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Medieval Clothing and Fabrics

These sites offer information about clothing styles and fabrics, shoes and accessories, manufacturing methods, embroidery, and the types of clothing worn by different classes.

Medieval Clothing and Fabrics
What did people wear in the Middle Ages? Find out in this introduction.

Medieval Clothing by Region and Period
Medieval clothing varied according to the time frame as well as the region. Here are some societies (and segments of society) whose clothing styles are especially evocative of their cultures.

Medieval Clothing Image Gallery
Pictures of different types of clothing worn throughout the Middle Ages.

Clothing of Late Antiquity
An introduction to the fabrics and styles of clothing worn in early Europe.

European Peasant Dress
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.

Medieval Sumptuary Laws
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.

Silk
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.

Wool
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.

Manufacturing Cloth from Wool
How a wide variety of wool cloth was manufactured in the Middle Ages, from sorting the wool to the finishing stages.

Medieval Underwear
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.

Early English Costume
Illuminating excerpts from Dion Clayton Calthrop's 1906 work, English Costume: I. Early English, Women's Fashion from the Time of William the Conqueror, placed online by About Guide to Women's History, Jone Johnson Lewis.

Early English Costume Picture Gallery
This collection of images from About Women's History Guide Jone Johnson Lewis very nicely illustrates what women wore from the time of William the Conqueror. Be sure to click on to each associated article at Jone's site for more excellent information.

Clothing
Octavia Randolph has a very informative overview of Anglo-Saxon clothing, including the materials used, how status affected wardrobe, footwear and accessories, and many other useful details.

A Clothing How-To for Garments of the Byzantine Empire
Fairly extensive info on the styles of garments worn by men and women throughout the centuries, the fabric of which they were made, and how to construct them, by "Black Tauna."

Clothing in the Norse Era
Thorough explanation at the Hurstwic living history site includes many helpful photos and illustrations.

Footwear of the Middle Ages
Online book by I. Marc Carlson provides an overview of the development of footwear in history, instructions for creating authentic period shoes, and a useful glossary hyperlinked to illustrations.

A History of Kimono
Photographs accompany a little text about the clothing worn by men and women in Japan from the fourth century to the present. By Alex Hou and Anne LaVin at the Hakubi Kimono School.

Modesty to Majesty: The Development of the Codpiece
Well-written and footnoted article by Beth Marie Kosir on the origins and growth -- literally -- of the codpiece in Renaissance fashion, at the Richard III Society.

Scottish Men's Clothing
General observations on clothing worn in Scotland during the Middle Ages are accompanied by useful references and a little background, by Sharon L. Krossa.

Scottish Women's Clothing
Useful references, clarifications on cultural and historical aspects, and some general observations about Scottish medieval women's clothing serve as a good starting point. By Sharon L. Krossa.

Wickelbander
A technical analysis of woolen bands found in excavations across Europe are followed by an explanation of their functoin and suggestions for reconstruction, by Peter Beatson at the NVG Miklagard Garrison site.

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