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Martin Kallander




Location: Sweden
Joined: 25 Sep 2018

Posts: 92

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2021 2:13 pm    Post subject: examples of viking age/early medieval cotton clothing         Reply with quote

I keep reading about some clothes from this period being made of cotton but I've never seen any surviving examples or modern recreations. Does anyone here have any references of some kind?
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 602

PostPosted: Fri 19 Feb, 2021 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: examples of viking age/early medieval cotton clothing         Reply with quote

Martin Kallander wrote:
I keep reading about some clothes from this period being made of cotton but I've never seen any surviving examples or modern recreations. Does anyone here have any references of some kind?

Clothes in what region? Cotton clothing goes long back in India (Herodotus knew about it) and maybe Mesopotamia. It spread widely after the Arab conquests along with some other crops. By the 13th century people in Italy were importing it from places like Sicily and Syria and weaving it themselves, later people north of the Alps got in to the business.

Like linen and hemp, cotton does not survive very well in wet soil. In late medieval Europe most of the evidence is documents, in the Viking Age we don't have those kind of documents in most places.

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Martin Kallander




Location: Sweden
Joined: 25 Sep 2018

Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2021 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am mostly interested in roman things, so generally speaking the lands from Sicily to Georgia. I know textiles generally do not survive but a mere fragment would be enough to get an idea of its texture. If such things do not exist then I would really like texts that describe its properties beyond merely mentioning its existence. Any information on what the cotton they used was like would be greatly appretiated.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 602

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Kallander wrote:
I am mostly interested in roman things, so generally speaking the lands from Sicily to Georgia. I know textiles generally do not survive but a mere fragment would be enough to get an idea of its texture. If such things do not exist then I would really like texts that describe its properties beyond merely mentioning its existence. Any information on what the cotton they used was like would be greatly appretiated.

Early medieval archaeology is not one of the areas of my expertise, but Maureen Fennell Mazzaoui's "The Italian Cotton Industry in the Later Middle Ages, 1100-1600" (Bookfinder) has some information on the textiles from the Islamic world which the Franks copied and adapted in the late middle ages.

The grave of Grave of Bishop Timotheos of Ibrīm in Nubia (d. after 1372) contains some cotton fabrics: Elizabeth Crowfoot, “The Clothing of a Fourteenth-Century Nubian Bishop.” In Veronika Gervers eds., Studies in Textile History in Memory of Harold B. Burnham (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1977) pp. 43-51 OCLC 4035631

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