Three of the essays in this collection focus on Italy, with contributions on footwear in Lucca based on documentary evidence of the fourteenth century; aristocratic furnishings as described in a royal letter of the fifteenth century, along with its first translation into English; and Boccaccio's treatment of disguise involving Christian/Islamic identity shifts in his Decameron. The Bayeux Tapestry is discussed as a narrative artwork that adopts various costumes for semiotic purposes. Another chapter considers surviving artefacts: a detailed study of a piece of quilted fabric armour, one of two such items surviving in Lubeck, Germany, reveals how it was made and suggests reasons for some of the unusual features. The volume also includes an investigation of the commercial vocabulary related to the medieval textile and fur industries: the terms used in Britain for measuring textile and fur are listed and discussed, especially the unique use of Anglo-French "launces" in a document of 1300.
Contributors: Jane Bridgeman, Mark C. Chambers, Jessica Finley, Ana Grinberg, Christine Meek, Gale R. Owen-Crocker
Costume historian and freelance editor; no academic affiliation Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor Emerita at the University of Manchester, having previously been Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture and Director of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies. She has written extensively on Anglo-Saxon culture, particularly in the field of dress and textiles and has published several books. She directed the production of a database of dress/textile terms in all languages of the British Isles