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Medieval textiles

All along the Middle Age, the textiles reflected a multitude of technics and gathered the several artistic influences.


Trade is in the heart of the diffusion of textiles and was, with the goldsmithery’s one, one of the most active of the Middle Age. The silk trades of Byzantium were extremely researched in the Carolingian time like the silks of Italy in the 15th century. The Limousin and the big medieval city of Limoges were essential points of business.


At the crossroads of the axes Bordeaux-Lyon and Paris-Toulouse, Limoges knew big fairs. We often remind that the venetians established there a warehouse… in the 13th century the traders of Limousin went to the fairs of Champagne and had there their own shops.

The expensive fabrics of the East were necessary to the Occident where, until the end of the Romanesque time, only useful fabrics were made. Within the church, the role of precious fabrics is multiple: decoration, furniture, but also liturgical clothes and protection of relics.


Limousin conserves testimonies of this protection and the travels of these fabrics. The fragility of the fabrics makes their existence more emotional.

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