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Nianne
06-17-2010, 10:30 PM
Anyone know how thread would have been measured in 1400s France? As in, hey, I need to buy a huge ton of thread to weave into cloth, I need so many... meters? spools? pounds?

Thanks

Medievalist
06-17-2010, 10:42 PM
Ask here:

http://www.medievaltextiles.org/

Nianne
06-17-2010, 11:49 PM
Are you a member of that group? It looks like a great place, but I don't see any forum or any other place to ask a question that people who aren't paid members have access to.

Thanks for the help.

waylander
06-18-2010, 12:50 AM
Certainly not metres which were not devised until much later (1791).

Ells?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ell

Ariella
06-18-2010, 01:39 AM
Units of weight and measurement weren't standardized for all of France until the French Revolution, so you'll need to know exactly where in the kingdom your thread was purchased.

My guess is that thread was sold in aunes, or ells, just like cloth. These were units of length that varied from roughly 60cm to 130cm, depending on the region.

Medievalist
06-18-2010, 03:00 AM
Are you a member of that group? It looks like a great place, but I don't see any forum or any other place to ask a question that people who aren't paid members have access to.

Thanks for the help.

I'm not, but I know scads of people who are. I'd use the info@ address that's on the page and ask.

If that doesn't work, PM me, and I'll pass your question on to some people who specialize in the field. They'll want to know roughly when (at least a century) and an area/language.

GeorgeK
06-20-2010, 04:44 AM
A standard weight for a witch is a duck. :)

batgirl
06-21-2010, 07:51 PM
Not a certified medievalist, but play around in 1300s England. I've mostly seen ells used for the finished cloth measure, but could you cheat and say 'enough thread for howevermany ells of cloth'?
For whatever help it may be, 'cloth' in England meant woolen cloth. Linen included flax linen, hempcloth (also called canvas, cognate of cannabis), and nettlecloth.

Thread comes not on spools but in clews / clues, rolled bundles of thread. That's (here's your useless knowledge for today) the thread Theseus followed out of the labyrinth, and why we use clues to solve a mystery.
A friend of mine, when she learned to spin, gave her friends sample threads rolled into little bundles, saying 'Here, have a clue!'
-Barbara