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A tunic of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries worn by knights over their armour. It was made of rich material and reserved for ceremonial occasions. This tunic or surcoat was about knee-length but shorter in front than behind. Women also wore a cyclas but this was generally a more fitting gown, still of rich fabric. The name is sometimes applied to the material itself. to figured fabrics made of wool, linen or cotton which displayed light and shade effects by the use of contrasting shiny and matt surfaces. The word damascene was also used to describe such treatment and designs.

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2005 January 28