Maline, Merveilleux and Messaline

By | June 3, 2016

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present.

(I found so little on these three that I’m lumping ’em together – Ed.)

Maline – gauze-like net of silk or cotton

Merveilleux – a silk or silk/cotton mixture in a twill weave with a lustrous finish.

Messaline – a fine, lightweight, satin-weave cotton. Used for dresses.

I’ve seen all three of these fabrics mentioned in late 19th century catalogs, but damned if I can find them for sale today. I’m usually reluctant to declare a fabric obsolete as I’ve already been proven wrong several times while writing for this site but these three… they’re definitely pining for the fjords.

For good-enough substitutes, I’d suggest:

Maine – cotton gauze, possibly organdy, although that might have too much body for your project. I think chiffon is too closely woven to be considered gauze-like, but you might want to consider it if organdy is too lively for you.

Merveilleux – cotton sateen, or a polyester sateen if you want something particularly shiny.

Messaline – cotton sateen (again) or lightweight silk satin. As ever, I have a downer on polyester satin, but if needs must…

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