Fashion in the Age of Datini

Some notes on one of my scholarly hobbies.

Table of Contents


Men (and probably some women, as astridaschaeffer argues) wore linen or hemp shorts for modesty and sanitation (undyed linen and hemp were the only fabrics which could be easily washed in hot soapy water). These rarely show up in documents but are commonly worn by men in paintings and literature. There are some articles on the subject at

To the best of my knowledge, no breeches survive from the fourteenth century, and artwork rarely shows seams except at the sides of the legs. Styles in artwork are quite diverse, and presumably many wearers (and makers) had their favourite styles. A modern pattern for the style in the following paintings is available in Singman and Maclean, Daily Life in Chaucer’s England.

A man in a breech (Fr. braes, underpants/panties) in a 14th century fresco from the left transept of Santa Anastasia, Verona. I suspect that it was painted after 1360 given the shape of his chest and style of his hair and beard.

Detail of the breeches worn by St. Sebastian in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (Utrecht, circa 1440; Morgan Library, New York, MS M.917/945, pp. 252/3

Back to table of contents ⇑


Another complicated topic! Fourteenth-century hosen were long stockings, usually of woven cloth cut on the bias and sewed up the back of the leg, which usually had a built-in sole of fabric or leather (leather soles are painted in the Missale ad Usum Fratrum Minorum and mentioned in inventories eg. “i payre of Blake hosyn vampayed wth lether” “Inventory of the Effects of Sir John Fastolfe” p. 253 or the calze solate in Brandi, Abbigliamento a Rimini, pp. 64-67). They were cut long enough to hide the shirt and breeches with the shortest upper garment which they might be worn with, and tight enough to create as few wrinkles as possible. They could be laced to the belt or drawstring of the breeches (Hours of Catherine of Cleves), or to a separate belt, or to an overgarment which fit tightly in the belly (Charles du Blois garment in Lyon). These laces were designed to be hidden, not visible on the surface of the outer garment as in some later fashions. The problem is that no surviving hosen were designed to be worn with the mid-thigh-to-crotch-length upper garments which were fashionable among wealthy and warlike men, and that by definition the upper parts of these hosen were hidden. There is a handy summary of the different options and the earliest evidence for each in a blog post by Charlotte J, “Split and Joined Hose in the Late 14th Century.”

Hosen with multiple points on each leg were often unlaced at the back during vigorous movement. A number of paintings show a flap hanging down the back of each leg and the breeches exposed in this situation (Fior di Battaglia, Missale ad Usum Fratrum Minorum, sketches by Pisanello such as his Hanged Men and a sketch men-at-arms practicing). It was also common to unlace all the points and roll the hosen down to calf level, especially if the upper garment was long enough to avoid showing the breeches.

Sometimes the upper parts of hosen were lined with linen, which was sometimes cut on the bias like the hosen. (“A Wardrobe Account of 16–17 Richard II, 1393–4,” the flagellation of Christ by Luis Borrassa in the Museo de Goya in Zaragoza, How a Man Shall be Armed, 15th century paintings like the San Rocco by the Master of Ambrogio Sarceni). To the best of my knowledge, none of these linen linings survives.

English-speaking people usually get their information on the cut and fabric of 14th century hosen from Textiles and Clothing 1150-1450 and Woven Into the Earth/Norse Garments Reconstructed. Singman and McLean and Thursfield have modern advice for cutting and making them up. That said, hosen of kersey are mentioned in “A Wardrobe Account of 16–17 Richard II, 1393–4” and in the accounts of Thomas of Lancaster c. 1418-1421 (Woolgar, Household Accounts, p. 634) and in the 16th century kersey was a lightweight 2:2 twill woven especially for hosen, while the hosen fragments from 14th century London are of a plain weave. So the ‘working class’ hosen from London and Greenland may not tell the whole story.

… pictures to come …

Back to table of contents ⇑


A complicated topic which I want to write more about! In a fourteenth-century context, I understand a doublet as a garment for the upper body which:
– Is worn over the shirt and under the coat, gown, or cloak.
– Is very strongly associated with wealthy young men or with soldiers.
– Is lined (doublé in French).
– Is most often covered with textiles made from linen, cotton, or silk (and not so often with wool or worsted).
– Is split from hem to collar at the front and fastened with laces or buttons. The opening up the front is very prominent with large buttons or spiral lacing.
– Has sleeves reaching to the wrist (and sometimes further) which fit closely from shoulder to wrist. The opening in the sleeves is much less prominent and often involves many tiny buttons reaching up to roughly the elbow.
– Is relatively short (somewhere between the crotch and the middle of the thigh)
– Fits very tightly in the hips and belly and creates a fashionable deep, rounded shape in the breast. There are often short slits in the bottom of the side seams for mobility.
– Often supports the hosen (and perhaps also the cuisses)
– May contain raw cotton or layers of interlining

Very similar garments can be called coats, jupons, aketons, gambesons, or pourpoints. I agree with Robert MacPherson that its wise to think about function, and that the tight fit of a doublet in the sleeves and belly suit it to particular functions which not all coats, aketons, etc. could fill. I am told that Italians tended to use either farsetto (Crabb, Merchant of Prato’s Wife) or words in the jupe or chope family such as zuparello for these garments (Mazzaoui, p. 99), but have not had the opportunity to explore clothing in texts from Italy.

Detail from a fresco in the Dominikanerkirche, Bolzen/Bolzano. Note the long doublet with a buttoned front and ‘bell-mouthed’ sleeves hanging over his hands, not to mention his fashionable open-topped shoes. I would guestimate the clothing in the rest of the fresco as from circa 1380-1400.

… Other paintings by Altichiero and Jacopo Avanzi …
… BNF Latin 757 Missale ad Usum Fratrum Minorum folio 286v (the wardrobe malfunction)
… Guiron le Courtoise, Queste del’ Saint Graal, …

More pictures to follow!

Back to table of contents ⇑

Short Pleated Cloaks

Short pleated cloak worn by a soldier in the "Pharsalia" painted by Niccolò da Bologia in 1373 (Bib. Trivulziana MS 691 folio 86r).  Image courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art

Short pleated cloak worn by a soldier in the “Pharsalia” painted by Niccolò da Bologia in 1373 (Bib. Trivulziana MS 691 folio 86r). Image courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art

Short pleated cloak worn by a soldier in the Crucifixion by Altichiero, Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua (c. 1376-1379).  Ask me offline for my source.

Short pleated cloak worn by a soldier in the Crucifixion by Altichiero, Basilica di Sant’Antonio, Padua (c. 1376-1379). Ask me offline for my source.

Detail from a fresco by Altichiero in Padua in the 1370s or 1380s

Detail from a fresco by Altichiero in Padua in the 1370s or 1380s

Morgan MS. G.54 Der Wälsche Gaste folio 6r (painted in Trier circa 1380) from see also

Morgan MS. G.54 Der Wälsche Gaste folio 6r (painted in Trier circa 1380) from see also The openwork decoration on the uppers seems to be typically German.

Detail of Mellini, "Altichiero e Jacopo Avanzi" (1965) plate 93, Decollazione di S. Giacomo e Josia, Padova, Basilica del Santo, cappella di S. Giacomo

Detail of Mellini, “Altichiero e Jacopo Avanzi” (1965) plate 93, Decollazione di S. Giacomo e Josia, Padova, Basilica del Santo, cappella di S. Giacomo

BNF Latin 757 folio 355r (painted in Milan, circa 1385-1390, school of Giovanni di Benedetto da Como)

BNF Latin 757 folio 355r (painted in Milan, circa 1385-1390, school of Giovanni di Benedetto da Como)

A man dressed in gray with a pointed beard approaches a group of enthroned bishops

A short pleated cloak in the Way of Salvation painted by Andrea da Firenze (fl. 1343-1377)

Back to table of contents ⇑


Hoods were a popular style of male headdress although not as dominant as in colder lands with less exposure to fashions from outside the area dominated by French culture. Several of the pictures under Short Pleated Cloaks show examples.

The hood with a long liripipe worn by a groom in BNF Français 343 folio 1r (painted in Milan in the 1380s). Cropped from a photo at or

A short pleated cloak and liripipe hood in the illustration for hops in a Taciunum Sanitatis (BNF NAL 1673 folio 29v).

Back to table of contents ⇑


Most shoes seem to have gently pointed tips, without a long ‘pike’ in the ‘poulaine’ or ‘cracow’ style. Soled hosen seem very popular, at least among rich men. The method and place of fastening is not usually visible. The ankle opening seems to be at a similar place to modern men’s dress shoes, making them ‘shoes’ or low ‘ankle boots’ in the language of the Museum of London. Openwork decoration on the uppers seems to have been fashionable for men, especially north of the Alps.

Black is a very popular colour in art. I don’t know of any documentary evidence for the colour of shoes in Italy. It is possible that shoes were not commonly made in bulk and shipped long distances, so do not appear in merchants’ records. In 1480 Edward IV of England ordered shoes and boots of “black leather” and “tawney Spanish leather” (Shoes and Pattens p. 120) and an English Arthurian romance composed around 1410 mentions “A man… As blak As Ony Scho.” The Treatise of the Points of Worship in Arms mentions “A payre of shoen of red Lether thynne laced & fretted underneth wt whippecorde & persed, And above withinne Lyned wt Lynnen cloth three fyngers in brede double & byesse from the too an yncle above ye wriste.”

Pattens (wooden overshoes) appear in the Tacuinum Sanitatis in Paris but I do not know of other evidence for clogs and pattens in Italy. Olaf Goubitz gives the impression that few finds of shoes from Italy have been published, and says that clogs and pattens are rare archaeologically (p. 131), whether because they were less common, or because old clogs made good firewood.

Further Reading:

  • Francis Grew and Margarethe de Neergaard, Shoes and Pattens. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London 2. New edition. Boydell Press: Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2001. ISBN-13 978-1-84383-238-6
  • Olaf Goubitz, Stepping Through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric Times until 1800 (Stitchtig Promotie Archeologie: n.p., 2001) ISBN-13 978-90-8932-004-9
  • Quita Mould, Ian Carlisle, and Esther Cameron, Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York. The Archaeology of York, Volume 17 The Small Finds, Fasc. 16 Craft, Industry, and Everyday Life. York Archaeological Trust: Walmgate, York, 2003.
  • Quita Mould, “The Medieval Leather,” in C. Howard-Davis, The Carlisle Millennium Project: Excavations in Carlisle, 1998-2001, Volume 2: The Finds. (Oxford Archaeology North: Lancaster, 2009) pp. 841-858. ISBN 9780904220575.
  • Marquita Volken, Archaeological Footwear: Development of Shoe Patterns and Styles from Prehistory til the 1600’s (SPA Uitgevers, 2014) ISBN-13 978-9089321176
  • Marquita Volken, “Arming Shoes of the Fifteenth Century,” Acta Periodica Duellatorum 5.2 (December 2017) pp. 25-45

Examples of shoed feet on the Pistoia Altarpiece. Photo courtesy of Hugh McDonald

Shoes worn by soldiers in a manuscript painted by Niccolò da Bologna in 1373 (Bib. Trivulziana, MS Triv. 691 folio 119r). Courtesy of manus online

Detail of shoes worn by soldiers in a manuscript painted by Niccolò da Bologna in 1373 (Bib. Trivulziana, MS Triv. 691 folio 119r). These have openwork decoration which may have been fashionable north of the Alps at this time (eg. Photo courtesy of Web Gallery of Art

Shoes of a male donor in a late 14th century fresco in S. Giorgetto, Verona. Photo by Sean Manning, April 2017.

Shoes worn under greaves in BNF Latin 757 folio 76r. Photo courtesy of

Back to table of contents ⇑


Bar mounts, D-shaped buckles, and various round mounts are all common archaeological finds. See figure 12 of Willemsen, ‘Man is a sack of muck girded with silver’ for a belt like the old soldier’s.

The belt of Lorenzo Acciaiuoli with a pentagonal buckle and heavy strap end.

The belt of Guiron le Courtoise in BNF Nouvelle acquisition française 5243

Another belt with bar mounts in Ms. Triv. 691 fol. 119r (Lucan de Bello Civile). You can find similar belts in the Chroniques de France in the British Library (BL Royal 20 C VII).

Belts fall into two general categories, a kind with a long dangling tail which was usually wrapped around the belt and tucked behind itself, and a kind with no visible tail worn around the hips. They could be of tanned leather, woven silk, or interlinked metal plaques, and decorated in many different ways.

To learn about belts and their metal fittings (mounts), see Egan and Prirchard, Dress Accessories, Willemsen ‘Man is a Sack of Muck Girdled with Silver’, Schnack, Lederfunde aus Schleswig, and databases of metal-detector finds like the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Leather belts and pewter or copper-alloy mounts survive well.

The heavy belts of silver or gilt plaques often show up in inventories, merchants’ records, and rhetoric about excess: there is some information in Stuard, Gilding the Market.

Back to table of contents ⇑


The purse of a poor infantryman (armed only with a round shield and long baselard) in a painting by Altichiero in Padua in the 1370s. It probably has two loops enclosing the belt and a cover tied by two pairs of laces. Ask me offline for my source.

An example of a cloth purse with a circular frame. L. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig XV 13 (Fior di Battaglia, painted circa 1410), folio 6r, courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

A very rare ballock pouch in Italian art of this period (and an unusually wide, deep pouch in general). I suspect that he is supposed to be dressed alla tedesca. L. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig XV 13 (Fior di Battaglia, painted circa 1410), folio 6r, courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

… more pictures to follow …

People in the trecento hung a variety of cloth or leather bags from their belt to carry small objects, or used them to project objects in storage. Painters usually show no more than one, while a variety of pouches and bags, often rather plain, are found by archaeologists.

Leatherworkers usually rely on Goubitz, “Purses in Pieces” to reconstruct late medieval leather purses. The problem is that this book relies in 15th and 16th century Dutch finds, and purses in trecento Italian art look very different from purses in 15th and 16th century Dutch art. The Dutch enjoyed the bawdy humour of a purse with two large lumps worn over the crotch (and often supporting a long, hard, stiff dagger with a phallic hilt) but Italians usually cut their purses and carved their hilts differently and usually wore both at the hip. I would therefore recommend caution in using this as a source to understand purses in Italy.

Goubitz also warns that many purses probably combined textiles, tanned leathers, and hides treated in other ways, but that only the tanned leather part has much chance of surviving in the ground.

Karen Larsdatter has a page on Medieval and Renaissance Pouches and Purses, but again its important to remember that fashions were quite different in different parts of Europe. There are some rectangular and round drawstring pouches in Schnack, “Lederfunde aus Schleswig.”

Leather purses often had a variety of pewter, brass, silver, gold, or gilt fittings. Photos of a wide variety are available in Willemsen, Decorative Mounts on Belts and Purses. These fittings are commonly found by metal detectors, so many private collections contain some.

… more to come … other styles of bag and purse …

Back to table of contents ⇑

Knives (Working)

Knives are very easy to study, since they commonly appear in merchants’ records and paintings of banquets, city life, and saints who were martyred with one. The iron parts also survive well, but I don’t know how to find those. The Museum of London has a book on Knives and Scabbards (ISBN-13 9780851158051) and Karen Larsdatter has a page on Cutlery; there are a few knives in Davis, Excavations in Carlisle, Vol. 2 pp. 746-749 and information on scabbards in Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York.

St. Bartholomew with a flaying knife, in a painting by the Maestro della Madonna della Misericordia in the Castelvecchio, Verona (late 14th century). The black grip studded with brass nails is extremely common in late 14th century Italy.

A knife held by a saint in St. Anastasia, Verona

Back to table of contents ⇑

Knives (Fighting)

Wealthy men and soldiers often wore a fighting knife or dagger (daga, pugnale, coltello). Italian art usually shows the dagger at the right hip (not in front of the crotch) and blades of modest length (not the 12″ or more which was fashionable in the late 15th and early 16th century).

Three families of daggers have well-recognized names today. Baselards have a crossguard above and below the hand, and the guards and tang are all of scale construction. Some Italians today call them pugnali a doppio T but the name basolardi is mentioned in the archivo Datini di Prato and is usually assumed to have meant the same thing as the modern collector’s term baselard. They tend to be big by 14th century standards, with at least 10″( 25 cm) of blade. Sometimes the tips of the guard farthest from the point was bent away from the hand, and sometimes the blade was very long; these long baselards were often worn at the left hip like a sword and had a unique suspension system (Matricula Societatis Fabrorum Civitatis Bononiae, Altichiero, Niccolò da Bologna). Baselards seem to be associated with soldiers and with poorer men, and the grip scales are usually black in art (horn? stained wood?) The membership roll of the society of smiths of Bologna shows cutlers selling baselards with studded hilts next to working knives. Marco Vignola has published a booklet on the basilard in Italy.

One-disc rondel daggers have a disc instead of a crossguard and a flared butt or rounded pommel. One survives in the Higgins Collection, Worchester Art Museum, accession number 1999.02.2. The rondel dagger with flat discs above and below the hand seems to have been more popular in the 15th century, although they occasionally appear in English brasses from the 1380s onwards.

Quillion daggers, built like a cruciform sword with a double-edged blade, crossguard inserted through the tang, and pommel inserted onto the tang, are very rare in North Italian art: the only example which comes to mind is the slab of Giacomo Provana (d. 1382) in Torino.

A variety of other daggers were used which do not have a widely-known name today, including a type where both crossguards were curved away from the hand or replaced with round ornaments (Lorenzo Acciaiuoli) and a type with a short, thick crossguard which may be made from soft materials instead of forged from iron and inserted over the tang (St. Sigismund in Verona). Both these styles and the one-disc rondel daggers seem to have been more popular with civilians and the very rich, and artists usually show them with white grips and guards (ivory? bone? pale wood such as yew?)

The irons of several baselards from this period survive in the Castelvecchio, Verona (two basilards, another) and there is one in the Allen collection, W-18. The Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Köln, has a baselard as inventory number R-32, and the Royal Armouries, Leeds, has another baselard as object X.297.

British Museum, museum number 1854,0424.2 has a short iron blade and one rondel made from the same wood as the grip and pommel, while Royal Armouries, Leeds, object number X.601 seems to have a rondel of ferrous and copper alloys, and X.1708 has a grip and two rondels each made up of a separate piece of wood. Quite a few daggers with hilts and guards carved in one piece are in British museums, mostly in the ‘ballock dagger’ style which was popular around the North Sea, such as Royal Armouries, Leeds, X.1744 and X.225. Many of these surviving daggers date long after the period discussed on this page!

The daggers of men-at-arms and civilians are usually of modest length with the blade no more than twice as long as the handle, perhaps 6″ to 8″ (2 palms) long. The blades usually appear narrow and tapered. Because of the short light blades, daggers often hung horizontally, or even with the grip below the point, when they were not supported by the straps of a purse.

Information on scabbards and suspensions can be found under Knives (Eating). Tod Todeschini, a craftsman who specializes in late medieval and early modern cutlery, has a bibliography on his English Cutler website including Luciano Salvatici ed., “Posate, Pugnali et Colteli da Caccia del Museo Nazionale del Bargello” and Harjula’s Sheaths, Scabbards, and Grip Coverings.

As always, click on the following photos to enlarge them.

Source Date Photo By Picture
Effigy of Niccolo Acciaiuoli
died 1365 Bildindex
Slab of Lorenzo Acciaiuoli
??? Me
Bibliotheque nationale du France, MS. Nouvelle Acquisition Française 5243 folio 26r
Said to have been painted between 1370 and 1380 Gallica
Painting of St. George, San Giorgetto, Verona
After 1360 by style of art Me
Statue of St. Sigismund (S. SIGISMONDO) on the tomb of Cansignorio della Scala, Verona
Begun in 1370, completed in 1376 Me
Statue of St. Louis of France (.S. ALUIXIUS REX) on the tomb of Cansignorio della Scala, Verona
Begun in 1370, completed in 1376 Me
Statue of St. George on the tomb of Cansignorio della Scala, Verona
Begun in 1370, completed in 1376 Me
Bibliotheca Trivulziana, MS. 691 Lucanus de Bello Civile fol. 87r
Postscript says that it was finished in 1373 Web Gallery of Art
Bibliotheca Trivulziana, MS. 691 Lucanus de Bello Civile fol. 119r
Postscript says that it was finished in 1373 Manus Online
Painting by Altichiero in Padua
1370s Ask me offline
BNF Latin 757 Missale ad Usum Fratrum Minorum fol. 57v
Said to date 1385-1390 Gallica
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, object Gm1
Said to date 1400-1420 My photo

Many more paintings of daggers can be found in BNF Latin 757. The painters of this manuscript were very interested in belts and fittings and colours, even though miniature paintings provide less detail about shapes than large sculptures.

Back to table of contents ⇑

Swords and Sheaths

… illustrations will come later …

This is not the place to talk about 14th century swords, but rather to discuss a mystery.

Between 1360 and 1410, by far the most common way to wear a sword was vertically from a hip belt. In this mechanism, there are usually no signs of short diagonal straps to control the position of the sword. How the sheath is attached to the hip belt is usually invisible, so it was probably hidden on the back of the scabbard. No scabbards with this suspension mechanism have been identified, but a handful of throats for sheaths with staples to take a single strap survive (eg. Portable Antiquities Scheme ESS-D85B66), and knives in this period were usually suspended from thongs looped over the belt and knotted closed. Another possibility is a ring on the scabbard and a hook on the belt: the Ewart Oakeshott collection once contained a fragment of a plaque belt with several plaques and a hook dangling below the main belt (The Archaeology of Weapons, plate 13a). Suspending a long sword from a low belt at a single point seems unusual, but it seems to have been the most common solution in this period.

Some other mechanisms appear in art. … details … Unfortunately, I do not know of a single sword sheath preserved from this period, except the one hung over the tomb of the Black Prince in Canterbury. Sheaths, or leather covers for sheaths, survive from just before our period in Schleswig (Schnack Lederfunde) and Leiden (van Driel-Murray, Sword Sheaths from Leiden) and a complete scabbard from circa 1329 survives in the Castelvecchio, Verona. Studies by Geibig and the excavators at York (Mould et al., Leather and Leatherworking pp. 3366ff) are helpful for understanding the ancestors of this form of scabbard.

Scabbards were made in very similar ways from the early middle ages into the 19th century. There are very useful descriptions of the process on Diderot’s Encyclopedie (the French entries for fourbisseur and fourbisserie are available online, and translated in J.D. Aylward, The Small Sword in England) and in Randle Holme, The Academy of Armory, or, A Storehouse of Armory and Blazon (1688) book 3 p. 91 (“Draw out the Scale. / Rash it even. / Lining of the Scabbard, is the Linnen or Woollen Cloth in the inner side of the Scabbard. / Bind it up and glew it, is to tye the two sides of the scale when lined, together, the Blade being between. / Cover it with leather.”) The 15th century statutes from Angers and the rule of the fourbisseurs of Paris from 1486 and 1566 might also be relevant; A.V.B. Norman summarizes several descriptions of the process in French guild rules in The Rapier and Small-Sword p. 304.

It was very common to carry the sword in hand with the belt wrapped around the scabbard rather than wear it.

… in progress …

Because this style of suspension is invisible and no surviving examples are known, understanding of this topic has been built up over decades by researchers such as Mark Shier, Will McLean, and Ian LaSpina.

Back to table of contents ⇑


  • Tina Anderlini, “The Shirt Attributed to St. Louis,” in Robin Netherton and Gale Owen-Crocker (eds.), Medieval Dress and Textiles 11 (2015) pp. 49-78 {there is a lot of information about this garment floating around online in English, including including an article by Heather Rose Jones, but this is the first study based on taking the shirt out of its case, and it turns out that modern stitches and hangers made it hard to understand the construction of this garment without laying it flat and handling it}
  • Janet Arnold, “The Jupon or Coat-Armour of the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral,” Journal of the Church Monuments Society VIII (1993) pp. 12-22
  • Ruth Matilda Anderson, Hispanic Costume 1480-1530. Hispanic Society of America, New York, 1979. Isbn 87535-126-3. {very important paraphrases of early 16th century tailors and hosiers’ rules from Seville and Grenada … as far as I know, these sources have never been fully published (!)}
  • Louis Douet d’Arcq ed., Comptes de l’argenterie des rois de France au XIVe Siecle. Jules Renouard: Paris, 1851. and Nouveau recueil de comptes de l’argenterie des rois de France Jules Renouard: Paris, 1874. {some information on clothing is buried among other information eg. vol. 1 pp. 142-144, vol. 2 pages 150, 151}
  • Katherine Barich and Marion McNealy, Drei Schnittbücher: Three Austrian Master Tailor Books of the 16th Century (Nadel und Faden Press, 2015) {cutting plans and suggested materials for a variety of garments from late in the 16th century, with a detailed commentary … some important 14th century cuts are missing, but it shows a way of thinking about how to use fabric and some cuts which are good fits for garments in art. There are not as many measurements on the diagrams as in Spanish examples, but you can often use the width of the cloth as a yardstick. Facsimiles of the printed books by Diego de Freyle, Juan de Alcega, and Francisco de Burguen are much harder to obtain but digital editions are sometimes available}
  • W. Paley Baildon, “XXII.—A Wardrobe Account of 16–17 Richard II, 1393–4,” Archaeologia, Vol. 62 No. 2 (1911) pp. 497-514 {many lists of materials used to make specific garments for an English lord– probably Roger Mortimer the 4th Earl of March, say the latest books}
  • Elisa Tosi Brandi, Abbigliamento e Società a Rimini nel XV Secolo (Panozzo Editore: Rimini, 2000) {summary of 99 inventories from Rimini dating between 1400 and 1468, with comments on the social context, sumptuary laws, etc. One of these is a wool draper’s shop (with full transcription!), two belong to men-at-arms. Her Italian is not complicated.}
  • Dorothy K. Burnham, Cut my Cote (1973) {the standard introduction to clothing assembled from rectangles and triangles, allowing almost all of the fabric to be used … in Datini’s world most clothing was probably assembled in other ways, but triangle-and-rectangle construction was still widespread in rural Europe at the beginning of the 20th century}
  • Cennino Cennini, Il Libro dell’ Arte. This treatise on painting, written before 1437 (possibly in the 1390s?), contains valuable material on block printing, painting textiles, materials used for different trades, and a way of approaching problems. Gaetano and Carlo Milanesi’s Italian text from 1867 is available on the Hathi Trust; the D.V. Thompson translation is available in an affordable reprint from Dover or free as HTML; the latest edition and translation is Lara Broecke, Cennino Cennini’s Il Libro dell’Arte: A new English translation and commentary with Italian transcription (Archetype Publications, 2015) ISBN-13 978-1909492288.
  • J. Cowgill, M. de Neergaard, and P. Wilthew, Knives and Scabbards. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London: 1. Boydell Press: Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2000. {The basic reference on knives, sheaths, shears, and scissors from the 12th to the 15th century, with many measurements and B&W drawings}
  • Ann Crabb, The Merchant of Prato’s Wife (University of Michigan Press, 2015) ISBN 978-0-472-11949-3 {basically a book of social history, and tends to summarize rather than quote sources, but many details about how clothing fit into everyday life}
  • Elizabeth Crowfoot, “The Clothing of a Fourteenth-Century Nubian Bishop.” In Veronika Gervers eds., Studies in Textile History in Memory of Harold B. Burnham (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1977) OCLC 4035631 {Grave of Bishop Timotheos of Ibrîm in Nubia who took office, according to the scroll deposited in the tomb, in 1372. Where in wet sites from Europe the wool survives and the linen is lost, here the linen and cotton survived and the wool was devoured by insects! The grave goods include a tunic, hooded oval cloak, trousers, and woven belt}
  • Chrétien Dehaisnes, Documents et extraits diverses concernant l’histoire de l’Art (Lille: L. Daniel, 1886) volume 1 {mostly on books, armour, goldsmith’s work, and other durable goods but there are some banners and other tailor’s work}
  • Carol van Driel-Murray “Fourteenth-century sword sheaths from Leiden city centre.” In Quita Mould (ed.) Leather in Warfare: Attack, Defence and the Unexpected. (Leeds: Royal Armouries Museum, 2017) pp. 34-47 {the leathers of sword sheaths, probably mostly from the early 14th century}
  • Geoff Egan and Frances Pritchard, Dress Accessories, 1150-1450. Medieval Finds from Excavations in London. London: HMSO, 1991. {Covers buckles and other metal mounts for leather, broaches, rings, buttons, needlecases, combs, girdles and straps, pouches, and mirrors in cases}
  • Joan Evans, Dress in Mediaeval France. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952. {one of the last works in the antiquarian tradition, this book is a good guide to medieval texts to track down and read in the original language … be careful of her paraphrases of the sources, and remember that she was writing when few surviving garments and textile fragments had been published}
  • Jessica Finley, “The Lübeck Wappenröcke: Distinctive Style in Fifteenth-Century German Fabric Armor.” In Robin Netherton and Gale R. Owen-Crocker (eds.), Medieval Clothing and Textiles 13 (Boydell and Brewer, 2017)
  • Édouard Forestié, Les Livres de comptes des frères Bonis, marchands montalbanais du XIVe siècle. Archives Historiques de la Gascogne, Fasc. XX, XXIII, XXVI. Honore Champion and Cocharaux Frères: Paris and Auch, 1890 and 1893 and 1894. {The accounts of this family of drapers list the cloth sold to make specific garments for specific people in specific years; the editor collected references to specific garments, suggested French equivalents of Occitan words, and researched weights, measures, etc.}.
  • Victor Gay, Glossaire Archéologique du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance. Paris: Libraire de la Société Archéologique, 1887. Tome 1 A-G and Tome 2 H-Z have been scanned. {A collection of excerpts from written sources, mostly from France and all in the original language. Useful entries include Chape, Chapron, Chausses, Doublet A. Vetir, Gonne, Gambeson
  • A. Geibig, Beiträge zur morphologischen Entwicklung des Schwertes im Mittelalter. Eine Analyse des Fundmaterials von ausgehenden 8. bis 12. Jahrhundert aus Sammlungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Offa-Bücher 71. Neumünster, 1991. {non vidi; pp. 104 ff. discuss scabbards from this early period}
  • Matthew Gnagy, The Modern Maker Vol. 1: Men’s 17th Century Doublets (self-published, 2014) ISBN-13 978-0692264843 {for the purposes of this project, use it for the lessons in how to draft a pattern using two or three measurements, and the advice on efficiently making clothing by hand … most of the techniques taught and materials chosen are more applicable to 16th century and later fashions, but Gnagy is a trained suitmaker in a field where most makers are self-taught}
  • Olaf Goubitz, Purses in Pieces: Archaeological Finds of Late Medieval and 16th Century Leather Purses, Pouches, Bags and Cases in the Netherlands. 2nd Edition. SPA Uitgevers: 2009. ISBN-13 978-9089320148 {Covers purses, pouches, wallets, bags, and leather cases with a removable lid sliding on cords (etuis) from the Netherlands, with some references to objects as early as the Roman period and as late as the 20th century}
  • Janne Harjula, Sheaths, Scabbards and Grip Coverings: Use of Leather for Portable Personal Objects in 14th-16th Century Turku (SKAS, 2006) ISBN-13 978-9519680149
  • Adrien Harmand, Jeanne d’Arc, son costume, son armure: essai de reconstitution (Paris: Editions Leroux: Paris, 1929) {many, many modern patterns derive from this obscure book, which also contains the most detailed publication of the cloth-of-gold pourpoint of Charles du Blois}
  • Christine Howard-Davis (ed.) The Carlisle Millennium Project: Excavations in Carlisle, 1998-2001, Volume 2: The Finds. Oxford Archaeology North: Lancaster, 2009. ISBN 9780904220575
  • Claudia Kusch, Patrizia Mignani, Raffaella Pozzi (eds.), Redire 1427-2009. Ritorno alla luce. Il restauro del Farsetto di Pandolfo III Malatesti. I Quaderni del museo, 2. Museo Civico di Fano: Fano, IT, 2009. {the conservation report on a doublet from a 15th century tomb in Italy, I have not seen this but there is an English summary by Andrea Carloni}
  • L.E.S.J. Laborde, Ducs de Bourgogne: études sur les lettres, les artes et l’industrie pendant le XVe siècle et plus particulèrement dans le Pays-Bas et le duché de Bourgogne, Tome 1 {miscellaneous expenses from the 1380s onwards, note the payment to Chretien de Pisan on page 16}
  • Maurice Leloir, “A Mediaeval Doublet,” Apollo: The International Magazine of the Arts Vol. 23 Nr. 135 (March 1936) pp. 157-160 {the most important publication in English on the pourpoint of Charles du Blois, with measurements and a pattern taken off the garment different from the pattern in Harmand}
  • René de Lespinasse ed., Les métiers et corporations de la ville de Paris: XIVe-XVIIIe siècles. Tissus, étoffes, vêtements, cuirs et peaux, métiers divers (Imprimerie Nationale: Paris, 1886-1897). {Check out tailors pp. 178ff, pourpontiers pp. 205ff, friperers (who refurbished and resold old clothes) pp. 421ff}
  • S.M. Margeson, Norwich Households: Medieval and Post-Medieval Finds from Norwich Survey Excavations 1971-78. East Anglian Archaeology 58. Norwich Survey: Norwich, 1993. ISBN: 952069504 {miscellaneous catalogue from a dry site, basic commentary on classes of finds such as aiglets}
  • Maureen Fennell Mazzaoui, The Italian Cotton Industry in the Later Middle Ages, 1100-1600 (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1981) ISBN 9780521089609 {essential reading for anyone interested in trecento clothing, especially the raw materials and guild regulations}
  • M. J. de Mendonca, O Loudel do Rei D. Joao I. Lisboa (1973) {Conservation report on same garment described by Teixara 1999. Said to consist of “a few layers of linen with combed wool quilted in between, and it had a green woolen fabric as outer shell.”}
  • Quita Mould, Ian Carlisle, and Esther Cameron (eds.) Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York. The Archaeology of York, Volume 17 The Small Finds, Fasc. 16 Craft, Industry, and Everyday Life. York Archaeological Trust: Walmgate, York, 2003. {sword sheaths are mostly before this period but show the development and the stitching is well described}
  • John H. Munro, “The anti-red shift– to the ‘Dark Side’: Colour changes in Flemish luxury woollens, 1300 – 1550.” Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2007) pp. 55-98 {study of the colours of cloth purchased by Flemish towns based on exhaustive archival research … I wish he made the basis for his statements about the width of cloths and length of different yards and ells clearer, but this reflects 40 years of thought and research and he was very generous to make it available for free before his death in 2013. Notably, he rejects the idea that black cloth was expensive: in the archives he has read, the expensive colours were ‘scarlet’ and ‘in grain’ and the various blacks, browns, violets, blues, greens, and reds all had prices which were statistically indistinguishable from one another. You can get a sense for the kind of person he was on his faculty page}
  • John H. Munro, “The Medieval Scarlet and the Economics of Sartorial Splendour.” This was first published in a Gedenkschrift, namely N.B. Harte and K.G. Ponting (eds.), Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe: Essays in Honour of Professor E.M. Carus-Wilson (Pasold Studies in Textile History 2) (Heinemann Educational Books: London, 1983) pp. 13-70 and reprinted in his collected articles (Textiles, Towns, and Trade: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., Aldershot UK, 1994) {the standard article on the highest-quality woolen cloth known as scarlet, and its relationship to cloth dyed in grain (with kermes)}
  • Stella Mary Newton, Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of the Years 1340 to 1365 (several printings, most recently Boydell Press 2012) {the work of a self-educated dress historian at the end of a long career, this book is especially strong on how people reacted to the new fashions of this period and translates many sources, but some of the details can be quibbled with}
  • A.V.B Norman, The Rapier and Small-Sword, 1460-1820 (Arms and Armour Press, Lionel Leventhal Limited: London, 1980) {covers sword hilts and scabbards, but not blades}
  • Patrick Ottaway and Nicola Rogers, Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Finds from Medieval York. The Archaeology of York, Volume 17 The Small Finds, Fasc. 15 (Council for British Archaeology, 2002) {Locks and keys, scissors and shears, knives, firesteels (“strike-a-lights”), ceramics and glassware, little metal mounts for leatherwork …}
  • Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth, Maria Hayward eds., Encyclopedia of dress and textiles in the British Isles c. 450-1450 (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2012) {Useful entries on Aketon, Doublet, Gambeson, Jack, Pourpoint, etc. with some unpublished or very obscure lists of materials, and on weights, measures, and types of fabric}
  • Rosita Levi Pisetzky, Storia del Costume in Italia, 5 volumi (Istituto Editoriale Italiano {Treccani}, 1974/1975) {the standard reference on written, carved, and painted source, if you are serious about this subject and can read Italian you need to borrow this. It has probably 80% of the artwork which floats around the Internet today (and some art which most people interested in medieval clothing do not know) and a mass of quotes from contemporary documents and literature, and it treats specific places and times in depth rather than dancing over 500 years in 250 pages. It was reprinted in 2005 by the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome. For a table of contents see Volume 2 covers the 1300s and the 1400s}
  • B. Prost, Inventaires, mobiliers et extraits des comptes des ducs de Bourgogne de la maisson de Valois, 1363-1477, 2 vols (Paris, 1902 and 1913)
  • Susan D. Reed, “15th-Century Men’s Doublets: An Overview” (1994, 2004) {very important bibliography for the 14th century, the list of artwork is a good starting point}
  • Luciano Salvatici (ed.), Posate, Pugnali, Coltelli da Caccia del Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Museo Nazionale del Bargello: Florence, 1999. ISBN 88 7242 285X. {half a dozen relevant knives and daggers with one B&W photo and a paragraph of text apiece}
  • Christiane Schnack. Mittelalterliche Lederfunde aus Schleswig – Futterale, Riemen, Taschen und andere Objekte. Ausgrabung Schild 1971-1975. Ausgrabungen in Schleswig – Berichte und Studien, Band 13. Wachholz Verlag: Neumünster, 1998. ISBN-13 3-529-01463-X. {prices as of summer 2017 are extortionate on Bookfinder, but AntikMakler in Germany has copies for EUR 39,00}
  • Jeffrey L. Singman and Will McLean, Daily Life in Chaucer’s England. Daily Life through History Series. London and Westport, Connetticut: Greenwood Press, 1995.
  • Susan Moshe Stuard, Gilding the Market: Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth-Century Italy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006) ISBN 9780812239003 {chatty book on material culture by someone who mainly works with written sources}
  • Maria Emília Amaral Teixeira, tr. Isabel Motta, O loudel de D. João I/The Loudel of D. João I 3rd edition (Museu de Alberto Sampaio, 1999) ISBN 972-776-012-0 {a sleeveless quilted garment said to have been dedicated after the battle of Aljubarrota between Castilian and Anglo-Portugese forces in 1385}
  • Sarah Thursfield, The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant: Common Garments 1100-1480. 2nd Edition, Revised and Expanded (Crowood Press, 2015) available from publisher {I have mixed feelings about this book, it teaches practical sewing skills and good philosophy like ‘don’t obsess about finding exactly the right material’ but her doublets are not shaped like originals}
  • Marco Vignola, Riflessioni sulla basilarda. Analisi tipologiche e spunti ricostruttivi (Bookstones: Rimini, 2016) {booklet on basilards with a typology, photos of surviving examples, and details for bladesmiths}
  • Marquita Volken, Archaeological Footwear: Development of Shoe Patterns and Styles from Prehistory til the 1600’s (SPA Uitgevers, 2014) ISBN-13 978-9089321176
  • Marquita Volken, “Arming Shoes of the Fifteenth Century,” Acta Periodica Duellatorum 5.2 (December 2017) pp. 25-45 {by a very respected expert in shoes, but her friends in armour seem unhappier about medieval shoes than my friends in armour}
  • Annemariek Willemsen. Medieval Chic in Metal: Decorative Mounts on Belts and Purses From the Low Countries, 1300-1600. Stichting Promotie Archeologie, 2012.
  • Annemarieke Willemsen, “‘Man is a sack of muck girded with silver’: Metal Decoration on Late-medieval Leather Belts and Purses from the Netherlands, Medieval Archaeology 56 (2012) pp. 171-202 DOI: 10.1179/0076609712Z.0000000006 {summary of her book on small finds}
  • Annemarieke Willemsen, Honderden… Van hand tot hand: handschoenen en wanten in de Nederlanden voor 1700. Spa uitgevers B.V.: Leiden, 2015. ISBN-13 9789089321275.
  • C.M. Woolgar, Household Accounts from Medieval England. Records of social and economic history, New Series, 17 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992 and 1993) {one book published in two parts: the first explains his methods and talks about the physical documents, the second has most of the clothing and accessories}

Add Arnold on the Black prince … then there should be the web resources …

Back to table of contents ⇑