12th Century fashion

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One major influence on fashion in the 12th Century was the Crusades.

Many texts talk of crusaders bringing home luxurious goods looted while on crusade, thus changing fashion, but Heller (2002) asserts that there is little evidence that this actually occurred. The difficulty of transporting goods and the expense of campaigning meant that limited booty actually returned with the crusaders. Most loot was expended to pay for supplies in the east. The baggage that accompanied the crusaders home was largely cultural - their heads were full of fashion ideas and a strong taste for the luxurious goods (silk, gold, decorated bands of trim, and fine patterned fabrics) that they had seen worn by the highest classes of eastern society. Heller (2002) The desire for fine fabrics greatly increased existing trade with the east, and the Byzantine fashions they had seen were copied as best they could from the verbal descriptions given by knights. As a consequence, silken bliauts became highly desirable and the appearance of decorative bands on garments increased.