THE CASTILIAN CAPE IN VILLAFÁFILA
THE CASTILIAN CAPE
The Castilian or Spanish cape is a typical Spanish garment. It is a long, loose, sleeveless, open-front traditional outerwear that is attached to the neck and covers almost the entire body, gradually widening towards the bottom. It is used to put on top of the suit or dress.
ORIGIN AND HISTORY THE CASTILIAN CAPA
The Celtiberian tribes already used a cape in their clothing, called sago. The Romans adopted it as a cape open on the sides and fastened with a fable on the shoulder, and the Arabs left us their bathrobe, a cloak closed with a hood.
The cape has been a historical element of the first order that formerly marked social ranks
The promoters of the Spanish layer were the Dukes of Béjar when they created the Wool Textile Industry around the 14th and 15th century in Béjar (Salamanca). They had huge flocks of sheep and, at the time of the shearing, in the months of April or May, once the shearing was done, they washed the wool in the river. They found that the water from the Béjar river, the Cuerpo de Hombre river, was exceptional for washing and dyeing. The wash was fine, silky and sweet on the wool and the dye stayed strong and permanent. The Dukes of Béjar paid careful attention to this Textile Industry, and given the great consumption of layers, they dedicated themselves completely to the manufacture of this article.
Back in the Middle Ages, the cape was an obligatory cloak for all classes: hoods for warriors, tabards and she-wolves for nobles, magna capes for religious and village cloaks for peasants.
The denomination of Spanish cape begins to gain popularity from the 16th century and is used especially by man. It also came to be used in France with the well-known name of Spanish cape.
In the 16th century, the cape was a sign and external measure of the lineage: the length was inversely proportional to the economic rank that the person had, the king, for example, wore a type of cape that reached the waist or less, the nobles and knights half leg, the mercantile bourgeoisie by the knee and as the social class fell the cape went down. The humblest people wore cloaks that almost reached the ground. Today the ideal or established measurement is three or four fingers below the knee. There are those who dare to differentiate between two types of cape, the longer Castilian one and the Spanish one that reaches the knee.
In the 17th century, the ferreruelo still survives , a short cap that used to be gracefully thrown over one shoulder, but many other capes and cloaks are also fashionable. Anguarina, Calatanazor, Soria.
The 18th century brought us the Bourbon dynasty and French tastes: courtly capes are made of lighter fabrics and more vivid colors. The length of the cloth becomes a matter of state and even provokes a popular riot against an enlightened minister: Esquilache. The influence does not reach peasants and shepherds, who continue with their wool or thick cloth anguarinas to keep out the cold, or their straw crowns to shield themselves from the rains.
One of its best-known manifestations, within the events that have marked history, is the Esquilache Riot, which consisted of popular revolts that took place in Madrid and in the Spanish provinces in the spring of 1766. In the capital, the riot broke out on Week Santa, on March 23, 1766, the insurgents sacked the residence of the minister Leopoldo de Gregorio y Masnata, Marquis of Esquilache under the cry of Death to Esquilache.! They were produced by deep causes (shortages, price rises, xenophobia against foreign rulers); the trigger was the drastic application of reforms in the use of capes and hats (he shortened the length of the capes and the brims of the hats). Carlos III had to capitulate before the mutineers and depose the minister Marquis of Esquilache. On the 25th the people in arms, Owner of Madrid, he mutinied again demanding the return of the monarch, who had fled to Aranjuez. The king promised the return. In almost all the provinces, in the following weeks, local revolts against the administration took place, the most violent being those that occurred in the Basque Country (Vascongadas at the time), Cuenca, Zaragoza. The mutineers presented their requests to the monarch, among which was the repeal of the clothing provisions. They also took the opportunity to also achieve political ends, such as the prohibition of appointing senior foreign officials. the most violent were those that occurred in the Basque Country (Basques at the time), Cuenca, Zaragoza. The mutineers presented their requests to the monarch, among which was the repeal of the clothing provisions. They also took the opportunity to also achieve political ends, such as the prohibition of appointing senior foreign officials. the most violent were those that occurred in the Basque Country (Basques at the time), Cuenca, Zaragoza. The mutineers presented their requests to the monarch, among which was the repeal of the clothing provisions. They also took the opportunity to also achieve political ends, such as the prohibition of appointing senior foreign officials.
Wool producers such as Béjar (Salamanca) were the ones that made the first layers of the 19th century. It is for this reason that one of its initial precursors corresponds to the Duke of Béjar  . In the 19th century it managed to ascend to the most select environments and managed to be an image of elegance and style. Its use becomes very popular. But the cape as we know it comes from the 19th century, it was used, its peak moment was at the end of the 19th century.
The classic cape has not evolved, the patterns remain the same as those used in the 19th century. There are many layers, but there is only one Spanish layer. It represents a whole tradition in the most distinguished Spanish dress. It is an exclusive garment that brings elegance, style and uniqueness to whoever wears it. The specialist in Social Protocol and Etiquette, Miguel del Amo, professor at the Escuela Superior de Moda de Madrid explains to 'Emotional Landscapes':
«During Romanticism it was indispensable in dances and in the Opera. What I like the most is its use within the Spanish Label. The Spanish cape can be used as an outerwear for the Frac, the highest Etiquette in our country. The 1901 model of Capas Seseña is the most classic and suitable for Etiquette acts, which is what the protocol contemplates. Of course other models would serve us to attend events, but not with Frac ».
But at the beginning of the 20th century, its use began to decline. Little was relegated by the new clothing.
The cape we take as a reference today belongs to the Domínguez-Martínez family, originating at least from D. Pantaleón Domínguez Rodríguez (Villafáfila 1889-1929 Madrid), son of D. Pedro Domínguez Prieto (Villafáfila SS 1847-1924 Villafáfila) and SP Elena Rodriguez Diaz. He married in 1913 with Mrs. Severina Tejedor del Teso “Chonche”  (Villafáfila 1890-1975 Villafáfila ).
It is known that at his wedding he married the cape in the year 1913.
The cape passed by inheritance to Mr. Isidro Domínguez Tejedor "Chonche" (S. Mª Villafáfila 1914-1999 Zamora) married to Mrs. Esperanza Calzada Gómez (Villafáfila 1916-2012 Benavente).
In turn, the cape passes to Mr. Isidro Domínguez Calzada "Chonche" (1944 Villafáfila), married to Mrs. María Esperanza Martínez Fidalgo, "Chonche" (1948 Villafáfila).
And finally to his children Domínguez Martínez  .
This layer has served as a model for photographing it.
The promoters were the Dukes of Béjar when they created the Wool Textile Industry more than six hundred years ago in Béjar (Salamanca). They had huge flocks of sheep and, at the time of the shearing, in the months of April or May, once the shearing was done, they washed the wool in the river. They found that the water from the Béjar river, the Cuerpo de Hombre river, was exceptional for washing and dyeing. The wash was fine, silky and sweet on the wool and the dye stayed strong and permanent. The Dukes of Béjar paid careful attention to this Textile Industry, and given the great consumption of layers, they dedicated themselves completely to the manufacture of this article.
It is for this reason that one of its initial precursors corresponds to the Duke of Béjar. In the 19th century it managed to ascend to the most select environments and managed to be an image of elegance and style. Its use becomes very popular.
The Cape is a long, loose, sleeveless, open-front garment that is fastened to the neck and covers almost the entire body, gradually widening towards the bottom that serves to put on top of the dress. It is called “Spanish” or “pañosa” for men, made of cloth, with a very wide flight and with bright-colored velvet bands as linings on the front edges.
The cape has certain general characteristics; one of the first is that the most common colors are black (mainly), navy blue, brown. A fibula is usually included (generally with shapes similar to those of a charro button). It is usually used entirely in sheep's wool, or in proportions of 90% wool and 10% cashmere. Currently, some amount of polyamide is usually included in the fabric. The shawl, that is, the part that covers the face, is almost always made of 100% cotton velvet, and it is also dyed in different colors: red, maroon, green. It is a long, sleeveless garment open at the front torso. Originally used by men, models for women began to exist at the end of the 20th century.
The cloth woven exclusively in the town of Béjar (Salamanca) is used for its preparation, whose fame is known worldwide for its characteristic and special manufacture and in which the waters of its Cuerpo de Hombre river are what give the qualities of its products. rich tints. Another of the interesting peculiarities of the Béjar cloth is that once the cape is made, when the cut is made, it does not fray or, more commonly, no threads come out.
The layer is made up of:
Types of capes, There are two: the smooth cape and the embroidered cape, either by hand or by machine.
Coat colors. They can be: blue, black, brown or bottle green.
This layer is not usually worn alive.
It is decorated with trimmings on the neck, cape and front edge.
In the back, opening or escutcheon also decorated with trimmings.
Esclavina, short cape that is worn loose over other garments or that is sewn to the neck of a long garment, generally warm.
Shroud and counter-shroud (inside view) is generally made of velvet, and of different colors, depending on the model of the cloak.
There are two brooches, and it is the ornament that finishes off the garment. They are filigree from Salamanca; of black silk cord; silver; of gold; of brilliants; etc. The clasps are large and the length a little more than the classic Madrileña.
Opening or escutcheon, which is at the back of the cape, in the lower area.
The cape usually takes from four and a half to five meters, in double-width cloth.
This according to length.
The Madrid, (a little below the knee).
La Castellana, (at ankle height).
The Andalusian, (shorter than the Madrid).
Characteristics of the Castilian layer:
Its classic color is brown or brown.
Long cape, high collar, cloaks of the same color, that is, brown. This layer is not usually worn alive.
The clasps are large and the length a little more than the classic Madrid  .
The Spanish layer has a very special treatment in the manufacture. In its origins, after washing the wool, it was dyed. It is made in different shades: black and “tub blue”. Rosemary honey and urine were used to achieve this color. The dyeing process was carried out in large wooden troughs made with staves or in vats. Once the wool was dyed, it was manufactured.
First it was spun, at first by hand, then on rustic machines, then on semi-mechanical lathes and currently on ultra-modern self-casting machines. Next, they were woven on bracero looms, at first, then on stick looms, later extending to other more modern and automatic ones until reaching the current ones that are very sophisticated.
To finalize the manufacture , the layers were finished in some very characteristic fulling mills and by rustic procedures to furnish these steps based on a large filming in water of the fabrics, which were later treated with wild thistles to hang them, just as today it is done, to remove the hair, which was later equalized with an operation called "tundido", this is how the hair is achieved that gives that unique tone to the layers of Béjar.
Some of the wool-producing areas such as Béjar (Salamanca) were the ones that made the first layers of the 19th century.
The drying of the pieces was done, as it is today, in the open air and in the sun, thus achieving an unbeatable and unique finish. Once all these steps are done, we can make the cape. Current techniques are combined with some of the old ones and unique garments are achieved.
To walk (or go or be) in the doldrums. Suffer great decline in property, fortune or health.
Broken cape: Person who is secretly sent for some important business.
In cape and cap: With a suit of plainness and confidence.
Defend tooth and nail: Protect a person with all possible means.
Destroy the cape: Throw it towards the back, disengaging the action of the arms and legs.
Cast (or make) someone's cape: Hide a person's defects, protect them.
Throw the cape to the bull: Intervene in a matter in favor of another person.
Making a tunic out of her cape: Acting according to her own will and with freedom in things or matters that only belong to her or concern her.
Walking the cape: Strolling.
Remove the cape: Justify or argue well in some tight trance.
Exit slit layer. Go from jobs and miseries to better fortune.
Pulling the cape: Warn a person of some evil, defect or danger so that they do not fall into it.
Shawl: Large warm scarf.
Mantle: Wide garment, similar to the cape, which covers the head, shoulders and part of the dress.
Herreruelo: Cape not very long, with collar and without cape. (Ferreruelo).
Hood: Ancient clothing, long and loose, with a hood.
Cape: Coat similar to the cape, with sleeves, a hole to put the head and less flare.
Palio: Ancient garment similar to a cloak that the Greeks wore over the tunic attached with a brooch.
THE CASTILIAN CAPE IN VILLAFÁFILA
Likewise, that the history of the cape, which has reached many families today, dates from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, that its owner, depending on the economic availability, the cape was of greater or lesser quality, in its fabric or embroidery, but all of them with the same characteristics, a warm garment that stands out for its weight. Used in celebrations in festive acts of all kinds, in addition to being a garment that was used in clothing, even used on the wedding day.
These layers have been passed from one generation to another by inheritance from great-grandparents or grandparents that gives an additional, emotional plus to the garment. That is seen in some moments of celebration. There are many more than we think, some rest in the chests waiting for you to put it on.
Not only was the cape used for events or clothing, being a strong garment it was used for the cold as we see in the following photo, even used for work in the fields.
Combination of typical costume for women and cape for men
Even as children they wore a similar cape as we see below.
Not only has the cape been used in these events, but also in the celebrations of the fifth.
What has given her a push and returned to being more considerate and with more esteem.
Another of the moments that the cape has had a boom in Villafáfila has been since 2010 when through the Pro-Semana Santa Board with the recovery of the Vera Cruz Procession on Holy Thursday night, the cape was introduced in the procession carrying it the chargers and people who are parading. This new impetus even led to the creation of new layers. Where the elegance of the cape blends with the procession.
Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.
This work is dedicated to Ms. Leire Montero Mateos, who through a personal work on typical female costumes for her studies at the IES of Astorga 2020 and who was awarded. This has been a preamble to the beginning of this work and its structure, including the said Miss. Ella is part of this work, when she came out wearing the reference cape of the Domínguez-Martínez family in the procession of the Vera Cruz of 2022.
Manuel Granja Alonso and Camilo Pérez Bragado:
Villafáfila, history and current events of a Castilian-Leonese town and its parish churches. 1996. p. 366.
M. Granja: Villafáfila also has a regional costume. Zamora's Opinion, 9-17-1995.
References on the Spanish Cape taken from the Friends of the Madrid Cape. History of the Cape, The Spanish and Clothy Cape. http://www.amigoscapamadrid.com/capa2.htm
Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.
Reference coat of the Domínguez-Martínez family from D. Pantaleón Domínguez Rodríguez (Villafáfila 1898-1929 Madrid), has served as a model to photograph it.
Friends of the Madrid Layer. http://www.amigoscapamadrid.com/capa2.htm
Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.
Transcription and montage:
Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.
All text, photographs, transcription and assembly, the rights belong to their authors, any type of use is prohibited without authorization.
All text and photography has been authorized for storage, treatment, work, transcription and assembly to José Luis Domínguez Martínez, its dissemination on villafafila.net, and any other means authorized.
 García Contreras, Modesto (1966), My cape: I sing to the Spanish cape.
 Chonche: is a nickname converted from personal to family member of Villafáfila, which comes from Alfonso Tejedor Zamorano (SS 1848-1919) married to Mrs. Fernanda del Teso García (SP 1856-1926) and who passed the nickname to their descendants by one of the branches of the last name Tejedor.
 By both paternal and maternal side they carry the nickname Chonche.
 References on the Spanish Cape taken from the Friends of the Madrid Cape. History of the Cape, The Spanish and Clothy Cape.