Tuesday, April 24, 2007

PoK: Fabrics of the World

I'm looking for original fibers here, not synthetics:
1) What is tweed made from?
2) What is taffeta made from?
3) What is linen made from?
4) What is the term for the width of the 'cord' in corduroy?
5) How might one distinguish a seersucker shirt from a merely cotton shirt?

Bonus: What language does the name 'Seersucker' come from and what does the original term mean?

    Answers for PoK:Turkey

Between Davey and Maren, all the answers were right. Here's Maren's comment with parenthetical annotations by me:

1. (Istanbul, Constantinople, Byzantium)
2. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul
3. Byzantium: main city of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople: Greek for "The City of Constantine", Istanbul: a degradation of Constantinople (also, Ataturk asked in 1930 that other countries not call it anything but Istanbul anymore)
4. Country of the Turks (I was hoping somebody would say what 'Turk' means in old Turkic, which turns out to be 'Strong')
5. Mustafa Kemal Attatürk, 1880's-1930's or 40's (yeah, died '38 i think)
6. Ottoman Empire
7. Anatolia, Galacia (also, Davey was correct with Asia Minor)


Davey said...

Wow, way out of my league here. All I have is funny answers not real ones for most of these.

I know one for sure. The whale, or is it wale, of a pair of cords. Other than that:
Tweed is made of dead Scotsmen
Taffetta is made of dead Frenchmen
Linen is made of dead Southern Gentlemen
And seersucker shirts look wrinkled. The're supposed to. I had a seersucker shirt years ago, and I loved it, because I didn't have to iron it, it was supposed to look that way. As to where Seersucker comes from language wise, I'm going with French. It's a Southern American thing, and a fashion thing, so my guess is it came out of New Orleans.

Tona said...

Tweed: wool
Taffeta: Silk
Linen: flax
Cords have wale
Seersucker is woven with a pucker in one direction so it looks pre-wrinkled.
I googled it, so I didn't know before, but it's fascinating that it comes from a Persian phrase "milk and sugar" (sheer o shakar). I thought it came from India, because it's cooler & usually thinner than regular cotton so it's a good tropical fabric.
How about houndstooth? Where does that come from?

Maren said...

1. wool (more than one color)
2. silk
3. flax
4. whale
5. it's usually striped and (one stripe?) has a wavy texture to it.

No idea on the bonus, but very curious.