Pesellino Cioppa: Beginning

I’ve been wanting to make a new cioppa for years now. The first one I made was an experiment using an unfortunately orange cotton print and some kind of nasty fake fur. The second was made of heavy grey upholstery velvet with bag sleeves (more on those later) that fell victim to the displeasure of a cat. The third was made of white satin and is still in service, though the pleats are unattractively flat and creased.

I was finally inspired to start working on a new cioppa by the works of Francesco Pesellino, particularly the Story of Griselda. I had found need of a way to fasten the center front of my previous cioppe, but with no obvious closure visible (and only a hint of a center front seam at all), I had used hooks and eyes. In this image, however, there are clearly cioppe with buttons! I decided to focus on the figure in the center of the image (the grey cioppa with white trim), which can also be seen from the front in the full version of the painting. The pleats start quite low on the chest, and they are relatively wide compared to other examples.

The main way I intend to deviate from the Griselda cioppa is the sleeves. There are a number of different types of bag sleeve, including one on the far left of another Pesellino painting, but I have always been enamored of a certain pair of sleeves from a tomb in Antwerp. They’re a good bit later and not Italian, but I don’t think they’re unreasonably outside of the realm of possibility.

I’ve started on the body of the cioppa already. The primary fabric is a charcoal grey wool suiting, interlined with cotton flannel and lined with red linen. The guards are synthetic burgundy velveteen. The heavy wool I used to use for lining my pleats is sadly all gone, so I am attempting to use burlap to serve the same purpose. Time will tell if this was a good idea or not.

Updated: November 17, 2013 — 4:06 pm
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