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.

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

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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