Plissé

Part of the ongoing Antique Fabrics series – although it’s not quite dead, yet! Plissé is a cotton fabric that has been chemically treated to give it a puckered, crepe-like appearance. In fact, Wikipedia treats it as just yet another of the many varieties of crepe out there. To my eye, it seems a little more ‘wrinkly’… Read More »

Technical Difficulties

It seems that my regular WordPress theme (Pacify) wasn’t compatible with the latest update of WordPress. Among other problems, it led to the search function breaking (don’t ask me how that happened) and the ‘read more’ link on every entry disappearing into the ether. I’ve put this interim-theme up which, while not the prettiest, at least does… Read More »

Samite

I’ve encountered samite in I don’t know how many bits of historical fiction, but it’s only now that I wonder what it actually is! According to good ol’ Wikipedia, samite is a heavyweight silk fabric with a twill weave, although as time passed, the term came to be applied to any heavyweight fabric with a… Read More »

Kersey

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. Kersey is a coarse woolen cloth, originally made in Kersey, in England, hence the name. Made from lower-quality wool with a twill weave it was thick and sturdy, and very warm. Very suitable for peasant… Read More »

Stuff

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. (My candidate for most annoyingly non-specific term in the entire history of textiles – Ed.) A term to describe almost any woven fabric created with the worsted technique – in which long-staple fibers are carefully combed… Read More »

Linsey-Woolsey

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. A rough twill or plain-weave fabric with linen warp (sometimes cotton) and wool weft. Warm, strong and cheap – at the time. Still created in limited quantities today for use by historical re-enactors. Given it’s… Read More »

Crepeline

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics’ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. A sheer, lustrous or semi-lustrous, wool, silk or cotton dress-weight fabric with a crepe effect. Used in garments for ladies and girls. I’ve run across this one in several 19th-century catalog reproductions so,… Read More »

Rep

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. AKA Reps. Fabric with closely spaced ribs running in the direction of the weft. Popular for upholstery in the 19th century, especially curtains. Historically, it was made from silk. Can still be found in… Read More »

Glacé

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics’ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. A fabric with the surface chemically finished to create a glossy, highly polished effect, as per chintz. I’ve seen it mentioned in clothing catalogs of the late 19th century – for ladies’ and girls’… Read More »

Faille

Although I keep wanting to pronounce this one as if it’s a French word (“fay”) my books tell me it rhymes with “file”. Faille is a light to medium-weight silk fabric with a subtle rib running parallel to the warp. The hand is somewhat stiff, and the fabric has a slight lustre. It’s popular for jackets, formal… Read More »