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Mourning Fabrics


Bombazine or Bombasin
     A fabric with a silk warp and worsted weft with a twilled finish with worsted on the face side to give the fabric 
the dull finish required for mourning.  Fabric is dated back to the 13th century European sources.  From the 18th 
century bombazine was usually used for the deepest mourning.  Became particularly popular for  widows deepest mourning 
in the high Victorian period.  As mourning customs faded it was replaced by Venetian Crape cloth as the basis for the 
weeds.

Bobmazet
     A plain twilled cotton and worsted mixture - a cheap version of bombazine for less well off mourners.  Used during 
the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Crape or Crepe
     A transparent crimped, dull silk gauze, imported into Britain before 1690.  Popularized by Courtaulds in the 
19th Century.

Foulard
     Thin lightweight silk in black for mourning; fine, soft with a twilled finish.

Grosgrain
     A heavy corded black silk fabric, sometimes mixed with cotton, dyed black for mourning said to have been imported 
into Europe from Turkey in the mid 17th Century.

Paramatta
     Originally woven with worsted weft and silk wrap, it became a cheaper type of bombazine.  Widely used in the Victorian 
period by families that could not afford bombazine.  The name, invented in Bradford, England is said to be derived from 
the won on Paramatta in New South Wales, Australia.

Poplin
     Originally a mixture of silk and wool introduced in England and Ireland after 1685.  Dublin became well know as a 
poplin manufacturing canter. Grey is mentioned as being the color of poplin worn for mourning purposes.

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