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Old Apr 8 2009, 06:08 PM   #1
Lady Maelin
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Default 9th Pass Pern clothing

What century here on Earth, do you think the clothes of the 9th pass on Pern, most closely resembled. Medieval, Renaissance… 12th 13th 14th...etc... centuries?

What colors of cloth do you think they would have most often worn? We all know that Harpers wore blue, but what colors do you think other crafts might wear for craft clothing?

Do you think that hats or head coverings would have been worn for gathers or other special times… other than the helmets the Dragonriders or Hold Guard/soldiers might have worn or those that might have been worn in the very hot or cold climates?
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Old Apr 8 2009, 06:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Well scarve where worn by the holder girls in HH2

RoP: One of the worker was wearing a wide brim hat in Landing.

Also there were the vest that sharron worn when she was picking herbs down South.

Hold, Hall, and Weyr colors or showing where folks are from. Also in Fishercraftcolors with his Tillik's Lord Hold knots with his journyman knots

After this eye problem is fixed I may be able to come with more.

I sorry I can't get more that just that.
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Old Apr 8 2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

The Healers wear green, don't they?

At least I think that it says so in the Dragonlover's Guide. *** Side note: the healer color being green is why I am confused about a character that I'm developing's shoulder knots. He's a journeyman healer- so he'd wear green- and he rides a green dragon. So. . . two different shades of green?***

Anyway, I always thought the Pernese' clothing was in more of the Renaissance style. Now that you mention it, I wonder how that came about? I presume that the Earth colonist's dressed like "modern" people- jeans, T-shirts, etc. Then they developed dragons- and dragonriding doesn't really have an exact Earth parallel activity, so it would most likely require a special wardrobe.

But for the rest of the population,, how did they start to dress differently?
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Old Apr 8 2009, 10:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

According to DQ, the color green is considered unlucky. Brides wear red.

I always pictured Ninth Pass Pernese outfits as pseudo-medieval in shape (i.e. not too puffy and frilly) but practical, and not so obsessed with modesty. (In the "Dragonlover's Guide" there's that picture of a woman - from Southern Boll, I think - in a bikini.) Closer to what you'd find in an illustrated book of King Arthur stories or faerie tales than actual medieval dress.
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Old Apr 8 2009, 11:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Maelin View Post
What century here on Earth, do you think the clothes of the 9th pass on Pern, most closely resembled. Medieval, Renaissance… 12th 13th 14th...etc... centuries?

What colors of cloth do you think they would have most often worn? We all know that Harpers wore blue, but what colors do you think other crafts might wear for craft clothing?

Do you think that hats or head coverings would have been worn for gathers or other special times… other than the helmets the Dragonriders or Hold Guard/soldiers might have worn or those that might have been worn in the very hot or cold climates?
As far as colors go, I'd imagine anything goes with a bias toward the more easily produced natural dyes. So purples and blues would probably be more expensive to produce. I'd expect a lot of earth tones with greens underrepresented due to Pernese tradition. The suggestion elsewhere of favoring Hold colors would probably be correct.

You'd see a lot of leather (wherhide), especially for working clothes. Typical garments would generally be trousers (or skirt) and shirt (or tunic). If leather, probably tunic and trousers. More formal clothing would probably be of cloth, with fine linen shirts and dresses (and for the wealthier men trousers) for formal occasions. In some climates there would be leather jackets/coats, but probably few such garments from cloth. Boots seem to be the most common foot-gear all the way around, probably in varying styles.

The cut and fit of clothing would probably vary by usage and climate. I'd expect the more southern climes would produce looser fitting and perhaps more scant attire. Northern climes would definitely be more bundled up and leather outer-wear would be lined with fleece. Indoors, even in warmer climes, everyone would probably dress warmer than you'd first expect because they are living in cold, rocky holds. So you could probably expect your midriff bared Istan woman to come in and throw a shawl over her shoulders, or a bare-chested man to put on a shirt.

I don't know if silkworms made it to Pern or if they prospered.

I would expect a great deal of embroidery work on linen clothing, especially the more formal attire.

Head gear would be very common. In many areas it would be for protection from the sun. It would probably be eschewed for formal occasions as being too work-aday, and because it would impede presenting oneself in a well-groomed fashion. In the north, it would be necessary against the cold. I'd expect High Reaches, Crom, Telgar, Bitra and Benden to all have their equivalent of parkas, peacoats and greatcoats. Mariners would have some sort of oilskins and the typical thick wool sweaters in the northern climes. In southern climes they might be all but naked except for the sake of modesty and safety.

Soldiers will tend toward some sort of helmet. As there is not a lot of warfare on Pern, armor would not be particularly complicated, pervasive or common. Simple helmets and breastplates (perhaps without a complimentary backplate) would seem the most likely for the armsmen, and then only in the most extreme need and for the seniormost. Boiled and hardened leather, or layered tight-woven cloth might be more common, probably in a tunic style. Pernese weapons seem limited to polearms and knives and swords that aren't much more than gladii. I don't recall anything resembling sabres or longswords. No particular mention of axe-like weapons although any axe or hatchet and a number of farming implements can do double-duty.

Most soldiering is probably guard duty, busting drunken hot-heads and occasionally scrapping with much more poorly equipped bandits. Most "warfare" and "battles" between Holds probably amounts to little more than demonstrations (shows-of-force, seizing a key position bloodlessly, maneuvering into a key position) and minor skirmishes soon ended due to the power of the crafts to withdraw masters, the mediation of the Harpers, and the latent threat of the dragon-riders becoming involved in some fashion.

Overall I picture Pernese fashion as vaguely influenced by Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Scadinavian and Irish traditional attire. I've never seen the fancier RenFair or fairy-tale style clothing in my mind's eye. The Pernese are too practical for it. And, frankly, too poor.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

I would think that most of the field workers would wear something in brown colors most of the time. Maybe something more colorful for special occasions. Lord holders would wear brighter colors, something in their hold colors. I think crafters would wear craft colors for special occasions. Fishermen would wear light colored clothes, that would not be as hot as darker colors. As far as hats go it would depend on where the person is from. Hot climates like Southern would wear wide brimed hats to keep the sun off. In winter I can see colder areas wearing skiing type hats with ear coverings. Sherra was mentioned as having a vest with lots of pockets. I think this is something that might be worn by some one doing a lot of exploring.

I usually picture most of the clothes as being midieval era. Some woman did wear pants. I do not think they wore hoops or a lot of petticoats even for dressier occasions.
Mostly I think the clothes would have been pratical.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 12:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Yes, practical clothes suitable to the climate rather than uncomfortable clothes worn for fashion's sake. They would layer their clothes as well for practical reasons, without taking it to extremes (10+ petticoats would not be de rigueur even for the wealthiest Lady). Most women would wear some sort of long skirt, though, either for warmth or to protect themselves from the sun, with dragonriders the major exception (although Sharra did wear some sort of pants when she was exploring Southern).
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Old Apr 9 2009, 04:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

I'm pretty sure there's a reference (in HH2?) to workers at a gather wearing washed but earth stained clothing.

There are also implications in WD that they bathe naked.

Most cotholders/minor holders would have to make do with vegetable dyes: so mainly yellows and browns. They might get some sort of red from redroots?

Except for the nobility, style of clothing didn't change much anywhere in Europe at anytime between the millenium and fourteenth centuries when rising prosperity, and the emergence of a significant merchant class, saw a greater quantity of fancier cloth being imported from the east and styled clothing began filter down the socio-economic scale.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Some of the women wore pants. Menolly said she prefured them.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Ginny...I think that would probably been more Shawls, than scarfs...but I can see them both being brightly colored and worn for Gathers and other special occasions.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 07:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Weyrlady...I do think that in the beginning most of the colonist wore shirts and pants in a universal work clothes style they brought with them...in a lite tanish brown color. They also brought with them boots and belts and under clothes...and some form of outwear for the colder areas.
When those clothes ran out, they would have gone to making their own fabrics and clothing out of what was natural to Pern. I think there there would have been a Pern version of cotton...that would have been easily and readily made at all the hold, for their everday work clothes. As time went along they would have developed different styles that clothing to fit their needs...it would have changed slowly over a couple of thousand turns into what I believe would have looked a bit like the medieval era on earth...without all the fancy frills...except for the odd holder...Like Fax or Chalkin and his brood and possibly a few others with marks to burn.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 09:13 PM   #12
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Thistlerose...I would agree...somewhat medievalish, only mostly on the more practial side...excepet for a few of the more wealthy Lord Holders, who want to strut their stuff at gathers or wherever.
As far as the color green...yes for some it seems it was an unlucky color.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 09:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

ELectric Dragon...I have to disagree with the expence of the color Blue...as it is generously used on Pern,for all of the countless Harpers at the craft hall not to mention all the others that travel all over Pern to the many different holds they work at. I don't know about purple, but just because it was more expencive here on earth, doesn't necessarily mean it was hard to come by on Pern.
I do agree about the wherhide leathers...as that would have been plentiful all over pern for counless items of wearable goods.

I agree again about the profuse use of embroidery, especially on their gather or special occasion clothes.

I would think if there were work hats, then there might also be some fancier hats especially used for gathers and special occasions. What would a hat have to do with being well groomed?

I don't see the Pernese as being overly poor...but even poor people like to have their finery. I do believe that there was quite a bit of gather finery...as mentioned in the Runner of Pern story....where all the different finery was talked about. I do think a bit of Renfair finery would easily been seen at a Pern gather.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 09:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Maw...I agree...most of the everyday colors would have been in the earth tones, and simply made. The Gather clothes would have been in most cases a much more colorful affair where even the poor farmer and his family would have been dressed in the best and most colorful clothes.

I think the pants on women, would have been one of the biggest differences between Medieval Earth and Pern where it would have been fine for women to wear them on Pern...and not at that time perriod on Earth.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 09:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Granath...yes I do believe that in most parts of Pern layering would have been as practical as they might have made it fashionable.

Peter...yes veggie dyes would have probably been used in some cases...as well as some of the brightly colored sea and marsh grasses that were found.
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Old Apr 9 2009, 10:13 PM   #16
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E.D., I think the guards would probably wear the layered leather jerkins with or without metal bands such as the Romans used. I say this only because of Pern being metal poor and the marks required for metal breast-plates would be high. Except in a cerimonial use, I would think jerkins would be the norm. As you rightly pointed out, warfare was not a very common problem.
You ladies are certainly correct in styles that were easy to make for standard wear would be the norm. Veggie or mineral dyes should have been easy to get. Lace-up clothing (or shell buttons) would be cheaper than metal buttons or hook & loop arrangements. All of this helps point to a "style" of clothing that came before zippers (or other metal hungry) items. Up to the 1700's, which saw a large use of leather, is my idea.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 01:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

The plants that Iantine used in DE/RSR to make paints would be a guide towards dyes as well, I would think.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 03:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Were there very many whers? I thought they were rather rare and (in Anne's books)only used as night watch in largish holds. They are NOT indigenous.

I would imagine that most 'ordinary' folk (and guards) would have used leather from the skins of herdbeasts.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 12:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Wherhide seems to mean any kind of leather on Pern, although I expect the term originated as a shorter for of wherryhide. Wherries are native and plentiful. I doubt they'd slaughter watchwhers for leather...
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Old Apr 10 2009, 05:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Hippie View Post
E.D., I think the guards would probably wear the layered leather jerkins with or without metal bands such as the Romans used. I say this only because of Pern being metal poor and the marks required for metal breast-plates would be high. Except in a cerimonial use, I would think jerkins would be the norm. As you rightly pointed out, warfare was not a very common problem.
You ladies are certainly correct in styles that were easy to make for standard wear would be the norm. Veggie or mineral dyes should have been easy to get. Lace-up clothing (or shell buttons) would be cheaper than metal buttons or hook & loop arrangements. All of this helps point to a "style" of clothing that came before zippers (or other metal hungry) items. Up to the 1700's, which saw a large use of leather, is my idea.
Even producing Lorica Segmentata as you describe would be costly in metal...moreso as it would require more mental than a simple breast-plate. A breast-plate is probably something you'd only see on the Captain of the Guard and a couple of lieutenants or the Lord Holder himself.

That's why I proposed the leather or cloth armors. Hardened leather will resist glancing strikes from knives, slashes from short swords, and glancing spear or pike thrusts. You can get through it, but you've got to seat your point and push. Which means you're likely to come away without your weapon if it binds up in the armor and the body! The cloth armor is good at resisting arrows (another Pernese weapon) particularly the likely bodkin points or hunting heads they'd likely have. I doubt the Pernese have developed sophisticated war heads for their arrows.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 05:33 PM   #21
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

I do not see them wearing a lot of armor. Like ED said harden leather, I do not see them wear much metal.

I see them using ties as clothes fasteners. Not many buttons or zippers.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 05:47 PM   #22
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Boiling the leather helps.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 05:55 PM   #23
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Default Re: 9th Pass Pern clothing

I have to agree here with Maw...I don't see the Pernese using much armor... if at all. What would a Lord Holder use a breast plate for anyways. Since there isn't any war on Pern, the only kind of battle a Lord Holder might see is within his own hold...among his many wives...


Old Hippy...I think that some sort of buttons..ie wood, shell or knotted would have been used on some of the fancier gather clothes...and lacings or ties for their everyday work clothes.

I think what metals Pern has, is used for more necessary items...rather than armor for needless defences.

I also think that there might be a sort of hold guard, somewhat used like a local police department...handling local problems for the Lord Holder. They might have had tunics that were decorated in the local Hold colors...using extra thick pieces of Wherryhide laced together for proctection...when needed.
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Old Apr 10 2009, 11:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Maelin View Post
ELectric Dragon...I have to disagree with the expence of the color Blue...as it is generously used on Pern,for all of the countless Harpers at the craft hall not to mention all the others that travel all over Pern to the many different holds they work at. I don't know about purple, but just because it was more expencive here on earth, doesn't necessarily mean it was hard to come by on Pern.
I do agree about the wherhide leathers...as that would have been plentiful all over pern for counless items of wearable goods.

I agree again about the profuse use of embroidery, especially on their gather or special occasion clothes.

I would think if there were work hats, then there might also be some fancier hats especially used for gathers and special occasions. What would a hat have to do with being well groomed?

I don't see the Pernese as being overly poor...but even poor people like to have their finery. I do believe that there was quite a bit of gather finery...as mentioned in the Runner of Pern story....where all the different finery was talked about. I do think a bit of Renfair finery would easily been seen at a Pern gather.
Blue figures prominently in the stories we've read of Pern because so many of them involve Harpers. That does not mean blue is a prominent or common color for the rest of the population. A very big deal is made of getting one's "harper blue" togs, and that might partly be due to the expense they represent. There aren't really skads of harpers about, especially in comparison to other professions (there frequently being only one harper in an entire hold and some holds not having a harper at all), so it might be practical to clothe harpers in this rich and expensive color but not a group like farmers or herders.

IIRC, blue dye usually derives from indigo, which (again IIRC) is a bit of a PITA to grow. It's typically a sub-tropical to tropical plant which means that classical Pern can only grow it in Southern Boll, Ista or Nerat. In classical times on Earth, indigo dye was regarded as a luxury product and no artificial form was produced until 1897. Woad can produce a chemically identical dye in more northerly climes, but the concentration is much weaker, requiring that much more effort to produce a similar amount. In other words, it remains a luxury item.

--

It is always possible that Pernese style mavens might wear hats, but frankly, having one's hair hidden under a hat hides a multitude of sins--including not washing it, whereas appearing bare-headed with one's hair obviously tended to speak of good grooming. Seriously, we're talking "hat head" here.

My primary objection to stylish Pernese hats however, is the complete absence of the mention of any such accoutrement...and the general ruthless practicality of the Pernese. This is a culture that spends 20% of its time living under siege conditions, and when not actually under assault labors under the burden of supply a massive amount of support to its air force (the Weyrs). Not a culture given to frivolous luxury items.

--

Certainly even the poor have their finery, but most Pernese could fit their possessions in a footlocker and throw in a bag of grain to fill the empty space. That's pretty sparse living. The average family could probably throw everything but their livestock in a wagon and still have room for the three youngest to sleep in the back of the wagon-bed.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 04:21 AM   #25
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I think that any preconceptions about the dyes available should be thrown out the window unless supported by text in the books. The only reason certain colors in certain parts and times on Earth were considered expensive, rare, or special is because the materials they came from were rare or difficult to obtain. And as we know...Pern is populated by an entire ecosystem of animals and plants, some of which have probably never been mentioned outright in the books. Who knows what sort of colors the Pernese have gotten from those?
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Old Apr 11 2009, 06:26 AM   #26
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Before I read what everyone else thinks (so that I won't be unduly influenced), I'm going to go ahead and tell what I've always imaged when reading the books.

I've never imagined that Pernese clothing reflected any particular Earth century. I've always imagined it to be a mix of styles.

Dragonriders commonly wear leather, because that's their 'work' gear, and they've become accustomed to it. Female riders probably stick to trousers most of the time, rather than skirts, which would be for more special occasions.

Holders would wear clothing appropriate to their task. I've never pictured non-riders wearing much leather, because frankly leather clothing isn't comfortable for most work, and even on Pern, it's probably more expensive (I'm not talking about short supplies; it's harder to cut and sew leather.) Female drudges, headwomen, cooks, I've always imagined in either trousers or long skirts with no petticoats or any of that heavy undergarments. A holder's Lady or daughters wearing more 'fancy', expensive skirts and gowns because they have less physical labor to do (that's what drudges are for.)

I guess I've always imagined the Pernese as practical people and I tend to imagine them in clothing that's highly appropriate to whatever work they're doing. Sailors on deck shirtless and barefoot or wearing shoes with gripping soles; healers in very utilitarian clothes, plain and simple (and green.) Harpers wearing something a little more fanciful and 'prettier' for every day, because in addition to being teachers and historians, they are also performers. Lord Holders wearing richer fabrics and stronger colors, suitable to their station (and affluence), but still not as elaborate as Elizabethan styles.

I've always imagined Beastcrafters wearing hats against the sun, and Corona (sp?) wearing a straw hat when she's working in the fields.

Gathers and Hatchings, I always imagine the characters in any amount of finery, but still in many, many different styles.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 11:23 AM   #27
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D. M. Domini - I agree, and as I said we do get a glimpse of that when Iantine mixes his paints. I remember there was one plant that made an absolutely pure red, which was one of those more expensive colors here on Earth. Another made yellow. He used cobalt for blue, which I assume wouldn't transfer well to dyes, but the plants probably would.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 02:45 PM   #28
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I guess I've always imagined the Pernese as practical people and I tend to imagine them in clothing that's highly appropriate to whatever work they're doing. Sailors on deck shirtless and barefoot or wearing shoes with gripping soles; healers in very utilitarian clothes, plain and simple (and green.) Harpers wearing something a little more fanciful and 'prettier' for every day, because in addition to being teachers and historians, they are also performers. Lord Holders wearing richer fabrics and stronger colors, suitable to their station (and affluence), but still not as elaborate as Elizabethan styles.

YaY!!! Someone else who thinks that healers wear green. In DQ, Lessa only says that green is an unlucky color for F'lar, not for everybody else.

I totally agree on the "practical people" end as well. People on Pern work- that's what they do, that's what is done. So it makes sense that they would dress for it.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 05:01 PM   #29
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There are two different references for Healer colors--in one case, it's green, in another (Moreta?) it's purple. So possibly the Craft color shifted over the years.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 10:31 PM   #30
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There are two different references for Healer colors--in one case, it's green, in another (Moreta?) it's purple. So possibly the Craft color shifted over the years.
That tracks with what I recall.
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Old Apr 11 2009, 10:32 PM   #31
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I think that any preconceptions about the dyes available should be thrown out the window unless supported by text in the books. The only reason certain colors in certain parts and times on Earth were considered expensive, rare, or special is because the materials they came from were rare or difficult to obtain. And as we know...Pern is populated by an entire ecosystem of animals and plants, some of which have probably never been mentioned outright in the books. Who knows what sort of colors the Pernese have gotten from those?
That blade cuts both ways. Just because this is a possible out, it has not been written into canon either.
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Old Apr 13 2009, 09:36 PM   #32
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I agree with you Laurenth. I would think that all of their clothing would be "downgrade" versions of the colonist varied styles. Even the Lord Holders and craftsmen had a spindown of the military uniforms. I say this because there are serveral mentions in the stories of them, and their sons, having to adjust their rank knots (Military Braids) for special occasions. As for leather, lots of various cows were bred up from Landing. Good stuff for work aprons and gloves: protection from hot metal or glass, wood working tools, etc. An awl with needle and sinew, would make sewing it easier.
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Old Apr 14 2009, 08:24 AM   #33
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There are two different references for Healer colors--in one case, it's green, in another (Moreta?) it's purple. So possibly the Craft color shifted over the years.
I must have totally missed the reference to healers wearing purple; I do remember the one about healers in green and I've always pictured them wearing it.

I agree with Lady Maelin on the blue subject. We've seen countless harpers, even apprentices (Menolly was given blue clothes as a newly arrived apprentice) wearing blue clothing for every-day wear. If a dye is that scarce and expensive, you don't waste it on a horde of apprentice-children, even if they are precious little apprentice harpers. It's not stated in canon but because it isn't, we are free to analyze the situation from what information is given in the text--and if a fairly large number of people are wearing blue clothing for every-day wear, right down to the kids, it's unlikely that blue dye is very rare or expensive.

The thing is, ElectricDragon, you're basing your surmises on ancient earth history; it doesn't really work that way in science fiction nor does it have to. In science fic., it's not a good idea to assume that because X condition (scarcity of natural blue and purple dyes) existed on earth, it must exist on every inhabitable planet.
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Old Apr 14 2009, 10:21 AM   #34
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I do not think that the apprentaces wore blue everyday. Menolly did get blue, but she was a bit older and could be trusted not to mess them up with the first wearing. The younger ones probably got something else for every day. I wish I could remember what clothes Pimur got in Dragon Drums. I'll ask Kibbie when she gets up. She read it more recently than I have.
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Old Apr 14 2009, 02:48 PM   #35
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When Menolly first met Robinton he was wearing grey with blue trimmings (as far as I can remember)
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Old Apr 14 2009, 07:25 PM   #36
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Pimur was given 2 pair of pants one was harper blue and the other was a deep gray.
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Old Apr 14 2009, 10:20 PM   #37
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The thing is, ElectricDragon, you're basing your surmises on ancient earth history; it doesn't really work that way in science fiction nor does it have to. In science fic., it's not a good idea to assume that because X condition (scarcity of natural blue and purple dyes) existed on earth, it must exist on every inhabitable planet.
Wave that magic wand too many times and Science Fiction stops and Fantasy begins. Physics is still physics and chemistry is still chemistry. If we're to believe Pern had enough parallel evolution to produce compatible life forms, it has enough parallel chemistry to match our own. In absence of anything canon that says blue is a plentiful color, then the best assumption with all of these parallels is that it isn't.

And the number of harpers we've seen in no way abrogates my point: harpers comprise a tiny percentage of the population, so finding enough of this dye to clothe them isn't a real problem, even with the difficulty of producing it. And the expense is simply a relative judge of its scarcity. Technically, Pern is a command economy.
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Old Apr 15 2009, 08:39 AM   #38
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Woad is actually quite easy to grow: it's just fallen out of favour on earth.
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Old Apr 15 2009, 10:03 AM   #39
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Wave that magic wand too many times and Science Fiction stops and Fantasy begins. Physics is still physics and chemistry is still chemistry. If we're to believe Pern had enough parallel evolution to produce compatible life forms, it has enough parallel chemistry to match our own. In absence of anything canon that says blue is a plentiful color, then the best assumption with all of these parallels is that it isn't.

And the number of harpers we've seen in no way abrogates my point: harpers comprise a tiny percentage of the population, so finding enough of this dye to clothe them isn't a real problem, even with the difficulty of producing it. And the expense is simply a relative judge of its scarcity. Technically, Pern is a command economy.
Yes, but dyes on earth in the middle ages were normally made out of plants (with an occassional animal, like insects).

We do know that some of the life on Pern uses different chemical compounds than life on Earth.

Indigo Dye

Blue/Indigo dye was rare in the middle ages, because most of the plants used were indiginous to India.

Pern has several temperate zones that are similar to India in climate. So it is very possible that the Indigo plant is more prevalent in Pern than it was in medieval Europe.

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Old Apr 15 2009, 10:33 AM   #40
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Or that Pern (with its different chemically-based life forms-remember they had to modify herbivores from Earth to be able to eat Pernese plant life) has a plant that produces indigo-colored dye that is NOT the same plant as grew on Earth.

And given how many things are dyed blue in the 9th Pass it's more logical to argue that it's not. Getting a good red is implied to be difficult. Green must be fairly easy as, even though it's unpopular, F'lar, Lessa, and Robinton are all able to get outfits made of green cloth despite protests of its bad luck. If it were THAT expensive and difficult to make it wouldn't be readily available, even for Benden and the Masterharper. I think we can assume ANY saturated color is going to be harder (if you've worked with vegetable dyes, you know this is a general rule) but we can't assume a planet with different chemical building blocks for their plants will have all the precise same problems as plants on Earth.
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