Glossary beginning with B

Dictionary of costume terms for Renaissance costume.

b
bagsearch for term
Synonyms: bagges, bagg, bagge, bags, baggs
balancesearch for term

a measuring balance

Synonyms: ballons
barredsearch for term

Decoration in the forms of bars, woven, embroidered or otherwise applied

Synonyms: barde, bard
bastard fringesearch for term

cheap fringe

Synonyms: bastert fringe
baudekinsearch for term
Synonyms: baudeken
bayessearch for term

Originating in Baia, baize, or 'bays' as it was commonly called in the sixteenth century, was a napped material, half worsted, with a warp of combed wool. It was frequently used for lining.

Child terms: minikens Synonyms: baise, bays, bies, baues, beas, bayste, bayse, bais, baize, baies, bayse
beadsearch for term
Child terms: bugles, pipes Synonyms: bede, bedes, beades, beads, beidis
buglessearch for term

Small glass beads, frequently cylindrical in form

Synonyms: bugelles, bugell, bugls, bugells, bugle, bewgle, bewgells
beeswaxsearch for term
Synonyms: searing Candell, searinge Candell, searing Candle, searinge Candle
bentsearch for term

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
bent ropesearch for term
Synonyms: bent Roopes, bente Roopes
biassearch for term

diagonally, when describing the placement of trim on clothing.

Synonyms: byas
bias lacesearch for term
Synonyms: byas lase
billetbilletsearch for term

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
billimentsearch for term

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
billiment lacesearch for term

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
binding lacesearch for term

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
blanketsearch for term
Synonyms: blonkett, blunckett
bobbin lacesearch for term

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
bodicesearch for term

"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.

Child terms: forebodies, French Bodies, high-bodied 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
Bolognasearch for term

"Bologna silk" thread was purchased by the wardrobe.

Synonyms: bolonye, bolonie, bolony
boltsearch for term

package of thread or string.

Synonyms: boult, bowlt
bolting clothsearch for term

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
bombasinesearch for term

Through most of the 16th century, "bumbasie" referred to cotton or cotton fabrics. Cotgrave defines this as "the stuff bumbazine, or any kind of stuffe that's made of cotton, or of cotton and linen.

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
bombastsearch for term

cotton wool, used to pad trunkhose, peascod doublets, sleeve heads, etc. in the 16th century

Synonyms: bombasting, bombaste, bumbast, bumbasted, bunbaste, bumbastid, bumby, cotten wolle, bombace, bum baste, bumbace, cotten woll, bumbyt, bumbaste
bongracesearch for term

A stiffened veil used for shading the face from the sun.

Synonyms: bone graces, bowngrace, bonnegrace
boothosesearch for term

hose worn with boots, frequently with a wide, decorative flared cuff at the top which folded down over the boot cuff. Often made of linen. Some were knit.

Synonyms: boot hose, Bout hose, bootehose, bootehoase, bootehoose, botehose
bootssearch for term
Synonyms: bootes, botes
bordersearch for term
Synonyms: borderid, bordered, borderinge, bordering, borders
braidedsearch for term
Synonyms: bredid, breyded, bredid, breaded, braided, breided
braided lacesearch for term

lace made by braiding (?)

Synonyms: brayded lace, breded lace, broyde lase, brayed lase, breded lase, braid lace
branchsearch for term
Synonyms: braunch, branches, braunches, braunched
breechessearch for term

Another term for hose, stocks.

See also: hose, slops Synonyms: bretches, breaches, breiks, brichis, briches, breiches, breches, bretcheis, britches, bryches
bristol redsearch for term

A woolen cloth made in the west of england, dyed reddish-brown or ochre red.

A recipe, c. 1813, for bristol red pigment is as follows: "4 stone Bristol red [ochre], 2 stone best venetian red, 2 rench white, 4 galls, foots fine oil, sift the colours fine and levigate."

Synonyms: brystowe redde
broadclothsearch for term

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 grey

Synonyms: broade cloth, brode cloth, broad cloth, brod-clothe, brode clothe, brodeclothe, brod cloth, brod clothe
bruges satinsearch for term

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
bruges silksearch for term

Usually referred to the silk thread. Bruges Silk was equated in value with Spanish Silk and Naples Silk, and was more valuable than ferret silk or sleeve silk.

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. Also

Synonyms: Bridges silk, bridgis sylke
Brushsearch for term
Synonyms: Brusshes, brusshe, brushes
Brussels Ticksearch for term

A mattress, or tick. The covering fabric was perhaps from Brussels, or termed Brussels.

Synonyms: bryzell Tyke, brysell Tyke
bucklesearch for term
Synonyms: buckells, bokelles, bokkelles
buckramsearch for term

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.

Child terms: Tuke 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
buffinsearch for term

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 Here

Synonyms: buffing, bufiyn, buffyng, buffines, buffine, busfyne, buffynge, buffynges, bufinge, boffyn, buffinge, buffyn
burattosearch for term

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.

See also: tamine Synonyms: borato, boratons, Borrotoes, burrato
burrelsearch for term

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."

See also: rash Synonyms: byrle, burrell, burell, Birle, burail, bariglia, byrrell, burle, Byrrall
busksearch for term

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
buskinsearch for term

A tall boot or boot-like covering for the leg

Synonyms: Buskyns, buskyn, buskins
buttonsearch for term
Synonyms: bottonnes, bottons, buttenes, boten, botines, buttonis, bouttons, bottounes, buttounes, boutons, buttons, buttones, bottonyng, buttoned, botens, boton, botons, bottens, buttens
beaversearch for term
Synonyms: beuer, bever, baiver, beauer, bevar
budgesearch for term

lambskin with the fur dressed outward

Synonyms: 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