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Cloth of gold

(640 words)

Author(s): Lisa Monnas
Cloth of gold (Latin p annus ad aureum) or cloth of silver ( p annus ad argentum) denoted a textile interwoven with gold or silver thread. During the Middle Ages, the metal threads were usually wrapped metal threads, now called filé, which varied in quality from the most expensive made of silver-gilt strip wound around a yellow silk core to cheaper threads of gilt animal-gut membrane (or alternatively parchment or leather) wound around a linen or cotton core. The metallic thread was always used as a pattern or brocading weft, never as…


(1,795 words)

Author(s): Lisa Monnas
The word pourpoint, meaning something quilted, derived from Latin perpunctum, from perpungere: per (through) and pungere (to prick). Originally a term that described the technique of quilting it soon came to represent an item of dress. Originally, it was a quilted doublet for military use but by the 15th century it became an item of fashionable civilian dress. The term could also be applied to a quilted bedcover (see beds: post-1100). Starting with its early usage, pourpoint described the technique of the gambeson and the aketon and it is sometimes synonymous with …

Quilting and padding

(803 words)

Author(s): Maria Hayward | Lisa Monnas
'Quilt', 'to quilt' and 'quilting' ( cuilte, coilte, coute) derive from the Latin culcita or culcitra meaning a cushion or mattress. Quilting is a textile technique that usually involves two layers of fabric with a layer of padding (such as feathers, down, wool, cotton waste or silk waste) in between, which is often secured with lines of stitching. The result is a textile that is quite thick, soft and warm and one that could provide insulation, protection, decoration and flexibility. As such, quilting was an i…