Prior Attire also provides historical interpretation services. We have our own tent suitable from medieval and up to mid 18th century displays, and are able to take on a range of roles, supplying craft demonstrations etc. The characters range from Viking to Edwardian - find a selection below. Our usual fee starts from £150 per day per person plus expenses, but we are open to offers and can negotiate - especially if the two of us are required. So drop us a line and we can see what we can provide to suit your budget:-)
Izabela specialises in needle crafts ( obviously!), and generic sewing, tablet weaving and lace making; she is a horsewomen with considerable experience ( riding 7 years for a ECW cavalry regiment, side saddle riding), and spent 10 years training traditional and modern fencing ( from double handed swords, rapiers, daggers, epee and modern foil). She has her own side saddle (Mayhew) with a variety of pads and girths to suit different horses, as well as a collection of historical habts, and is happy to work together ith other equestrians towards a Regency/Victorian Side saddle show/ demonstrations etc
Lucas focuses on history of science and medicine ( which goes well with his day job!), and loves a good foray into the related worlds of alchemy and astrology too; he is a keen photographer and often fulfils the role of the event tog - as well as taking care of our product shoots and portraits. His website isTimelight Photographic and he can also be found on Facebook - please check it out!
Both Izabela and Lucas has spent over 20 years stydying different kinds of martial arts ( taiji, kung fu and MMA), and been long term members of Rising Crane - the top martial arts club in Bedford. Dancing is another skill and shared passion - and they both have experience in ballroom and latin dancing, as well as occassionally taking part in period style dancing demonstrations. ( some of our amateur prancing around can be seen here-Viennese waltz demo; Argentine tango )
We work closely with Guild of Interpreters and volunteers, and can often source and provide more characters, please inquire.
Interacting with the public in appropriate period attire, engaging in discussion on a variety of topics, providing basic demonstrations suitable to the era portrayed (i.e. language of the fan for Victorian, reading Chaucer in the original for late medieval etc)
Medieval : Viking, 11-12th century, 14th century, 15th century, both middle and high status personae.
Tudor – high status – early Tudor, mid century and Elizabethan (circa 1570-80) Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Parr....
Stuart - English Civil war period, middle and upper class;Restoration, upper class, La Maupine, court ladies etc
Georgian – second half of the century, from 1760s to 1790s, upper class.
Regency – 1810, and mid and higher status lady
Romantic era - 1830 - evening and day dresses, higher statur lady, lacemeaking, archery
Victorian - early, mid and late Victorian, from 1840-1895, upper and middle class, also including side saddle riding, lady sketching/painings portraits, Victorian ettiquette and the language of the fan, Victorian crafts,etc; archery, corquet etc
Edwardian – 1905 lady,
Periods covered -
12-13th century courtier
15th century, middle and upper class, physician, alchemist,courtier
Tudor – middle/upper, Thomas More,royal physician etc
Stuart – English Civil War, upper class officer; middle class physician/doctor/quack/alchemimst
Hannoverian - Newton - early sciences, naturalist etc displays
Georgian – 1780 courtier, 1790 middle/upper class traveller, highwayman, Scartlet Pimpernell etc
Regency – 1810 upper class, hunting/riding outfit,
Romantic era - 1830 middle upper evening wear
Victorian – 1880-90 upper class, Victorian photography, Victorian seaside
Edwardian – a man at a shooting party
Demonstration of various skills, price will differ depending on the skill presented. The interpreters will be dressed in appropriate attire and able to demonstrate their skill and engage the public talking about a specific activity in a wider context. For indoor events an authentic tent can be brought.
Possible demos include
Tablet and heddle weaving for medieval periods.
Bobbin lace making
Hand sewing for all periods
Horse riding – astride, or aside, including jumping aside
Victorian Archery, sketching, croquet.
Alchemist/surgeon – 15-17 century, with displays, demonstrations of science, talking about herbal lore and its use in medicine, early science development; astrology and horoscopes casting
Clothing displays and talks, some with the option of the public (including children) trying some garments on for a photograph (Viking, early medieval, Tudor, Stuart, second half of 18th cent, late Victorian). Our 'History of undergarments' talk or Woments fashions in 1915' talks have recently been popular, mostly to the fact that the public was able to try on come corsets:-)
Izabela is also a qualified teacher and occasionally runs costume workshops in Bedford or Oxfordshire.
Apart from that, she is available to run a number of simple workshops available at different events/venues, please enquire
Tablet weaving or heddle weaving:
Learn the basics of the most widespread braid weaving techniques! Learn the historical background of the techniques involved, their variations and their practical use. You will be able to learn how to design a pattern, thread your tablets or a heddle and weave your own decorative braid in just a few hours’ time!
Requirements: each participant needs to have a set of tablets or a heddle and a loom stand ( depending on the location we may be able to make do with existing furniture etc)
Basic yarn and course notes will be provided.
Numbers – maximum 6
Bobbin lace making:
Learn the historical background and the basic techniques of the famous bobbin lace. In our short workshop you be able to try your hand in that intricate art: You will learn how to select threads, wind your bobbins, and familiarise yourself with the most basic stitches, and their combinations used in traditional lace making . You will be able to make a head start on your own sampler or decorative lace in just few hours time – a few basic designs will be available.
Requirements: each participants will need to have their own lace making pillow, bobbins (min 10 couples), lace making pins and thread of their choice.
Duration – 3hrs
Numbers – maximum 6
Custom courses are also available for groups up to 6 people, in Oxfordshire or Bedfordshire ( and a client's location) and can include a range of subjects, from making headgear ( French and Gable hoods, Victorian hats etc) to making other pieces of clothing - kirtles, bustle cages, petticoats etc
We offer a wide selection of talks from medieval to late Victorian, focused on the clothing and social history as well as crafts. Talk subject , length and contents can be tailor made to your needs - belowe is just a few examples of the talks we have done in the past. talks can include visual presentation, PPoint, handling antique and replica itmes, trying replicas on, having a go at a craft etc. Do contact us if you would like a specific subject discussed
* History of woman's undergarments
* history of corsetry
*history of lacemaking
*lacemaking in 16 and 17th century
*women's fashion in the Victorian era
* Riding habits though the history
* dressing up a Medieval/ Tudor/Suart/ Georgian/ Regency/ Victorian lady/ gentleman
* From the Rococco Splendour to the Regency Elegance - the fashions in the era of Jane Austen
* The era of the sewing machine - the great equaliser. Discussing the machine's influence on the blurring of social distinctions in dress 1850 - 1899
* 'Of Corset she can!' - dispelling the myths surrounding Victorian corsetry.
* Sportive ladies of the 19th century
*The evolution of Victorian fashion
* 500 years of Medieval fashions - 1000 - 1500
* Dressing the Tudors - a lady attire and its changes under the Tudor rule.
* Interpreting the past - the art and science of researching and recreating the historical dress.
*Sidesaddle, bicycle and croquet - or how to escape a chaperone in the 1880s