cloak as an everyday garment and it's epic - you can pin it in various ways to suit the temperature, and use it as a picnic mat or a blanket. Far superior to a coat!

Esp with cloaks, if you can get them in 100% wool/linen, it's a lot cheaper than a coat made of the same textile. And 100% natural fibres are one of those things that once you start, you don't go back, they breathe so beautifully - warm in winter, cool in summer.

I also like the representation! A while back I tumblr-ed as a joke that if muslim women wear hijabs and nuns wear veils and Jewish men wear kippah, then why shouldn't witches reclaim the pointy black hat and wear them everywhere? It was kind of a joke, about the pointed hat being not a "real witches don't do this!" but a part of our traditional heritage as witches, and then it became...not a joke, as I started thinking about why I didn't dress in a cloak or pointed hat whenever I liked. And moreover, also, about asserting to myself and others that I was part of a Serious Religion (why, if it is so normal for other people to openly display their faith through dress, should I not claim a similar stake?)

I still don't have a nice pointed hat. But I do use my cloak as my everyday outerwear. Why not, you know? Life is short and ugly if you don't keep playing. It's a little bit of make-believe that makes me very happy.

Yei, if you pay for the fabric and postage, I'm happy to make you a cloak with labour for free, so long as the style you like is within my ability to deliver. As Jenett says, some of the simpler styles are just a circle or a rectangle, sometimes with a little pleating or a hood - it just takes a little time & confidence.
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Yei

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2020, 05:26:33 am »
The actual design process for making a half circle or full circle cloak is not super hard compared to almost any other piece of clothing (the only thing I've found easier is making a chiton, which is "two rectangular lengths of fabric, pin and hem in a way that is pleasing and does not reveal bits of you you do not wish to reveal") as it's basically "draw a circle with radius the length you want it to be, cut a smaller hole for your head than you think you need, and adjust accordingly." (Source: made one myself in college.)

The trick is that you end up with a lot of fabric, and if you don't have a sewing machine, hemming the circumference can take a while. (Adjusting for how the weight of the fabric itself stretches things, also an art form.)

The bulk of the cost, though, if you're looking at buying one, is usually the fabric - midweight or heavier wool is just usually not cheap if it's decent quality. You can sometimes get lucky and find lighter weight wool for a good price.

There are bunch of things like Etsy sellers who can do amazing things off (carefully taken, though again, much less of an issue with a cloak) with measurements. I have a really lovely winter coat (my "wear for fancy occasions" one) that I got that way, and I love it, even if I almost never wear it. (I got it when I was going into a winter with a bunch of job interviews, and needed something better than my daily scruffy options.)

Sounds like a good idea in theory, but unfortunately, I have basically no experience with making cloths. The best I can do is sew a button on a shirt. I wouldn't even know where to start.

In addition, I would have to insist that the cloak be made of cotton fabric, due to its importance in Aztec society. Not sure how that would affect the overall result.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2020, 05:29:34 am »
Yei, if you pay for the fabric and postage, I'm happy to make you a cloak with labour for free, so long as the style you like is within my ability to deliver. As Jenett says, some of the simpler styles are just a circle or a rectangle, sometimes with a little pleating or a hood - it just takes a little time & confidence.

I'll be honest, I'm interested. Very interested. As I've said before, I don't really know how to make clothes, so you'll have to talk me through the measurement process. In addition, as previously noted, it would have to be made of cotton, for religious regions. How would that affect the cloak? If it is still viable, I'll look for an appropriate Aztec design.

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2020, 11:46:46 pm »
...

Back in... college (?) I made a cloak - I believe velvet on the outside, and flannel on the inside, with a hood. I wore it mostly for ritual, and mostly to stay warm during the crisp Autumn and cold Winter (I lived in Buffalo NY at the time). I still have it, however, now that I live in NYC, it's a bit awkward for me, mainly because the front is much longer than the back (back goes to my knees, while the front is mid-shin). I've definitely thought of redoing it in the past, but will most likely just make a new one with cotton, linen, or wool - there's also the possibility of knitting a cloak, but that will take a LONG time for me (especially if I don't use bulky yarn).


As for using cloaks in ritual now? I don't have the necessity for it (especially as it's summer here now and I'm sweating even at quarter to midnight!)
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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2020, 05:22:14 am »

As for using cloaks in ritual now? I don't have the necessity for it (especially as it's summer here now and I'm sweating even at quarter to midnight!)

Have you considered doing the ritual in *just* the cloak?

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Re: Donning Of Capes in Worship
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2020, 07:29:54 am »
I'll be honest, I'm interested. Very interested. As I've said before, I don't really know how to make clothes, so you'll have to talk me through the measurement process. In addition, as previously noted, it would have to be made of cotton, for religious regions. How would that affect the cloak? If it is still viable, I'll look for an appropriate Aztec design.

Cotton would work!

So...what still stresses me out about fabric is...cotton is a kind of fibre (from a plant, as wool is from a sheep), but we use the word "cotton" more generically to mean, like, a cotton shirt. But any fibre can be woven in different patterns, at different thicknesses, and with different finishes, and I'm still struggling to get my head round that terminology.

You can make a cloak out of any fabric easily. If you're interested in, say, dramatic folds, or swoosh, or being caught by the wind - some fabrics will provide these properties better than others. You could make a cloak out of tablecloth-cotton, but my instinct is to try and find cotton-fibre woven into a thicker textile than that, because everyday-cotton...is very thin. Though I suppose it's warm in Mexico.

When people talk about cotton, nowadays they actually mean poly-cotton - a blend of cotton fibre and acrylic/plastic fibre. This is a lot cheaper, and doesn't crease. Real cotton *creases* like yr the kind of aristocrat who has a valet who does all his ironing for him: 100% cotton continues to be used in luxury garments because part of the luxury is the effort of someone else making it look nice. So would you want 100% cotton, or would a blend be ok? Lots of fabric goes into a cloak, and 100% natural textiles are surprisingly expensive.

Find me some photos! And also, if I drop off the radar, come and poke me at my Dreamwidth or @ me on the Discord, as I tend to be on those more often (& I've a history of forgetting things I offered to do).

Cloaks are fairly simple, so the main measurement would be the back of your neck to the height above the floor where you want the cloak to stop (waist? ankle?). You can basically work out the rest from there, so long as you're not too fernickity.

If you are fernickity? You need to get a friend to measure nape-of-neck-to-floor, and front-neck-point-between-collar-bones-to-floor, so we can compare the measurements between them.

Most people nowadays have a longer back than their front, because of slouching and computing. So if you imagine a rectangle of fabric on a longer back and a shorter front, you'll see the cloak hem is no longer parallel to the floor - it'll be higher at the back and lower at the front. It doesn't matter a huge amount, unless you are a perfectionist (most people won't notice); or if you have a very dramatic back curve. When you make cloaks or skirts, you normally want to fold up the hem with them standing there, so you can judge by eye that it's parallel.

The other thing is, as I'm writing this, I'm imagining a European-style cloak: it's possible that for something Aztec, the dimensions in play would be very different.

*flexes my tailor-in-training muscles*
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