Farthingale is a term applied to any of several structures used under Western European women's clothing in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to support the skirts into the desired shape.

Spanish farthingale

The Spanish farthingale was a hoop skirt. Originally stiffened with the subtropical Giant Reed, later designs in the temperate climate zone were stiffened with osiers (willow cuttings), rope, or (from about 1580) whalebone. The name comes from Spanish "verdugo" 'green wood', because the dying stems of Giant Reed are rigid.

The earliest sources indicate that Princess Juana of Portugal used "verdugadas" with hoops in Spain to possibly cover up an unwanted and indiscreet (maybe not her husbands child) pregnancy (1460's - 1470's). Court fashion followed suit. The earliest images of Spanish farthingales show hoops prominently displayed on the outer surfaces of skirts, although later they merely provided shape to the overskirt. The Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon brought the fashion into England on her marriage to Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII in 1501.

Spanish farthingales were an essential element of Tudor fashion in England, and remained a fixture of conservative Spanish court fashion into the early seventeenth century (see Portrait of Queen Margaret of Austria, 1609).

French farthingale

The French farthingale or "vertugadin" is properly a crescent- or sausage-shaped pad stiffened with bent or whalebone and tied around the waist under the skirts; the resulting silhouette is broad and rounded over the hips with the skirt hanging freely in folds.

This type of French farthingale seems to be the item called a "roll" in Elizabeth I's wardobe accounts. It is the origin of the "bumroll" worn by Elizabethan recreationists.

The term "French farthingale" is also used for the "wheel" or "drum farthingale", a stiffened circular support for the drum-shaped silhouette worn at the English court from the 1590s to c. 1620.

The farthingale is the ancestor of eighteenth century panniers and of the nineteenth century crinoline.

See also

* 1500-1550 in fashion
* 1550-1600 in fashion
* 1600-1650 in fashion

External links

* [http://modehistorique.com/elizabethan/farthingales.html Farthingales and Bumrolls]


*Anderson, Ruth Matilda: "Hispanic Costume 1480-1530", The Hispanic Society of America, New York 1979. ISBN 0-8753-5126-3
*Arnold, Janet: "Patterns of Fashion: the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560-1620", Macmillan 1985. Revised edition 1986. ISBN 0-89676-083-9
*Arnold, Janet: "Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd", W S Maney and Son Ltd, Leeds 1988. ISBN 0-901286-20-6

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • farthingale — [fär′thiŋ gāl΄] n. [OFr verdugalle, farthingale < Sp verdugado, provided with hoops, farthingale < verdugo, young shoot of a tree, rod, hoop < verde < L viridis, green] 1. a hoop, openwork frame, or circular pad worn under the skirt,… …   English World dictionary

  • Farthingale — Far thin*gale, n. [OE. vardingale, fardingale, fr. OF. vertugale, verdugade, F. vertugade, vertugadin, from Sp. verdugado, being named from its hoops, fr. verdugo a young shoot of tree, fr. verde green, fr. L. viridis. See {Verdant}.] A hoop… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • farthingale — 1550s, from M.Fr. verdugale, from Sp. verdugado hooped, hooped skirt, from verdugo rod, stick, young shoot of a tree, from verde green, from L. viridis (see VERDURE (Cf. verdure)). Originally made from cane hoops or rods …   Etymology dictionary

  • Farthingale — A contrivance resembling a hoopskirt or crinoline, worn by women of the 16th and 17th centuries to extend their skirts. Probably originated in France …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • farthingale — ► NOUN historical ▪ a hooped petticoat or circular pad of fabric around the hips, formerly worn under women s skirts to extend and shape them. ORIGIN French verdugale, from Spanish verdugo rod, stick …   English terms dictionary

  • farthingale — /fahr dhing gayl /, n. a hoop skirt or framework for expanding a woman s skirt, worn in the 16th and 17th centuries. [1545 55; earlier verdynggale < MF verdugale, alter. of OSp verdugado, equiv. to verdug(o) tree shoot, rod (verd(e) green ( < L… …   Universalium

  • farthingale — noun Etymology: modification of Middle French verdugale, from Old Spanish verdugado, from verdugo young shoot of a tree, from verde green, from Latin viridis more at verdant Date: 1552 a support (as of hoops) worn especially in the 16th century… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • farthingale — noun A hooped structure worn beneath a skirt around the sixteenth century …   Wiktionary

  • farthingale — n. hoop skirt (fashionable in the 1500 s) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • farthingale — [ fα:δɪŋgeɪl] noun historical a hooped petticoat or circular pad of fabric formerly worn under women s skirts to extend and shape them. Origin C16: from Fr. verdugale, alt. of Sp. verdugado, from verdugo rod, stick …   English new terms dictionary

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