Opendata, web and dolomites


Knitting early modern Europe: materials, manufacture and meaning

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 KEME project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the KEME project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "KEME" about.

marketplace    published    chart    male    garments    examination    data    cultural    identifiable    dating    fashionable    disseminate    documentary    accelerated    workshops    status    theory    believe    manufacture    accessory    goods    delayed    accessible    contemporary    similarities    16th    extant    clear    century    museum    era    radiocarbon    functional    headwear    eloquent    remarkable    modern    tracks    silenced    pictorial    identification    my    degradation    threatens    fibre    collections    body    demand    preliminary    despite    microscopic    period    created    knitted    give    forever    hat    valuable    interdisciplinary    pressing    technological    innovation    illustrate    fragile    worldwide    astonishing    indicators    articles    dye    caps    indicative    vulnerable    scholarly    voice    knitting    fashions    online    diverse    patterns    social    rank    rigorous    practical    scientific    radiography    sources    little    economic    significance    map    men    paucity    pedagogues    unsatisfied    typologies    materials    locations    contextualised    trade    terminology    deteriorating    scholars    craftspeople    wear    journal    media    database   

Project "KEME" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: NORREGADE 10
postcode: 1165

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Denmark [DK]
 Project website
 Total cost 212˙194 €
 EC max contribution 212˙194 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-CAR
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-08-01   to  2017-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET DK (KOBENHAVN) coordinator 212˙194.00


 Project objective

The development of knitting was a key technological innovation for which there is little published scientific evidence. There are more than 100 knitted caps from the early modern era in museum collections worldwide - an astonishing number given the paucity of extant garments from the period. Despite their diverse locations, they have remarkable similarities in their materials and manufacture which illustrate trade in knitted caps as consumer goods in the emerging early modern European marketplace, demonstrate how knitting created new fashions for men indicative of rank and status, and facilitate theory on the cultural significance of the hat as an essential male accessory. My preliminary study of the caps tracks clear patterns in the data: five typologies are identifiable and when contextualised with pictorial and documentary sources, their cultural significance as functional and fashionable men’s wear is clear. I believe the caps’ potential as indicators of the development and growth of knitting technology is valuable yet vulnerable. The caps are fragile and deteriorating, a process accelerated by each viewing, for which there is pressing and unsatisfied demand. I propose immediate rigorous scientific study (radiocarbon dating, microscopic examination, x-radiography, fibre and dye identification, and degradation analysis) and interdisciplinary research into contemporary sources to chart an economic map of early knitting, to define terminology for further scholarly work, and to develop theory about men’s headwear in the 16th century. An online database will make the data accessible to scholars, museum pedagogues and craftspeople, who demand access to the caps. Journal articles, practical workshops and social media will disseminate my conclusions and my development of theory. I will give voice to an eloquent body of evidence about early modern knitting technology, which threatens to be silenced forever if scientific analysis is delayed.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2016 Kruseman, G, Sturtewagen, I & Malcolm-Davies, J
“Erasmus’ muts”
published pages: 72-89, ISSN: 1382-211X, DOI:
Kostuum: Nederlandse Kostuumvereniging 2016 2019-06-13
2017 Marie-Louise Nosch
Tæt på Luthers hue
published pages: , ISSN: 0106-4142, DOI:
Weekendavisen, Ideer september 15 2019-06-13
2017 Malcolm-Davies, J
Silk’ Hats from a Sheep’s Back. In: Bravermanová, M, Březinová, H, & Malcolm-Davies, J (eds) Archaeological textiles - links between past and present, NESAT XIII. Liberec: Archaeolingua 34.
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
In: Bravermanová, M, Březinová, H, & Malcolm-Davies, J (eds) Archaeological textiles - links between past and present NESAT XIII. Liberec: Archaeolin 2019-06-13
2018 Malcolm-Davies, J, Gilbert, R & Lervad, S (2018 - forthcoming) in Archaeological Textiles Review,
Unravelling the confusions: Defining concepts to record accurately archaeological and historical evidence for knitting
published pages: , ISSN: 2245-7135, DOI:
Archaeological Textiles Review 60 2019-06-13
2017 Malcolm-Davies, J
“Handwerkgeheimen: Gebreide muts uit 16de-eeuws Dordrecht draagt bij aan internationaal onderzoek”
published pages: 25-27, ISSN: , DOI:
Culthure 2019-06-13
2017 Malcolm-Davies, J
Cutting edge technology: knitting in the early modern era“Cutting edge technology: knitting in the early modern era” in Tinley, L (ed), Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port, Proceedings of the 15th Biennial Symposium, Textile Society of America, Savannah, 19-23 October
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
in Tinley, L (ed), Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port, Proceedings of the 15th Biennial Symposium, Textile Society of America, Savannah, 19-23 October 2017 2019-06-13
2017 Malcolm-Davies, J
“Shedding light with science: the potential for 21st century studies of 16th century knitting”
published pages: , ISSN: 2515-0995, DOI:
Journal of Dress History 1 2019-06-13
2016 jane Malcolm-Davies
An Early Modern mystery: A pilot study of knitting, napping and capping
published pages: 57-74, ISSN: 2245-7135, DOI:
Archaeological Textiles Review 58 2019-06-13

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