1480s Florence – Points

My version of lacing "points" - work in progress

My version of lacing “points” – work in progress


The History of Costume blog describes “points” as :”resembled shoelaces, used to attach trunk hose to doublets or sleeves to doublets or bodices”. The Complete Costume Dictionary (Elizabeth J. Lewandowski) suggests that in period these were called “Punta” and the term first referred to the tips on cords or ribbons used for lacing to reinforce them – but later the word came to mean the entire lace.

In the Glossary in Words & Pictures site, author Anéa references “Moda a Firenze 1540-1580” and says that in Renaissance Italy the word was “Sengaletto”  or “Stringhe di sengaletto”, which referred to the string used to lace bodices. She adds “They were often of silk, with knots or metal points at the end, to make them easier to thread”. Since I’ve most commonly heard them referred to as “points” – that’s the term I’ll use here.

My DIY points

To attach the sleeves to the bodice of my Italian gown, I made 6 “points” – this would have been ribbon or cord bound at each end with a small metal tip – like a shoelace with an aglet which helps with lacing and keeps the material from unravelling through frequent use. (Plus – pretty!)  Since I wasn’t 100% sure on the fit of my sleeves and how they’d work with my bodice, I opted to use black elastic cord instead of regular cord or ribbon, so that I could secure the ties – but still have a little bit of movement.

A more authentic cord would be made of silk, but that will come later for me I think – right now this will work I hope.

Instead of the metal tips (the ones I’ve found commercially are way too big for this) I used aluminium tape (used for duct work – but different from duct tape) cut to size, and rolled onto each end. When I’m ready to replace these, I’ll look for brass-toned tape instead; I’ve seen it online but have never found it locally to purchase. (And buying one roll of tape seems like a waste of shipping charges…)

More authentic ones could be made using sheet metal (instructions here) but that is just more work than I really want to put into such a tiny element of the project.

In Canada you can get the aluminium tape at Rona and other home-improvement stores. (Link)

Historical Sew Fortnightly

I’m way behind on this challenge for 2014, but since I’d like to fill in that index I posted in December, I’m going to call this

  • #13: Under $10 –  Whip up a fabulous item for under $10 (we’ll use US$ as the de-facto standard)

What the item is: “Points”

The Challenge: #13: Under $10 –  Whip up a fabulous item for under $10

Fabric: (materials) aluminium tape, elastic cord

Pattern: none

Year: For my 1480s Italian costume

Notions: scissors… (my glue-scissors instead of my fabric scissors!)

How historically accurate is it? Not very – going more for the look and use, rather than accurate materials.

Hours to complete: a few minutes each

First worn: not yet – the sleeves are still in-progress

Total cost: The tape was about $8.00 when I bought it for another project, and I used only a few inches of it, so I’m going to say less than a dollar’s worth of tape. The elastic was $9.00 or so for the whole spool – I have used meters and meters since I bought it, so I’m going to say that the elastic is less than a dollar’s worth too.

Read all the posts from my 1480s Florence costume dress diary: https://dawnsdressdiary.wordpress.com/category/1480s-florence/ 

One comment on “1480s Florence – Points

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