CLOTHING

Abb

In weaving, the warp, or yarn of it.

Agelettes

Pieces of silver or other metals attached to the ends of laces and points.

Aketon

Plain, quilted coat worn as padding under the armor.

Albe

Also alb; a tunic or vestment of white cloth reaching to the feet, enveloping the wearer; a variety of surplice, but with close sleeves; worn by clerics in religious ceremonies and by some consecrated kings.

Almoner

A small pouch, made of silk and decorated with beading or fringes, carried by men and women for distributing coins to the poor.

Alum

Considered to be the best mordant (setting agent) for use in the dying of cloth; imported from Asia.

Archil

Red dye imported from Norway.

Armet

Small, close–fitting helm that began to replace the larger bascinet as part of the field armor in the mid–15th century. An excellent example can be seen in the monument of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

Arming Buckles

Lozenge–shaped buckles for fastening armor.

Arming Cap

A padded, close–fitting skullcap worn under the helmet.

Arming Doublet

See surcoat.

Arming Laces

Waxed–cord laces used to secure sections of chain mail protecting the underarms and insides of the elbows to the aketon, or arming doublet.

Array

1) Clothing, attire. 2) Arming of military personnel. See Commission of Array.

Baldric

Also bawdric, baudry, bauderyck; a wide belt, usually made of leather and decorated, worn round the hips and passing over one shoulder and sometimes hung with bells. Used to support the wearer's sword, horn, etc.

Barbe

Also barbette; part of a woman's headress, consisting of white linen passed over or under the chin, fastened on top of the head.

Baudkins (of silk)

Rich cloth, brocade. Use restricted by the sumptuary laws.

Bawdekins

Silk, brocade.

Birnie

Coat of mail. In Scotland, the word also seems to have been used to indicate a breastplate, in some sources; dates from Anglo–Saxon times.

Bliaud

A tunic–style garment worn to the knees or longer, usually belted and decorated with embroidery at the neck, wrists and hem. Worn most often by men, though women wore a more free–flowing variation.

Bogy (Shanks)

In some instances, bogy referred to budge, or lamb's wool; in others, to fur of any kind. Shanks (or shankes), however, is identified as rabbit fur, in some texts. At his coronation, Richard III wore, among the many things described in the extant account, a long, purple velvet gown, trimmed with ermine and even further enhanced by over 3,000 powderlings of bogy shanks. The "powdering", like the unnatural pattern of spots in ermine, was achieved by sewing the small pieces of fur to the fabric to produce the desired effect.

Bongrace Headdress

Flat headdress with a veil at the back, worn by women from the late 15th to early 17th centuries.

Botews

Boot covering the whole lower leg, sometimes reaching above the knee.

Braies

Loose trousers worn by men, held together at the front by lacing.

Brunette

Wool dyed dark brown in color, used for the making of blankets or common clothes.

Buskins

Shoes for both men and women which seem to have been of sturdier construction than the normal shoe; more suitable to traveling or outdoor activities. They probably laced partly up the leg.

Bycocket

Also bycoket. A hat with long peak in front, turned down in front and up behind and having a long, cone–shaped crown. When worn by kings, it was circled with a crown. Similar to the chapeau worn by knights over their helmets.

Byrnie

See birnie.

Cameline

Cloth, supposed to have been made of camel's hair.

Caul

Also crepine or crespin. A close–fitting cap or net for the hair worn by women; often richly ornamented.

Celestrine

Also celestine; a type of sky–blue cloth.

Celours

Ceilings of beds.

Chainse

A long tunic with tight sleeves, worn by women, usually under their bliaud or pellison.

Chalons

Bed coverings; blankets.

Chamois

Soft leather made from the hide of the animal of the same name. Most often used in making boots and gloves for the nobility or royalty.

Chapel–de–fer

Iron hat with a brim. It was often called a kettle hat by the English and was usually worn by the common soldier. The basic shape remained recognizable in military headgear through the World Wars.

Chaperon

Also capuchon. 1) Hat contrived by winding a long liripipe around a cap; later made as complete headgear 2) Hood or cap worn by nobles, then by all classes.

Chatelaine

A decorative chain worn at the waist, whereon a mistress of the house kept her keys.

Chausses

Tight coverings or pantaloons for the legs and feet; especially used under the mail portions of a knight's armor.

Checkataun

Costly silk from which clothing was made.

Chemise

Loose garment worn by women, often made of silk or fine linen.

Chlamys

A short cloak, fastened at the shoulder, of Greek origin.

Ciclatoun

Also siglatoun; precious material much esteemed in the Middle Ages; scarlet cloth or cloth of gold; very richly woven material.

Circlet

A dainty and ornamental band worn by women of rank.

Cloughting (of shoes)

Reinforcing the soles with clout or hob nails or with a thin plate of iron called a clout.

Coif

Close–fitting cap covering the entire head, except the face. Mail coifs were made to be worn separately, but some were hood–like extensions of the mail shirt (hauberk).

Combe Coverchief

Long cloth, intended for covering the head.

Cope

Long cloak worn as an outer garment, chiefly for outer wear.

Corse of Silk

Woven or braided silk, used for girdles, ribbons, headbands, and so forth.

Costerings

See costers.

Cote

Short cloak, cloak or tabard of coarse material; later a woman's gown. See courtepy.

Cote–Hardie

Close–fitting garment with generally long sleeves; worn by both sexes from the 12th to the 14th centuries; a fashion begun in Italy.

Coudiere

Armor protection for the elbow. Also called a couter.

Courtepy

Very short hip–belted tunic worn in the 14th century.

Couter

Plate armor protection for the elbow. Also called a coudiere.

Coverchief

Reference made in relation to a man's wardrobe. The breast coverchief was worn over the shirt. A king or nobleman, for example, would have the same number of coverchiefs as he had shirts. Also see stomacher.

Crackows

Shoes with long, turned–up toes which were stuffed with moss to keep them properly curled. See poulaines.

Crespinette

A delicate net, usually ornamental, used to cover braided or upswept hair, worn by women of rank.

Cuir–bouilli

Leather hardened by soaking in wax, rather than what a more literal translation might imply.

Cyclas

Outer gown, usually sleeveless, with side or front openings; 13th–14th centuries.

Dagged

The edge of a garment, usually the sleeve, cut into long, pointed jags.

Damask

Rich silk fabric, woven with elaborate designs and figures; originated in Damascus, but later made in both Sicily and France.

Diaper

Fabric woven with a small and simple pattern formed by the different directions of the thread. In earlier times, a rich, costly fabric woven or flowered over the surface with gold thread.

Dishabille

A woman's loose, informal gown, made of silk or muslin.

Doser

Companion pieces to costers, they covered the backs of benches or chairs around a table made of tapestry.

Doublet

Close–fitting, short tunic, usually made of double material with padding inside.

Drops

Ornaments on the jackets used by minstrels.

Dunster

Broad woven cloth, made in Somerset; known early in the 14th century.

Ermine

1) The principal fur in heraldry, depicted in several obvious ways 2) The winter coats of stoats with the black tips of the tails sewn on the white pelts in a regular pattern. It was probably first imported from areas of eastern Europe having very cold winters with permanent snow, which was necessary for the stoat to turn white. It was very expensive and quickly became a status symbol of medieval rulers and nobility. It is still used on the coronation robes of English peers.

Estate

Cloth of Canopy, under which persons of rank customarily sat.

Falding

Coarse, woolen cloth or garment made from this cloth.

Fent (of a gown)

Collar, or that part which covered the bosom.

Frontlet

Headband worn to make the forehead smooth. They were made of the same material used in gowns and, occasionally of gold.

Frounce

To gather a piece of material, or a garment, into creases or pleats; flounce.

Gambeson

From the 13th to the 15th centuries, a garment of rich materials, often embellished with heraldric devices, and worn over a hauberk or place armor. It has also been described as something worn under the armor, like an aketon, in which case, it would have been the knight's equivalent to the modern soldier's "dog tags".

Gigmill

15th century advance in the manufacture of wool cloth. A machine that mechanically raised the nap on wool cloth. See teasles.

Girdle

Belt; frequently quite ornate. By statute, the wearing of gold or silver girdles was restric– ted only to people above a certain income level; generally royalty, nobility, and wealthy gentry.

Gite

Also gyde; a woman's gown of dress.

Gris

The grey fur of the marten; second only in value to ermine or sable; worn by members of the well–to–do middle class.

Hached

Cloth embroidered with lines, often in metallic threads, like the shading of an engraving or drawing.

Hanseline

Short jacket.

Haussepieds

Tight–fitting hose.

Hennin

The high, often dramatically pointed headdress with trailing, gauze veil worn by women in the later Middle Ages.

Houpelande

Loose tunic, slit at the sides.

Indigo

Blue dye imported from Asia.

Jack

1) Less expensive version of the brigantine, made up of many small iron or plates between layers of linen or canvas; 2) Loose coat of leather worn by the footsoldiers.

Jagging

Cloth cut into indentations called vandykes, which often showed contrasting fabric surfaces.

Jupon

Sleeveless coat, emblazoned with armorial devices and worn over armor.

Kendal Cloth

Coarse, durable cloth woven in the region around Kendal Castle, from which the namenis derived.

Kermes

Red dye imported from Spain and Portugal.

Kirtle

Skirted undergarment worn by medieval women as a slip is used today.

Lac

Red dye imported from Asia.

Latchet

Strip of leather or cloth used to fasten a shoe or clog.

Laton

Pale yellow metal, not gold, used for items such as buckles.

Lawn

Fine linen cloth used for shirts, kerchiefs, and so forth. Its price was regulated by law during the reign of Edward IV.

Liripipe

Turban–like headwear for men which came vogue around the middle of the 14th century; generally worn with tippet (tail) hanging loose.

Mantle

A long cape, often fur–trimmed.

Miniver

Valuable fur from the belly of the European grey squirrel used to trim and line the clothes of European royalty and nobility. Best quality furs were imported from Finland and Sweden, where the consistency colder climate produced the most luxuriant and durable pelts.

Morse

The fastening or clasp of a cope, usually made of gold or silver, set with gems.

Mustrevilliers, Cloth of

Rich cloth, possibly a kind of brocade or damask, made in Mustrevilliers, France.

Pellison

Thin cloak for women, usually worn over the bliaud; sometimes trimmed with fur. Women wore a more decorative version over their chainse, often belted, to show off the figure.

Pilgrim's Scrip

A small bag or satchel; the symbolic knapsack for travelers to the Holy Land.

Points

Laces for tying clothing together or shut.

Sack Cloth

A coarse material worn by penitents; a garment made of such a cloth.

Samite

A heavy and beautiful silk fabic, often interwoven with threads of gold or silver.

Sendal (or Cendal)

A fine, shimmery silk, often decorated with appliques.

Serge

Worsted wool used to make blankets or thin coverlets like sheets.

Shift

A light chemise or slip worn by women as an undergarment.

Slippers

Light shoes for indoor wear.

Slopp

An overshoe.

Surcoat

Long garment for men, sometimes worn over armor, usually decorated with embroidery or heraldric arms. It is split at the side for riding. Women wore a fitted, more version.

Tunic

A loose-fitting, long-sleeved garment.

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