Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

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(477 words)

The English term derives from Old French roie, raie and Anglo-French rai, rei. There are references  going back to c. 1418-19, in an early set of Suffolk accounts, as in a mention of a red garment with stripes of gold -- in these cases it is impossible to know whether the stripes are woven in or applied in some way ('Willelmo Barnham, pro 2 capis de rubeo cerico, cum rayys de auro'). The second meaning, that of a striped cloth, has related words such as rai(e)fin, striped cloth of high quality. This cloth was important enough to be mentioned several times in legislation, with reference…

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Elizabeth Coatsworth, “Ray”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 19 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_COM_527>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

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