CFP: The Economy of Dress and Textiles

The Economy of Dress and Textiles: Avenues of Trade, Production and Consumption in the Early Modern Period

Dressing The Early Modern Network Conference

Where: University of Bologna, Dipartimento di Storia Culture e Civiltà, San Giovanni in Monte, Bologna, Italy

When: 15 September 2016

Submission details: PhD students and early career researchers are invited to speak about the economy of dress and textiles from a variety of perspectives in order to build a more complete picture of their journey both literal and figurative from raw materials to fully fledged garments that sometimes get refashioned. The conference invites potential speakers to submit as a single document: (1) a 300-word paper abstract, which should include the main question of the research project, (2) a paper title, (3) a brief curriculum vitae, (4) institutional affiliations and (5) contact information to the Dressing the Early Modern Network.

Each speaker will be allotted twenty minutes. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2016. Notification of the outcome will be advised by e-mail on or before 15 May 2016.

Conference information: The cloth and textile market is of central importance to the late medieval and early modern economy. Trade routes, centres of production and patterns of consumption were determining factors that stimulated the influx of luxury cloth and textiles into established fashion and textile markets, while second-hand garments developed their own trajectory. Being sold at auctions and dealer shops, they sometimes enjoyed a second life and were often refashioned. The entire cost related to the fashioning of a garment, which comprised the purchase of raw materials and tailoring expenses, is a reflection of the journey and provenance of the relevant textiles, furs and haberdashery prior to their shaping and consumption. In turn, the respective markets for both low-end and high-end goods also played an important role in social and cultural life, as the cost, display and representations of dress emphasised the wealth and social and political status of the wearer. The conference aims to generate a discussion about the economy of dress and textiles in relation to the connection between trade, production, consumption and the cost and status of low-end and high-end goods in the late medieval and early modern periods.

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