Medieval Towels?

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Laffin Jon Terris
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:32 am
Contact:

Medieval Towels?

Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Tue May 20, 2008 10:23 am

No, not an anagram from Faulty Towers. :roll:

I have an event this weekend but also want to take part in "Towel Day" in memory of the late, great D.N.A. (click on the link in my signature for more info)

So my question is this...

What kind of thing would a man in the WOTR period have used as a towel- did they even use towels?

I'm thinking along the lines of a simple piece of linen or some such, I wouldn't expect the sort of fluffy towels we use these days, but thats why I'm asking isnt it!

Jon.


Knowing is only half the battle.
Image

User avatar
John Waller
Post Knight
Posts: 1551
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey

Postby John Waller » Tue May 20, 2008 11:03 am

IIRC from a visit to a turkish towel factory many years ago. The turks claim to have invented the 'fluffy' towel in the 18th century. Prior to that just flat linen or cotton.


Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

User avatar
Merlon.
Post Centurion
Posts: 600
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:31 pm
Location: under a pile of cables in a server room

Postby Merlon. » Tue May 20, 2008 1:31 pm

There is a particular type of linen "Diaper" which is used for towels and napkins



User avatar
Karen Larsdatter
Posts: 462
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: Medieval Towels?

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Tue May 20, 2008 2:31 pm

I would imagine that a simple piece of white linen would be appropriate. For someone who could afford it, there's the fancier linens that were produced and exported from Perugia (which, if you don't feel like weaving & brocading yourself, you could certainly emulate with embroidery; there's at least one example of an embroidered linen made to look like the Perugia linens, it's in Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers, but I don't think I've seen it online). See http://moas.atlantia.sca.org/wsnlinks/i ... &catid=642 for examples of these sorts of towels & linens.

http://larsdatter.com/baths.htm has some examples of towels depicted in artwork from around the WOTR too.




User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Tue May 20, 2008 2:39 pm

Probably just a simple hemmed pure linen.

Remember linen has fabulous absorbancy, so the fluffiness isn't needed (why even today the best tea towels are linen).


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."
Miss Piggy
RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Postby Dave B » Tue May 20, 2008 3:26 pm

Bernie the bolt has some really thick soft unbleached irish linen, quite cheap. I got some to hem up as a sheet for wrapping the baby up in, but it would be pretty good as a towel too.


Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Fair Lady Aside
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:57 pm
Location: New Hampshire
Contact:

Postby Fair Lady Aside » Tue May 20, 2008 11:37 pm

sally wrote:there are some replica serving towels out and about, like these
http://www.wolfeargent.com/cgi-bin/ulti ... =get_topic


Those are the table cloth and napkin sets made by Historic Enterprises in the US. Gwen put a lot of time and study figuring those out. They're beauties.

I have one made of 100% linen made by a lovely lady in Ireland. Also one made by Medieval design in Italy. (I like the big diamond/lozenge patterns).

Probably simple linen would work. You see both plain and diapered throughout the iconographic record. With and without blue borders. Howard Household books also mention various linens.


Jenn Reed
Fidelité jusqu'au bout

User avatar
sally
Post Knight
Posts: 1806
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Sunny Wales
Contact:

Postby sally » Wed May 21, 2008 6:35 am

If we could just persuade one of the big manufacturers to weave narrow width linen, all you'd need to do is fringe the ends of lengths.

Such a shame its hard to get narrow loom with stuff these days



User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed May 21, 2008 12:40 pm

Wouldn't they be likley to weave it on a jet loom anyway, giving you those modern selveges, rather than those found pre 1900?


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

BigM

Postby BigM » Thu May 22, 2008 1:37 pm

Hello

Briefly looked into this a while ago for my own kit. The evidence (mostly pictorial) seems to point to towels with a honeycomb or diamond jaquard weave. You sometimes see this in tea towels today, it increases the surface area and absorbancy (though tea towels are a wee bit small for the larger user!). Would suggest honeycomb weave towels as a good starting point for a search though.

M



User avatar
Fair Lady Aside
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:57 pm
Location: New Hampshire
Contact:

Postby Fair Lady Aside » Fri May 30, 2008 7:48 pm

Diapered Linen

Historic Enterprises

Most cost effective option. Small diamonds cotton/linen weave; broad and narrow indigo decorations.

Medieval Design Scroll down toward the bottom of the page. You see table cloth and towel/napkin; cotton, linen, custom sizes available upon request. Large diamond with basic indigo decoration.

Detail photo

Extant XVe and XVIe diapered linens Castoria-Umbria

15th c Castoria-Umbria

Norcia-Umbria

Valnerina-Umbria

16th c Valnerina-Umbria

Custom Linen Cloth I commissioned from a lovely lady in Ireland a few years back.


Jenn Reed

Fidelité jusqu'au bout


User avatar
Vez
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:26 am
Location: The God phoenix

Postby Vez » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:14 am

Image


...Wouldnt it be fun to set up a bath tub on camp....... it would go nicely with the thread in the friends forum for ladies in stripey hoods....

Thus runs the thoughts in my head.


Image

Wolf-Rampant

Postby Wolf-Rampant » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:06 pm

Still havn't done the public bathing display yet but any ladies wishing to offer their body for such a display will be attended to by many a servant , as long as you are prepared to cover your head...were not THAT immoral you know :lol:
Attachments
bath & screen.JPG



User avatar
lidimy
Post Knight
Posts: 1799
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:37 pm
Location: Flitting between the centuries.
Contact:

Postby lidimy » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:31 pm

Wolf-Rampant wrote:, as long as you are prepared to cover your head...were not THAT immoral you know :lol:


Thank you, very well said.


'As long as you have a coif on, you're decent.' Image

User avatar
red razors
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:05 pm

Postby red razors » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:32 pm

that tub looks a little too small for my backside... :?



User avatar
vlasta
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:20 pm
Location: Dublin
Contact:

Postby vlasta » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:44 am

Hi. [url=http://www.zlate-ostroge.org/clanki%20arhiv/otirace.htm#otirače]Here[/url] is a nice site about medieval towels. I don't know what language is that, but there's plenty of pictures.



User avatar
Ace Rimmer
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:34 am
Location: Cambs
Contact:

Postby Ace Rimmer » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:36 pm

my guess would be something slavic for the language. Nice pics though :)


Don't drink with the COSJ's
Don't fight with the COSJ's
Don't sing with the COSJ's

You will lose.......

lucy the tudor wrote: I think men win due to longevity.

George P.
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:01 pm

Postby George P. » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:55 pm

slovenian :wink:




Return to “1100-1500”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest