Who were the knights?
A knight is a person who has been granted the title of knighthood by the monarch, or some political leader who is a service under the monarch like a bishop. The meaning of the word knight has been changing since the past. Moreover, the tasks done by them have been changing since time. It has begun with the meaning as a boy or servant and went up to men riding on horses and hence as chivalry or cavalier.
Knights were mainly during the medieval period. And it was in that era when the furniture also began to develop its modern characteristics. At that time life was uncertain and hence families were many times on the move. Travelling from place to place required the family to possess things, which are portable and even provide the best functions in the bleak winters.
Introduction to furniture
The furniture during the historical times was made mainly for the kitchen as well the bedrooms. And the furniture required to be more portable and functional. Functional here means that many times one piece would have several functions. Many people had unsettling lives and so the luxury was very less.
Therefore, the main focus of the furniture was the survival of the people. In addition, for survival human beings needed mainly two things to do- eating and sleeping. Therefore, even the furniture was based on them.
Types of furniture in houses
As life was changing from time to time there were basically four different types of furniture:
• Portable furniture, which can be taken from place to place while moving.
• The furniture that was built in a castle.
• The furniture that can be used for daily uses and hence mostly functional.
• The last type of furniture is rich furniture. The furniture is highly decorated and hence mostly used for showing purposes.
The furniture at this time was often decorated in bright colors.
What was the furniture made from?
The Knights used furniture mainly made from woods. And the most common wood material was oak but other woods were also used. Oak was the widely used material as it was easy to obtain, strong and durable. The other types of woods include ash, elm, beech, poplar, etc.
The furniture that was built in a castle was assembled using wooden pegs or iron nails. And canvas and leather were used for providing amazing external finishing to the furniture or even for providing a lining to it.
The special part of the furniture in knights home was that it was colored using bright colours. As knights home had more colorful furniture and even the clothing was colorful. So the furniture was painted in colors.
Primary colours became more famous at that time and so red and green were the most famous ones. The furniture also had details with other colours for decoration purposes. And so the decorations were done in different colours like black, yellow, white, etc. And it was in fashion to put heraldic designs on special pieces of furniture.
The Knights believed in decorating the furniture. So many different types of decorating items were used in order to decorate the items. Some of the decoration techniques include carved ornamentation, tracery, making design through paint, beautiful looking metal work, etc. And for doing these decorations different types of materials were needed. These materials include velvet, leather, special colour paints, etc.
Items of furniture
There are furniture items famous from that time. However, some were considered very important and had many functionalities. They are as below:
• Chest- It was considered as the most important piece of furniture at that times by the knights. It can also be known as a trunk. It was made from the trunk of a tree and that was banded with iron. IT had many different functionalities. One of them is carrying the household objects inside it while travelling. It was also used as a desk, seat, couch, etc. when is house then it was used for storing things and keeping them safe.
• Cupboard- It was a cabinet and was used to store as well as serve the food. It contained many different sections and drawers. The flat surface was for the food be placed.
• Portable furniture- The portable furniture included small things like benches, stools and chairs. They were used for sitting purposes at that time. And the folding chair also became very famous due to its increased portability feature.
• Beds- The beds evolved from mattress of straw to the feather beds. They were four post beds as we know today. Blankets were made from wool or even fur for conserving the warmth. One other thing that was very different was curtains which were used around the bed for warmth. And the rich bought canopied or hung beds.
Places where the furniture was kept
Furniture was kept in various places in the houses. They are as follows:
• Hall- Trestle tables and benches were used for dining purposes. The hall also consisted of the chests in the house. Carpets and mats were put on the floor to make the house look richer.
• Throne room– Thrones like elaborate chairs for the king or queen were placed here in order to receive them. It was accompanied by a footstool.
• Bedroom- It consisted of the bed and the cupboards.
• Chapel- It consisted of the elaborately furnished windows and colorful furniture.