The Medieval Broadcloth: Changing Trends in Fashions, Manufacturing and Consumption

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The eight papers presented here provide a useful introduction to medieval broadcloth, and an up-to-date synthesis of current research. The word broadcloth is nowadays used as an overall term for the woven textiles mass-produced and exported all over Europe. It was first produced in Flanders as a luxurious cloth from the 11th century and throughout the medieval period. Broadcloth is the English term, Laken in Flemish, Tuch in German, Drap in French, Klæde in the Scandinavian languages and Verka in Finish. As the concept of broadcloth has deriving from the written sources it cannot directly be identified in the archaeological textiles and therefore the topic of medieval broadcloth is very suitable as an interdisciplinary theme. The first chapter (John Munro) presents an introduction to the subject and takes the reader through the manufacturing and economic importance of the medieval broadcloth as a luxury item. Chapter two (Carsten Jahnke) describes trade in the Baltic Sea area, detailing production standards, shipping and prices. Chapters three, four and five (Heini Kirjavainen, Riina Rammo and Jerzy Maik) deal with archaeological textiles excavated in the Baltic, Finland and Poland. Chapters six and seven (Camilla Luise Dahl and Kathrine Vestergard Pedersen) concern the problems of combining the terminology from the written sources with archaeological textiles. The last chapter reports on an ongoing reconstruction project; at the open air museum in Eindhoven, Holland, Anton Reurink has tried to recreate a medieval broadcloth based on written and historical sources. During the last few years he has reconstructed the tool for preparing and spinning wool, and a group of spinners has produced a yarn of the right quality. He subsequently wove approximately 20 metres of cloth and conducted the first experiment with foot-fulling.
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Editorial Reviews

Medieval Clothing and Textiles, vol 6, 2010 - Elizabeth Coatsworth
An important contribution.'
Medieval Archaeology, Vol. 54, November 2010 - Philippa A. Henry
Copious tables and illustrations throughout the book enhance its readability considerably, as do the contributor biographies that help to place the subject matter of each paper in its academic context. This is a fine book, one which clearly illustrates how archaeology can complement written sources and how those sources can enhance the archaeology.'
Archaeological Review from Cambridge - Jaime D. Jennings
...this volume would compliment the library of a textile subject expert both as an English language reference to Baltic regional research and as a directional map for developing future large-scale research projects of a truly interdisciplinary nature.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842173817
  • Publisher: Oxbow Books
  • Publication date: 12/30/2009
  • Series: ANCIENT TEXTILES Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors vii

Introduction Kathrine Vestergård Pedersen Marie-Louise B. Nosch ix

1 Three Centuries of Luxury Textile Consumption in the Low Countries and England, 1330-1570: Trends and Comparisons of Real Values of Woollen Broadcloths (Then and Now) John Munro 1

2 Some Aspects of Medieval Cloth Trade in the Baltic Sea Area Carsten Jahnke 74

3 A Finnish Archaeological Perspective on Medieval Broadcloth Heini Kirjavainen 90

4 Searching for Broadcloth in Tartu (l4th-15th century) Riina Rammo 99

5 The Influence of Hanseatic Trade on Textile Production in Medieval Poland Jerzy Maik 109

6 Mengiað kl$$$the and tweskifte kl$$$dher. Marbled, Patterned and Parti-coloured Clothing in Medieval Scandinavia Camilla Luise Dahl 122

7 Archaeological Evidence of Multi-coloured Cloth and Clothing Kathrine Vestergård Pedersen 139

8 Reconstructing 15th century Laken Anton Reurink Kathrine Vestergård Pedersen 152

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