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Making and wearing a Paludamentum - please help
Brandon and Graham (and everyone else),

I'd like to ask you guys a few other questions please -

I'm trying to figure out how a paludamentum and a sagum are positioned when you wear them, and how they're cut and shaped.

I was told by someone that with both a sagum and paludamentum, the longest dimension is always the vertical dimension - correct? I was told that a sagum is basically a large rectangle (maybe 60" x 3 yards) - the 3 yard length would be vertical and then folded in half, so it ends up being close to a square. The folded edge is the top edge - running horizontally. You would then wrap that folded, top edge around your neck with the cloak hanging over your left shoulder, and then secure two middle sections of that folded edge on top of your right shoulder. Alternatively - you could grab two middle sections of that top, folded edge and secure them to both shoulders from behind, so the sagum hangs straight down behind you and centered.

I was told that with a paludamentum, again - the long sides run vertically. You gather together the middle section of the shorter edge on the top, and then pin that to your left shoulder. So the paludamentum has its long dimension falling down from your shoulder towards the ground, and you have the option to then pass it forward under your left armpit and throw it outwards over your left arm (carrying it). And if the paludamentum is too long for this, you can partially fold it vertically before your pin it to your shoulder. Is this correct and how you wear it, Brandon?

My other question is - if it's cut as a half octagon or half circle, is that cut along the long dimension? So it's an elongated half-circle or half-octagon? Brandon - from your description, I'm assuming this is the case - you mentioned that you wear the long edge closest to your neck, with the rounded edge facing away from your body on the left. But I'm wondering Brandon - do you grab your paludamentum in the middle of its long, straight edge - and then attached that point to your shoulder? So it's basically folded in half lengthwise, and the middle point is attached to your shoulder?

As I mentioned, I'd really like to be able to wear my cloak three different ways, with different outfits - either pinned to my left shoulder like a typical paludamentum in a parade or dress situation (and probably under the armpit and wrapped over my left arm), but also - I want to wear it like a sagum where it's over my left shoulder and pinned on the right shoulder. And also - wear it sometimes centered in the back, pinned to both shoulders (as I often see when worn by commanders or generals in movies, Caesar, etc., out on campaign and worn over their armor). I'd like to probably make mine with rounded corners and perhaps one long, straight edge, but I need to figure out exactly how it's folded and worn for these three different styles so I can be sure mine will work alright for all of them. Or - would you recommend I just stick to a rectangular design and do you think that's more versatile and practical for me? I want it to look very flowing, elegant and dressy, so I like the idea of rounded corners without the sharp angles and visible corners. Thank you again so very much for your help with these questions.

I'd imagine you could wear a wrap however you wanted and few would complain. I don't think you would get in trouble. :-)
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
Thanks M.Demetrius, I'm sure you're right, lol.

I'm just wondering- I'd prefer to make a paludamentum that's a half-circle, and I wonder if that will make it difficult to wear it sometimes centered in the back and pinned to both shoulders, and also wearing it sometimes as a sagum- over left shoulder and pinned to right shoulder. Also- I'm wondering if a typical half-circle shaped paludamentum is cut with the half-circle along the longest dimension, or the shorter dimension.
Ok - I'm definitely going to make an elongated half-round paludamentum. Just need a little more help....

Could anyone please help me and clarify a bit about exactly how the half-round paludamentum is folded and worn when secured to just the left shoulder alone? I assume that the elongated half-circle design has the rounded edge along the longest dimension? However, as I re-read Graham's posts - it sounds like perhaps the corners were cut off or rounded on the shorter dimension - so the one of the shorter sides is rounded and two long edges are both straight? This seems hard to imagine.

Brandon - I'd really love to get a better understanding of exactly the shape and dimensions of your paludamentum, and exactly how you fold it and wear it when pinned on your left shoulder. That's exactly how I'll wear mine most of the time. I'm picturing that perhaps yours is cut so one of the long edge is rounded, with the other long edge straight... and I'd imagine you basically fold it in half lengthwise - and then gather it together near the folded point on the long straight edge, attaching that to your left shoulder. Is that correct? I can see how in that case, the rounded, long edge would be facing out - away from your left shoulder, and I can see how it makes sense to fold it in an accordion shape with pleats when you gather it together to pin onto your shoulder. I like this design - half circle; it seems like it will work nicely for wearing it in the traditional paludamentum style pinned on the left shoulder, as well as wearing it like a sagum - worn over left shoulder but pinned onto the right shoulder. HOWEVER - I'm wondering if this elongated half-circle design would make it impractical to wear it centered in the back and pinned to both shoulders. What do you think? I do understand that there are perhaps different shaped cloaks, designed for wearing them in different ways, so it might be unrealistic to expect one cloak design to be wearable in all these various ways. From what I've read about the Roman Mantium - I'd like to be able to sometimes wear my cloak like this - centered in the back and secured with a single brooch in the middle of the front of my neck; is that possible with a half-circle shaped paludamentum cloak? I'd think that would be fine - if the long, straight edge is positioned horizontally and at the top, behind my neck (and secured around the front of my neck), with the rounded, long edge facing down towards the ground behind me - yes? I'm just not understanding whether the rounded edge is the LONGEST dimension (as in that half-octagon pattern I posted), or the short dimension of the cloak.
Sorry for all the questions and confusion, and thanks again very much for your help.


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