This broad-reaching collection of essays constitutes a thorough introduction to the fields and methodologies concerned with studies of textiles and dress of the Middle Ages. New themes and critical viewpoints from many disciplines are brought to bear on the medieval material in the areas of archaeology, art and architecture, economics, law, history, literature, religion, and textile technology. The contributors address surviving objects and artifacts and interpret representations in texts and images. The articles extend in time from the fifth to the sixteenth centuries, and cover Europe from Scandinavia, England, and Ireland in the north, to Italy and the Mediterranean basin in the south. Emphasis is placed on the significant role of trade and cultural exchanges as they impact appearance and its constituent materials.
"An outstanding series of essays by historians, art historians, and literary specialists on a wide variety of topics in medieval textiles, from manufacture and use, to style, fashion, iconography, and the many shades of social meaning."
- William W. Clark, Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
"This volume demonstrates the wide variety of excellent new work now being done on dress and costume history. The papers are rich in content and cover a wide variety of periods and subject matter."
- Jonathan J. G. Alexander, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
"The volume is a valuable addition to the both the library of a general reader and a costume historian. For the general reader the books provides ready access to information ranging over a six-hundred year period. For the costume historian there is a wealth of detailed information to add breadth and depth to one's knowledge, with an additional resource of information in the form of copious endnotes and bibliographic references."
- Sandra L. Rosenbau, Dress