Cotton in period

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Medicus Matt
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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:25 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:
So, the word was in the language from the time of Neckham's De nominibus utensilium (around 1180), if not before. It refers to the real thing, not a wool copy; cotton was used for tablecloths, bed sheets, shirts and shifts, but only by those at the highest end of the social scale and their household servants.


Now THAT'S good research. Well done Brother, jolly well done!

<polite applause>


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Postby Nigel » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:29 pm

From a history of carmarthenshire discussing the medieval welsh wool industry

"Some of the best known products of the guilds were 'friezes, cottons, carsies, plaine and fine clothes,' and 'high cotton fryses."

So it is mentioned its often called Welsh cotton


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Simon_Diment » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:55 pm

GuyofBurgundy Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:03 pm Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The ''chickensuit'' is actually a leather lamellar; I think, even if you do not agree with another society, that being rude is not in any way productive


Ive seen plenty of lamellar in use in re-enactment and read the reports on the Wisby finds and they're fabricated from metal, but if the guy has fresh evidence to support his kit then I will personally buy him a pint. :D

zauberdachs Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:28 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Folks, I don't think any of this "dressing down" is necessary. They have stated that the photos are not representative of their organisation at their best.

So leave it, they agree with you.

You are just being rude now....


No, not yet and I have intention of being so :D


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Postby Nigel » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:03 pm

Ben

Simon hasn;t been rude beleive me he hasn't not even strident

RE LEATHER ARMOUR THE ONLY source I am aware of is the cuirass in the early 14th century Iam aware of no leather lamler use in England


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby zauberdachs » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:07 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:Oops! Was editing a previous post to clarify a point and ended up reposting it. Nothing to see here. Move along. :oops:


hey, just for clarity I wasn't picking on anyone specifically with the above. Just making a general point.


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:14 pm

zauberdachs wrote:
hey, just for clarity I wasn't picking on anyone specifically with the above.


Oh, so it was just a generalised bit of bullying was it?
Well I for one was deeply hurt by the suggestion that I might have been being rude. Hurt I am.

Cut to the quick.

I'm already a shy and retiring type who has difficulty in expressing myself on a public forum like this...comments like that undermine my already precarious self-confidence.


Honest.

(I've had to endure 2 hours of this sort of crap as part of my Ethics Awareness training this morning...just getting it out of my system)


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:15 pm

Nigel wrote: Iam aware of no leather lamler use in England


Blimey, haven't we had this discussion before?


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Postby gregory23b » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:18 pm

There are written lists for the use of cotton cloth for making props for a feast and tourney at Blackfriars, the cloth was exactly the same price as the linen and was being used for something ephemeral. The assumption, for that example is that two different sorts of cloth, of a type were being used and cost the same, suggests by the early 16thc it may not have been a luxury item. Otherwise why use it for making cheap props?

On the other hand if it was a luxury item, then this 'cotton' is not cotton but something else.

To add, the statutes of Henry VII circa 1492 mention censure against those that burn the cotton from their fustian (wool and cotton). If not cotton, then the nap or cottoning.

And odd conflict of the apparent value of cotton don't you think?

Also, if it was cheap, it does not follow use, per Hobbit's argument, why bother? unless it was in the form of a specially woven fabric.


The following is a selection of late medieval sources, a common theme is the distinguising the cotton from wool. It raises, again, to me the question of its apparent expense.

If it was cheap, why would a noble be wearing it in the first place?

Granted the examples are later than Norman, but still.


?c1425 Chauliac(2) (Paris angl.25) 193/31: Plumaceoles..toke soche a namynge for þat þay were made in olde tyme of feþeres sewed bytwene cloþes..It is founden to make ham of hempe towe..And sometyme þay ben made of wolle or of cotoun.

(1393) in Gras Eng.Cust.Syst. 554: iii balis coton' wolle

(1396) in Rec.B.Nottingham 1 314: Matilda Okkebrok' et uxor..vendunt candelas sine cotun. BAD GIRL!


(a1443) Proc.Chanc.in Cal.PCEliz. 1.p.xxxii: He..hath made candell of talghe with weyke of flex, to serve hem as well..as candell made with weyke of cotoun.

a1475 Russell Bk.Nurt.(Hrl 4011) 935: Looke þer be blanket, cotyn or lynyn to wipe þe neþur ende

(1474) Let.Bk.Lond.L (Gldh LetBk L) 117: Goodes of Coton cloth and Frise.

(1463-4) RParl. 5.501b: And that noo persone that shall make..eny manere Wollen Cloth..medell, or put in or uppon the same Cloth, nor into the Wolle wherof the seid Cloth shal be made, eny Lambes Wolle, Flokkes, Chalke..or Cork.

Flok here is thougth to be cotton flock, but it could be wool flok.

?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 118a/a: If þai be moued in puttyng a floc [L flosculum] of wolle or cotoun y-tesed in þe mouth & þe noseþrillez.


?a1425 Mandev.(2) (Eg 1982) 103/17: Þise smale men wirkez wonder wele silk and bombe [F cotoun] and swilke oþer sutill werkes.

a1425 Mandev.(2) (Eg 1982) 142/17: In þat cuntree þai sawe..a maner of sede, and it growez vp in smale bruschez; and of þaim þai gader boumbe [F cotoun] in grete quantitee.



(a1398) Trev. Barth.(Add 27944:Seymour) 807/19: Seres is a prouynce in þe eest ... þere wolle is gadred oon treen and silke is departede fro þat wolle.

1425(c1400) Mandev.(1) (Tit C.16) 178/26: In þat lond ben trees þat beren wolle as þogh it were of scheep where of men maken clothes.

c1440 PLAlex.(Thrn) 71/29: Þay sawe trees þat, in-stedde of leues, bare wolle; þe whilke folkez of þe cuntree gaderd & made clathe þare-offe.

c1450 Mandev.(4) (CovCRO Acc.325/1) 2253-4: Of grete trees that londe ys fulle And grete plente thei bereth wolle; That wolle is goode and faire booth And þereof thei make hir clooth.


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Postby gregory23b » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:19 pm

"I'm already a shy and retiring type who has difficulty in expressing myself on a public forum like this...comments like that undermine my already precarious self-confidence. "


Yeah right, you Anna Scher school of acting reject.


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:23 pm

gregory23b wrote:

Yeah right, you Anna Scher school of acting reject.


<sob>


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Postby zauberdachs » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:29 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:
zauberdachs wrote:
hey, just for clarity I wasn't picking on anyone specifically with the above.


Oh, so it was just a generalised bit of bullying was it?
Well I for one was deeply hurt by the suggestion that I might have been being rude. Hurt I am.

Cut to the quick.

I'm already a shy and retiring type who has difficulty in expressing myself on a public forum like this...comments like that undermine my already precarious self-confidence.


Honest.


ha ha :) Such drama, isn't it time for someone to have a huffystompoff?


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:44 pm

Oooh, Dr T's here now. Scarper everyone.


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Postby nathan » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:46 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:Let's return to the writings of Alexander Neckham, particularly his De nominibus utensilium. I have already cited his description of shirt materials appropriate to a wealthy knight (he says "Baron"). In his description of the furnishings of a baron's bed-chamber he says:

"On the bed itself should be placed a feather mattress to which a bolster is attached. A quilted pad of striped cloth should cover this on which a cushion for the head can be placed. Then sheets of muslin, ordinary cotton, or at least pure linen should be laid . . . ."


Brother Ranulf, if i might enquire are you going back to the original text here or a translation (or period transcription)? If so what is the latin term being used to denote cotton?

Brother Ranulf wrote:Moving on to the dress of a lady's maid: " . . .and a brooch by which she can fasten the neck of her cote, or fustian, or shift . . .". Here the term fustian is used for a garment made from that material, which is a cotton/flax mix according to the definition above.


cote and shift are both 'modern terms' relative to the original text (1300 and 1598 respectiveley according to http://www.etymonline.com/). Any idea of the original latin?

since fustian is originally produced in / associated with Fostat (e.g. an imported finished product) it's presence in england is no indicator of cotton cloth being used for clothing (and that assumes the passage is accurateley translated).

N.


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Postby Timothy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:22 pm

Regarding cotton:
Cotton *cloth* is known around the Eastern Mediterranean in some quantity for the tenth century, but eve at the end of the eleventh century was still an expensive elite fabric.

It was expense and valued for three reasons:
1- cotton is much more difficult to harvest, process and spin by manual means that any other fibre.
2- It is much softer than linen and wool.
3- It takes dye very well and so, like silk, it can be made into the very bright colours that earlier medieval fashions valued.

Reasons two and three are why its early use was predominantly for headscarves, napkins and towels.

The general ban in it being *worn* by people doing N-W European re-enactment prior to the C17th is entirely fitting, and especially so for Britain which was a cultural and technological backwater through most of the period.

> The ''chickensuit'' is actually a leather lamellar;

No, it is a ghastly abortion that bears no resemblance to any historical precedent. Oops, sorry, I mean – he must be very new and deserves an E for effort. Shame that effort did not go into any research. The construction used is not even the old Osprey one, which, however wrong, is at least easily accessible.

GuyofBurgundy wrote:
> as Lamellar is used by a LOT of groups

Yes, and it damn well shouldn’t be. There is NO solid evidence for lamellar being used widely in North-Western Europe. *Don’t* mention Birka and Wisby – Birka was not even one full corselet, and the Wisby lamellar probably came to western Europe as a disintegrating jumble of plates, which is why it became a brigandine.

Gerald of Wales Quote:
They were warlike figures, clad in mail in every part of their body after the Danish manner. Some wore long coats of mail, others iron plates skilfully knitted together,

> Could this be Lamellar?

Could be anything, but much more likely to be scale.

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Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:34 pm

Nathan - I'm using just one of the 17 (possibly more) Latin versions of De nominibus utensilium, taken from Worcester Q.50, folios 1 to 18 inclusive. We are very fortunate to also have a number of surviving glosses on Neckham's texts, explaining many of the terms in Anglo-Norman.

The word I give as "cote" is tunica in the text; shift is camisa (glossed as chemise). The word cotton is originally Arabic; its Low Latin form varies but here it is coton, cotonis.

What is your basis for saying that fustian is an imported finished product in the 12th century? Why can it not be produced from imported cotton yarn? Not sure why you would think the translation may be suspect, it's my own and it agrees in essence with earlier translators such as Urban Tigner Holmes and Thomas Wright; if you have any doubts I would be eager to know the basis for them.


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Postby Ariarnia » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:42 pm

You know, I'm really rather starting to regret posting the original question.



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Postby Hobbitstomper » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:46 pm

Don’t hold back Timothy, say what you really mean.

Ignoring the construction, the lamellar looks too soft. Contrary to popular belief, and I blame D&D, soft leather is not really protective against sharp steel weapons used with intent. I can cut through several mm of veg tan leather using a stanley knife or stab through it using a spear with ease. If soft leather worked against iron then cows would be invulnerable and wolves would be hungry. That said, soling bend is better and treated leather (hardened with heat and water and toughened with glue/laquer) is much better.

“iron plates skillfully woven together.”…”could be anything”. Have you seen my banded mail? (Not going to be so bold as to claim it is authentic, even if it looks spot on for some 14th century artwork.)



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Postby Random Mumblings » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:46 pm

Ariarnia wrote:You know, I'm really rather starting to regret posting the original question.


Only just starting? :wink:



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Postby zauberdachs » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:53 pm

Hobbitstomper wrote:banded mail?


err.... surely not on a public forum? :shock:

anyhow, post piccies I'd like to see this


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Postby Nigel » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:55 pm

Ariana

Why you posted in a public forum a brave thing to do


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Timothy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:22 pm

Hobbitstomper asked:
> Have you seen my banded mail? (Not going to be so bold as to claim it is authentic, even if it looks spot on for some 14th century artwork.)

No, but I would be very interested to see anything that could be a viable interpretation of banded mail.

T.



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Postby gregory23b » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:35 pm

Ariana

"You know, I'm really rather starting to regret posting the original question."

Hang in there girl.

Despite the apparent caustic response by some, it is just their way and is no representation of them in real life. Simon on the other hand is utterly bonkers and always wear a brigandine when in his company, he is also very old at 40, did I mention he was also Welsh!!!!

But seriously, there is a lot of useful info here, some passion yes, but mainly useful stuff, even if it is liberally coated in good old fashioned reenactor huff and puff (not met Nigel yet?).

The best thing about all this, is that you would get this face to face and without rancour, you would get the scoffing and a beer to boot, get p*ssed up and start exclaiming how they were your besht freeend. Not even joking on that.

I put it down to season withdrawal and being cheeky monkeys. (matt, that means you)


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:49 pm

gregory23b wrote:
I put it down to season withdrawal and being cheeky monkeys. (matt, that means you)


:twisted:

Season withdrawal is a dreadful thing.

Ariana. It's all good stuff and this is what re-enactors and re-enactment is like; this sort of debate goes on all the time and you just have to remember that none of it's actually personal.

So....are YOU in any of those photos?


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Postby Ariarnia » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:54 pm

are YOU in any of those photos?


Nope, Quite proud of the fact. Not even my mother has a picture of me.

The best thing about all this, is that you would get this face to face and without rancour, you would get the scoffing and a beer to boot, get p*ssed up and start exclaiming how they were your besht freeend


So, what shows are you going to this year again?
Last edited by Ariarnia on Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby gregory23b » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:03 pm

I am hoping to be at:

Kelmarsh - not sure which period - maybe even nasty norman
Twangbury - wotr

so far only got time allowed for those two.

Middlewich, but that is work I think.


But I am a tee totaller and I am often in bed by 9-10 and poor company.


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Postby nathan » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:07 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:Nathan - I'm using just one of the 17 (possibly more) Latin versions of De nominibus utensilium, taken from Worcester Q.50, folios 1 to 18 inclusive. We are very fortunate to also have a number of surviving glosses on Neckham's texts, explaining many of the terms in Anglo-Norman.

The word I give as "cote" is tunica in the text; shift is camisa (glossed as chemise). The word cotton is originally Arabic; its Low Latin form varies but here it is coton, cotonis.


In summary because cote is a later term than that of the text ... immedate warning bells.

In more depth:

Because i have seen too many re-translations that loose massive amounts of detail from the original by the substitution of words. Sureley tunica should become tunic in this case (or even left in the latin form) to minimise possible misinterpretation.

I have also seen too many cases of documentc authored in the Cxxx where the translated extant copy(s) are 200+ years later. Any idea of the specific date of the document you are citing and how other versions compare?

In this case you have gone latin to english direct (perfect) but have chosen a word like "cote" (entemolgically later than the period of the text) and that instantly raises questions over the translation used. Since you have explianed the route of translation that resolves any concerns i would have over the translation (assuming the text is original and not a C15th copy).

That said what word translated to fustian?

I ask all the above because this pushes the date i typically see accepted for common (associated with a lady's maid, not particularly posh) use of fustian back by quite a way (100-odd years).

Brother Ranulf wrote:What is your basis for saying that fustian is an imported finished product in the 12th century? Why can it not be produced from imported cotton yarn? Not sure why you would think the translation may be suspect, it's my own and it agrees in essence with earlier translators such as Urban Tigner Holmes and Thomas Wright; if you have any doubts I would be eager to know the basis for them.


It _could_ have been produced from imported yarn (and was _later_ when it became a dirt cheap fabric for use by the masses) but since the word origin is associated with the place where it was originally produced, and was a relativeley new word at this time this the strong indication is of production in a place traditionally associated with cotton (egypt) rather than importation of a raw material for manipulation.

We know cotton was in the country, but the presence of either fustian clothing and cotton tablecloths in england in 1200 does not prove that cotton clothing was worn.

N.


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Postby Ariarnia » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:20 pm

gregory23b wrote: But I am a tee totaller and I am often in bed by 9-10 and poor company.


I'll let you into a secret. So's most of our group.



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Postby Dave B » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:09 pm

gregory23b wrote:But I am a tee totaller and I am often in bed by 9-10 and poor company.


He's also a terrible liar.


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Postby gregory23b » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:15 pm

I am rather a good liar, most honest people are.

:twisted:


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Postby Hobbitstomper » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:16 pm

Here you go.

I call it pseudo-banded mail because it might not be right but it looks like some of the pictures and effigies. It is made just like mail but every 3rd row is replaced by a flat washer (M8 light steel washers with 1.5mm square section 8mm mail washers in this case). From a distance the washers look like big links in alternating rows with a double line between them (the double row doesn’t come across in the coif because the flat washers were 1mm too big outside diameter). There are restrictions on what you can do with this pattern that might, maybe, possibly explain some of the features of mail on 14th century effigies/pictures. This coif is based on a picture of the massacre of the innocents.

It is very dense and resistant to pointy things (even bodkins would have to get lucky to hit a single normal link). Unfortunately, it weighs twice as much as normal mail- 10lb for this coif. With lighter washers it might be practical.

PS- if you think it is wang, I don’t care. It was an experiment that took on a life of its own.
PPS- couldn’t be bothered to stick on the gambeson and hauberk for the pictures because they were only intended for a mail making website.
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