Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth & Maria Hayward
The single volume Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450 is a unique work that intends to bring together in 582 signed articles the latest research from across the range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of medieval dress and textiles.

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(111 words)

Author(s): Elizabeth Coatsworth
A kind of woollen cloth woven, or originally woven, in Kendal, a town in Westmorland (now Cumbria); therefore called Kendal cloth, cloth kendalles; as an adjective it meant made of Kendal cloth. The earliest references to the cloth date from legislation of 1390, and imply cloth of the poorest quality (see cloth: dimensions and weights). Gowns and hoods of Kendal are mentioned from c. 1443, from earlier Proceedings in Chancery recorded in the reign of Elizabeth 1. See also the naming of cloth. Elizabeth Coatsworth Bibliography Kurath, H., Kuhn, S. M., Reidy, J. and Lewis, R. E., ed., The Midd…


(786 words)

Author(s): John Munro | Gale R. Owen-Crocker | Hazel Uzzell
Kermes is the European term derived from the medieval Arabic kirmiz, meaning a 'worm'; and in this context it is close to the late Roman Latin term vermiculus ('little worm'), used in the Vulgate bible for 'scarlet', from which is derived the English term vermilion (a bright red shade), and the equivalent French term vermeil. By Carolingian times the word vermiculatus was being used to describe scarlet-coloured garments, displacing the old Roman word for such garments, coccina, derived from the dyestuff term coccus, itself derived from the much older Greek term κοκκος, which meant 'a …


(173 words)

Author(s): Elizabeth Coatsworth
Probably named from Kersey, a town in Suffolk, this cloth is first mentioned in 1262. Most references refer to legislation governing wool cloth (see cloth: dimensions and weights); no garments made of this material are mentioned before 1450, and there seem to be no literary references. A modern definition, however, says it is now used of a compact, lustrous woollen fabric, diagonally ribbed or twilled, which has been heavily fulled and finished with a short nap. Possibly it has changed its meani…