Dictionary of costume terms for Renaissance costume.
a measuring balanceSynonyms: ballons
Decoration in the forms of bars, woven, embroidered or otherwise appliedSynonyms: barde, bard
cheap fringeSynonyms: bastert fringe
Small glass beads, frequently cylindrical in formSynonyms: bugelles, bugell, bugls, bugells, bugle, bewgle, bewgells
bent was a reed/grass, of the agrostis family, used for stiffening sleeves, farthingales, bodices etc. in the late 16th century. References to sleeves and bodices "bented", or for "benting" garments, referred to stiffening them with bundles of reed. "bent rope" was used for stiffening farthingales in the last half of the 16th century.Synonyms: bented, Bente, bents, benting, bentes
diagonally, when describing the placement of trim on clothing.Synonyms: byas
In the context of decoration, billet denoted a thick bar or ingot shape. kindling wood was referred to as billets, and ingots of metal were also called billets. The sleeves and forepart shown in the accompanying picture are most likely decorated "billet-wise". "cross billets" were crosses formed of two rectangles.Synonyms: billet wyse, crosse billets, byllet, billets, byllets, billetts, billett, billetwise, bylletts, byllotts
In Queen Elizabeth's time, a term meaning decorative headpiece. In some contexts it could be referring to billiment lace, a heavy silk or silk/metal gimp trim/cord.Synonyms: billiments, billimente, billementes, habilliaments, habilliamentes, habilliament, habyllyaments, billements, bylliament, uppbillementes, Bylliment, billement, billaments, billament, biliment, billyment, billyments
A gimp trim, braided and woven of silk, metal-wrapped silk, plate, or any combination of these.Synonyms: byllyment lace, billimente laces, bellyment lase, belement lace, belemant lace, bylyment lace, billamente lace, billament laces, byllement lase, billemt lase, billament lace, billement lacs, billiamt lase, billement lase
Lace used to bind the edges of garments: the waists and bottom edges of petticoats, pocket edgings, etc.Synonyms: bindinge lace, bindyng lace, byndynge lace, bindinge lase, bindyng lase, byndynge lase, binding lase
A fine thread lace made on a pillow with bobbins. In the 16th c. it was most frequently made with linen thread, though there are references to silk bobbin lace, bobbin lace incorporating gold and silver and copper threads, and bobbin lace that is beaded or spangled. It was most frequently referred to as "bone lace".Synonyms: bonne laysse, wrought upon bobins, bonelaces, bobyne lace, bone laces, on the bobbins, bone lases, bone lase, bobbing lace, bonelace, bone lace, Bone-Lace, bobing lace, bon las
"bodies" was the Renaissance term for a bodice. It was a term with a number of meanings, and could denote a pair of boned stays or the bodice of a gown. "French Bodies" were fully boned bodies worn underneath an outer gown--what we currently term a corset.Synonyms: streight bodies, Bodis, peyre of kyrtle bodyes, payer of highe bodies, bodyes, upper bodies, payer of bodyes, peire of bodyes, upperbodies, paire of bodies, pare of bodies, payer of bodis, payre of bodys, peyre of bodies, uppbodies, pair of bodies, upperbodye, payer of bodies, bodies, bodes, bodeis, bodyis, payre of bodyes, upper body, upper bodye, payer of kyrtle bodies, peire of bodies
"Bologna silk" thread was purchased by the wardrobe.Synonyms: bolonye, bolonie, bolony
package of thread or string.Synonyms: boult, bowlt
sheer, veil-like gauze, used for sifting flour, etc. made of strong hard spun silk, also of hair or wool.Synonyms: boutclaith, bout clothe, buttcloth, booting clothe, boulte clothe, bult clothe, boutcloth, bowting claith, Bowtclothe
At the end of the 16th century it came to refer to a mixed silk/cotton fabric. In 1605,the Walloon weavers of Norwich requested confirmation from the court of a cloth "called satten cotton or bumbazie", made of silk and cotton wool, each piece to be 14 and 1/4 English yards long. This marked bumbazine's transition to a mixed silk fabric; by the 18th century bombazine of the 18th century and later was a twilled or corded fabric with a silk warp and worsted weft.
A book of rates, in 1611, likened it to the mixed silk-wool fabric burato: "Bombasie or borrets, narrow, the single peece cont. xv elns -- xx l."
In 1595, William Wray bought a bolt of "bumbazie" for 32 shillings, while a bolt of silk rash was 33 shillings; an indication that even at this date, bombazine was a mixed silk/cotton fabric, rather than entirely cotton. (Other cotton/linen fabrics, such as fustian and sacking, sold from 16-24 shillings the bolt).Synonyms: bombasen, bumbasie, bombasene, bumbesie
cotton wool, used to pad trunkhose, peascod doublets, sleeve heads, etc. in the 16th centurySynonyms: bombasting, bombaste, bumbast, bumbasted, bunbaste, bumbastid, bumby, cotten wolle, bombace, bum baste, bumbace, cotten woll, bumbyt, bumbaste
A stiffened veil used for shading the face from the sun.Synonyms: bone graces, bowngrace, bonnegrace
lace made by braiding (?)Synonyms: brayded lace, breded lace, broyde lase, brayed lase, breded lase, braid lace
Another term for hose, stocks.Synonyms: bretches, breaches, breiks, brichis, briches, breiches, breches, bretcheis, britches, bryches
A woolen cloth made in the west of england, dyed reddish-brown or ochre red.Synonyms: brystowe redde
England was renowned for this fabric. It was a fine woolen cloth of plain weave, two yards wide between the wide selvedges, distinguished from the yard-wide 'straits' and 'narrows'. Full broadclothes were 24 yards long, though 'dozen' broadcloths were 12 yards long. As the new draperies gained popularity from the 1570s onward, broadcloth fell out of fashion and was the cloth of servants by the 17th century.
In an act of 1551, only the following colours were allowed in English broadcloths: scarlet, red, crimson, murray, violet, puke, brown blue, black, green, yellow, blue, azure, orange, tawney, russet, marble grey, sad new colour, sheeps colour, watchet, lion colour, motley and iron greySynonyms: broade cloth, brode cloth, broad cloth, brod-clothe, brode clothe, brodeclothe, brod cloth, brod clothe
A worsted warp and silk weft, according to the dictionary of textiles.
Used for Doublets and outerwear at the turn of the century, by the 1570s it was used primarily for underbodices and linings and was not considered one of the rich fabrics. References to it become rare in the 1580s and later.Synonyms: satton in bridgis, satten of bridges, satten bridges, satteny borgis, sattyn of Bruges, satten of Bruges, saten of Bruges, Bridges Sattins, Bruges satten, satten bridges, bridges satten, Bridges Sattins
Depending on context, the term could also refer to "cloth of bruges"--a silk brocade woven with gold--or "satin of bruges", a heavy satin with a silk warp face and a heavy weft of wool or linen. AlsoSynonyms: Bridges silk, bridgis sylke
A mattress, or tick. The covering fabric was perhaps from Brussels, or termed Brussels.Synonyms: bryzell Tyke, brysell Tyke
A heavy, coarse canvas (possibly hemp or cotton as well as linen) used for stiffening and interlining garments. It is not the same as modern milliner's buckram, though it was heavily starched in some cases.Synonyms: buckaram, bockorum, bukram, buckeram, buckrom, buckerom, bockeram, buckerim, buckerem, buckerame, bucram, buckeram, buccorome, buccarome, bokeram, bocarum, bocerome, buckrame, buck[ram], buckerum, buckrame, bukrem, buckrome, bokryne, Bockarum, bucrame, buccrame, buccaram, backorum, buckorum, bocrom, bokerom, bokram, bokrom
buffin was a medium grade napped or cottoned wool fabric worn by tradesmen. It was a respectable fabric, not too cheap but not worn by the nobility. It was a narrow grosgrain or single chamlet fabric, and could in some cases be made of silk as well as wool. According to statues of 1592, it was 14 yards long and weighed 4 lbs the piece. (Lansdowne MS, no. 71, art 15)
More information available HereSynonyms: buffing, bufiyn, buffyng, buffines, buffine, busfyne, buffynge, buffynges, bufinge, boffyn, buffinge, buffyn
A thin fabric of mixed silk and wool, similar to stammell. The name comes from the Dutch or Flemish borat, "a certain light stuff of silk and fine wool."
A 1611 book of rates likens it to bombasine: "Bombasie or borrets narrow the single peece, cont xv elns, xx l.Synonyms: borato, boratons, Borrotoes, burrato
From the french burail, which was translated by Cotgrave as silk rash (Cotgrave's dictionary, 1611) The Dictionary of Textiles defines it as: "a plain-woven, lightweight dress fabric, the warp being of floret or other silk and the weft of cotton, wool, etc."Synonyms: byrle, burrell, burell, Birle, burail, bariglia, byrrell, burle, Byrrall
A length of wood, whalebone, metal or horn running down the front of a bodice to keep the point well in. It could be nserted down the front of a gown or sewn into a pair of boned bodies. Some gowns had one busk; some, front-lacing gowns, had a pair of busks.Synonyms: busks, buskes, buske, busque, busqué
A tall boot or boot-like covering for the legSynonyms: Buskyns, buskyn, buskins
lambskin with the fur dressed outwardSynonyms: budg, bugg, boudge, bouge, bodge, read lame, boug, lambe skynnes, lamb skin, lambe skinne, Boodge, bougg, bougge, bowge, bugge, budge, bogy, lambes skyns, lame skynes, lames skynes, lames skynnes, lameskyns