Medats Annual Conference: Animals and Textiles

Conference poster

Photo credit: Mairie de Bayeuxée_tapisserie.jpg

*Online via Zoom*

Ticket price: FREE to members, Non-member tickets £10

Updated Schedule

Current as of 6 May. Timings are given in UK time: GMT+1.

13:30-14:00: ‘Whaleboned Fashions: The use of whale baleen in clothing in sixteenth-century England and France’

14:00 – 14:30: ‘Animal-based metal threads: an overview of materials and manufacturing techniques in medieval Spanish, Italian and Middle Eastern textiles.’

14:30 – 14:45: BREAK, 15 minutes

14:45 – 15:15: ‘An Overview of Hundepanzer: How to Protect your Favourite Dogs from Wild Boars’

15:15 – 15: 45: ‘Dogs, Deer, Bears, and Ghosts: The Hunting Scene on the Bacton Altar Cloth’

15:45 – 16:00: BREAK, 15 minutes

16:00 – 16:30: ‘Animals in the Bayeux Tapestry’

16:30 – 17:00: ‘Animals Finely Wrought: An Exploration of Embroidered Beasts’


‘Whaleboned Fashions: The use of whale baleen in clothing in sixteenth-century England and France’

Sarah A. Bendall, Australian Catholic University.

Sarah A. Bendall is a Research Fellow at the Gender and Women’s History Research Centre in the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. She is a material culture historian whose work specialises in the gendered and embodied experiences of dress, as well as the roles of gender in the production, trade and consumption of global commodities and fashionable consumer goods. She is the author of Shaping Femininity forthcoming with Bloomsbury (2021). Her current research offers critical reassessment of the global whaling trade between 500-1800 by focusing on the fashionable goods that it produced.

‘Animal-based metal threads: an overview of materials and manufacturing techniques in medieval Spanish, Italian and Middle Eastern textiles.’

Cristina Scibè, University of Seville.

Cristina Scibè is a conservation scientist and PhD candidate at the Fine Art Department at the University of Seville, Spain. She has been for multiple years a pre-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute. Previously, she was an intern at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure of Florence and at the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural of Madrid. Her research interests focus on metal thread materials and manufacture in medieval textiles. Currently, she is working on her PhD thesis, titled ‘Metal threads in 11th-15th century Hispano-Islamic and Italian textiles: methodological approach for the investigation of materials and manufacturing techniques’. She has received several grants to develop her ongoing doctoral research from the IPERION CH Grant Agreement n.654028, Access to Research Infrastructures activity in the Horizon2020 Programme of the EU.

‘An Overview of Hundepanzer: How to Protect your Favourite Dogs from Wild Boars’

Jack Paltanen, Independent Researcher.

Jack Paltanen is an independent researcher and fibre artist based in Markham, Canada. They hold a Bachelor of Design in Material Art and Design with a specialization in Fibre from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. Their current work includes the embroidered ‘Trees Through History’ series (from pre1600 CE European manuscripts), ongoing explorations in Northern European historical weaving and dye traditions, and dog armour. Since graduation, Jack has shown as part of Natural Dyes in Northeast America, 2020-21 (online), Hard Twist 14 (2019-20) at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, and at the Royal Winter Fair (Toronto) as part of The Campaign for Wool ‘New Voices in Wool’ in 2019. When they are not researching or creating textiles, they spend time with their family, grow historical dye plants, and run with their Boxer-Rottweiler Rosie.

‘Dogs, Deer, Bears, and Ghosts: The Hunting Scene on the Bacton Altar Cloth’

BAC Stitch (Bacton Altar Cloth Research Group)

 Natalie Bramwell-Booth is a historian of early modern art, fashion and textiles, and PhD student at the University of Southampton. Christine Carnie is a historical tailor and independent researcher specialising in garments and textiles from the 13th to the early 17th century. Challe Hudson is an independent researcher working on late medieval and early modern English fashion and textiles, especially as preserved in churches and represented on church monuments and memorial brasses. Cynthia Jackson is an independent researcher and embroiderer with a specialist interest in Tudor embroidery, and a current recipient of a Society of Antiquaries of London Janet Arnold Major Award.  Jennifer Worrall is a living historian of sixteenth-century culture and embroiderer studying at the Royal School of Needlework. Together they will be presenting some work in progress from BAC Stitch, a new research group examining the Bacton Altar Cloth: a recently conserved piece of surviving Elizabethan embroidery, exhibited at Hampton Court Palace in October 2019 as ‘The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I’.

‘Animals in the Bayeux Tapestry’

Gale R. Owen-Crocker, University of Manchester

Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor Emerita of the University of Manchester where she was formerly Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture and Director of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies. With Robin Netherton she founded the annual journal Medieval Clothing and Textiles and co-edited it for 16 years. She is chief editor of the Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450 and she directed the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing project which produced the free on-line data base which documents the vocabulary of medieval cloth and clothing in all languages spoken and written in medieval Britain. Her books include Dress in Anglo-Saxon EnglandMedieval Dress and Textiles in Britain: A Multilingual Sourcebook (with Louise Sylvester and Mark Chambers), Clothing the Past (with Elizabeth Coatsworth) and The Bayeux Tapestry: Collected Papers.

‘Animals Finely Wrought: An Exploration of Embroidered Beasts’

Relics in Situ (Erin Harvey Moody and Christy Gordon Baty)

Erin Harvey Moody is a postgraduate student of Museum Education at University of Glasgow. Christy Gordon Baty is a graduate student of History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. They co-authored A Book By It’s Cover for Harvard Magazine and they have presented ‘The Presence of the Needle’ at Slices of Everyday Life, at the University of Cambridge, ‘A Woman’s Communion, Embroidered Devotionals in Early Modern England’, at the Ecclesiastical History Society Winter Conference, ‘Convenience vs. Couture: The Dilemma of Character Driven Costume Interpretation at Heritage Site’ at the Pacific Coast Branch conference of the American Historical Association, and ‘Women’s Work Seen and Unseen: the Economic Influence of Needlework’ at the Centuries of Cloth Conference at the University of Cambridge. Most recently, Erin and Christy won the Agnes Strickland prize for best paper presented at the South Central Renaissance Conference for ‘Gloriana’s Gifts.’

Conference Registration

This conference will be held via Zoom and is free for members to attend. Current members should now have received a registration link via email. If you have not received yours, please check your spam/junk folder. If you cannot find the email, please contact: and ask for the link to be resent.

Non-member tickets to the conference are £10. Membership is available from £15 and is good for all MEDATS events for the year.

Non-members will receive a registration link within 24 hours after the purchase of a conference ticket using the PayPal button below. For alternative payment methods please contact