Ivory and Purple Worsted Wool Damask
English (Norwich), mid-18th century


Although eighteenth-century woolen fabrics survive in far fewer numbers than their silk counterparts, they constituted nonetheless a large and important segment of the European textile industry. Used for both furnishings and clothing, practical and durable woolens were manufactured in a wide variety of weaves and grades and were available at a range of prices. During the period, England especially was renowned for its woolen trade. The term “worsted” refers to a type of high-quality fabric made from combed, long-staple wool yarns that are lightly twisted prior to weaving and produce a smooth shiny surface. In addition to domestic consumption, worsteds were also greatly in demand in foreign markets and were exported to Europe, the American Colonies, the West Indies, the Levant and China. This particular example shows the vibrancy of figured worsteds and their relationship to contemporary woven silks – in this case to lace-patterned silks of the 1720s.

40" H x 17.50" W

Ivory and Purple Worsted Wool Damask

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