Book Release: Medieval Textiles across Eurasia, Co-Authored by A&A Professor Patricia Blessing

May 9, 2023

Medieval Textiles across Eurasia, c. 300–1400 by Patricia Blessing, Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, and Eiren L. Shea was published online by Cambridge University Press on May 8, 2023 and will be available open access through May 21, 2023. It will be available in print from June 2023.

This study considers the textiles made, traded, and exchanged across Eurasia from late antiquity to the late Middle Ages with special attention to the socio-political and cultural aspects of this universal medium. It presents a wide range of textiles used in both domestic and religious settings, as dress and furnishings, and for elite and ordinary owners. The introduction presents historiographical background to the study of textiles and explains the conditions of their survival in archaeological contexts and museums. A section on the materials and techniques used to produce textiles is followed by those outlining textile production, industry, and trade across Eurasia. Further sections examine the uses for dress and furnishing textiles and the appearance of imported fabrics in European contexts, addressing textiles' functions and uses in medieval societies. Lastly, a concluding section on textile aesthetics connects fabrics to their broader visual and material context.