Medieval Clothing and Textiles (2017)

By: Robin Netherton & Gale R Owen-Crocker

The best new research on medieval clothing and textiles, drawing from a range of disciplines.

Three of the essays in this collection focus on Italy, with contributions on footwear in Lucca based on documentary evidence of the fourteenth century; aristocratic furnishings as described in a royal letter of the fifteenth century, along with its first translation into English; and Boccaccio’s treatment of disguise involving Christian/Islamic identity shifts in his Decameron. The Bayeux Tapestry is discussed as a narrative artwork that adopts various costumes for semiotic purposes. Another chapter considers surviving artefacts: a detailed study of a piece of quilted fabric armour, one of two such items surviving in Lübeck, Germany, reveals how it was made and suggests reasons for some of the unusual features. The volume also includes an investigation of the commercial vocabulary related to the medieval textile and fur industries: the terms used in Britain for measuring textile and fur are listed and discussed, especially the unique use of Anglo-French “launces” in a document of 1300.

More Information


Publisher: Suffolk, England ; Rochester, New York : The Boydell Press, 2017. ©2017
ISBN: 9781783272150 1783272155
OCLC Number: 1002130666
Description: xiii, 161 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm

Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Preface
  • The Significance of Dress in the Bayeux Tapestry – Gale R. Owen-Crocker
  • How Long Is a Launce? Units of Measure for Cloth in Late Medieval Britain – Mark C Chambers
  • Robes, Turbans, and Beards: “Ethnic Passing” in Decameron9 – Ana Grinberg
  • Calciamentum: Footwear in Late Medieval Lucca – Christine E. Meek
  • “Bene in ordene et bene ornata”: Eleonora d’Aragona’s Description of Her Suite of Rooms in a Roman Palace of the Late Fifteenth Century – Jane Bridgeman
  • The Lübeck Wappenröcke: Distinctive Style in Fifteenth-Century German Fabric Armor – Jessica Finley
  • Recent Books of Interest

About the author

About the author

Robin Netherton is a costume historian specializing in Western European clothing of the twelfth through fifteenth centuries. Since 1982, she has given lectures and workshops on practical aspects of medieval costume and on costume as an approach to social history, art history, and literature. A journalist by training, she also works as a professional editor and is the editor of Medieval Clothing and Textiles.

Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor Emeritus of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester and Deputy Director of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies. Her most recent books are King Harold II and the Bayeux Tapestry (2005), Dress in Anglo-Saxon England: Revised and Enlarged Edition (2004), and The Four Funerals in Beowulf (2000).

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