Pioneer Clothing Project
This project was set up in conjunction with the Pioneer Sailing Trust to find out about the kind of clothing which crew members would have worn in the late 19C. The Pioneer is a restored sailing smack which dredged for oysters of the Dutch coast in the winter months - hard, cold work for the oystermen. The group has the task of recreating clothing for the modern crew to try out and to add to the ‘on board’ experience of young people taking part in educational trips on the Pioneer. Using archive sources, books, museum contacts, old photographs, the group has amassed a lot of information which has been sifted through to try to come up with the ‘most likely’ set of clothing. The project is leading the group down all sorts of unexpected avenues: What is the difference between a ‘slop’ and a ‘dopper’? What was used to proof clothing? What is ‘cutch’? What did the trousers look like – flap or fly fronted? How do you knit a cap? Where did they get their sea boots from? Does anyone know what would have been worn as underwear? Knitting a gansey is unexpectedly hard work…. and so on. Sourcing fabrics and materials has been a challenge as well as finding or making up patterns. We hope to have a set of clothed and boots ready before the year is out. The project will last over several years as the Pioneer Trust is planning exhibitions and educational events at which the clothing will on be both on display and available for trying on.
The group is well on the way to publishing an account of its work.
For more on the Pioneer follow the link to the Pioneer Sailing Trust on this page