The silk materials were not very different between the end of fifteenth century and
the beginning of sixteenth century in relation to those one of previous century.
The motif with pomegranates stayed in fashion. However, the ornaments became more
complex and plentiful.
During all of the sixteenth century, the rich materials with metallic effects had
a lot of success. The velvet brocade, with gold motif in arabesque, were particularly
appreciated. The most usual colors were the red or green on a lighter background.
The floral compositions, always used, show the influence still presents that the
fifteenth century could have.
The spanish fashion reached Europe during the second part of sixteenth century and
the materials were also influenced by that.
In Italy, the velvets, damasks and brocatelles were well developed in the sixteenth
century. In 1580, some motif with branches in bloom made their appearance. The motif
with pomegranates was more particularly reserved for the most rich materials, made
of silk and gold.
In Spain, four sumptuary laws, from 1515 to 1534, forbade embroideries and laces
on the costumes but they were evaded by the embroiderers who put them in place of
some braid ornaments.
In the seventeenth century, the embroideries and needlelaces gave a relief at the
materials, emphasizing the perspective of the motives. Some decorations like acanthus
leaves, crowns, interlaced twigs and curved vases, appeared at that epoch. On the
contrary, the use of metallic threads disappeared progressively.
The damasks, silk brocades and velvets were the most appreciated materials. The figured
velvets, constituted of cut and drew piles, became a Genoese speciality.
The cut velvet, had a lot of success up to the end of seventeenth century. It was
constituted of short and long piles creating some floral relief motif. That kind
of velvet was often decorated with silver and gold threads.
The most usual ornament up to the middle of seventeenth century had some asymmetrical
There are the Arabic weavers who gave the domination of the spanish materials. When
they were ejected from Spain by Philippe III at the beginning of seventeenth century,
the spanish materials lost the main place.
In France, at that same epoch, Lyon and Tours, took wing thanks to the making of
silk materials. The french craftsmen began to compete with the Italian.