Sunday 10 November 2013

Knowing Your Alliballies From Your Allibannies.

Long ago I lost my heart to the early, exotic names given to textiles: Alliballies, Allibannies, Abdatis, Aetes, Atchabannies, Ballasores, Betlellies, Cossaes, Chundraconnaes, Doreas, Doreaa Gold, Jamdamnies, Mulmuls, Nainsooks, Nankin Cloth, Sheerhaudcomeas, Seerbands, Seershauds, Sublcoms, Terrindaus, Tanjebs, Tartoreas, Atchabannies, Allejars, Abbawars, Atlas, Bejutapauts, Eyrampants, Brawls, Bandannoes, Bombay Stuffs, Cuttanees, Carridaries, Chillaes, Chintz, Cotton Romals, Chilloes, Coopees, Cushtaes, Callaway pores, Chanderbannies, Cherconnaes, Chucklaes, Dickmonsoys, Dysooksoys, Dimities, Elatches, Ginghams, Guinea Stuffs, Gurrahs, Habassies, Herba Lungees, Jilmils, Jamwares, Jamdannies, Hissasoys, Kingcobs, Lemmanies, Lungees, Nillaes, Niccanees, Neganepauts, Photaes, Palampores, Poises, Feniascoes, Romals, Sastracundies, Seersuckers, SanHoes, Sictersoys, Sooseys, Shaleafts, Tepoys, Taffaties, Tapsails, Tutahumsey, Lustrings, to name a few...

Knowing the names was one thing - knowing exactly what they might be was quite a different matter and in the days before the internet, almost impossible. However, I can tell you that Adatis or Aabdaties is a cotton cloth imported from Bengal in India. It was defined as a Muslin by the Acts of 1700. It appears to have been very fine. The earliest date of use was 1687. On the other hand, Aetes was a textile made of linen. A reference to it exists in 1657 and it is described as a Holland Cloth, presumably because it came from that region. Since many fabrics do have a place name as a descriptor, 'Aetes' may be the name of a place. If that is the case, it has not been located. Impressive or what? However, I must confess I do have some help and if you are as interested as I am in the provenance of textiles and other imported items relevant to the textile trade, then you will love this web-site - The on-line Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820.

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