Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

Get access

(786 words)

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 …

Cite this page
John Munro, Gale R. Owen-Crocker and Hazel Uzzell, “Kermes”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 06 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_SIM_000982>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

▲   Back to top   ▲