The Museo del Tessuto Camicia

In the last few days the Museo del Tessuto released photos of their camica on loan to the Gallerie degli Uffizi for their exhibit dedicated to Eleonora di Toledo. I have never seen this extant in person, but I have spent many hours studying low resolution images of it from the internet. These pictures are breath-taking. They even posted a video in which you can see the piece being handled and transported!

Meg Duffy Vaughan owner of Tied to History (patronize her business, her linen is amazing), was able to get in contact with the curators and recieve the following info:

“Cuff to cuff laid flat is 150 cm.
Height is 116 cm
It is linen canvas with cotton embroidery.”

This is very enlightening! Previously I had been trying to approximate patterns based on images, hoping the perspectives were not too far off. Now that I have the actual height and width of the piece, filling the other details has become much easier. I am compelled to make a pattern for it.

After fixing the perspective and finding better estimates for the missing dimensions, I compared the figures to my own measurements(I am 5′ 10″ or 177.8 cm tall). When I dropped the distance between my shoulder points into the diagram, we can see that this measurement neatly frames the embroidery around the neckline. This measurement correlates to where the straps of a bodice might fall. Since I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how this garment might work without a gusset, I marked the distance of my sternum to wrist. In order to get volume in the sleeves, camicias would have been about 2″ longer than the length of the arm. This camicia works out to be about 1.5″ longer, so workable, but I’m a pretty tall lady.

Using this information I have ammended my pattern for this garment. When I return to make this camicia (which might be awhile since I have so many projects) I will probably make a note to add another inch to the sleeve length so it fits my wingspan.



  1. This looks like a fantastic project — I would definitely make the shift but probably without the embroidery.

    By the way, your height conversions are a bit off — 5’10” is 178 cm, while 203 cm is 6’8″.


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