Extant Italian Drawers
(Brache or Calze)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
drawers embroidered in silver and silver-gilt thread.
Embroidered border, and bobbin lace worked in metal
threads and two different brown silks."
more information, more detail shots, and a pattern for this
Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion 4. Macmillan, London, 2008.
it at @Amazon.com
Images of these drawers:
Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, Janet Arnold. W S Maney
& Son, Leeds, 1988
The History of Underclothes, C. Willett and PhiIlis Cunnington.
Dover Publications, 1992
image on the left is from Janet Arnold's Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe
Unlock'd. It has been identified as a woman's pair
of drawers, and shows an embroidered opening from waistband to crotch. Arnold
describes them as "white linen drawers, or hose,
embroidered with colored silks and gold and silver metal
thread, possibly for a woman."
image on the right is from History of Underclothes. It shows the same pair of extant linen drawers featuring
embroidery from the other side. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
dates them to the late 16th century.
people conjecture about which way the opening was intended to face.
I have heard it postulated that the opening was to the back, but to me
this makes no practical sense, unless we agree that it is
just as easy (or difficult) to access and use the button
closure at the back under long skirts as it is to access it at
the front under long skirts, and with this I can't
It also doesn't sound
plausible, to me, that an opening situated behind one's
back should be embroidered. However, we don't really know
anything for sure, so I could be completely off.