A historical period (14th-17th) of great cultural and artistic change and innovation in Europe, which started in Italy.
Textiles first became popular as window dressing rather than as wall hangings, door hangings or as bed hangings during this period; an opportunity to showcase the growing range of available intricate and opulent textiles imported through trade with the middle, near and far-east and beyond. These might include costly fabrics such as lampas, tapestry, brocatelle, silk, linen and wool damask, and silk velvets in gold arabesque motifs.
Textiles were often in reds and greens against a lighter background, and might include grenade patterns, floral, bird and animal prints decorated with embroidery and elaborate passementerie. Renaissance textiles combined old and new fibres and motifs, as silks remained the prerogative of the very wealthy, mixed fibre variations were common.
16thC Renaissance textiles began to replicate the bright colours and distinctive designs of materials – the dyes and block printing techniques imported from India, such as Les Indiennes, calicoes and Palampores.