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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Robin Hirsch

Building Authentic Elizabethan Ruffs

Knowing that poor copies of the Elizabethan figure-eight just don’t work on stage, draper Kay Hirsch did a great deal of painstaking research before she began building ruffs for the Guthrie Theater 20 years ago. After she had turned to paintings and sculptures throughout the British Isles to define the look, she developed a way to replicate these ruffs in modern materials — Petersham, bias-woven nylon horsehair, and chiffon. This article describes her method, which can be used to build a wide variety of durable, yet lightweight and easily maintained Elizabethan figure-eights.

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FIGURE 1: THE

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