1) Ultimately from a word for ‘thread’, a diminutive. It developed a wide range of meanings but clearly meant a head-band or necklace in some early references.
1388 pur vij ermyns viijs ... pur j filete de parele, Calverley
1391 unum longum filett de perle, Harewood
1401 lego uxori fratris mei j filit de perel, Newark. In the fabric rolls for Ripon Minster it was an architectural term, probably a narrow band used to separate two mouldings: 1379-80 Item fac. filetes et alia necessaria pro clo[cher], Ripon. More obscure is an item in the stock of a York tradesman, listed along with linings for a variety of materials: 1504 Item ij dosan and a half of tayse fyllytes vjd, York. It was also the loins of an animal: 1689 which cow was twice slitt in the nearer ear, being a low cow, upper headed and blaike horned, being a little sattle backt about the fillits, black dugs and seeming to be full for want of milking, Skipton.