belovedlinens textiles



Baby flannel

See flannel.


(bafta or bafetta) From the Perisan bafta meaning woven. Calico imported from Western India for printing in the 18th c. As they were used for printing Baftas sent to Europe were usually white or ecru. But for others markets they were dyed red, blue or black. See Hobson-Johnson, A glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, London, 1903


Heavy woolen cloth usually raised or napped on both sides. Is often used for covering billard tables. See Classical Fabrics


Indian muslin used for handkerchiefs imported from Balasore ( or Baleswar) in Eastern India.


A light material of mixed cotton and wool manufactured for women's dresses, commonly used for summer gowns before the introduction of barege.



A:Commonly called "Bal." Fine smooth knit underwear for men made of Egyptian cotton in the natural color. Imitation Bal made of ordinary cotton stained to imitate Egyptian.
B: Knitted dress fabric with two or more colors (heather mixture) in the yarn. A form of jersey.

Balloon cloth

Closely woven, fine, light weight silk or cotton. Rubberized or given other treatment to make impervious. Uses: balloon covers, tents.    Weave—plain.


back stitch

A stitch in embroidery worked by bringing the needle up through the material from the back on a traced line, inserting it a little behind the point where it came out and bringing it up again the same distance beyond. It is then put into the hole made when it was drawn out the first time, and again brought out further forward. Back-stitch was much used in the quilted embroideries on linen of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.


Triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the head or around the neck for protective or decorative purposes. (see kerchief)

Bandanna were known in southern India as Pulicat hankerchiefs. (ref: Hobson-Johnson)


An undress robe worn by men. The banyan was cut in two basic variations: an unfitted version somewhat like a kimono or modern bathrobe, and a fitted version which somewhat resembled a man's coat only with full length, loose skirts. The banyan was typically worn by gentlemen relaxing at home and was worn over shirt, waistcoat, and breeches, usually with a cap to cover the head in lieu of a wig.(18th century)


(Arab barrakan, Farsi baranka, Latin barracanus, Ital. barracano) Linen and cotton cloth woven in Germany in the 14th and 15th c. The Fugger family, promoted the local barchent weaving mill in Weißenhorn, Germany.

Barchent weavers in Germany 15th c.




Dutch term for a woolen blanket exported to North America ( Textile Mercury Dictionary)


Llight silky gauze fabric made of wool. was originally made in the south of France at Barèges.


Barley Corn

Cloth woven with a small figure ressembling a barley kernel.

Barley Corn fabric


Akind of fustian imported from Holland. REF: The cotton trade and industrial Lancashire, 1600-1780 Par Alfred P. Wadsworth,Julia de Lacy Mann


Baronette Satin

Trade name for rayon fabric or rayon with cotton back. Uses: sports wear, costume slips, millinery.    Weave—satin.    Width, 40".


(barragán or barragon) A worsted cloth of plain weave in wool ( sometimes goat wool) REF: Dictionaire de la Langue Francaise de Pierre Richelet , Basle 1728


A sort of worked linen made near Caen, Normandy, in three qualities. REF: Le Parfait Négociant de 1713, Savary des Bruslons


Coarse linen imported from Holland and used for neckclothes. (17th-18th c.)


(Fr. pr. bah-ray). Any pattern produced by stripes or bars extending crosswise of the goods.    See Bayadere.


Inferior silk fabric, made in Persia.


Trade name for cotton damask with a special linen-ized finish.    See damask.

Basket cloth

Plain woven fabric with two or more warp yarns used as one and interlaced with two or more filling yarns.    It produces a basket effect.


Long cells beneath the woody tissue in the stalk of plants.    Flax, ramie, jute, hemp are bast fibres.

Bathrobe cloth

Thick, warm, doublefaced, cottnn blanketing woven with tightly twisted warp and two sets of soft filling, which produce a good nap. Inflammable. Nap packs down after washing. Two or more colors in design. Sold by the yard or in pattern blankets. Uses: bathrobes, crib blankets, couch covers. Weave—Jacquard. Width, 27" or 54".


(pr. bah-teek or battik). Ancient process of resist printing. Originated in Java. Practised by modern craftsmen and imitated in machine printing.   See Printing, Resist. Batik is an Indonesian word that refers to a generic wax-resist dyeing technique used on textile. The word originates from Javanese word "amba", meaning ”to write” and the Javanese word for dot or point, "titik." It is known to be more than a millennium old, probably in ancient Egypt or Sumeria. The art of Batik reach its highest achievement in technique, intricate design, and refined aesthetic in Java, Indonesia. The island of Java itself is famous and well known for its exquisite batik for centuries, particularly in places such as Yogyakarta, Solo, Cirebon, and Pekalongan. (See This Link)

Antique Fatik Java


(French origin, from name of Jean Baptiste, a linen weaver). I. Soft, thin cotton fabric resembling nainsook, only finer.    Qualities vary from that of a fine nainsook to very thin and delicate grades of batiste. Combed yarns of fme cotton are used; the better grades are highly mercerised and singed. Uses: handkerchiefs, all kinds of lingerie and infant's wear; the coarser grades for linings and undergarments. White and delicate colors. Weave—plain. Width, 30", 36", 45". 2. Light weight, fine, smooth wool fabric similar to nun's veiling, only finer.   See our Article


bayadere fabric

(Fr. pr. by-ad-air). Stripes in strongly contrasted colors, running across the fabric. Name derived from garment worn by dancing girls in India.- See our article


A particular sort of thick, shaggy woolen fabric (18th century.)


Wool bevaer fabric

Thick, woolen fabric with a napped finish similar to broadcloth. Originally made in England to resemble beaver fur, hence the name. The length of the nap varies greatly. A kind of beaver cloth used in millinery is a pile fabric somewhat resembling hatter's plush. The thirty and thirty-two ounce beavers used for uniforms and overcoats may be compared with kersey.   They do not have the hard finish of melton, but always show a nap. Weave:— twill.    Width 52", 60". Often used for hats.

Bedford cord

Bedford Cord Fabric

Corded material first made in this country in New Bedford, hence the name. A similar material in cotton which originated in France is called pique\ First made with cords running from selvagd to selvage. In modern practice both pique and Bedford cord have cords running lengthwise. Worsted, silk, cotton or combinations. Wearing quality, excellent, unless weave is loose with weak filling yarns. Uses: infant's wraps, riding habits, coats.    See Pique


A pounding process which gives round thread linen cloth a flat effect. When beetled, linen damask has a leather-like texture.
Beige. (Fr. pr. bay-zh). 1. Natural tan or ecru color or undyed yarn or fabric. 2. A kind of wool fabric no longer on the market.


Similar to poplin only heavier. Silk warp with worsted filling. Lower grades have cotton filling; sometimes silk is used. Warp entirely covers filling. Yarn-dyed. Wears very well unless loosely woven. Uses: dresses, coats, trimmings. Weave—corded (variation of plain).  


Berlin Work

Pattern and embroidery works, originally imported from Germany and used to produce smaller items such as slippers, smoking caps... 19th c.


piece attached to some aprons to cover or decorate the front of the torso. The bib was generally wider at the top than at the bottom, where it joined the skirt of the apron; sometimes the tapering was quite extreme, so that the bib served little to protect the clothing. Most English and French children's aprons had bibs. Bibs were quite common on French women's aprons as well, but were extremely rare on Englishwomen's aprons.

a French  Bib

Billiard cloth

. Woolen cloth or felt dyed green for covering billiard tables.


. 1. Weave. Small geometric pattern resembling a bird's eye.

. 2. Cotton diaper cloth. Characteristic weave. Filling yarns loosely twisted to make cloth more absorbent. Sold in ten-yard pieces. Uses: diapers and sanitary napkins. Weave—figured. Width, 18", 20", 22", 24", 27", 30". 3. Linen birdseye in many variations of weave for fancy towels and runners, may be union.


Common name forany black cloth used in mourning attire

Black Work

Embroidery in black silk, generally upon linen. Popular for collar, smocks, wristbands and handkerchieves.


(Fr. pr. Wong, meaning white). In the French dry goods trade everything which is bleached.

Blanket. Cotton, wool or mixed fabric

Usually napped. Single or double size for bed covers. Horse blankets are heavy felted, coarse.    Weave—plain or twill.


The process of whitening textile materials. Bleaching may be done in the yarn or in the piece.   Chemical bleaching (chlorine) is most frequently used for cotton and linen. For the latter sun bleaching is preferred. Wool and silk are usually bleached with sulphur dioxide or hydrogen peroxide which is harmless to fibres but not permanent.
Block printing. The hand printing of fabrics with blocks, as distinguished from modem printing with rollers.

The bleaching ground 1882
The Bleaching Ground by Max Liebermann, 1882, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Koln

For centuries spreading laundry in the sun was the best way of whitening it and often villages had designated, communal areas for spreading out laundry.

Blond net
See net.



Elongated spools of wood or bone with a " neck " at the upper end round which the thread used in making lace on the pillow is wound.

bobbins for lace

Bobbinet net.   See net.


A woman's fitted garment which covers primarily the torso.

Boiled-off silk

Silk which has had the sericin or natural gum removed.    See degumming.


Woolen or worsted weft pile fabric. Soft and velvet-like in feel. Made in variety of trade marked materials as Marvella.


(pr. bole). Seed pod of cotton plant. Contains cotton fibres.
Bolt. Entire length of cloth from loom, rolled or folded. Called piece or cut of cloth.    Bolts vary in length.

Bolting cloth

Stiff, transparent fabric made of silk in the gum. Made only on hand looms in Europe, mostly in Switzerland. 24 different numbers from 0000, the coarsest, to 25, the finest (200 meshes to the lineal inch). Uses: fine sifting in flour mills, also for stencils, sign making, foundation for wigs and toupees. Weave—leno. Width, 40".


Introduce by Flemish weavers at Northwich circa 1570. Silk warp and worsted weft. Natural colour or white.



headcovering for women

Book fold

Method of folding cloth instead of winding in a bolt.    Opens like a book.

Boott mills

* Trade name for cotton toweling in fancy weave; absorbent and durable.


Part of hose, usually silk or rayon, between foot and cotton top.


Originally fine merino wool from Botany Bay, Australia.    General term for all classes of fine wool.


(pr. boo-clay). Having knots or loops on the surface as imitation astrachan.



Embroidery stitch which revolves around wadding and forms a raised pattern.


Bourrette is a light weight, single cloth fabric, weighing from 4% to 6 ounces, composed of two-ply cotton warp, and either wool, merino or a combination of cotton and wool shoddy Ailing.


Southern France tradition, the art of boutis was highly prized in the 17th and 18th centuries. The boutis is embroidery on two sewn cloths, giving printed or plain motifs a raised pattern, and filled inside with a layer of cotton. SEE THIS ARTICLE

boutis Marseilles

Brighton Nap

Woollen cloth ressembling baise but with knots on the surface, made in Norwich.


Glazed woollen cloth, striped and flowered, made in Norwich, late 18th c.


Very light fabric of silk and cashmere wool.

Button-hole Stitch

The simple loop or hitch which is the fundamental stitch in needle-point lace of all kinds. It was exten­sively used as a surface-stitch (q.v.) in the stump-embroi­dery of the seventeenth century. It is rarely found in very early work

Box loom

Fabrics made with 1. right and left hand twist in filling as "box loom crepe" (Japanese Crgpe) or 2. different colors in filling which necessitate the box loom attachment in weaving as in plaid ginghams.


Fr.   Syns. :   bars, legs (Eng.).
The ties in bobbin and needle-point lace which connect and support the pattern when there is no net ground.


Smooth, wiry material the same as alpaca or mohair. A heavier quality is called Sicilian Cloth. Warp, cotton; filling, lustrous wool or mohair with little twist. Sheds dust, does not wrinkle. Used for dresses only when stiff fabrics are in vogue. Excellent wearing quality. Uses: linings, office coats, dusters, dresses. Weave— plain or twill.   

Bristol Red

West of England cloth dyed red at Bristol, 16th c.


1. Lustrous, rich-looking woolen fabric. Nap lies in one direction which requires more cloth in cutting Stock-dyed or piece-dyed. Good quality, wears very well. Uses: dresses, suits, coats. Weave—twill. Width, SO", 54".

2. Fine, closely woven shirting or dress goods. Made of silk, mercerized cotton, silk and cotton and rayon and cotton mixtures. Resembles the best habutae or fine poplin. "English broadcloth" is a fine imported fabric. Uses: shirts, dresses, childrens suits, pajamas. Weave— plain.   .

Broad silk

Wide silks; those distinguished from ribbons and eighteen-inch silk.


Originally heavy silk with elaborate pattern in silver and gold threads. Name applied to many materials which resemble historic brocades. When designs are woven in relief against a foundation of another weave, as a satin ground, the material is said to be brocaded. A contrast of surfaces in the weave may produce pattern, or different colors may be introduced. Brocade has an embossed appearance, while damask has a flat effect.    Weave—-Jacquard .See more


(pr. brok-a-tell or brok-a-tell). A variation of brocade with a higher relief or repousse effect with warp and filling yarns unequally twisted and an extra set of yarns for backing. Jacquard pattern stands out in a raised or blistered effect. Brocatelle has been used mostly in the past as an upholstery material, particularly on large chairs and sofas. See More


(pr. bro-shay). French term for brocade. Woven with a raised figure, usually in imitation of embroidery as Broche' shawls, another name for Paisley shawls.

antique Lyon Brocade


1. Body Brussels. Carpet or rug woven with uncut pile on the face. Back of cotton, hemp or jute. Yarn-dyed wool carried to back when not forming loops. Best grade of Brussels; wears very well.
2. Tapestry Brussels. Yarn for surface loops not dyed but warp printed. Loops all on the surface. Sometimes woven plain and pattern printed on surface of loops, low grade of Brussels.

3. Brussels Lace


Brushed wool

Knit fabrics for sweaters, scarfs, trimmings which have been napped. Usually contain mohair fibres which make long, silky nap.


Millinery fabric, two ply, stiffened with sizing or glue. One side resembles crinoline and the other tarlatan. The two fabrics are glued together. Can be moistened and shaped. Black or white. Sold by the yard or ten yard bolt.    Uses: frames for velvet or cloth hats.    Width, 27".


Prom the German "bunt", bright, gay. I. Cotton colored fabric similar to cheesecloth. Tends to fade. Uses: flags and festive decorations. Weave—plain. Width, 25", 27", 36". 2. Wool bunting made of worsted yarns of strong, wiry wool. Similar to nun's veiling, but narrower and coarser.   Durable.   Uses: flags, signals for trains and boats; a softer quality for dress goods.    Weave— plain.    Width, 18", 36".

Burlap or gunny

Coarse canvas made of jute. Natural color or piece-dyed. Fades. Uses: low grades for gunny sacks and wrapping furniture; firmer quality with finish for drapery purposes.    Weave—plain.    Width, 36", 50".

Butcher's linen

Coarse, bleached crash originally used for butcher's aprons. Practically replaced by art crashes and Indian head*    Weave—plain.    Width, 36", 40",

Buty Chine

* Trade marked fabric for lingerie purposes in satin weave of mercerized cotton.


comments powered by Disqus