Living History

Prior Attire also provides historical interpretation services, including  talks, walkabout characters, crafts demonstrations, science displays (physician, alchemist, victorian photographer etc) as well as costume displays.

The characters range from Viking to Edwardian - find a selection below. Our usual fee starts from £250 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 saddles (with a variety of pads and girths to suit different horses, as well as a collection of historical habits,  and is happy to work together with 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 is Timelight Photographic and he can also be found on Facebook - please check it out!

 Both Izabela and Lucas has spent over 20 years studying 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. 

Interpretation offer. 

 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)

Periods covered: 

Izabela Pitcher

Medieval : Viking, 11-12th century, 14th century, 15th century, both middle and high status personae.

 Tudor – high  and upper class status – early Tudor, mid century and Elizabethan (circa 1570-80) Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Parr....

 Jacobean - high status, Queen Anne of Denmark

 Stuart - English Civil war period,  Queen Henrietta Maria; middle and upper class;Restoration, Catherie of Braganza, upper class,  La Maupine, court ladies etc

 Georgian –  from 1740s to 1790s, upper class.

Regency – 1810,  and mid and higher status lady

Romantic era - 1830 - evening and day dresses, high/middle status lady, lacemeaking, archery

Victorian - early, mid and late Victorian,  from 1840-1899, 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


 Lucas  Pitcher-  

 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,  King Charles upper class officer; middle class physician/doctor/quack/alchemist

 Hannoverian - Newton - early sciences, naturalist etc displays, King Charles II

 Georgian – 1780 courtier, 1790 middle/upper class traveller, highwayman, Scartlet Pimpernell etc

 Regency – 1810 upper class, hunting/riding outfit,

Romantic era - 1830 middle upper class

Victorian – 1840-90 upper class, Victorian photography,  Victorian seaside



 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.  

 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 on a variety of subjects. 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.

 Apart from that, she is available to run a number of simple workshops at 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.

 Duration: 3- 5hrs

 Numbers – maximum 6

 cost £400 - £450

 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

Cost  £550

Custom courses  are  also available for groups up to 6 people,  at the  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