Order Robes for the Laurel in Caid (FAQ)
Why are all those Laurels wearing blue cotton velveteen cloaks?
They are Order Robes, styled after those worn in the 15th and 16th centuries by various Orders of Chivalry. <Eowyn Amberdrake>
The point of the Order Robes was to give us more of a sense of one Order rather than individuals, and for the same reason we encourage everyone to come to the back of the hall when we are asked to attend the Crown and file up as a group. <Gwendolyn of Amberwood>
Over the course of many years and discussion, a majority
within the Order decided that it would like to have the option for
Order Robes to wear during "official" functions--elevation of a
candidate, swearing fealty, and Order presentations to the Crown. There
was at no time any attempt or desire to compel members uninterested in
the robes to acquire or wear one.
So, a blue robe lined in white with a laurel wreath is a Caidan Order Robe; something else, such as an armorial cloak, is a Peerage Cloak, or perhaps an Order Robe from another kingdom.* Any of these are permissible and entirely welcome. <Angelina Nicolette de Beaumont>
Like most historical Order Robes, the badge of the Order is large, and placed over the left front, about midway between the collar and the waist -- basically over the heart when the robe is closed. < Éowyn Amberdrake, author of CA #116>
How do the most common style of Caidan Order Robes differ from historical ones, and why?
The most commonly used pattern has been adapted from its closest historical analog by:
· making the cloak a lot less full. It looks like the historical Garter Robes were gathered into the neckline, and modern ones certainly are. We made it less full for two primary reasons:
o Caid in a time of global warming and an age of central heating is much warmer than England during a mini-ice-age, so we wanted less cloth around us.
o Less cloth means the robe is less expensive to make
· Making our order robes shorter than the historical ones. Ours only go to the floor. Elizabeth I's Garter Robe had a 2 yard train, and the robes of the ordinary members clearly puddled on the floor. We made the robes shorter for the same two reasons as above, and to make them easier to deal with in crowded halls.
· We don't have different colored robes for officers of the order, because we do not have permanent officers of the order, and no one volunteered to deal with more colors and more cloaks.
· Making a stand-up collar. Some Laurels chose to do a simple round neckline, which appears to be more common historically.
· Adding the symbols of other orders to which they belong onto this Order Robe.
· Embellishing the button holes at the sides, where the tassel goes through, with a remarkable variety of personal styles and decorations.
· Choosing cotton velveteen instead of silk velvet, for its more reasonable cost, availability, durability, and easy care.
· Using polyester Laurel wreath damask for lining, for its usage of our symbol, and again its relatively inexpensive cost and easy care.
When we look at what they cost us as individuals- both financially and as a matter of convenience or comfort, we are missing another part of the picture.
My first experience with the Order cloaks was not as a Laurel. It was as someone sitting in the audience, being bored with a court that was much the same as any other of the hundreds and hundreds of other courts I and all of the rest of us have sat through. Then something very cool happened. I don't remember if it was the Order swearing fealty to the new Crown, or whether you were elevating someone to the Order, or whether it was something else. What I do remember was a spectacular sight of a long line of Laurels processing up the isle, wrapped in a sea of blue. You guys looked stunning. You looked like what a peerage order looks like in my own fantasies of what the middle ages were like. You weren't just a big group of people crowding your way to the front of the room to do some trivial bit of business so you could get out and go back to doing what you were doing before you got called to court. You were, in no uncertain terms, the Order of the Laurel of Caid, and Damn Proud of It. The effect on me, as part of a largely disinterested audience, was WOW.
If you are one among us who has decided not to make a cloak, for whatever very good reasons there are for not doing so, please think about the decision you are making. Not just for yourself, and not just for the Order, but for the impact it has for the overall look of the game we play. The Order simply looks remarkable in those cloaks. We add one more bit of what it takes to help those all too rare and magical times where the real world fades, and if even for just a moment, the game is a little more real.
They may be expensive and hot and a pain to lug around, but in
my opinion, they are way more than worth it. Even for just a few times
This is the recognized web site for the Order of the Laurel of the Kingdom of Caid of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and is maintained by Dame Joan Silvertoppe. This site may contain electronic versions of the group's governing documents. Any discrepancies between the electronic version of any information on this site and the printed version that is available from the originating office will be decided in favor of the printed version. For information on using photographs, articles, or artwork from this web site, please contact the Webminister at . He or she will assist you in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors.
Copyright © 2010-2016 the Order of the Laurel of the Kingdom of Caid of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. The original contributors retain the copyright of certain portions of this site.