Designs by Lady Faire


Cloaks and capes are a mainstay of any Renaissance, Civil War or Fantasy wardrobe. With cloaks, you have the full length and hood, whereas capes are generally (although they don't HAVE to be) shorter and lack the hood although they usually do have a collar, sometimes draping from the shoulder across the back to the underarm on the opposite side. Cloaks can be lined or unlined, lightweight, medium or heavy. Some were made of fur or were fur lined for warmth. My cloaks come either lined or unlined - your choice. The fabric is variable, depending on the look desired. I have one cloak in the works for a Lady to be ultra sheer, with a hint of luminescence and a window-pane check pattern. Just enough of a pattern to give substance to the fabric. The purpose: to enhance a beautiful gown. She wanted to finish the outfit without hiding the lovely work beneath. When the entire ensemble is finished, with the Lady's permission, I will post pictures as I believe it will be absolutely gorgeous!

  Cloaks and capes weren't the only outer coverings used in the Renaissance and Medieval times. Robes of various types, fabrics, and colors were also quite common. Due to certain recent popular movies, robes are making a bit of a come-back.  Be sure to check out the Robes page to see some of my different styles of robes.

One of my lovelier cloaks is the black panne velvet below in the thumbnails, and one of the more different (but it turned out neat!) is the wet-look with the red lined hood. Click on the image for a larger view:


Unlined Panne Velvet Cloak


One thing to remember about all of my cloaks;  my cloaks are extremely full compared to most available on the market.  Measured around the hem, my cloaks average over 210".  Most come out over 250".  That's not exactly wimpy.  I use anywhere between 7 and 10 yards of fabric per cloak.  That is for an unlined cloak.  Double that for a lined cloak.  If you want extra fullness or extra length, the yardage goes up!  Especially if you want extra length.  That is due to the width of the fabric available to me.  I am not being parsimonious. It changes the entire pattern and layout I must use.  Also, the shorter the cloak, the less width around the bottom, unless you WANT gathers at the neck. Not MY choice, simple physics.    I make my own patterns, so don't worry over which patternmaker is at fault.  Over the years, I have experimented with this pattern and that pattern, and made adjustments to this one, and finally drew up my own.  I get a lot of fullness and you will never find gathers around the neck!  Well, on the hoods, you will.  Anyway, enough preaching.  That's a different site [grin].


Unlined Lightweight Hooded Cloak



These lightweight, unlined cloaks are made of inexpensive (not cheap!) fabric.  I sometimes have specialty fabrics, such as wet-look available in this category.  Ask what is available.  Otherwise, you get what I have most of on hand.

Unlined Hooded Raw Silk Cloak


Sorry -not available at this time. 

Vampire/Magician's Cape



Offering a slightly more 'upscale' cloak for those who would like a serious item.  This is a cotton velvet cloak - very full, your choice of hood style and size - with a matching (or complementary) peau de soie satin (a heavier, dull finish) lining.  The following pictures are of cloaks made for a customer who wanted a 'Druid' style hood.  Definitely will garner plenty of attention, as you can see in the photos below.




First of all, let me explain the difference between 'costume' satin, 'crepe back' satin, peau de soie and 'bridal' satin.  Quality.  Durability.  Price.  If you go down to your local fabric store, whether it is Piece Goods Shop, JoAnn Fabric or what-have-you, you can ask the clerk to show you "costume" satin, "crepe back" satin, peau de soie (if they have it) and "bridal" satin.  Be sure to be specific.  Even with costume satin, there is different grades.  There is acetate costume satin and polyester costume satin.  I try to always use polyester costume satin, when I use it at all.  The difference?  Well, acetate is made of wood - no, you didn't read that wrong.  Acetate is a natural fiber, although it IS man-made.  It is made of wood.  Just like paper.  In fact, if you think of the fabric being as delicate as paper, you aren't TOO far wrong.  The fiber doesn't take very much abuse.  That includes cleaning.  The dyes are fragile, as well, and fade quickly. Crepe back satin is a soft, fluid, durable satin (when made of polyester).  It is a medium/light weight and flows very well.  It is not heavy.  Peau de soie is a heavier, more durable satin with a dull satin finish.  Quite lovely, and if you don't want a 'hard' shine for your satin, this is the way to go.  Less 'flow' than the lighter satins, as it has more body.  Bridal satin is a heavier weight/weave.  It has more body, less "flow" to it than the lighter weight satins.  Generally speaking, bridal satin is the heaviest weight satin available.   When made of polyester, it is extremely durable, the colors last, and you can expect the item made of it to be usable for many years.  The drawbacks to bridal satin are:  fewer color choices, less 'fluidity' in the fabric, heavier weight, more bulk and it wrinkles worse than the lighter weight satins.  All of that aside, it remains my favorite satin to use/work with.

Polyester costume satin, on the other hand, is much more durable than acetate.  I still prefer to use the even better quality made "crepe back" satin, as it is soft, washable, durable and not THAT much more expensive than 'costume' satin.


So, why do I even OFFER 'costume' satin?  Because some people want it.  Quite frankly, there are people who would rather shave off that few extra dollars, and don't care if the outfit will last for years, and they aren't planning on 'throwing it in the washing machine, anyway'.    For the rest of us, I use polyester Crepe Back Satin or polyester Bridal Satin, and we can expect to be able to wash and wear it for years.


Crepe Back Satin Cape


These are specialty cloaks. The first three are flocked taffeta. Unfortunately, I run across flocked taffeta on an irregular basis. The second & third are a full circle cloak made of a ripple dyed, burn out panne velvet in a floral design with an extremely long 'wizard' hood. The hood point came to the back of the knees when the hood was up!   The white with black is a flocked satin.  I don't come across that very often.  As of right now, I have 2 black flocked fabrics, the flocked satin and some of the burn-out panne velvet in stock.  They won't last long, though!  You can email to see what specialty fabrics I have on hand, if any.

Unlined Satin Hooded Cloak


These unlined satin cloaks are made from lightweight, polyester, costume satin.  I also have a heavier weight polyester satin available that is much more forgiving (wash & dry), and longer lasting.  The lightweight satin is a good fabric for occasional use, but the heavier weight is suitable for daily wear, and will stand up to the use for years.

Here are just a few examples of past work.  These are not available on a "click to purchase" basis.  If you like one of the following examples, contact me and ask for a quote.  I may, or may not be able to get the fabric I used for that particular item. Sometimes I 'stumble' across a bolt of "really neat" fabric, and I'll buy it.  It will often be a one-time good deal, and I might not be able to get any more.   If I can not, I will let you know what I do have available, or can get.  Also, remember that some fabrics are only available on a seasonal basis.  So, that really cool spider-web sheer that I used 2 years ago just might be:  A) out of season, and B) no longer available from anyone!  Thanks for understanding.

The next cloak IS available for purchase. Either directly through me, or via my eBay sales.

Above:  Purple cotton twill with small, close fitting hood, trim around the edges of hood and cloak body.

Above:  Purple (red violet, actually) suede-cloth with over 20 yards of high end jacquard trim. The red-violet cloak has a secret!  Absolutely NO seams inside.  You can show the inside without having rough edges showing!!

Below examples are not available as ready-made.  Can be made through custom order. Check for fabric availability.



I can make you any cloak you like in any fabric combination(s), simply email me for a quote.

Contact us:  Email  Phone: 434.806.5188 or snail mail: Designs by Lady Faire, LLC; P. O. Box 565; Ruckersville, VA 22968

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