Ever since the development in the late nineteenth century of style criticism into a major analytical tool of art history scholarship, the examination of drapery and folds has played an important role in the study of medieval sculpture. An often abstract, formalistic terminology has been developed for the description and classifcation of folds. Practitioners with experience of handling textiles and making period costumes, on the other hand, view the renderings of costume in medieval art with different eyes. In this article, the expert knowledge of a medievalist historian cum seamstress is made use of for a survey of a number of Swedish and Norwegian twelfth and thirteenth-century sculptures of seated Virgins, in order to fnd out to what extent the stylistically trained eye of the art historian might beneft from insights gained from the «hands-on» experience of the makers of medieval costumes.