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Textiles (D) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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DAMASK: A rich flat fabric first made in Damascus, which in the 12th century achieved a great reputation for the weaving of splendid patterned stuffs. From there the manufacture spread to Italy and it was introduced into England late in the 16th century. It is a weave with a warp satin ground with a weft satin twill or taffeta pattern, the lines of the figures contrasting sharply with the lines of the ground, causing the shifting sheen as viewed from different angles. Damask was a favorite material for upholstery throughout the 18th century.

DARNICK, DORNECK, DORNICK: A coarse kind of linen fabric used generally for hangings, originally made (17th century) at Dorneck, Dutch name for Tournay. The name was also applied to a coarse variety of checkered table linen.

DENIM: A cotton fabric with a twilled weave on the face side.

DIMITY: A stout cotton or linen cloth used in England in the 17th century, with the name from Latin dimitum, double thread.


DRAPERY: Textile cloths or fabrics used for hangings.

DRESDEN WORK: A combination of lace medallions and embroidery in linen thread or colored silks, made during the 18th century.

DRILL-DRILLING: A fine, heavy, twilled linen or cotton fabric of a satiny finish.

DRUGGET: A coarse cloth of wool or wool mixed with silk used for wearing apparel.

DUCAPE: A stout silk fabric of soft texture, sometimes woven with a stripe. Introduced into England by French refugees in 1685.

DUCK: An untwilled fabric of cotton or linen, not so heavy as canvas, but used for similar purposes.

DUFFEL: A coarse woolen cloth having a thick nap or frieze, originally made at Duffel, near Antwerp in Flanders.

DYEING: The art of dyeing was practiced in some sort by all primitive peoples, the dyes being, derived from vegetable sources. The so-called Tyrian purple was known in the early days of the Roman Empire. It was so expensive that only the very rich could afford it and by the Middle Ages the dye had been lost to commerce. Towards the close of the Middle Ages the art of dyeing was greatly developed in northern Italy, especially at Florence. Subsequently, discoveries of new dyestufFs and the application of improved processes brought dyeing with vegetable colors into general use. It was not until 1856 that the first artificial dyestuff derived from aniline was discovered, since which time first aniline, then other colors from coal-tar have superseded the vegetable dyestuffs. Dyeing may be done in various stages of fabric manufacture, depending upon the material and the purpose for which it is to be used.

DYES: From remote times to the middle of the 19th century, dyes made of vegetable coloring matter were the only dyes available. Indigo made any shade of blue; madder, all reds from pink to rose; the barks of walnut, chestnut and hickory trees gave a brown dye; and black oak and hickory made green; sumac, wild cherry, and goldenrod gave various yellows; scrub oak, black. Logwood and cochineal were also used. Alum was used for "fixing" the colors. The women of colonial times were very skillful in making and using these dyes, and the colors of the fabrics of those early days that are still in existence remain unfaded today.