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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Underwear - a historical overview

(1,146 words)

Author(s): Sarah Thursfield
Underwear is by definition difficult to study: it is rarely illustrated, or listed in wardrobes and tailors' accounts, and even the indignant chroniclers criticise it much less than they do the more noticeable outer garments. However a broad view of early sources supports the hypothesis that wearing a linen body garment under outer layers of wool had its origins in late prehistory and formed the basis of ordinary medieval dress. The absence of comment and criticism is itself informative, support…