List of Medieval Textiles, Furs & Leather Fabric
Below you will find a list of medieval fabric of various kinds used to make clothes, curtains, accessories, etc. I’ll be updating this list every few years so please let me know of any medieval fabrics I missed in the comments below. Also, here is an interesting book about recreating medieval clothes.
A List of Fabric From the Middle Ages
Taffeta / Sendal
Crisp finely woven silk.
Silk interwoven with silver and gold thread showing images.
Silk with raised patterns in gold and silver.
Silk produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft at certain intervals.
Closely woven fabric of silk, linen or cotton with a short dense pile, giving it a soft feel.
Linen, silk or cotton woven with flat patterns showing on both sides, often reddish in color.
Tussah / Tussore / Tasar –
Coarse silk made from fiber produced by the larvae of the tussore moth.
Painted chintz from India, prized by Spanish traders.
Plain-woven cotton fabric with an unfinished appearance, named after the trading town Calicut in India, prized by the Portuguese.
Linsey-woolsey / Wincey
Tough homespun with a linen warp and a woolen weft.
Thick, durable cotton or linen fabric.
Lightweight pure cotton textile, named after Cambrai in France.
Scottish plaid fabric of varying patterns.
Plain lightweight sheer to coarse cotton cloth.
Fine muslin-like linen.
Strong twilled wool fabric with a pronounced diagonal rib.
Fur of the marten, a small Eurasian mammal of the weasel family.
Fur of the sable, an oriental marten.
Fur of the ermine, a short-tailed weasel with a white coat in winter.
Fur of the ermine when the coat is brown.
Fur of various squirrels, used for garment trimming.
Durable fabric made from hemp, named after the Arabic word cannabis.
Cerecloth / Waxcloth
Waterproof cloth infused with wax, used for wagon canopies, bandages and wrapping the dead.
Hessian (known as burlap today)
Rough, tough fabric made from jute fibres, used for sacks.
Soft wool fabric from the Kashmir goat.
Cameline / Camlet
Twilled fabric made from camel hair.
Wool fabric made from worsted yarn.
Bokeram (confused with buckram today)
Costly cotton cloth from Bukhara, an ancient city on the Silk Roads.
Wool fabric from the Italian Merino goat, similar to cashmere.
Budge / Buge / Bugee
Lambskin dressed with the wool facing outward, used for lining.
Coarse fabric of undyed wool, chiefly Scottish.
Fabric made by the silky hairs of the Angora goat from the city of Ankara in modern-day Turkey.
Pliant leather from the skin of a chamois, a goatlike bovid.
Cordovan / Cordwain
Soft goatskin leather, especially from Córdoba in Spain.
4 thoughts on “List of Medieval Textiles, Furs & Leather Fabric”
Once again, I was ecstatic when I saw this list. I also collect interesting Mediaeval terms/tidbits I come across in my research, but I selfishly keep them in Word documents–it’s so good of you to make these public for the benefit of others.
If you like Medieval words, get the Medieval Wordbook by Madeleine Cosman!
It’s my pleasure, Antipodeananthropoid. Call it an obsession but I have more lists on the way. I’m working on a list of medieval coins now. It’s such an honor to do this work and I’m glad it comes as a service to others with similar interests. By the way, it wouldn’t take much work to turn your Word Doc lists into blog posts for the benefit of your wonderful audience 🙂
I can’t seem to find what cloth made of silvers which would have been imported from the east would have been. The color described in the book was a rich twilight purple.