Fashion in the Age of Datini


In the later middle ages, a "bed" was normally the covers, sheets, matresses, and other removable parts. The bed frame or bedstead itself was rarely mentioned since it was cheap and rarely bought or sold. As with tables and other furniture, the wooden parts were seen as less significant than the things placed on top of them. Respectable beds contained many of the same elements we expect today- matresses, sheets, a bedcover (coverlet, coverture, pourpoint, counterpoint, sometimes quilted for warmth), pillows- but of different shapes and materials- matresses were often stuffed with wool, cotton, or green branches, pillows were often cylindrical, and bed linens were really linen! Less respectable beds, and beds in cold regions like Norway, could be more primitive (article in Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe, William Patten, The Expedicion into Scotlande).

... more to come ...

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