Medieval Facts, Wonderful Words

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 in the middle agesTaffeta / Sendal

Crisp finely woven silk.

real medieval samite in medieval dressSamite

Silk interwoven with silver and gold thread showing images.

brocade in the middle agesBrocade

Silk with raised patterns in gold and silver.

medieval satin used for clothing and beddingSatin

Silk produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft at certain intervals.

medieval velvet textile for beddingVelvet

Closely woven fabric of silk, linen or cotton with a short dense pile, giving it a soft feel.

medieval damask fabricDamask

Linen, silk or cotton woven with flat patterns showing on both sides, often reddish in color.

tussore tussah and tasar a coarse medieval silk

Tussah / Tussore / Tasar

Coarse silk made from fiber produced by the larvae of the tussore moth.

medieval pintado frabric from merchants in SpainPintado

Painted chintz from India, prized by Spanish traders.

medieval calico from Calicut traded in EuropeCalico

Plain-woven cotton fabric with an unfinished appearance, named after the trading town Calicut in India, prized by the Portuguese.

medieval linsey woolsey fabric and textile materialLinsey-woolsey / Wincey

Tough homespun with a linen warp and a woolen weft.


medieval fustian fabric was used forFustian

Thick, durable cotton or linen fabric.

medieval cambric cotton cloth from Cambrai in FranceCambric

Lightweight pure cotton textile, named after Cambrai in France.

medieval tartan design for Scottish warrior clan clothingTartan

Scottish plaid fabric of varying patterns.

medieval muslin for undergarmentsMuslin

Plain lightweight sheer to coarse cotton cloth.

medieval sindon fabric and clothSindon

Fine muslin-like linen.

what is serge textile fabric in the middle agesSerge

Strong twilled wool fabric with a pronounced diagonal rib.

fur of the marten in the middle ages usagesMarten

Fur of the marten, a small Eurasian mammal of the weasel family.

sable fur in medieval garmentsSable 

Fur of the sable, an oriental marten.

medieval ermine fur for garmentsErmine

Fur of the ermine, a short-tailed weasel with a white coat in winter.

stoat vs ermine vs marten furStoat

Fur of the ermine when the coat is brown.

vair fur for medieval trimmingVair

Fur of various squirrels, used for garment trimming.

medieval hemp canvas clothCanvas

Durable fabric made from hemp, named after the Arabic word cannabis.

cerecloth and waxcloth uses in European middle agesCerecloth / Waxcloth

Waterproof cloth infused with wax, used for wagon canopies, bandages and wrapping the dead.

hessian in the middle agesHessian (known as burlap today)

Rough, tough fabric made from jute fibres, used for sacks.

cashmere used in medieval timesCashmere

Soft wool fabric from the Kashmir goat.

medieval cameline fabric for clothingCameline / Camlet

Twilled fabric made from camel hair.

worsted for medieval clothingWorsted

Wool fabric made from worsted yarn.

historical buckram or bokeram and cloth from the silk roadsBokeram (confused with buckram today)

Costly cotton cloth from Bukhara, an ancient city on the Silk Roads.

merino fabric in medieval europeMerino

Wool fabric from the Italian Merino goat, similar to cashmere.

budge lambskin cloth and fabric in medieval clothingBudge / Buge / Bugee

Lambskin dressed with the wool facing outward, used for lining.

medieval hodden clothesHodden

Coarse fabric of undyed wool, chiefly Scottish.

mohair fabric in the middle agesMohair

Fabric made by the silky hairs of the Angora goat from the city of Ankara in modern-day Turkey.

chamois leather in medieval europeChamois

Pliant leather from the skin of a chamois, a goatlike bovid.

medieval cordovan leatherCordovan / Cordwain

Soft goatskin leather, especially from Córdoba in Spain.

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4 thoughts on “List of Medieval Textiles, Furs & Leather Fabric

  1. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

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