The Four-Yard Shirt

Our beautiful and authentic shirt is known as a "four-yard" shirt, for the sensible and obvious reason that the body is a yard long front and back, and the sleeves are also made of a full yard of material each.

The style is that of the English Civil War, ie the early to mid C17th or seventeenth century: it is an unyoked shirt with underarm gussets, long baggy sleeves, tie-tape neck and cuffs, with a good sized collar.

Our shirts are hand-made to order, each one being individually tailored: from time to time we have have some ready-made ones for sale. As well as selling top-quality hand-made shirts, we offer some other items which may be of interest to the re-enactment market, such as linen thread and charcloth: click on the links, or on the relevant tab (above) for more information.

Please note, prices are for supply to the UK only. At this time, we don't sell to other countries due to the sheer hassle of money transfer, customs and duty charges and so on.

All our shirts are strongly constructed, comfortable to wear, and able to withstand the hard life of the battlefield as well as the rigours of the banquet hall - not to mention performing on stage ("are you famous yet, Gary?"), on stilts (still hoping for pictures of that shirt in action), for dancing, Scottish or otherwise; for wearing with kilts, for playing Folk music, and simply for the pleasure of dressing up.

We have been supplying shirts to re-enactment groups such as the English Civil War Society, Kentwell, The White Company and the Sealed Knot for well over 30 years, and we make our shirts to a very high standard of authenticity.

The patterns and cut are authentic for the period, we do not use overlocking, instead all seams are double-sewn for strength and endurance. We also strive for the minimum of visible machine stitching. This makes our shirts equally at home on the battlefield or at Living History events, where the public pay closer attention to detail.

The fabric is top quality 100% cotton calico in a rich creamy off-white: it is strong and durable, and on arrival is quite crisp, but softens down with time and use. It is strongly woven, so it resists rips and damage, and like all cotton, it shrinks if boiled!!

If you prefer the darker side of life, you can choose to go for this rather groovy lightweight black 100% cotton fabric.

It drapes very nicely, and is soft to wear, but not as strong nor as sturdy as calico.

But it looks good, doesn't it?

The seventeenth century had two answers to the problem of getting enough fabric in the body without having the shoulder seams falling halfway down the arm: gussets or inset sleeves.

This is a gusset (left) -  a small panel let in to the armpit area which allows much more freedom of movement for the arm, and which could also be easily replaced when time and sweat had done their work.

Thankfully, with modern detergents (and deodorants!) this is no longer quite as necessary as it was!

We do offer inset sleeves as well, check out the Extras page.

Cuffs: the simple tie-tape:

On the left we have the simple tie-tape: really "looks the period" and can require the services of a dresser or wench to tie it for you.

Actually, it is perfectly possible to tie your own cuffs, I do it all the time, but it's kinda fun to get someone else to do it for you.

 As you can see (right) the tie-tape cuff features a strong wrist band, then two cotton tie tapes, ending in our trademark triangle tags.

Historically, cuffs (and indeed collars) were made seperately, so that they could be laundered more frequently than the shirts. but as with the sacrificial armpit gusset,  modern detergents and deodorants make this no longer necessary.

Having said that, we can offer seperate collars, to smarten up old shirts: email us if you are interested.

The front neck opening is closed with tie-tapes: 

We offer a full a mix and match service for all shirts - you choose your fabric, your collar style, and your underarm style, your cuff style. We make the shirt, just for you.

We have a limited amount of Lightweight calico left: this 100% cotton fabric is thinner, lighter, and more comfortable for summer wear, and has proved to be very popular with LRP (Live Role Play) or LARP (Live Action Role Play) where there is more running around, and less actual fighting. Obviously nowhere near as strong as normal calico.

But quite handy for Mr Darcy role-playing: it's a bit on the see-through side even when dry (ladies please take note!) but when wet... 

And now a quick word about labels: is a legal requirement that all garments must contain a label confirming what materials they are made from.

Ours are 100% cotton, so we have a label which declares that fact.

About the only place to put them is in the traditional back-of-the-neck position, which is fine while you are wearing it, but terrible for Living History events.

The  labels are lightly hand-sewn into place, so they are very easy to remove, if you don't want them on show. We don't mind,  honest!  But we have to send them out properly labelled.

Right! What do you if you want to order one of these fabulous shirts? Not quite sure what size you are? Well, as every shirt is hand-made to order, there is no such thing as a "size".  All our shirts are, to remind you, four-yard shirts which means they are a yard long - ie from shoulder to hem - and have two yards of fabric in the body, so they'll fit any chest size at all. Up to, er, 72".

So before you contact us, measure yourself or - better still - get someone else to do it. Take a look at  the page on How to Measure yourself for a Shirt for more information regarding sizes.

If you have any queries, you are most welcome to read through the Frequently Asked Questions, and if by any chance that does not help, do feel free to E-mail us at