mdvl-textiles-bib – 4/27/05


“Annotated Bibliography about Medieval Textiles” By THL Cassandra of Glastonbury.


NOTE: See also the files: textiles-msg, weaving-msg, piled-fabrics-msg, looms-msg, color-a-fab-bib, cotton-art, hemp-cloth-msg, linen-msg, velvet-msg, weaving-lnks.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at



[This article was first published on the Middle Kingdom Guild of Withie and Woolmongers website, ]


Annotated Bibliography about Medieval Textiles

By THL Cassandra of Glastonbury


This is a partial list of books I have found helpful in my research of weaving, spinning and dyeing. This list is not comprehensive and reflects my focus weaving, spinning, and natural dyeing. The opinions expressed are my own, as the cat could not bother to comment.


Addyman, P.V., editor (1982) The Archaeology of York, Volume 17: The Small Finds. Ebor Press, York, England. ISBN: 0-906780-02-0. Archaeological text includes pictures of weaves and diagrams of weave structures.

Amos, Alden, The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning. Interweave Press, Loveland, CO, 2001. Very technical book on spinning and troubleshooting spinning problems.

Barber, Elizabeth Wayland (1999) The Mummies of Ürümchi. WW Norton & Company, New York, NY. ISBN: 0-393-32019-7. Shows clothing, woven bands, and all the mummies anyone could desire in color photos.

Barber, Elizabeth Wayland (1991) Prehistoric Textiles. WW Norton & Company, New York, NY. ISBN: 0-691-00224-x. Takes spinning, weaving, and dyeing from the beginning of time. This is the book that started my addiction to medieval weaving.

Barber, Elizabeth Wayland (1995) Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years. WW Norton & Company, New York, NY. ISBN: 0-393-31348-4. Very good read, more like a novel than non-fiction. Focus is on prehistoric more than Middle Ages.

Bennett, J, et al, editor (1989) Sisters and Workers in the Middle Ages. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. ISBN: 0-226-04248-0. Discusses occupations pursued by women. Wills and court records back up citings, making this an excellent source for documenting.

Baizerman, Suzanne and Searle, Karen (1978) Finishes in the Ethnic Tradition. Dos Tejedoras, St. Paul, MN. ISBN: 0-932394-01-9. An easy-to-follow book about how to perform finishing techniques in clear language and drawings.

Bress, Helene (1980) Inkle Weaving. Flower Valley Press, Rockville, MD. ISBN: 0-9620543-1-3 Best inkle weaving book I have found to date. Shows how to build a loom, warp, weave, finish, and design inkle bands. Color schemes are a bit (understatement) dated. Do not believe the bookstores when they tell you the book is out of print; the publisher is the author’s husband.

Broudy, Eric (1979) The Book of Looms. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. ISBN: 0-87451-649-8 Overview about looms used from prehistoric to modern times. Excellent pictures and sketches.

Bruce-Mitford, Rupert (1983) The Sutton Hoo Ship-burial. Vol. 3, Chapter IV: The Textiles by Elisabeth Crowfoot, University Press, Cambridge, England. ISBN: 0-7141-1331-x. Archaeological text detailing the textiles found on the Sutton Hoo. The multi-volume series is the most comprehensive book written about the Sutton Hoo.

Chandler, Deborah (1995) Learning to Weave. Interweave Press, Loveland, CO. ISBN: 1-883010-03-9. Best how-to weave book I have found to date. It is comprehensive guide to weaving cloth in a variety of techniques. Has a good troubleshooting guide. There is even plenty of room to write in the margins. The only downside to this book is the author has no interest in medieval history.

CIBA Reviews. Excellent source of information on a wide variety of historical textiles, clothing, guilds, dyes, and looms. This is a series of publications sent out to their customers.

Crowfoot, Elisabeth, et al (1992) Textiles and Clothing c.1150-c.1450. HMSO Publications Centre, London, England. ISBN: 0-11-290445-9. Archaeological text detailing and cataloguing a London dig. Crowfoot details the finds ranging from tabby woven braids, felting, and clothing.

Davison, Marguerite (1994) A Handweaver’s Pattern Book. Margurite Porter Davison, Swarthmore, PA. ISBN: 0-9603172-0-1. A comprehensive book of patterns ranging from tabby and twills to out of period overshot. Caution: double check the patterns and notations for accuracy.

Collingwood, Peter (1968) The Techniques of Rug Weaving. Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, NY. ISBN: 0-8230-5200-1. Excellent how-to detailing various rug weaving techniques, vocabulary, and tools. Also covers tapestry techniques.

Collingwood, Peter (1974) The Techniques of Sprang: Plaiting on Stretched Threads. Lyons Press, New York, NY. ISBN: 1-55821-930-7. Excellent how-to detailing sprang techniques, vocabulary, and tools.

Collingwood, Peter (1982) The Techniques of Tablet Weaving. Robin & Russ Handweavers, Inc., McMinnville, OR. ISBN: 1-56659-055-8. Excellent how-to detailing various tablet weaving techniques, vocabulary, and tools.

De’ Marinis, Fabrizio (1994) Velvet: History, Techniques, Fashions. Idea Books, New York, NY. ISBN: 0-9627985-1-7. Beautiful color photos of velvet clothing from portraits. Also shows cloth with gold embroidery, supplemental weaving, and embellishments.

Edelstein, S. & Borghetty, H., editors (1969) The Plictho of Gioanventura Rosetti. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, England. English translation of medieval dye recipes. Good source to prove that almost any color can be created. Caution: check for toxic ingredients and follow modern dyeing safety precautions.

Geijer, Agnes (1979) A History of Textile Art. Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, Covent Garden, London. ISBN: 0-85667-055-3. Discusses bands, tablet weaving, dyeing techniques, and looms.

Gervers, Veronika, editor (1977) Studies in Textile History. Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, Canada. ISBN: 0-88854-192-9. Series of articles ranging from Icelandic embroidery to the Apocalypse Tapestries.

Hald, Margrethe (1980) Ancient Danish Textiles from Bogs and Burials, National Museum of Denmark, Denmark. ISBN: 87-480-0312-3. Detailed accounts of spinning, fabric, tablet weaving, sewing, and sprang.

Harte, N. B. and K.G. Ponting, ed (1983) Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe. Heinemann Educational Books, Ltd., London, England. ISBN: 0-435-32382-2. Variety of articles ranging from Birka finds, weavers, gold thread, tablet weaving, types of cloth woven, costs and wages, and patterns.

Harvey, Nancy (1991) Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide. Interweave Press, Loveland, CO. ISBN: 0-934026-64-5. Detailed how-to book devoted to tapestry weaving and designing.

Hoffmann, Marta (1974) The Warp-Weighted Loom. Hestholms Boktrykkeri A.s, Oslo, Norway. ISBN: 82-00-08094-3. A comprehensive book concerning warp-weighted looms, their weavers, and weavings. Some of this work has been supplanted by later finds.

Jorgensen, Lise (1991) North European Textiles until AD 1000. Aarhus University Press, Aarhus, Denmark. ISBN: 87-7288-416-9. Relates types of weaves to geography and data on thread counts.

Jorgensen, L. & E. Munksgaard, eds. (1992) Archaeological Textiles in Northern Europe: Report from the 4th NESAT Symposium 1.-5. May 1990 in Copenhagen. Torleiv Svderdrup Hamar, Hungary. ISBN: 87-89730-04-6. Copper age to medieval textiles.

Jorgensen, L. & C. Rinaldo, eds. (1998) Textiles in European Archaeology: report from the 6th NESAT Symposium, 7-11th May 1996 in Boras. Goteborg University, Sweden. ISBN: 91-85952-74-5. Prehistoric through medieval textiles.

Rogers, Penelope Walton (1997) Textile Production at 16-22 Coppergate. Council for British Archaeology, York, UK. ISBN: 9-906780-97-9. Raw materials for weaving, spinners, looms and other topics of archaeological interest.

Rogers, Penelope Walton, and John Wild (1990) Textiles in Northern Archaeology: NESAT III: Textile Symposium in York 6–9 May 1987. Archetype Publications, London. ISBN: 1-873132-05-0. Like any of the six NESAT books, many useful articles written by the best in textile archaeology. Difficult to find.

Rogers, Penelope Walton, ed. (2001) Roman Textile Industry and its Influence, The: A Birthday Tribute to John Peter Wild. Oxbow Books, Oakville, CT. ISBN: 1-84217-046-5. Series of textile articles ranging from ancient Rome to Medieval England.

Rogers, Penelope Walton (1989) Textiles, Cordage and Raw Fibre from 16-22 Coppergate. Council for British Archaeology, York, England. ISBN 0906780799. Discusses wool, silk, and flax, diamond twills, dyes used and other topics of archaeological interest.

Spies, Nancy (2000) Ecclesiastical Pomp & Aristocratic Circumstance. Arelate Studio, Jarrettsville, MD. ISBN 0615116817. Comprehensive book for tablet weaving. Many photos of historical remnants and reconstructs them. Many charts for pick up work. Invaluable resource for anyone interested in either ecclesiastical weaving or tablet weaving. Caution: assumes a strong knowledge of tablet weaving techniques.

Van Stralen, Trudy (1993) Indigo, Madder and Marigold. Interweave Press, Loveland, CO. ISBN: 0-934026-86-6. Author takes a methodical approach to dyeing and record keeping with a modern focus on natural dyes.

Weigle, Palmy (1974) Ancient Dyes for Modern Weavers. Watson-Gutpill Publications, New York, NY. ISBN: 0-8230-0223-3. Discusses dye materials used in ancient times. Recipes and color photos.

Wild, J. P. (1970) Textile Manufacture in the Northern Roman Provinces. Cambridge University Press, London, England. ISBN: 521-07491-6. Very early period archaeology. Band looms, spinning, dyeing, and weaving.

Wild, John (1988) Textiles in Archaeology. Shire Publications LTD, Aylesbury, England. ISBN: 0-85263-931-7. Finishing, loom dimensions, and rigid heddles


About the author: THL Cassandra of Glastonbury (OE, APF, CW, AOA) is a chirurgeon (regional) She is an English lady who enjoys tending her loom, garden, and stillroom.


Alexis Abarria weaves both inkle bands and fabric, spins, dyes, and makes felt.


Copyright 2005 by Alexis Abarria, 724 Orchard Ave.. Muskegon, MI 49442, <loom at>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at