A Glossary of Fabrics in Sixteenth Century Italian

These textile ("stuff" or "cloth") names are taken directly from Florio's 1598 edition of his "Worlde of Wordes" - an Italian/English Dictionary. The Italian word is as it appears in the original, but I have modernised the spelling of the English definition. Despite this, there are some sixteenth century English words with which you may not be familiar - in this case I highly recommend a visit to The Renaissance Tailor's Tailoring Vocabulary page, where many of these words are defined. Please note that some of the words are spelled differently to that in the listing below. This appears to have been par for the course in the sixteenth century.

There are currently 122 textile names in this Glossary. I will be adding to these from the 1611 edition of the dictionary in time. Text in brackets is mine.


Altabasso -a kind of wrought velvet with high and low work
-...Also a kind of stuff made of raw silk, as curled or raw cypress.
-gray or russet colour. Also homespun cloth or sheep's russet.
-a kind of fine silken stuff called bisse
-properly such stuff as we call Buckram. Also such stuff as we call Callimanco
-a kind of stuff called bombasine made of cotton wool
-a kind of silk stuff woven
-any stuffing for saddles, or other quilting or bombasting
Borratto -a 'bolting' cloth, a sieve...a kind of stuff called Burato
Broccame -all manner of clothes (cloths?) of tissue, gold, or silver
Brocatello -thin tinsel, or slight cloth of gold or silver
Broccato -cloth of gold or silver. Also cloth of bodkin, or tissue
Bucherame -buckram or calico cloth
Burattino -a kind of stuff called Burato
Cambrai -cambric cloth, named after the town where much is made of it
Camelotto -the stuff we call chamblet
Canapázzo -coarse hempen canvas. Also hempen .... or sackcloth
Canevaccio -sackcloth or canvas
Carcassóne -a kind of coarse stuff so called, whereof sailors make frocks....
Chente -...also a kind of fine linen cloth
Damasco -the stuff called Damask
Doaggio -a kind of coarse garment, or shepherds cloth
Dobetta -a kind of silken stuff worn in doublets
Dosso -...also a kind of coarse home-spun cloth.
Drappo di lino -linen cloth
Drappo d'oro -cloth of gold or tissue
Drappo di seta -all manner of woven silk
Duaggio -a kind of coarse home-spun clothing
Feltro -a felt, whereof hats are made or riding cloaks and bases.
Felzata -a kind of coarse woollen stuff so called like felt
Fresone -coarse frieze rug or home spun cloth
Frisa -the stuff called frieze
Frisada -a kind of stuff called frizado
Frisella -very fine frieze or nappie (napped?) cloth which we call peni-stone or cotton.
Frisetta -as above
Frisone -..also a rough hairy garment...also a coarse, thick frieze. Also the stuff we call rug
-the stuff we call fustian
Grigio -gray, sheep's russet, dark, brown, black, hoary, white, or homespun sheep's russet cloth
Grigione -a coarse gray, a homespun cloth
Grognano -a kind of stuff called grogram or mockado
Grossograno -a stuff which we call grogaran (grosgrain?)
Guarnéllo -fustian, or that stuff we call bustian or cavell...
Guigi -a stuff called satin of Briges
Lentima -a kind of sack-cloth so called
Lenza -fine linen cloth, as lawn or cambric
Linaccio -coarse flax. Also canvas, or Holland cloth
Lini -linen. Also sheets
Lino -line, flax or linen.
Lisaro -a kind of narrow cotton cloth
Lubiano -a kind of linen cloth so called
Mezzalana -a stuff called linsey-woolsey, or any stuff made of half wool and half silk or linen
-the stuff we call mockado
Ortichino -a kind of cloth we call calico or nettle cloth, or the roots to make it.
Ostata -a kind of smooth stuff called worsted
Polare -a kind of woollen stuff as buffin, mockado, durance, or rash
Pannaccio -filthy coarse cloth, rug, or frieze, homespun cloth
Panno accottonato -cottoned, or frieze, cloth
Panno lana -woollen cloth
Panno lino -linen cloth
Panno di seta -any cloth made of silk
Pólana -a kind of coarse woollen cloth
Quattraggio -...Also a kind of coarse home spun cloth that shepherds use
Rascia -a kind of stuff called silk rash
Raso -the stuff called Satin
Rensa, Renza -lawn or cambric, or such fine linen cloth
Restagno -a kind of stuff like fustian, such as they make waistcoats of
Riccio -curled, crisped, frizzed, shagged, bushy, hairy, rough, curled cypress, crispin, unshorn velvet.
Riccio sopra riccio -the richest cloth of gold or bodkin that is (refers to velvet)
Romagnuoso -a kind of coarse home spun, sheep's russet cloth, friars cloth or shepherd's clothing
Saietta -a kind of fine serge or cloth for coats, it is also rash
Samito -a kind of sleave, filosell, seret or coarse silk stuff.
Sandado -a kind of thin sandal, or sarcenet
Sandalo -as above
Sangallo -buckram cloth
Sargia -the stuff we call saye or serge....
Sarge -...Also serges
Sargia -the stuff we call saye or serge...
Sattino -the silk stuff we call satin
Scarlato -scarlet cloth...
Sciamito -a kind of sleave, seret or filoselo silk. Also a kind of thin stuff half silk, half wool like burato
Scótto -...also a kind of coarse woollen stuff
Serica -a kind of stuff called fine serge or saye with silk in it
Sessantina -...also a kind of fine lawn, cambric or fine linen cloth
Setanino -a kind of thin velvet called fefusados (velveteen-like fabric?)
Sete -all manner of silks
Setino -a kind of thin silk stuff like burato or mockado, silken, made or wrought of silk
Sfilatura -any kind of ravelled stuff or sleave silk, or lint that surgeons use
Soprariccio -pile upon pile, the richest velvet or cloth of gold that is
Spalliera -....also a kind of stuff made for hangings called Darnix...
Stame -...Also a kind of cloth as our penni-stone or stammell is....
Stametto -a kind of woollen stuff called saye, sarge, or such flannel stuff
Tabi -a kind of thin silk stuff called tabis, tissue, or bisse, or tabin
Taffetà -all manner of taffeta
Taffetado -as above
Tela -any kind of web or woven cloth so it be not of wool
Tela d'argento -cloth of tissue or silver
Tela di lino -any kind of linen cloth
Tela di sangallo -the stuff we call buckram. Also calico
Tela d'oro -cloth of tissue or gold
Telami ...all manner of linen cloth
Telerie -all manner of linen cloths or weavings
Teletta -....also fine tinsel, tissue, or linen cloth
Teletta d'oro -tinsel or tissue of gold
Terligia -a kind of sack-cloth worn in doublets and hosen in Italy
Terlisa -as above
Terzanéllo -a kind of slight silken stuff made of seret or filosella silk
Tesserino -...Also a kind of fine stuff like silk mockado, or calimanco
Treaggio -a kind of coarse home spun cloth that shepherds use to wear
Trine velutate -a kind of silken stuff so called
Trippa -a kind of tripe (?) that they make women's saddles with called fustian of Naples
Vaio -a kind of rich fur called gray miniver
Vai -as above
Valenzana -a kind of saye, serge, or stuff to make curtains for beds with
Velutino -fine, slender, coarse, refusado velvet (velveteen-like fabric?)
Veluto -a stuff of silk called velvet
Veluto figurato -figured velvet, or wrought velvet
Veluto riccio -unshorn velvet
Zambellótto -a kind of stuff called chamblet
Zarzecano -a kind of coarse cloth that Moors make and weave
Zendado -a kind of fine thin silken stuff called taffeta sarcenet or sendall
Zendalo -as above
Zibellino -the rich fur called sable

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