Fashion in the Age of Datini

Caddis Stuffing

One of the materials used to stuff doublets in the British Isles was called caddas, caddes, caddis, cadaz, cadace. Mart Shearer and I have been trying to figure out what it is since 2020.


1. The expenses of Bogo de Clare, a wealthy Anglo-Norman aristocrat who held benefices and many not have bothered to be ordained first, from 1284-1286 giuseppi-accounts-of-bogo-de-clare

Original Translation
p. 28 Item pro dimidia pecia sindonis rubei debilis empta ad cubitandum in quodam Gardecors' viridi facto ad opus dom. .iij. s'. iiij. d'. Item pro vna vncia et dimidia emptis ad consuendum pred.gardecors' et vnum alterum gardecors' de sindone rubeo factum ad opus dom. xviij. d'. precium vncie xij. d'. Item pro .ij. libris coton' et .ij. libris Cadac' emptis ad cubitandum in pred. .ij. gardecors' .iiij. s'. vj. d'. Item pro factura et custura pred. duorum garde-corsatorum v. s'. Item: for half a piece of weak red sindon bought for bedding in a certain green guardecorps made at the expense of the lord, 3 s. 4 d. Item for an ounce and a half bought for sewing the aforesaid gardecorps and another guardecorps of red sindon made at the expense of the lord, 18 d. priced at 12 d. the ounce. Item for 2 pounds of cotton and 2 pounds of Cadac' bought for bedding in the aforesaid 2 guardecorps, 4 s. 6 d. Item for for making and sewing of the aforesaid two guardecorps, 5 s.

2. The Siege of Caerlaverock; BL, Cotton Caligula A.XVIII p. 118 line 765 (written c. 1300)

"Meint riche gamboison guarni / De soi e cadas e coton"

3. An English customs account from 1303: Norman Scott Brien Gras, The Early English Customs System: A Documentary Study of the Institutional and Economic History of the Customs from the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Century, Harvard Economic Studies 18, Cambridge, 1918. p. 161 (written 1303)

"Saccus de cadaz"

4. "Seignours, ore escotez haute chivalerye," BL, Addit. 46919 (written c. 1300-1330). In David L. Jeffrey and Brian J. Levy, The Anglo-Norman Lyric: An Anthology, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Studies and Texts 93, Toronto, 1990.

"La damoysele l’arma (=J.C.) de estraunge armeyure: Pur aketoun ly bayle blaunche char e pure, Pur cadaz e cotoun de saunk fu le encusture"

5. Regulations for aketons in London, 1322 Memorials of London Life or Records of the Armourers Company of London

That a haketon and a gambeson covered with sendale, or with cloth of silk, shall be stuffed with new cotton cloth, and with cadaz, and with old sendales, and in no other manner. And that white haketons shall be stuffed with old woven cloth, and with cotton, and made of new woven cloth within and without.

6. English sumptuary law of 1463 Edward IV of England, Parliament of April 1463

Original Translation
And also to ordeyn and stablissh that noo yoman, nor noon other persone under that degree, fro the fest of Seint Peter called thadvincle next commyng, use nor were in the aray for his body, eny bolsters nor stuffe of wolle, coton nor cadas, nor other stuffer in his doublet, save lynyng accordyng to the same; uppon the peyn to forfeit to youre highnes, at every defaute, .vi. s. .viij. d. ... And also to ordeyn and stablissh that noo taillour make, after the same fest, to eny persone, eny gowne, jaket or cloke of lesse lengh, or doublet stuffed contrarie to the premissez, uppon the same peyne at every defaute. And also to ordain and establish that no yeomen, nor any other person under that degree, from the next feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, shall use or wear in the array of his body any bolsters or stuffing of wool, cotton, or cadas, nor any other stuffer in his doublet, except lining according to the same, on pain of forfeting to the king 6s. 8d. for every offense. ... And also to ordain and establish that no tailor shall make ... any doublet stuffed contrary to the premise after the same fest, on the same penalty at each offense.

The feast of St. Peter ad Vincula is 1 August

7. Inventory of the effects of James V of Scotland (d. 1542): John Harrison (ed.), The Wardrobe Inventories of James V (Particularly BL Royal 18C XIV F.184-215) p. 30

Original Translation
…ane stekit mat of fusiane and caddes for ane lytill bed with ane bowster to the samyn with any pair of fustians to the samyn. A stitched mat of fustian and caddis for a little bed with a bolster for it with a pair of fustians for it
…ane couvertor of gray taffateis stickit with caddeis and lynit with blew bukram for ane greit bed. a coverture of gray taffeta stitched with caddis and lined with blue buckram for a great bed.
…ane couvertor of grein taffateis stickit with caddeis for ane lytill bed. A coverture of green tafetta stitched with caddis for a little bed
…ane couveture of reid taffateis stickat with caddess for ane greit bed. A coverture of red tafetta stitched with caddis for a great bed.
…ane couverture of zallo taffateis stickit with caddess for ane lytill bed. A coverture of yellow tafetta stitched with caddis for a little bed.

8. Schlusseler Bond, Dressing the Scottish Court

Original Translation
p. 214 (October 1549) Item to be ane doublet to my lord gouernoris grace tua elnis and ane half gray taffate armosyne price of þe elne xxxvj s summa iiij li x s
Item thre elnis and ane quartar quhite fusteane to lyne þis doublet þe elne vj s summa - xix s vj d
... Item half ane pund of caddes þe slevis of It - v s.
Item, to be a doublet for my lord grace the governor (James Hamilton the 2nd Earl of Arran), 2 1/2 ells of gray armosine taffata, price of the ell 36s. total £4 10s. ... Item half a pound of caddes (for) the sleeves of it, 5 s
p. 288 (November 1551) Item for caddes and stenting canves to his (John Hamilton of Samuelston's) dowbelet - v s iiij d Item, for caddes and stiffening canvas for his doublet, 5s. 4d.
x y

9. Cecil Willett and Phillis Cunnington, Handbook of English Costume in the Sixteenth Century (Faber and Faber: London, 1954) p. 94

For poor people, caddis (a type of woven tape) was common. 'Item, ii pyces of grene and yellow caddas for girdles' [1552-1553]. Feuillerat, Revels at Court (p. 92 - Internet Archive)

10. Albert Feuillerat (ed.), Documents relating to the revels at court in the time of King Edward VI and Queen Mary (the Loseley manuscripts) edited with notes and indexes (A. Uystpruyst: Louvain, 1914, reprinted Kraus Reprint Ltd., Vaduz, 1963) p. 188

(for "Irish keyrens vj" ie. kerns) vj shertes of yellow sarcenet frenged with whighte and greene Caddas ffrenge ... vj swerdes of tree paynted and garnysshed with lease gowlde

11. Sir John Skeene, De Verborum Significatione: The Exposition of the Termes and Difficill Wordes, conteined in the Foure Buikes of Regiam Majestatem and vthers (Robert Walde-graue, Edinburgh, 1597, 1599)

s.v. Actilia, Armour, Weapons, Harnishing: Vthers mair probablie alledgis Acton, to be ane forme of armour, quhilck coveris ane mans bodie (except his head) downe to his knee, maid of Taffitie, Ledder, of Linning claith, stuffed with caddes, & sticked very thick with threid, or silke of diverse collors, und partial gilt, with spranges or streames of Gold fuilzie; And is commonlie used in times of battell under the habirgeon, to save ane mans bodie, fra the schot of ane arrowe: or fra the bruising of the straik of an sword.

2021-10-01: Mac wonders whether cadis could be "cotton from Cadiz in Spain" like cordovan / cordwain is "leather from Cordoba."

2022-01-11: Added inventory of James V and corrected some formatting. It seem that in England until 1500, cotton is often contrasted with caddes like silk is contrasted with sindon, whereas in Scotland from 1501 onwards caddes appears on its own. This may have to do with the way sixteenth-century "cotton" became a type of soft fuzzy woolen cloth and not a plant fibre.

2022-01-15: Stephen Bennett suggests exploring the term cardarzo / cadarço in Iberia as a possible equivalent.

2022-07-20: Added references to Feuillerat from Cunnington and Cunnington, Handbook of English Costume in the Sixteenth Century

2022-09-04: Updated numbers after adding two reference to Feuillerat


John Jamieson, Suppliment to the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (Edinburgh: The University Press, 1825) vol. 1 Google Books

CADDES, s. a kind of woollen cloth "Item twa litle peces of claith of caddes with twa uther litle peces, the haill contening foure ellis." Inventories, A. 1561, p. 151
Fr. cadis, ...
CADDIs, s. Lint for dressing a wound.] Add; "Caddes, the pound thereof in wooll, XV s." Rates, A. 1611. "Caddas, or cruel Ribband, the doz. pieces, each piece cont. 36 ells- i. l. 4 s." Rates, A. 1670, p. 12

Norman E. Hickin, Caddis Larvae: Larvae of the British Trichoptera (1968) p. 2

In the Oxford English Dictionary the connexion between the two meanings of the word is not apparent. My own explanation concerns the itinerant vendors of bits of stuff, braid and rubbons, who travelled the countryside calling at isolated cottages and hamlets. They pinned or stuck their wares on their coats as an advertisement for their business, and they were called cadice men. Is it not then very likely that the 'cadice-worm' in the streams and pools received its name from the cadice man who stuck all sorts of cloth and worsted braid (or caddis) on his coat?

bond-dressing-the-scottish-court Padding and stuffing 22, 35-6, 85, 104, 107, 114, 125-7, 151, 214, 249, 253, 267, 274, 288, 459, 464, 469, 475, 478-9

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