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The Peplos (or Chiton) is an early item of clothing, worn by Anglo-Saxon women around the fifth or sixth century, so predates most of our events but is easy to make and a useful variation for occasional early shows such as at West Stow, near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, which is a pre-Christian site. Please DO NOT make one as part of your first kit as they’re never seen in our main period of history, 793 to 1066. Occasionally the East Anglian groups take part in shows at West Stow where these are required.



A dwonloadable version of this is available here. Making a peplos is easy with wide, fairly lightweight wool or heavyweight linen fabric:

  1. You’ll need approximately the length of your own height plus arms length (think skis!) and a good 12” or 30cms wider (or more) than your largest width measurement (Bust, waist or hips) plus the usual 5/8” or 1.5cms seam allowance.
  2. Hold the fabric around you in a tube and fasten the join and the shoulders with safety pins.
  3. Adjust fit until it is looks and feels right.
  4. Sew the one long seam to form a permanent tube.
  5. Hand sew the hem at each end of the tube.
  6. Fold over the top so that it fits roughly under your armpits and above your feet
  7. Add ANNULAR brooches (not pennanular) to fasten at the shoulders. Simple beads are strung between these.

It may be preferred to use two narrower pieces of fabric sewn together to form your tube, rather than one wide one, reflecting early medieval weaving widths.