Well now, as to cotton pile fabric (or cotton velvet) used for a
There was a cotton pile fabric called fustian from the early cotton
industry days made in Italy (as well as Cairo and Memphis, both the
reputed 'birth place' of it).
And before late period people start objecting to the dating of fustian,
I'll say that the same 'names' get used over and over in history often
with a slight change to content. There is 'fustian' in 11th and 12th
century French texts and poems; there is fustian mentioned in Mazzaoui's
book on the early cotton industry; there is fustian listed on the
shipping lists and port tolls reported in pre-11th century economics
research; cotton fustian was known in Elizabethan England; and fustian
continues to be mentioned up through the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s.
However, for the American Civil War re-enactors, it has mutated enough
to have taken on the meaning of a plain weave, non-pile, cotton/linen
In Beck's well-known 'Drapers Dictionary' published in 1882, there is a
rather extensive write-up on fustian which links it to the 10th century.
It also links its manufacture to Moorish Spain in the early 13th c. The
fiber content is thought (from records) to have been a cotton/linen
blend at the time, but at least one recent researcher believes the word
to have taken on the aspect of a general term for a class of cottons
based on his research of shipping records.
Beck quotes from an article by Baines, and says that the extract he
quotes suggests that the warp was probably linen and the 'woof' [weft or
filler] was probably cotton with cotton pile. He goes on : "Fustian is
woven in the same manner as velvet, even to the shearing of its surface,
and Dr. Rock thinks that this manufacture may have hinted to the
Italians the way of weaving silk in the same manner, and so of producing
velvet." He gives as the most likely earliest date of its use in England
as 1114 for Cistercian priests chasubles.
At times in England, around the 1500s, you will find English-made
fustian listed with the worsteds, stamins, freezes, 'and other woollen
cloths'and sometimes as one of the 'new draperies'(which are specific
types of worsted wool) so its evident that England had a wool cloth that
they also called 'fustian'. Beck quotes another who did research in
charters of manufacture and export in England and tables of rates which
list "mock velvet or fustian anapes". The fustian anapes is thought to
have been shortened from "fustian of Naples".
Beck goes on to say that " Velveteen or velveret are commonly included
among fustians, as their manner of manufacture justifies. Corduroy and
thickest are also coarser varieties of fustian." He also says that [in
1882] fustian is a coarse twilled cotton cloth.
Now, Beck has probably been supplanted by better and more detailed
research and if you can provide that info I will gladly revise my
statements and opinion, which follows:
In My Opinion.... (she said)....cotton velveteen would be a good choice
to simulate the period fustian.
Thus ends the long-winded lesson on 'cotton/linen velvet...fustian'
Maria Pienkneplotno..... Polish fabric merchant :-D
From: "Rick Orli" <orlirva@...
Subject: Re: appropriate fabric for a letnik
But if anyone asks, tell 'em its silk (cotton velvet may not have
--- In email@example.com
, "Xristina Viaceslavova"
> I have a beautiful deep red short pile cotton velvet with no pattern
> on it. I was wondering if it would be appropriate to use for a
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