Medieval Paris and the Mediterranean: The Evidence from the Silk Industry


Farmer, Sharon, “Medieval Paris and the Mediterranean: The Evidence from the Silk Industry”, dans French Historical Studies, vol. 37, n° 3, 2014, p. 383-419.


By the last decades of the thirteenth century Paris had a luxury silk cloth industry. Because the demands of weaving silk were considerably different from those of working with wool and linen, the introduction of silk weaving was usually accompanied by the immigration of silk weavers and entrepreneurs. Sources suggest that such immigrants did indeed make a contribution to the nascent silk industry of Paris: the mercers of Paris, who managed silk production, included men with roots in nearly every silk-producing region around the Mediterranean, and several silk workers were from Venice and Cyprus. The presence of these immigrants suggests that we need to rethink the composition of the population of Paris at this time and take into consideration the ways in which the Mediterranean transformed the material culture of northern France towards the end of the age of crusades.


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Medieval Paris and the Mediterranean: The Origins of the Paris Silk Industry in the Thirteenth Century
01 September 2013 - 30 June 2014
30 June 2014
Sharon Farmer
Middle ages
Western Europe
Sharon Farmer