Development of the Belt or Girdle

The belt or girdle was worn round the waist by men as a means of suspending weapons, by women sometimes merely as an ornament, and generally by both sexes for the practical purpose of confining the clothing. It is commonly formed of a band of leather or textile material.

The part as a rule which receives particular attention is the fastening. This is either in the form of a clasp, or more often a buckle. The clasp consists of two parts, generally symmetrical, one of which can be hooked into the other.

The buckle, another combination of a ring with a pin, is similar to the medieval ring-brooch, but differs from it in that while the pin of the brooch pierces the material twice, that of the buckle pierces it only once. It may be described as a rectangular or curved rim having one or more hinged pins or spikes attached on one side of it or on a bar across its center, and long enough to rest upon the opposite side.

The buckle is made fast to one end of the girdle; whilst the other end, drawn through on the principle of a slip knot, is kept fast by pushing the point of the pin or tongue through a hole made in the material of the girdle.

The girdle is attached by means of sewing a fold of it round the bar or round one side of the rim of the buckle. As a great strain was put upon the doubling of the leather or stuff, this soonest gave way. Consequently a plate of metal was passed round the bar or edge of the buckle, and the two portions of it received the end of the strap between them. The whole was then made fast with rivets. The plate is known Buckle.

This chap is known also,as the mordant. The chief point of the girdle to be decorated was the buckle-plate, which was often in one piece with the buckle, or hinged to it. The mordant or tag was commonly decorated too, while ornaments of metal of similar design, sometimes jeweled, were applied at regular intervals to the strap or band of the girdle. In later years the girdle often took the form of a chain, on which, as in the case of chains for the neck and wrists, artistic effects were produced by a regular sequence of links. Fastened by a clasp, it was worn by women chiefly as an ornament, or to carry small objects for personal use. For the latter purpose it was subsequently supplanted by the chatelaine.

Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at:


Author: fairydew1

Internet Publisher