Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth & Maria Hayward
The single volume Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450 is a unique work that intends to bring together in 582 signed articles the latest research from across the range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of medieval dress and textiles.

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(1,074 words)

Author(s): Ralph Moffat
A jack was a short, padded protection for the torso that could be worn independently or over other armoured defences. The word possibly derived from the French jaque. It was known from the 14th to 15th centuries and the only known surviving example is the Rothwell Jack. The jack had military and civilian uses. The military examples were known as 'jacks of defence', jak defencionis. References can be found in a range of sources. In 1364 a London fustour (saddletree-maker) pleaded that certain of his possessions had been stolen. These included a blak jak, a cheker jak and a jak de defense. A 1402…


(1,329 words)

Author(s): Ralph Moffat
A jazerant is a piece of armour combining mail and padded textiles. It was originally a coat of mail covered with silk-waste and inserted into a brocade (see brocading) garment. The etymology is from the Persian for a war kaftan composed from the words kazh (silk-waste) āgand (stuffed/padded). It passes from Turkish-Arabic sources to French and English. The defining element is the mail often referred to as acier (steel) or fer (iron). A prevalent misconception from the 19th century is that a jazerant was armour composed of overlapping plates. Three medieval writers provide descripti…


(2,382 words)

Author(s): David Humphrey
The development of jewellery in England between c. 450 and c. 1450 initially built on late Roman Empire practices. In the following centuries, down to the end of the 12th century, much of the production of jewellery was carried out by goldsmiths trained in English monastic workshops. During this period longstanding styles gave way to new ideas imported from the Byzantine world. They in turn were replaced in the late 13th century by elements of Gothic style and the influence of chivalry with its many nature-based references. The period saw not only changes or devel…