Glossary beginning with A

Dictionary of costume terms for Renaissance costume.

agletsearch for term

A metal tip on a lace. Used to help thread laces through eyelets. In the 16th centry large decorative aglets evolved, made of glass, enamelwork or beads as well as metal, and sometimes ornamented with jewels.

See also: points Synonyms: agletinge, Agletts, aglette, laces Tagged, tagged, Agglets, anglets, tagges, Aiglet, Aglettes
Alteringsearch for term

Also termed "Translating" in 16th century wardrobe accounts, alterations accounted for a large amount of the entries in wardrobe accounts of the time. They covered anything from changing out decorative embroidery and guards, to re-cutting and fitting bodices and skirts, to changing out entire linings, sleeves and skirts of gowns.

Synonyms: alteringe, altringe, alter, alteryng, alterations
ambergrissearch for term

A waxy substance secreted from by the sperm whale. Used in perfuming and to some extent in medicine during the sixteenth century.

Synonyms: Amber grize, amber grise, Amber-greece, amber grease, amber gryse
Annuletsearch for term

a ring

Child terms: fruitage Synonyms: anlots
antiquesearch for term

In the context of 16th century dress and decoration, "antiques" referred to decoration in the roman manner, frequently people in roman dress.

Synonyms: antyques, antiques, anticks
Apronsearch for term

An item worn over clothing to protect it during work. In the sixteenth century aprons were primarily of linen, though references to woolen aprons exist. Although white was the standard color for aprons, aprons are depicted--and listed in inventories of the time--in a variety of colors, such as blue, green, yellow or black.

Synonyms: apornes, apprans, appran, anappron, anappran, Aprones, Aprons, apperin, aporne, aperns, apperings, aprune, Aporn, apernes, aperne, apren, aprens
armescyesearch for term

The area around the armhole of a bodice, doublet or other garment covering the torso.

See also: ruffs Synonyms: sisees, sise
Armoisin Taffetasearch for term

Light and thin silk taffeta for lining; made in Italy and France with stripes, geometrical designs or dots. It was an inferior taffeta with little lustre, which the common folk were allowed to wear in the 16th c. The best quality was made in Jenes, the medium quality in Lyon and the lowest quality in Avignon. It was made in all colours, and could be changeable as well. There are references to armoisin taffeta as being a ribbed grosgrain fabric, and was woven over ribs of three to six threads.

1549 - "pour demin aulne taffetas noir armoisy a 8 fils pour faire le corps a une vasquine". Cple de marguerite de navarre, 53 et 56)

See the entry for Armoisin in Glossaire archéologique du moyen âge et de la renaissance

Synonyms: armosie taffetie
armscye guardssearch for term

Bands of decorative trim around the armescye (armhole) of a gown.

Synonyms: syes gardes, syse
Artichokessearch for term

Motif found in embroidery and decorative clothing arts of the time.

Synonyms: artichoukes, Artichoughes, Artichoues, artichockes
ashsearch for term
Synonyms: ashe, asshe
Assaysearch for term

Linen cloth, most frequently seen in references for cushion covers and other textile furnishings