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Veil textile fabric mystery

  • January 20, 2017 1:28 PM EST

    I have my guesses on this antique veil very sheer material but thought I'd seek thoughts from others here too.   The closeup of the Victorian fabric shows long, coarse stiffened fibers.    So I am guestimating it has to be a horsehair or hemp type fiber.

    I know is is NOT cotton, silk, wool, synthetic. 

    It's hard to ID early fabrics - and ideas? 

    fabric sheerfull fabric



  • January 21, 2017 11:50 PM EST

    Are there any bumps or nubs in the fibres?

    When you rub it briskly along your wrist,  does the material heat up or remain cool?

    This post was edited by Antique Treasure Box at January 21, 2017 11:51 PM EST
  • January 22, 2017 8:15 AM EST
    No. Fiber thread has a twist in it. It's too delicate to rub. What might heat or cool indicate?
    • Moderator
    • 70 posts
    January 22, 2017 12:24 PM EST

    I have no answers, but interesting subject and looking forward to reading more thoughts on this.

  • January 23, 2017 6:02 AM EST
    I know that you stated that it is not silk however, the twist in the fibre had me wondering if it may be a linen/silk blend. Silk will become warm when rubbed. You could take a tiny snippet and conduct a burn test on the fibre, if there is a little bit that wouldn't be missed ;)
  • January 23, 2017 6:04 AM EST
    From the creases and the weave in the product, I am truly thinking linen.
  • January 23, 2017 10:48 AM EST

    OK..."lazy bones here" got to digging in my own reference library....  (How many times have I commented on the importance of books at hand????)

    Years ago a friend bequested to me, the ownership of an amazing book:  The Encyclopedia of Textiles by the Editors of American Fabrics Magazine., ©1960. 

    I focused on silk as that I am sure M.ATB is correct!   I was surprised to read about a type of silk known as Tussah Silk.  It is a "product of the uncultivated silkworm, which feeds on leaves of the oak tree, castor oil plant, cherry tree and uncultivated mulberry tree."   The worms product is a "sturdy and rather tough silk filber".   It is not as soft as true silk (meaning cultivated silk worms)

    Another reference I found was to Nun's Veiling - "a substantial material and has the tendency to shine"

    As I hold my cloth in different light angles, there is definitely a sheen.  I think I am comfortable thinking this is made from silk.   And just for your continued curiousity - there are over 80 terms referring to silk and weaves in this book!  I value this treasure.   Anytime someone has a terminology question - shoot me a note and I"ll look it up.

    Thanks for helping me come to a better conslusion on this antique fabric!