he gamurra was an Italian dress worn throughout the 15th century. It was a very basic, functional garment worn by women of all classes and ages. Kind of like the jeans and T-shirts of the Quattrocento. Regionally, its name varied and it was also called cotta, camurra, camora, zupa, zipa or socha . In its day, it was considered a long lasting, practical dress. Many inventories include older, worn gamurre that were still considered useful for wear at home onlyii. In A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World, Duby interprets two contemporaries of the time and their recommendations on dress. Leon Batista Alberti, who says (quoting Duby) "new clothes are for holidays; slightly used clothing is for everyday business; and really worn clothing is for the home". Palmieri says (again quoting Duby) "for everyday home use, wear only the same clothing that everyone else wears. Two types of clothing were thus declared fit (and probably worn) for private use: simple clothes and fancy but worn or outdated costumes inherited from an ancestor or purchased from the ragpicker." Later Duby states "A woman at home, no matter what her station, was likely to wear a gonnella (fourteen century) or gamurra (fifteen century, also known in Lomabardy as a zupa)… So dressed, she could go about her household chores and even run errands or make informal visits in the neighborhood."iii
Figure 1: detail from Pala Sforzesca, Lombard School, 1495. Shows a striped silk gamurra with sleeves attached, decorated with aghetti.    
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