Imprecise term used at different times for different fabrics. In Early Modern use, it seems to denote plain-wove glossy silk of any colour; by the 19th century it had come to be used of a light thin silk of decided brightness or lustre, used for hangings. In the 20th century the term was used for various mixtures of silk and fine wool, and other vaguely similar materials.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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