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(Work in progress) 

I sought out contemporary definitions and descriptions of the various textile and clothing terms encountered in the fashion plates posted on this website.  However, the meanings of various terms may differ because of country or company of origin and may have changed with industry changes over time.   If there are any terms for which you have more complete descriptions, I would be grateful for your input. 

The sources of these descriptions are listed in the Bibliography below and are organized by the ‘nickname’ used in the text.

Bouillonné – In small puffings.  Beadle’s 1860;  Narrow shirrings of chiffon that edge wide ruffles or plaitings of the same or other materials.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

 Brodequins – boots. Picken

- A light boot whose form derives from the cothurna and the caliga; until the 16th century the brodequin was a light shoe worn inside boots and houseaux:  it was also an instep-strap stocking which young men wore inside boots for weapon practice.  Only in the 18th century is the brodequin found as a sort of boot.  In the 19th century it was the footwear of elegant ladies, with a fine linen or silk leg, and was worn even for dancing.  It was then by (ironic) analogy that the name was given to the short-legged army boots then in use.  Liturgical brodequins, which were used for the consecration of bishops or the coronation of monarchs, were more like richly ornamented silk or velvet stockings.  François Boucher

 Canezou – woman’s jacket often of lace, usually sleeveless.  Picken

-Small guimp with or without sleeves; its main feature was that it was tucked into the belt, where it stopped.  Its greatest vogue was during the Romantic period, but it was worn from 1799 until about 1870.  François Boucher.

Capote – From the very late 18th century on, a woman’s head-dress fitted closely round the chignon, with a wide flaring brim framing the face.  The capote was worn until the end of the 19th century, with changes in detail, but the basic shape remained unaltered.  François Boucher

- Close hat, toque or cap.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

Cannelé – A channel effect in weaving giving lengthwise stripes in raised or lowered effect on the goods in small patterns. Ben-Yusuf 1909

Castor 1. colour:  light, grayish-brown shade with yellow cast.

2.     Beaver hat; hat made of beaver or other silky fur or fabric; hence, silk hat.  Latin word meaning beaver. 

3.     Heavy, all-wool fabric, similar to broadcloth, but lighter in weight.  Used for coats.

4.     Soft leather:  soft, suede-finished kid or goatskin.  Used for gloves.  Picken

-         The fur of the Castor beaver is used in the manufacture of fur hats.  Also, a heavy quality of broadcloth used for making overcoats is sometimes termed castor.  Coles 1892

Beaver – A thick woolen cloth weave similar to doeskin.  The wrong side is finished with a soft, thick nap.  In hats on Plaques, a long nap fur thrown on bodies of wool and felt fur felt.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

 Douillette – A Directoire coat dress for domestic wear.  Interlined with long sleeves and a high neck in the Empire period.  Designed for outdoor wear.  The long sleeves are sectioned and puffed.   Picken

Drap – French for cloth. Picken

-The French equivalent for the English word “cloth” or “stuff,” and generally applied to fabrics of wool or silk.  Callaway

-French term for woollen fabrics.  Mercury

- Cloth – woolens including broad and narrow cloths, kerseymeres, pelisse and habit cloths, among others.  Perkins, p. 49-50, 1845

Fichu -  draped  scarf or shawl worn about shoulders and tied in knot at breast, with ends hanging down loosely.  Also, ruffly draping on bosom of blouse or dress.  Word, meaning negligee or careless, first used to describe breaking away from stiff collar of the past.  Picken

-         Small black lace scarf which women knotted around their necks so that the points fell on the chest.  Mentioned from 1779 on, but its greatest vogue coincided with the beginning of the French Restoration.  The term came from the long leather loop which hung from horses’ crops in the Middle Ages to aid mounting.  François Boucher

Gaze  - Gauze – A very thin, light, transparent linen fabric, woven plain.  It is similar to the lawn, but more sheer. 

- A light, open fabric of cotton or silk, used for veils.  The warp threads are twisted in the operation of weaving, thus giving the fabric the appearance of lace.  Scissors & Yardstick 1872

-Gauze – A thin, light, transparent fabric woven in a crossed-warp technique (Emery, p. 189).  By extension, any sheer, open fabric.  Silk Gauze was woven at Spitalfields until the 1760s when Paisley “became the center of a  flourishing gauze manufacture” (Beck).                                 The van Varick inventory of 1695/96 lists “2 chinmie cloths of Crimson gaze; 6 window curtaines ditto- ₤6:10:0.”  The Norton Papers of Virginia in 1768 list “6 yrds handsome flower’d Gauze Ell wide” (p. 72); and in 1772 “12 yards of neat sprigged Gause undressed, 4 yards of a sort” (p. 218).  “Plain, striped and flowered silk gauze” were offered for sale by George Bartram (Pennsylvania Chronicle, September 7, 1767).  Montgomery

- light-weight and sheer fabric woven in the 18th century of silk; generally of plain weave; they can be ornamented with designs, figures or brochees… Richelieu

- A very fine and peculiar weave of the bunting order.  A thin voile.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

Gauze originated in Gaza, and was used as a veil or netting.  The gauze weave is characterized by warps that are shifted out of parallel positions and then back again.  Each one of the positions is held in place by a weft thread.  Gauze can be open and lacey, or of very tight weave construction.  Today gauze is created in silk, cotton, rayon and manufactured fibers.  Gauze fabrics should not be confused with those produced by the LENO WEAVE, which is also a loose, open weave.  The term is sometimes used erroneously in referring to any delicate, sheer fabric.  Judith Jerde

Gauze flannel – a very thin porous article, from which circumstance it derives its name; it is used for the same purpose as the foregoing […beneficial to rheumatic and elderly persons, as an article of clothing to be worn next their skin…], but only used by those who cannot bear one of the closer texture. Perkins. 1845

Common Gauze – [silk] Gauze is an article too well known to need description, except as to the various sorts.  Common gauze is to be had plain, striped, and figured.  The figure may be formed with silk, or of Magnesia; when it is formed of this well-known drug, the figure is traced on the gauze with a strong gum, and the magnesia laid on wet; when dry it is perfectly firm.  The length of its article varies from 24 to 26 yards; its width 4/4.  Perkins 1845

Lisse Gauze – [silk] is a plain gauze of a superior quality, of the same widths as the above; it is to be had of all colours, and its lengths are from 14 to 20 yars.  Perkins 1845  other terms related: crape lisse, gossamer

Cotton Gauze – see Leno – Perkins 1845

Gauze [linen] – A very thin, light, transparent linen fabric, woven plain.  It is similar to the lawn, but more sheer.  Single fold.  Width, 25-30 inches.  Scissors & Yardstick 1872

Gauze [flannel] – A fine, slight, transparent flannel, sometimes all wool, usually a warp of tram silk is used.  The woof is of a very fine wool.  It is used principally for infants, and for summer wear.  Single fold.  Width, 3-4. Scissors & Yardstick 1872

Gauze [veil goods] A light open fabric of cotton or silk, used for veils.  The warp threads are twisted in the operation of weaving, thus giving the fabric the appearance of lace.  It is made both white and in colors.  Single fold.  With, about 22 inches.   Scissors & Yardstick 1872

Gros d’été – A dress material woven with two warps at different tensions, the slack warp forms a terry effect.  Mercury

Gros Grain – A ribbed silk fabric or ribbon with heavy thread running crosswise.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

Grosgrain – Thought ot have originated rugin the Middle Ages, grosgrain is characterized by crosswise, or crossgrain, ribs.  It is executed in a PLAIN WEAVE that employs larger threads in the weft than the warp.  It is a tightly woven textile that bears a resemblance to FAILLE, but the ribs are much larger due to the larger size of the weft threads.  The textile is available in both silk and manufactured fibers and occasionally cotton.  Judith Jerde

Gros de Naples – literally “thick or stout of Naples;” and by which we understand it to be a silk of that description.  The article we know in trade by this name is a plain stout silk; it is the staple of silks; but of which there are of course, many qualities, and in all colours; lengths various, to 100 yards. Perkins 1845

- A well-woven plain weave silk fabric, made from good organzine silk.  Both warp and weft are doubled yarns with more threads per inch in the warp than weft.  Mercury

- Another of the numerous gros family with the cross-ribbed weave of the demi-grosgrain, but not as smooth or brilliant as taffetas lustré.  French Millinery Terms 1939

- A stout, plain-woven silk dress fabric, woven of organzine silk, in the weaving of which great care and labor is bestowed, hence one of the most durable of silk materials.  Coles 1892

-Gros de Naples (de Rhine,  & de Tours)  Silk textiles of plain weave with a corded effect.  Havard calls them Taffetas à gros grain, uni, plus épis que l’ordinaire.  Perkins describes gros de Naples as “a plain stout silk; it is the staple of silks; but of which there are, of course, many qualities, and in all colours.”  “The usual name for a cannelé [ribbed fabric] that has only two picks of weft moving together” (Burnham, p. 53)… Among the Richelieu Papers dating from the 1730s are two swatches of gros de Naples made in Holland and two of gros de Tours woven in Genoa, one of which is plain and the other with warp faced satin flowers on a gros de Tours ground. … The Warner Collection includes circa 1760 swatches of striped and checked gros de Tours and gros de Naples.  Montgomery

-Gros de Naples – The term “Gros” being the French of thick, the name signifies a thick Napes silk.  It is a material somewhat similar to lutestring, but less stout, and made both plain and figured, in various qualities, and coloured.  It is much used for dresses, and is manufactured in this country as a well as in France, whence it was formerly imported.  The chief seat of the manufacture in England is at Spialfields. Caulfield & Saward 1887

Gros de Messines – A variety of “Gros de Naples”, having a raised narrow pin-rib.  It is 18 inches in width.  Caulfield & Saward 1887.

Gros d’Orient –

Gros des Indes.  A French name for a silk textile, produced by the use of different shuttles with threads of various substances for the weft, by which means a stripe is formed transversely across the web.  .  Caulfield & Saward 1887

-According to Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia of 1831, a material ”formed by using different shuttles with threads of various substances for the shoot, whereby a stripe is formed transversely to the length of the goods” (p. 298)  Montgomery

Gros des Indes:  A silk with a wide wale diagonal weave.  French Millinery Terms 1939

Gros de Londres:  A heavy silk woven in alternating coarse and fine ribs, sometimes in ribs of two different colors. French Millinery Terms 1939


Gros de Suez – A description of silk stuff employed by milliners for lining bonnets.  It is slight in substance, of narrow width, has a very small rib, and is known also as “Turquoise Silk.”   Caulfield & Saward 1887

Gros de Tours – Similar to taffeta; two or more pickings being inserted in same shed instead of one, making fine ribbed surface.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

Gros de Tours : Resembling taffetas, the difference being that, instead of one, two or more picks are inserted in the same shed or opening of the warp threads, forming a fine ribbed surface.  A sublimated grosgrain. French Millinery Terms 1939

Gros de Zoitz – A heavy, black dress fabric, having a double cotton warp and worsted woof.  A fine cord extends lengthwise of the fabric, on both face and back, formed by the double warp, which is almost entirely covered by the wool woof, thus giving it the appearance of being all wool.  Double fold.  Width, 27 to 30 inches.  Scissors & Yardstick 1872

Guimpe – A front and back yoke to be worn with a low-cut  dress, with or without sleeves.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

Illusion – A thin and very transparent tulle.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

-Illusion is a type of very fine net.  It is executed by hand or machine using a knotting technique that creates a hexagonal pattern.  It can be made of cotton, silk or manufactured fiber.  Judith Jerde

Leno Weave – Textiles created in the leno weave have a lace-like appearance because of their lightweight, open structure.  It is thought that this weave originated near Reims, France, a linen textile center.  Today it is generally executed in COTTON or MANUFACTURED FIBERS.

          In the leno weave the warp yarns are arranged in pairs.  The weft is shot straight across the fabric, but the threads are locked in place by twisting to the left and to the right of the warp threads by a device called the doup harness.  (Leno is also referred to as a doup weave.)  A well-known example of the leno weave is MARQUISETTE.  Judith Jerde

Leno - is made of the same material as muslin, it is much clearer than a book-muslin, and may with propriety be called cotton gauze.  It may be had in the same widths as muslins but is not now much in demand.  It is in pieces of 10 yards. Perkins 1845

Maline – A very fine silk net of gauze-like texture.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

-Maline originated in Malines, Belgium.  It is a very soft mesh NET with a hexagonal construction.  Maline is available in silk on the market today but not in the great quantity that nets of manufactured fiber and cotton are found.  Judith Jerde.

Merinos – 1.  fine wool of merino sheep

2.     Fine, soft dress fabric, resembling cashmere; originally made of the wool or merino sheep.

3.     Fine wool yarn for knit goods; or the knit fabric itself, used for hosiery and underwear.

4.     French m. Fine woolen fabric made from wool of French breed of merino sheep.    Picken

-Merinos  The merino sheep gives the finest of all wools up to 80’s counts, which is very soft and white.  The original merino fabric was woven from this wool…Merino cloth was first produced in 1804 at Rheims and known as Shale.  Mercury

-Often called French merino, from the fact of its having first been made in France, is an all wool dress fabric, having a broken twill upon both sides.  In the finest material, both sides are about equally finished.  This is probably the most durable of any of the dress fabrics.  Scissors & Yardstick 1872

- A woolen dress fabric, first made at Bradford, England, in 1826, of pure Merino wool, at which time it was one of the most expensive varieties manufactured.  In appearance it is a thin, light “woolen” material, twilled on both sides, back and face alike.  Merino is also a term applied to a variety of medium-weight, soft-finished knitted underwear, formerly made of merino wool, but now of cotton and wool mixed.  Coles 1892

Mousseline – light weight, sheer, cotton fabric

- Soft, fine, French muslin.  Picken

- A general term for very fine clear fabrics finer than muslins made of silk wool or cotton.  Mercury

- fabric of cotton thread, very light weight. [its name would correspond to the fact that it is not plain and presente small inegalites, bloatings which resemble has of foam]  Richelieu

-Mousseline originated in France in 1826 and is the French word for muslin.  The textile bears little resemblance to muslin, however.  It is a very fine sheer textile made of silk, cotton, wool or manufactured fibers.  It is executed in a plain weave.

          There are many textiles in the Mousseline family, named according to the fiber types that are employed, i.e., Mousseline de laine (wool), mousseline de soie (silk), etc.  The weights, sizings, finishes and qualities of the mousselines are wide and varied.  Judith Jerde

Printed Muslin.  A fine, sheer cotton fabric, printed in colors.  It is often called “French Muslin.”  A superior article is now made, called “Organdy Muslin.”  Muslins were first made at Paisley, Scotland.  Single fold.  Width, about 7-8.  Scissors & Yardstick 1872

Muslin.  A fine, thin cotton fabric, woven plain, bearing a fine, soft, and almost invisible downy nap upon its surface.Muslins are of many varieties, the best of which are made at Bengal.  The name “muslin” is derived from Moussel, in Turkey, where it was first manufactured.  Book Muslin; also called India Book, form the fact that it was first made in India; is the most sheer of any of the muslins, except Organdy.  It is very thin and light, and has a bluish tint.  Single fold.  Doubled in three parts, like print, then doubled crossways in three parts, making a piece about one foot square.  Width, 7-8.  Organdy Muslin; A coarse, sheer cotton fabric, woven plain.  It is very open in texture, almost as much so as Tarlatane.  It is ht most sheer of any of the muslins.  Single fold.  Doubled in three parts.  Width, 7-8 to 4-4. Pina muslin.  A very fine fabric made of the fibre of the pineapple tree.  The fibre is spun like flax, and produces a costly texture, equal to the finest muslins of Bengal.  Single fold.  Width, 3-4.  Swiss Muslin. A very light, fine muslin, a little heavier than the “Book.”  It is usually plain, but sometimes shirred, tucked, and figured.  Single fold.  Doubled and folded in three parts, like print.  Width, 4-4. Mull-Mull.  A variety of muslin, a little finer and closer than the “Swiss,” but not quite as close or heavy as nainsook.  It is a medium between the two.  Width and fold same as that of “ Swiss.”  Nainsook.  A variety of muslin, heavier and more closely woven than the other muslins.  It is similar to Jones cambric, but not as heavy.  It is woven plain, also with checks, stripes, etc.  The plain is doubled and folded like the “Book.”  The checked, striped, etc., is single fold; doubled and folded in three parts.  Scissor & Yardstick 1872

Pelerine - Tippet or cape, usually waist-length in back, with long, pointed ends in front.  Popular in England and colonial America.  Picken

 Pèlerine – Name given in the 18th century to a short cape covering the shoulders, similar to those worn by Watteau’s ‘Pilgrims’(Pèlerins and Pèlerines).  The word has kept the original meaning, though it is sometimes applied to longer garments.  François Boucher

-A small mantle, rounded like a cape.  Guide to Dressmaking 1870s

- A small cape.  A term now specially applied to a form of ladies’ neckwear. Ben Yusuf 1909


Perkale – A French term for cambric muslin (1818)  Cunnington p. 434


Percale – A super quality cambric, generally bleached, printed and finished without gloss.  The best qualities are made in France.  Mercury

- A fine cotton fabric of firm texture usually printed in stripes and figures.  It was originally made in France, and is usually called “French Percale”.  It is now largely manufactured in the United States. Single fold. Width, about 1 yard.  Scissors & Yardstick 1872.

- [A French term signifying cambric muslin, or cotton cambric, as distinguished from linen cambric.]  A kind of cambric very closely and firmly woven, with a round thread, and containing more dressing than ordinary muslin, but without the glossy finish of cambric; it is printed in fancy patterns on white and colored grounds.  Percale was introduced into the United States in 1865.  Cole’s 1892

- (perkale)  A fine cotton cloth originally from India where it was sold white or dyed blue. …  Percale was manufactured in England in 1670 and in France in 1789 (Caulfield and Saward).  Ackermann comments on the material in 1816:  “Perkale, as they call cambric muslin, is now almost the only thing worn in the morning costume:  you must not, however, fancy that this proceeds from a wish to encourage English manufacture, but partly from a love for novelty, and partly because it is less expensive than cambric, and equally fashionable” (Repository, 2d ser., 1, no. 5[May 1816’: 306).  Printed percales were used for shirting.    Montgomery

Percale – A kind of cambric closely and firmly woven, with more dressing than ordinary muslin, printed or plain. Ben-Yusuf 1909

-Percale come from the Persian word pargalah.  Originally used to describe a cotton textile with an even higher thread count than the percales we know today, percale is now executed in a PLAIN WEAVE with carded yarn, and contains 180 to 200 threads per inch.  The finest percales are made of combed fiber.  Percale is an extremely important textile, used not only in the making of garments but in the production of household textiles such as sheeting.  Today, percale comes in a wide variety of colors as well as prints.  Judith Jerde

Pluche – (peluche) plush.   Rich fabric of various fibers, in pile weave, with longer pile than velvet; and coarse back made of cotton, silk, wool, etc. used for coats, capes, neckpieces, muffs.  Picken

- This is a fabric with a cut pile of silk warp and cotton back.  The pile is longer than velvet pile and less densely woven.  It is used for rugs, drapery, curtains, and upholstery.  Mohair yarn is excellent for the pile of plush because when the pile is cut the fibres are erect and straight.  Mercury

-Peluché – shabby, tough, plush-like. French Millinery Terms

-A term derived from French peluch[sic], which in turn is derived from Latin pilus, hair, from the fact that when plush was first manufactured it was made with a worsted foundation and a pile of goat’s hair or mohair.  The use and manufacture of plush in Europe dates from the sixteenth century, though it is highly probable that a fabric similar in appearance has been woven in China from time immemorial.  Plush may be roughly described as long napped velvet, and any kind of fiber may be used in its manufacture, the distinction from velvet being found in the longer and less dense pile upon the surface of plush…The silk plush now so extensively used for dress and millinery purposes is made on a cotton foundation, the ground-warp being frequently dyed of the same color as the silk pile-warp.  Silk plush having a long and a less dense pile than velvet, the pile admits of being brushed from side to side much easier, thus reflecting the rays of light to a better advantage, and producing a watered or changeable effect.  One form of plush is that which has taken the place of the napped beaver-felt in the dress-hats of gentlemen, which is consequently known as hatter’s plush.  This variety is all produced in Lyons, France….  Cole’s 1892

-Wool velvet.  A kind of stuff with a velvet nap or shag on one side “composed of a weft of a single woolen thread, and a double warp, the one wool, of two threads twisted, the other goats-hair.  Some plushes are made entirely of worsted and others composed wholly of hair”  (Chambers).  Plush was made in all colors and was used for breeches, waistcoats, and winter jackets (Savary des Bruslons).  It was frequently used for furnishing and occasionally for altar frontals and pulpit cloths.

In Boston in 1741 a runaway servant wore “a pair of orange colored plush breeches” (Dow, Every Day Life, p. 66).  “Green, glue and red Hair Plush” were advertised in the Providence Gazette on February 21, 1789.

A specialty of France, plush was woven in that country beginning in the late seventeenth century.  Swatches of plush characteristic of Amiens manufacturers of about 1762 are preserved in the Archives de la Somme (Havard).  … Silk plush had a longer pile than silk velvet. …. Montgomery

- Plush is a term taken from the French word peluche, which means shaggy.  The textile is constructed with a PLAIN WEAVE, similar to VELVET, but he pile is much longer and is usually less dense.  Plush is often created using a combination of fibers, which may include MOHAIR, WOOL and MANUFACTURED FIBERS.  Plush is often multicolored, and is also found in a variety of patterns.  Judith Jerde

Prunelle  - prunella – A kind of lasting of which clergymen’s gowns were once made, but now only used for the uppers of women’s cloth shoes.  The name is supposed to have been derived from its former color, that of prunelle, French for plum. – Cole’s 1892

- 1.  Strong, smooth, worsted dress fabric in twill or satin weave; used for dresses, skirts.  2.  Woolen or mixed fabric with smooth surface, popular in 18th and 19th centuries.  Used for scholastic and clerical robes, dresses.  Heavy grade formerly used for shoe uppers.  Picken

-Prunelle – A very fine French wool dress fabric, made with hard sp8un two-fold warp and three- or five-fold silk weft.  Usually dyed black.   Mercury

          A French serge dress fabric of the early 19th century made in a 12-shaft twill weave.  Mercury

Prunella – A light-weight Yorkshire woollen cloth, generally with the prunelle twill weave; used for dress purposes.  The heavy types are double cloths with a fine face and coarse back.  Mercury

- One of the worsted textiles made at Norwich.  In 1727 James Scottowe advertised in the Norwich Gazette that he had “neat woven shims flowered in the loom with silk up or worstead on a white prunel at reasonable rates” … Modern definitions suggest that it was a 2/1 warp faced twill; some was made with cotton filling in a satin weave.  It resembled lasting.  Montgomery

Redingote – Three-quarter or full-length dress or coat, open from neck to hem, usually belted at the waistline.  Worn over a slip or dress.  Picken

- Woman’s long, fitted coat, cut princess style, worn open in front to show dress underneath.  Sometimes cut away in front.  Originally made with several capes and trimmed with large buttons.  French word developed from English words, riding coat.  Picken.

- Garment adapted for women about 1785; a lighter version of the male redingote, whose cut and sometimes collars it borrowed.  But it remained a gown, open a waistcoat and skirt, and not a surtout.  However, under the Empire it appeared as an overcoat, then reappeared as a gown during the Restoration and romantic period.  Until the Second Empire it was essentially a gown buttoning all the way down the front.  Its fashion ended under the Second Empire; from 1874 it reappeared as a coat, fairly severe in cut.  Francois Boucher.

- A long coat.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

Revers – The turned-back edge of a coat, waistcoat, or bodice.  François Boucher

revers – Turned back.  The facing of a dress, or a cuff turned back over the sleeve.  Beadle’s 1860

Saxifrages – type of flowers

Tulle – tulle – Very fine net fabric made from silk yarns, plain weave.  First made in France and used for veils and light dresses.  They are often ornamented by using a jacquard to make small sprigs and dots.  First made by machinery in 1768 at Nottingham.  In 1834 the first machine-made figured tulles (point d’esprit) were produced.  Also called Malines lace.  Mercury1945   

Tulle, or silk illusion – A very thin, transparent meshed fabric of fine white, raw silk.  It is used principally for bridal veils, etc.  In reality, it is a kind of lace, the meshes of which are round, and of uniform size.  It is a very delicate and expensive article.  Scissors and Yardstick 1872

-[Properly point de tulle, a fine net, so called from the town of that name, capital of the department of Correz, France.]  Silk bobbinet; a plain, fine silk net, used for women’s veils and bonnets, sometimes ornamented with dots like blonde lace, but more commonly without pattern.  Machinery for the manufacture of tulle was invented about the year 1800, and was copied after the bobbinet invention.  At first it was termed tulle simple et double; in 1825, tulle bobine grenadine; next it was known as zephyr, and finally as illusion.  The Jacquard system has been very successfully adapted to the manufacture of tulle.  Blonde is a narrow tulle adapted for quillings.  Cole’s 1892

- Silk bobbin net first produced in France toward the end of the eighteenth century.  Beck gave the history of this material and the related zephyr, illusion, and blonde nets.  Montgomery

- Finest silk mesh net; plain fine silk net.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

-Tulle refers to a machine-made fine cotton or manufactured net with a hexagonal mesh.  Prior to the 18th century, tulle was created by hand.  Tulle was first created by machine in Nottingham, England, in 1768; however, it wasn’t until improvements had been made on the machine many years later that he textile was produced in any quantity.  The first record of factory production of the fabric was in 1817 in Tulle, France, from which the textile derives its name.  Judith Jerde

Virginie – type of fabric

Voile – Very light open plain weave dress fabrics.  The best qualities of voile are made with fine, very hard twisted two-fold combed and gassed cotton yarns.  Mercury

- veil, veiling; veiled, clouded; a fabric similar to the old-fashioned nun’s veiling, but made with somewhat heavier yarns.  Ben-Yusuf 1909

- Voile is executed in a PLAIN WEAVE and is loosely woven.  A true voile is very lightweight and very crisp.  The yarns used in the creation of voile have a very hard twist and are usually gassed (or singed) so that the fabric has a high luster.  Voile is most often made of cotton, but is also made of RAYON, SILK and WORSTED.  Today voiles are found in plain colors, stripes and prints.  Judith Jerde

Volant – flounce or frill.  Guide to Dressmaking 1870s


Beadles 1860 Pullan, Mrs. Marion M., Beadle’s Dime Guide to Dress-making and Millinery:  with a Complete French and English Dictionary of Terms Employed in Those Arts, New York:  Beadle and Company, 1860

Ben-Yusuf 1909 Ben-Yusuf, Mmme. Anna, Edwardian Hats:  The Art of Millinery (1909), enlarged and edited by R.L. Shep, Mendocino:  R. L. Shep, 1992

Callaway Carmichael, W. L., George E. Linton, Isaac Price, Callaway Textile Dictionary, first edition, La Grange, Georgia:  Callaway Mills, 1947

Coles 1892 Cole, George S., A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods and History of Silk, Cotton, Linen, Wool and other Fibrous Substances…, Revised Edition, Chicago:  George S. Cole, 1892

Cunnington Cunnington, C. Willett, English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, London:  Faber and Faber Ltd., 1956

François Boucher Boucher, François, 20,000 Years of Fashion, The History of Costume and Personal Adornment, New York:  Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966

French Millinery Terms 1939 Weil, Claire, editor, Glossary of French Millinery Terms, Comprising Millinery Dictionary, Color Dictionary, Fabric Dictionary, Silk Dictionary, Straw Dictionary, Lace Dictionary, New York:  Contemporary Modes, 1939

Guide to Dressmaking 1870s Guide to Dressmaking and Fancy Work containing all and complete instructions in measuring, fitting, cutting by measure, making up, and all the other details of dressmaking.  To which are added complete instructions for cutting and Making Ladies’ Underclothing.  First Published in the 1870s by J. S. Robertson & Bros., Whitby, Ontario, this edition published by Eileen Collard, Burlington, Ontario, 1977

Judith Jerde Jerde, Judith, Encyclopedia of Textiles, Facts on File, New York, 1992

Linton Linton, George E., The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, Plainfield, New Jersey, Textile Book Service, 1973

Mercury The ”Mercury” Dictionary of Textile Terms, Manchester:  Textile Mercury Limited, n.d. c. 1945

Montgomery Montgomery, Florence M., Textiles in America 1650-1870, New York:  W. W. Norton & Co., 1983

Perkins 1845 Perkins, E. E., A Treatise on Haberdashery & Hosiery…, London:  Thomas Tegg, 1845

Picken Picken, Mary Brooks, The Fashion Dictionary, Fabric, Sewing, and Apparel as Expressed in the Language of Fashion, revised and enlarged, New York:  Funk & Wagnalls, 1973

Richelieu Weigert, Roger-Armand, Textiles en Europe sous Louis XV, The most Beautiful Specimens in the Richelieu Collection, Greenwich, Connecticut:  New York Graphic Society , 1964

Scissors and Yardstick 1872 Brown, C. M., and C. L. Gates, Scissors and Yardstick; or All About Dry Goods, Hartford, Connecticut:  C.M. Brown and F.W. Jaqua, 1872









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