The Italian cotton industry in the later Middle Ages, 1100-1600


The Italian cotton industry in the later Middle Ages, 1100-1600

Maureen Fennell Mazzaoui

Cambridge University Press, 1981

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 19



Bibliography: p. 227-[243]

Includes index



This book traces the dynamic advances in textile technology and changes in the structure of demand that accompanied the rise, in the late Middle Ages, of an Italian industry geared to mass production of cotton fabrics. The Italian manufacture, based on borrowed techniques and imitations of Islamic cloth, was the earliest large-scale cotton industry in western Europe. It thus marked a pivotal stage in the transmission of the knowledge and use of this textile fibre from the Mediterranean basin to northern Europe. The success of the Italians in creating new markets for a wide variety of products that included pure cotton, as well as mixed fabrics combining cotton with linen, hemp, wool and silk, permanently altered the patterns of taste and consumption in European society. Cotton, in various stages of proceeding, was at the heart of a complex network of communications that linked the north Italian towns to the source of raw materials and to international markets for finished goods. In the developing urban economy of northern Italy, cotton played a role comparable in magnitude to that of wool and shared with the latter certain basic features of early capitalistic organization.


  • List of illustrations
  • Preface
  • Lost of abbreviations
  • Map
  • Introduction
  • Part I. The role of cotton in the Mediterranean economy: 1. Cotton cultivation in the ancient and medieval world
  • 2. The Mediterranean cotton trade 1100-1600
  • Part II. The organisation of the North-Italian industry: 3. The spread of cotton manufacture
  • 4. Technological innovation
  • 5. The structure of demand: products and markets
  • 6. Guild and entrepreneurial structures
  • Part III. The growth of cotton manufacture north of the Alps: 7. Italy and south Germany 1300-1600
  • 8. European cotton manufacture on the eve of the industrial Revolution
  • Appendices. Notes
  • Select bibliography
  • Index.

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