Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

medieval underwear

or how this REALLY started - well in England at any rate...

Delegates at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, northern England, were told that social migration from rural to urban areas in the 13th century brought with it changes in attire.

Whereas rough and ready peasants thought little of wearing nothing under their smocks, the practice became frowned upon in the burgeoning towns and cities, leading to a run on undergarments.

And when the underwear was worn out, it provided a steady supply of material used by papermakers to make books.

"The development of literacy was certainly helped by the introduction of paper, which was made from rags," Marco Mostert, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and one of the conference organisers, said this week.

"These rags came from discarded clothes, which cost much less than the very expensive parchment which was previously used for books.
"In the 13th century, so it is thought, as more people moved into urban centres, the use of underwear increased -- which caused an increase in the number of rags available for paper-making."
And you thought that it had to do with the invention of the printing press.

This is from a story that appeared in the Globe and Mail on Friday, July 13, 2007 about this University of Leeds report.

It comes to the Café via Carl Mollins. Yep, that's my dad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read a post about mormon underwear im doing a paper on underwear throughout the centuries. So this was really helpful and informative.


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