Most people in the Middle Ages wore woolen clothes, with underwear (if any) made of linen. Among the peasants, the women of the family generally sheared the wool of the sheep and the women of the family spun it to make the yarn of the cloth. Dyes were common, so even lower-class peasants often wore colorful clothes. Knights returning from the Crusades returned with silks and cottons from the Middle East.
The materials used by the nobility came in a variety of colors. The red dye came from a Mediterranean insect that provided a bright scarlet color. The green dyes came from lichen; the Dyerswoad plant provided dyes for the remaining blue colors. The dyes used in the production of these flamboyant pieces were particularly difficult to find and expensive.
Silk, although extremely expensive, was easily available to wealthy people, which was important. Byzantine silks were sold in Pavia through Venice, and silks from Andalusia reached France through Spain. In the last decade of the previous century, the Norman Reconquest of Sicily and the First Crusade opened additional routes for Eastern fabrics and stylistic influences to enter Europe. Despite the importation of new fabrics, wool continued to be the main fabric for clothing of all classes.
Linen underwear, which was more comfortable in contact with the skin and could be washed and then bleached in the sun, was increasingly being used. Men wore them over tights or tight pants, women over long dresses. The tunics were made of hemp or thick wool or linen. A tunic can be worn over a light linen shirt.
Linen can be woven thickly, bought, used, or provided by an employer. Lightweight linen shirts would be used for fieldwork in the warm months. Clothing is much more than just a physical covering to protect the body from the elements; it can reveal a lot about a person. An evening dress, a white doctor's coat or cowboy boots today can be clues to social status, profession or geographical origin.
In the Middle Ages, clothing was essential to identify one's place in the world. Medieval people were very good at reading the meaning of fashion, which is reflected in the painted pages of illuminated manuscripts. In Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius, female personifications of philosophy and the seven liberal arts are represented in a variety of styles from the late Middle Ages. The themes of this exhibition range from the extravagant cost of clothing worn by the elite to the styles and fabrics allowed by custom and law, to the inventiveness that adorns historical representations of fashion.
People dressed in various styles of clothing appear in stained glass windows, statues, drawings, and oil paintings. To go out, a cape or cloak was used, which was generally made of an approximately circular or rectangular piece of fabric that could also be lined with leather. Short suits were derived from the combination of the everyday clothing of the Roman Empire and the short tunics worn by the invading barbarians, the long suits came from the fusion of the clothing of the classes of the upper Roman Empire and were influenced by Byzantine dresses. Access to clothing was also restricted in times of economic conflict during wars such as the Hundred Years' War with France (1337-1453 AD), presumably to stop the waste of expenses.
The king could now make his empire unique, stand out from others by using different color combinations and, at the same time, have citizens wear clothes that differentiated them from each other. The shoes they were wearing were designed solely for use in castles and were made of silk, velvet, fabric or leather and were fastened with a buckle. For greater personalization, decorations and other layers of clothing were added above the shirt and jewelry began to appear in women's clothing. The spinning wheel replaced the spinning wheel (a manual spindle), and the horizontal loom with pedals and shuttle simplified the production of textiles and clothing.
Other biblical figures disguised themselves as whimsical interpretations of the fashions being used in the Middle East and beyond. Fabulous clothing, once restricted to royalty, is now available and affordable for the mercantile class and a new upward urban middle class. The cut, shape, style and decoration of clothing changed at a much faster rate than in the High Middle Ages (sometimes known as the Middle Ages), when styles varied little over time. Silk was also discovered in this early medieval period, however, it was a very expensive material to use and was only among the richest, for decorative purposes, mainly for decorating medieval clothing.
Wool was the thick material that was used in the early medieval period for almost all medieval garments, people received clothes that suited their current social status in medieval society, slaves and the poorest peasants could only use wool for their garments. .
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