tillet block (block)


A tillet was the outer wrapper for a roll of woollen cloth and tillet blocks were used to stamp this wrapper before the cloth was exported from Exeter. The stamping was a specialist process done in the workshops of a tillet maker. Just as modern companies develop recognisable brands for their products, so too Exeter’s woollen cloth merchants wanted to have an attractive wrapper or tillet to advertise a quality product in a competitive market. The marks were similar to merchant’s marks and combined with a number they were unique to a particular order and customer. If there was any loss or complaint the order could be traced through this unique identifier.

This design features a lion.

This object is not on display.

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