Guilds and Trade Skills
Hand Crafted. Guild Approved.
In the later medieval and renaissance period, groups of skilled craftsmen created and formed a collective known as a guild. Guilds ensured the quality of products, standard practices, and maintained fair and competitive prices. Guilds played an essential part in society as they attempted to guarantee a standard of quality. Guilds recognized an individual's skill and membership to a guild; acknowledged competency after serving time training as an apprentice and journeyman if the individual demonstrated actual skill elevating the student to the title of master tradesman, which was considered an honor.
In major cities and larger towns, there could be as many as 100 different guilds. Examples include weavers, dyers, armorers, bookbinders, painters, masons, bakers, leatherworkers, embroiderers, cobblers (shoemakers), and candlemakers, brewers, butchers, tanners, and farriers. These were called craft guilds.
There also were merchant guilds. Merchant guilds controlled how goods and trade were exported and sold. They held higher status and could become quite influential within the city.
Preserving the History of Community