The Florentine Persona
The Big Green Cioppa
Some people have asked me to move all the cioppa pictures to a new
page. Here, then, for your viewing pleasure are all the pictures I have
uploaded of the cioppa, and comments.
The cioppa is an Italian overgown worn over a doublet and
fluffy white undershirt. It was made of around 11 yards of dark green
gabardine lined in twill cotton, with purple velveteen lining on the
sleeves. It is trimmed in one row of gold Europa gimp braid flanked by
rows of very narrow black satin ribbon. The trim goes around the neckline,
down the front to cover the front seam, and around the bottom hem, as well
as around the edges of the angel-wing sleeves. Scraps of purple were used
to make the edging at the hem.
In this shot, the doublet isn't beneath the cioppa, because
it hadn't been made yet. The model is wearing only a camicia (fluffy
white shirt) underneath.
I should also probably mention that I hadn't bought nearly
enough of the green stuff -- I was short nearly 4 yards and ended up
piecing one sleeve out of 1' wide scraps left over from cutting the body
of the garment. But you can't tell at all -- the seams just disappear into
all those gathers and folds.
|A shot of the front of the costume, with a beige
farsetto (doublet) worn under the cioppa. Cioppas were popular in Florence
from around 1440 to well into the 1500s, in varying forms. As the years
passed, younger men wore steadily shorter and shorter cioppas, and less
and less structured cioppas, until the trendiest types dispensed with them
altogether and began parading around in just the farsetto and hose (and a
brightly-colored codpiece, of course).
|The left side, with the thrown-back
||From the back.
||Front view, with boots on.
This garment was made
from dark green gabardine -- not the best choice, because
it is artificial and because it really hasn't got a lot of body.
I lined it with some (fuschia) cotton twill I had on
hand, which gave it a bit more, but as you can see, not *quite*
enough! For some reason I didn't line the sleeves with the
twill. I should have.
I should mention that
the trim down the front isn't anything I've seen in any portraits.
I did it because it looked cool to me. Since then I've seen a
few examples of trim down the front of a garment, but nothing
like this. To be fair, trim covering seamlines is perfectly
acceptable, so somewhere out there it probably exists the way
I've done it.. I just haven't found documentation yet for
Overall I'm pleased with this first effort -- it fits marvelously
well, the pleating came out all right, and it's very
elegant-looking. I'm also informed it's fairly comfortable, considering
it traps heat badly and that it weighs about 10
Total yardage: 45" green gabardine, about 11 yards (much of
one sleeve is piece from scraps, but you can't really tell;
ideally, I'd use about 14 yards of the green); 45" purple velveteen,
8 yards; 60" cotton twill, about 5 yards; trims, 20 yards each.
I'd estimate it took me a good 100 hours at least to do this
costume. The long seams are machine-stitched, but all trims and
seam finishes were done by hand.
|Detail of doublet sleeve under cioppa's big
||Detail of extended sleeve.
|Seen from the right side.
||From the waist up, showing trim details and
This page last updated: July 10, 2009
All text copyright Vangelista di Antonio Dellaluna, except
where otherwise noted. All portraits are understood to be copyright-
free and are presented as research aids only.