The Medieval Dress and Textile Society was founded in 1991 with the aim of providing a forum for all those curious about European clothing and textiles secular or sacred – roughly from the end of the Roman Empire in western Europe until about 1600.
Our members are textile and dress historians, designers for the theatre, museum curators, re-enactors interested in creating replicas of historic dress, economic and social historians, art historians, archaeologists, conservators, and dyers and weavers – and all who are passionate about the history of dress and textiles and their significance.
Membership is open to anyone wishing to join and the annual subscription is £15. More info on the Membership page.
Medats offers members a range of study days or meetings with a wide variety of topics. At present there are three meetings and three Newsletters a year. The meetings or study days include about six speakers chiefly from the United Kingdom, but also from other European countries and elsewhere, and themes such as Liveries, Dyes and Dyestuffs, Knitting before 1600, Medieval Embroidery, Civil Dress on Effigies and Brasses, Precious Thread (gold & silver metal yarn), Braids & Narrow Wares, Medieval Rugs & Carpets, & Leather Clothing in Medieval Europe. Meetings are held on Saturdays, generally, but not always in central London. A few are outside the capital. Sometimes the themes are organised to coincide with the topics of major exhibitions, where these reflect the interests of our members such as the two day symposium on the Wilton Diptych held in conjunction with the National Gallery.
The Society’s members are friendly and informal – newcomers are always welcome and students definitely encouraged. First and foremost our meetings are conceived as a focus for an exchange of ideas and enthusiasms. Our speakers frequently offer new research, theories and ideas, whether about cutting patterns for royal mantles, making medieval veils, how and why dyestuffs were imported from distant destinations, or sumptuary legislation and the concept of luxury.
We look forward to meeting you.