Friday, March 11, 2016

Question from Justine - Catherine of Arago and Cloth of Silver

Hi, I'm sure I read somewhere that Catherine of Aragon preferred Cloth of Silver and as less of this fabric was produced it ultimately worked out to be more expensive and exclusive than Cloth of Gold. Another annoyance for Henry to tot up I think. Is this correct?


Unknown said...

I have read that Mary Tudor, Catherine's daughter liked the silver. I believe it was mentioned in a Dr. Lucy Worsley documentary "Secrets of the Royal Wardrobe" although it might have been one of her other shows. It makes sense that Mary could have picked up I liking for Cloth of Silver from her mother.

tudor princess said...

According to Maria Hayward's book, Dress at the Court of Henry VIII, the wardrobe accounts tell us that Catherine's predominant colours were black, purple and crimson.

However, there are several references in the wardrobe accounts, to both cloth of gold and silver tissue eg 1519, "iij yerdes of cloth of silver tissewe reyesed with damaske gold for a gown for ye queen". Such lengths of cloth were used for kirtles, stomachers and gowns.

So Catherine appeared to have liked rich dress, in the Spanish fashion with sumptuous fabrics of velvet and satin.

There is an interesting footnote to this story as, according to Alison Weir, someone bored a hole in Catherine's coffin, in the eighteenth century. They then hooked up a piece of silver tissue, which disintegrated in the air.

So, was Catherine buried in a silver tissue gown? We will never know but it is fitting for a Queen of England.