Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

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Naming of cloths
(2,862 words)

Early naming practices

Fabric names in the early medieval period were wool (Old English wul), linen (or lin in Old English, Irish léine) and, imported and precious, silk (Old English seoluc), and cloth seems to have simply been referred to by these fibre names. There were certainly varieties of weave type in pre-11th-century Britain – well demonstrated by archaeological textiles – and it was perhaps an attempt to describe a type of what we now call 'twill' that led a 10th-century Anglo-Saxon woman called Wynflæd to specify a bequest of her twilibrocenan cyrtel in her will; but the defi…

Cite this page
Gale R. Owen-Crocker, “Naming of cloths”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 14 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_COM_468>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

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