A lady would not go out in just her gamurra and there were many options of over dress for her to wear. A cioppa is one of these options. You can see the glossary page for Cioppa here.  There were many variations of this kind of dress but in general they had sleeves and were often open down the front.

Andre Parigi (Florence 1395-1475), San giorgio e il drago, 1435

1485-149 Domenico Ghirlandaio Birth of the Virgin detail

1485 Resurrection of the Boy

This cioppa is made of  wool silk blend and lined in linen. It is trimmed in rabbit fur salved from a 1960s fur coat.


The sleeves are a little larger than was fashionable in 1480 but were a popular style 10 or 20 years earlier.

My pink wool cioppa has a fitted bodice and a skirt that has been pleated into the waist.


It is open down the front and the sleeves are sewn in on the top but left open under the arm to give greater arm movement without excess fabric under the arms.

My blue and gold cioppa is made out of a brocade and lined in blue cotton velveteen


It has a long train and gold work embroidery and pearls on the cuff.

I wish I had a nicer photo of this dress but it isn’t practical for the encampment so I don’t have many photo opportunities for this dress.

My green and gold cioppa is made from silk lined in cotton velveteen.

Green and Gold silk Milanese Cioppa from Cathelina's wardrobe.

It is based on imagery from Milan and has hanging sleeves slit in the front so I can put my arms through the split, thus showing off two pairs of sleeves at once. I can also tie the sleeves closed and wear my arms through the sleeves. The sleeves I am wearing under this dress are made from gold herringbone silk and I plan on making a cotta from the same fabric.

“The Marriage of Gioacchino and Anna” Milan, 1476, the Royal Library, Turin.

5 thoughts on “Cioppa

  1. Pingback: Cioppa | Cathelina di Alessandri

  2. It’s beautiful, but in the photo where it looks turquoise (my favorite color) it looks especially good on you. Lovely and elegant. I hope you can get photos of the detail too! One day, I’ll make one too, can’t resist.

    • Thank you for your comments. I was very lucky to get the turquoise-green and gold silk, I had just finished working out how much to buy and I went to the website and they had sold out of 16 metres in a few hours and only had a tiny bit left! They only do small runs of fabric so once gone, it was gone. They had a small amount on hold for another customer so I asked them to hold what they had left for me and I would buy that and what the other customer had on hold if THEY didn’t buy it. Well, the other customer didn’t buy theirs so they had JUST enough for me, but if I didn’t buy it someone else was next in line after me! It was popular, lol!

      • What wonderful luck! A few years ago I happened on some green/gold brocade curtains at Goodwill (like Oxfam) and bought them. They lived in the garage until I could wash them because they stank of cigarettes. I decided to go ahead and launder them because then I could wash whatever I made out of them. It worked, the smell is gone and it actually gave the fabric a bit more texture. They’re wide panels and heavy, but there’s lots, so one day they will be an extravagant giornea, or maybe a cioppa. There may be enough left for something else like great sleeves! First though, a camica, and gamurra. I’m thinking some gold colored linen for the gamurra in my stash. I’m looking forward to embroidering the camica with some blackwork and smocking. Can’t resist. The tie-in sleeves for the gamurra can be embroidered can’t they? It looks like it in the old “Romeo and Juliet” and some other, more scholarly sources, but I’m not sure.

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