Cotton in period

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Vermin
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Postby Vermin » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:21 pm

Malvoisin wrote:
Ariarnia wrote:
as for her being a Saracen, we find it quite nice to be able to say, and this is what the other cultures of the world...
...a little bit of ethnic diversity. Richard did have a company of them in england after all, tho I do give that they were horse archers.


Sorry to hijack your cotten thread Ariarnia.
This is new to me. Did Richard bring them back from the crusades?


I'm quite interested by this too - Any more details ?



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Postby Ariarnia » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:36 pm

Just a mo. I'll see if I can dig that out.



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Postby John Waller » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:15 pm

[quote="Nigel"[

Ok the full panolpy means not just your clothing BUT verything else tent support staff kitchen retinue etc etc

[/quote]

Is that a cotton tent?


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Postby Ariarnia » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:04 am

Vermin wrote:
Malvoisin wrote:
Ariarnia wrote:
as for her being a Saracen, we find it quite nice to be able to say, and this is what the other cultures of the world...
...a little bit of ethnic diversity. Richard did have a company of them in england after all, tho I do give that they were horse archers.


Sorry to hijack your cotten thread Ariarnia.
This is new to me. Did Richard bring them back from the crusades?


I'm quite interested by this too - Any more details ?

As it turns out it's something we were told in a lecture. Saladin’s brother loaned Richard a troop of horse archers and their bows were found in London. I'll see if I can get an appointment with the lecturer (I'm not a med studies student I only took the basic module.)



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DeviantShrub
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Postby DeviantShrub » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:11 am

Ariarnia, please would you check this out (perhaps ask the lecturer by email?).

To the best of my knowledge, it's really unusual for bows of any type to survive archaeologically, and this is a completely new one on me (though there are undoubtedly others here who know far more about surviving bows than I do!)

However, aside from the question of whether 12thC Turkish bows have been found in London, why would that lead to the inference that there must be Saracen soldiers with them?


I've been reading this thread from the beginning, but now can't resist jumping in.



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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:26 am

Ariarnia wrote:
As it turns out it's something we were told in a lecture. Saladin’s brother loaned Richard a troop of horse archers and their bows were found in London. I'll see if I can get an appointment with the lecturer (I'm not a med studies student I only took the basic module.)


I wonder if this is getting confused with the saracen bows found on the inventory of Wigmore castle in 1322 (which apparently included two saracen bows, three arrows, six springaulds, 14 crossbows of horn and an Irish battle axe)?


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Postby Chris T » Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:28 pm

A number of years ago there was an exhibition of Medieval Arab textiles in (as I remember it) the V&A.

The cottons on display were mostly (again as I remember it) fine muslin type weaves, and dyed, or to be more accurate woven of dyed warp and weft threads. Given the interaction of different bands of colour running in opposite directions the overall effect was rather like a transparent tartan.

Some of these were dated to the C13th and possibly earlier (The C13
th was a particular area of interest to me, so I am not so sure of some of the other dates.)

certainly I do not believe that anything even slightly similar was being produced in this country, so it is easy to see how fabrics of this type would be an exotic luxury worth importing: to suggest because of this that the lower orders wore white cotton shirts is a leap too far!



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Postby Attilla the Bun » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:25 pm

Slightly later than the period under discussion, there's an amazing archive from the University of Southampton's four seasons of excavation at Quseir Al-Qadim, near Berenike. which was also the major Roman trading port of Myos Hormos, bringing trade from India and the Orient to the Roman world.

They found a large quantity both of Roman textiles and Islamic textiles, which start in the 13th century. These include fabulous resist-dyed cottons from India, and textiles from the Arabian peninsula, and they make the point that at that period, there would have been a large market of pilgrims there.

This is the page with all the links to the reports, including the textile reports and you can also search the image collection

http://www.arch.soton.ac.uk/Research/Qu ... le=Default


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Postby Nigel » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:49 pm

thanks for this we ahve never doublted their existance in the East

its the junp to England that we doubt


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Attilla the Bun » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:01 pm

Quite.
But I thought you'd enjoy the website!


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Postby Alan_F » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:43 pm

So where's the evidence for a troop of Saracens in England then?


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Postby Ariarnia » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:36 pm

I'm still waiting for the guy to get back to me.

It's the end of term and everyone's frantic with essays. Either marking or making.

Would expect it by the end of the week but no promises. And even then, he said it in a lecture, he might not know where he got it from off the top of his head.



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Postby Alan_F » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:23 am

Ariarnia wrote:Would expect it by the end of the week but no promises. And even then, he said it in a lecture, he might not know where he got it from off the top of his head.


The people who lectured me would know that. In fact, most lecturers would automatically know where anything they claim in a lecture can be sourced to.


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Postby Ariarnia » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:23 am

Anyone know of an invantory made of richards estates after his death as I have been told the info I wanted is there.

He was a bit shirty about it to.



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Postby Mary Craig » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:57 pm

Interesting ramble of a thread.

As a kind of aside, relevant though, cotton does not grow here, linen does. Linen does very well in the cool, moist climate and fertile lands of Northern Europe.

Our climate is Atlantic island, and is predominately damp. Cotton is damned uncomfortable stuff damp......think wet jeans :( while linen, with it's long staple fibres is actually very comfortable under wool, even when the body wearing it is sweaty.

Our concept of the cotton/ linen debate is very biased, linen lost out in the mechanisation of the spinning and weaving at the start of the Industrial Revolution. It did catch up but not quickly enough. Slave labour ensured that cotton became the cheaper fabric.

Actually, as much hemp was used for clothing in the past, as ever there was linen......and the bias because some varieties yielded high cannabinoids in their leaves kind of destroyed that industry.

As for dyeing, I dye using natural dyes all the time. Linen is as easy as cotton, so that's not a good reason.
Cotton is a pain to spin by hand ( I do that too) compared to linen or hemp.
Fine spun and woven linen softens and the*handle* of the fabric improves and drapes beautifully with wear and use. Too many folks still think of linen only as starched tablecloths :roll:

And also,
Cotton will flare with fire; linen cloth, while it will burn, does not flare.

No reason 'some' cotton ought not be represented in the Living History interpretation of the past, but linen or hemp is I think a much more realistic cloth for British re-enactors to use.

Fine woollen cloth with a fine raised nap used to be called cotton, more recently it was named flannel....strangely the name we now give to cotton cloth with a raised nap....might be stretching a point there :)

Polycotton, while not mentioned is very available and if cotton becomes more commonly used then it will inevitably become more prevalent.
Unfortunately, if polycotton catches fire the cotton will burn to ash but the polyester will melt and forms a kind of framework that sustains the flames along the cloth. Very bad news near fires or live firing.

Regards,
Mary
Last edited by Mary Craig on Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby Tuppence » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:51 pm

Polycotton, while not mentioned is very available and if cotton becomes more commonly used then it will inevitably become more prevalent.
Unfortunately, if polycotton catches fire the cotton will burn to ash but the polyester will melt and forms a kind of framework that sustains the flames along the cloth. Very bad news near fires or live firing.


Good point, especially since polycotton can be very difficult to tell from cotton without a test.


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Postby Sophia » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:00 pm

On the fire safety front I soak my linen aprons in a strong solution of Borax when I have washed them. This acts as a primitive fire retardent.

For Tudors there is also the alternative of woollen aprons which appear regularly in accounts and inventories.

We tend to forget quite how common hearth deaths were.

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Postby Dave B » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:07 pm

Really?

I wouldn't have thought linen would ever flash up in a dangerous way as modern fabrics can. In fact I've set the cuff of a baggy linen shirt on fire before and it only smouldered.


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Postby Sophia » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:01 am

You have to remeber that aprons will get grease on them and only the very well to do would have been able to change their aprons daily.

The same can be said for the woollen clothes which would have become impregnated with grease over time.

If you have worked in a kitchen on a regular basis you soon become aware of the grease in the atmosphere.

Soph :D


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Postby Tuppence » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:48 am

Yep - linen (or wool) + grease = candle wick type material ultimately with person as the wax...

We used to used borax when I was at college doing stuff with flames on stage. That and salt petre


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Postby gregory23b » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:10 am

"Too many folks still think of linen only as starched tablecloths "

Yep, as it happens my favourite item of clothing is my antique-linen shirt, sewn by Sophia. It is very soft and pliable and hangs very well.


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:09 am

gregory23b wrote:"Too many folks still think of linen only as starched tablecloths "

Yep, as it happens my favourite item of clothing is my antique-linen shirt, sewn by Sophia. It is very soft and pliable and hangs very well.


:twisted:

and was made from great grandma's table-cloth!

:twisted:

Sorry Jorge, couldn't resist!


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Postby m300572 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:14 am

Tuppence wrote:Yep - linen (or wool) + grease = candle wick type material ultimately with person as the wax...

We used to used borax when I was at college doing stuff with flames on stage. That and salt petre


You can probably also use alum solution as a fire retardent - I was told (while working on an alum works site) that it was sloshed onto thatch to act as such.


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Postby Mary Craig » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:10 pm

Alum does work, very well in fact, but it's better kept for curtains and the like 'cos it's uncomfortable stuff to handle, think chillies in eyeballs; no' funny :( while borax used to be used as eyewash and as an ingredient in cold creams.

regards,
Mary



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Postby nerf herder » Sun May 11, 2008 12:54 am

Any news about these so-called Saracen horse archers yet?

Any reply from this unnamed lecturer? I'll email him myself if someone will provide the name, and the date and context of the lecture in question.

Or is it a load of made-up b*****ks?


I hope it's all true - my Saracen kit is nearly ready!!!!! :roll:

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Postby Nigel » Sun May 11, 2008 8:00 am

where ar ethye going to get the pony from amtey :D


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby crystalspinner » Fri May 16, 2008 6:59 pm

Having just come across this post, I have read it with interest. Yet, I have to say that I am surprised that the fire hazard only came up at the end of 7 pages! THat aside, the main reason for a reenactor who is trying to be authentic, stays away from "coton" is that the modern version of the stuff that is widely available tends to have manmade poly fibres in it. So rather than have the headache of trying to tell a member of your group that has just spent hours making a piece of kit...oh sorry, but you've made it from the wrong fabric...there are too many modern fibres in it....its far easier to say no to cotton!!!..... Bee :wink:



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Postby guthrie » Fri May 16, 2008 8:05 pm

Mary Craig wrote:Alum does work, very well in fact, but it's better kept for curtains and the like 'cos it's uncomfortable stuff to handle, think chillies in eyeballs; no' funny :( while borax used to be used as eyewash and as an ingredient in cold creams.

regards,
Mary

Got any information on that? I've come across suggestions Alum was used as a fire retardant over 2,000 years ago, and am trying to work out how to test it properly.



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Postby Dave B » Fri May 16, 2008 9:20 pm

Do you mean more info about the use 2000 years ago, or just in general?

the 2000 years ago bit I guess is pliny's natural history that describes uses of alum in book 15. Never read it though.

Definitely was used for fireproofing fabrics. not sure if it is today 'foamite' the origional fire extinguisher foam for oil and chemical fires is made with Alum, and fire retardand insulating tape has powdered alum in it.


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Postby Vermin » Sat May 17, 2008 9:38 am

nerf herder wrote:Any news about these so-called Saracen horse archers yet?

Any reply from this unnamed lecturer? I'll email him myself if someone will provide the name, and the date and context of the lecture in question.

Or is it a load of made-up b*****ks?


I hope it's all true - my Saracen kit is nearly ready!!!!! :roll:

Nerfy


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