Tag Archives: cavalier

K&Q Recap: In which Carolingia (and the Author) Have a Day

Yesterday was the East Kingdom’s King’s & Queen’s Rapier Championship. It was a beautiful day for fencing. Sunny and comfortably warm. A naval fortress on the coast as our backdrop. Great day. Great location.

We had 62 fencers in the field and a really deep pool of good fencers. Each pool had at least three OGR/MoDs, and since we take just 16 from the round robin pools to move on it was going to be a pain for a lot of solid fencers to get into the double-elimination round. Continue reading K&Q Recap: In which Carolingia (and the Author) Have a Day


Replicating 17th Century Cavalry (Cavalier) Spurs

Finally completed my 17th Century-esque spurs!

17th Century replica spurs

I’ve been looking into spurs for a few years now, but I haven’t been able to find 17th Century accurate spurs anywhere. Not even UK-based English Civil War reenacting shops have them. I did find some nice 15th Century spurs from Raymond’s Quiet Press while at Pennsic this year, so I picked those up and some sweet 1/2″ buckles that match pretty well.

Fifteenth Century spurs are different than 17th Century spurs in a few ways. Continue reading Replicating 17th Century Cavalry (Cavalier) Spurs

17th Century buff coat: Getting the right color (test dyes)

Next to the signature raised “ridges” in the buff coat seams that come from the butt-end stitching, the next most noticeable characteristic (and arguably the most noticeable) is that golden brown hue of the leather, as seen below.


Some extant examples are a little more brown or grey, but this gives you the general idea of the look. This golden brown coloration is a byproduct of the tanning process. Tanners would “oil tan” the leather with lime and scrape the surface to remove the outer layer. This is what gives the buff coat that rough, unfinished look. Cod oil was used in a process called “kicking.” I’ve also read that yellow ochre was used to help get the color. Continue reading 17th Century buff coat: Getting the right color (test dyes)

Caliver vs. Cavalier: What’s the Dif?

In the SCA I have a French cavalier persona. I also started the Carolingian Caliver Company, a baronial fencing unit here in the Boston-area of the East Kingdom.

This has become humorously problematic as the number one mistake/mix up I run into with my fellow SCAdians is that they call the “Carolingian Calivers” the “Carolingian Cavaliers.” The mix up is understandable, though I sometimes wonder if people think I’m misspelling my fencing unit’s name when I write “Calivers.”

Regardless,  I figure I’d do a quick post to explain the difference between the two. Most people I run into know what a cavalier is, but are fuzzy about what a caliver is.

But because just because they’re spelled similarly, they’re very different things. Continue reading Caliver vs. Cavalier: What’s the Dif?

PATTERN: 17th Century/Cavalier Spur Leather

One of the more prominent items of a 17th Century cavalier’s garb is the spur leather which helped hold up a cavalryman’s spurs.

In Medieval times, this was just a strap of leather that wrapped around the front of the boot. By the mid-17th Century, the spur leather grew in size and took on the popular shape of a butterfly or bow.

These were made of tough leather. The pair I made for myself (see below) are two layers of 4-5oz veggy-tan leather, dyed black and sewn together with black wax linen. A strap (4-5oz leather) goes through two openings in the front of the “butterfly” and is secured by a buckle on the outside. A second strap could be added, connecting to the first strap and going underneath the foot. It’s not necessary unless you find the spur leather rising up.

cavalier spur leathers
After a few uses, the leather softens up and will mold to the bend in your feet. It gives the spur leather some individual character.

Continue reading PATTERN: 17th Century/Cavalier Spur Leather

Nataliia’s Cavalier Hat

My good friend and fellow fencer, Nataliia, commissioned me to make her a fancy cavalier hat for Pennsic without any instruction or description of what she wanted the hat to look like. “I trust you,” was her rallying cry for the project, which is giving me an incredible amount of power and freedom.

I can be a bit hypercritical of my work and when making something for a friend I wasn’t sure if it was “good enough for Nataliia” but she was bouncing around in excitement when she put it on, so I guess I did all right.

Continue reading Nataliia’s Cavalier Hat

How To Make a Cavalier or Musketeer Hat: Basic Guide

This was originally posted on JMAucoin.com in January 2015.

I love hats. They’re such a great accessory to a person’s persona — be they for the SCA or a RenFaire or a LARP or even for just Halloween fun.

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this hat that I got from Potted Fox (they no longer carry this, alas) and then added the silk band and plumes.


This hat was great because it’s leather so it can take a beating and also has a wired brim, so it can be bent into any shape I want and then reshaped later. I’ve used this for the cavalier/musketeer look as well as a tricorn for being a pirate and my Daring Dragoon cosplay. Hell, I’ve had folks recognize who I am in the dark because of this hat. Like I said, it’s a good hat.

But as part of my #MoreDashing2015 goal, I decided I needed update my look. The leather wide-brim hat isn’t going anywhere, but I wanted something a little more period (I haven’t found an instance of a leather hat in the early-to-mid 17th Century) and something a little nicer.

Here’s the end result:


So here’s a basic guide to shaping your own cavalier-era/musketeer wide-brim hat. Continue reading How To Make a Cavalier or Musketeer Hat: Basic Guide