Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Claire's stockings


Ah. Think I might know some of the ones you’re talking about, Mary. A short shawl and a snood/cowl – both worn by Claire and in sort of dark greeny brown colours, loose knitted on big needles? Made me twitch too. Noticed them and thought, I like them but didn’t know they did that sort of thing then. Never seen anything like them in museum collections, books or paintings from that time. (Maybe they did make some things that way but it hasn’t survived, don’t know. Or maybe just haven’t seen any.)

Always thought Scottish knitted garments then were usually made close knitted, lots of stiches to the inch, sometimes fulled or felted after completion. Thought the whole point was that they were warm, hardwearing and weatherproof for wind and rain. So yes, I did a double take for a couple of things!

I’ve put in a couple of links you might be interested in. The first is a paper written ages ago about the clothing found on an 18th century body discovered in a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis in the 60s. They did a detailed analysis of how the clothes had been made including a man’s knitted blue bonnet – in case you’re looking to make an authentic 18th century one. In case the link doesn’t work the paper is by Helen Bennett ‘A murder victim discovered: clothing and other finds from an early 18th century grave on Arnish Moor, Lewis’. (Shows up on a google search).


The other link is to the National Museum of Scotland and it shows the bonnet described in the paper in really clear detail. It’s in no way definitive but it’s the sort of everyday knitting that might have been common at that time.

I’ll keep an eye out for Poldark. Thank you once again! (Liked the comment about combat boots and white tshirt too!)