HNW - 15th/16th c. embroidery SNSpies at
Thu Mar 22 06:02:58 PST 2001

<< Getting back to the high middle ages, at least some of the lack of 
 on garments might be explained by the increased availability of damask, 
 lampas-woven, and brocaded silks in Europe.  >>

This may be part of the answer, but I would like to go back to your 
off-the-cuff answer, Alianora:  fashion.  Although embroidery was used 
throughout the entire Middle Ages, from what I've seen in my research, the 
preferred method of trimming a lot of garments was the addition of bands of 
various sorts.  You'll notice that many many pictures show garb with bands at 
the neckline, cuffs, hems, as well as other places.  Apparently these bands 
could be made in a variety of techniques:  loom weaving, tablet weaving, 
appliqued fabric (especially silks), and appliqued embroidery.  Embroidery, 
again from my years of looking for bands in pictures!. seems to have flowered 
greatly in the Renaissance.

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