Challis (fabric)

Challis, sometimes referred to as challie[1] or chally,[2] is a lightweight woven fabric, originally a silk-and-wool blend, which can also be made from a single fibre, such as cotton, silk or wool,[3] or from man-made fabrics such as rayon.[4] It was first manufactured in Norwich, England, in about 1832, when it was designed as a thin, soft material similar to Norwich crepe, but matte-textured rather than glossy, and more pliable.[3][5] It was being exported to Australia in 1833.[6] Challis could be made with woven designs, or printed.[5] 'French challis' has a glossy finish.[3] The designs were often floral, paisley, or geometric,[7] and based on French silk patterns.[3]

The term is derived from an Anglo-Indian word, shallee, which means 'soft'.[7] At least one source suggests the term is American Indian.[8]


  1. ^ Stella Blum (1974). "Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898]". Courier Corporation.
  2. ^ S.N. Dexter North (1893). "Bulletin of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers". Vol. 23. p. 144. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d Dooley, William Henry (1924). Textiles for Commercial, Industrial, and Domestic Arts Schools. Istodia Publishing LLC. pp. 66–67. ISBN 9781449589363.
  4. ^ Stauffer, Jeanne (2004). Sewing Smart with Fabric. DRG Wholesale. p. 106. ISBN 9781592170180.
  5. ^ a b James, John (1857). History of the worsted manufacture in England: from the earliest times; with introductory notices of the manufacture among the ancient nations, and during the middle ages. Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts. p. 436.
  6. ^ "THE arrival of the Mary". January 14, 1833. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Maitra, K. K. (2007). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Clothing and Textiles. Mittal Publications. p. 72. ISBN 9788183242059.
  8. ^ Pizutto, Joseph James; Arthur Price; Allen C. Cohen (1987). Fabric science. Fairchild Publications. p. 352. ISBN 9780870055829. Retrieved 16 July 2013.

Media files used on this page

Jute nahtlos.png
Author/Creator: SoylentGreen, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Hessian Fabric made seamless. It will serve to create a normal map in Blender.
Batik Indonesia.jpg
Author/Creator: MartijnL, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0 nl
Batik cloth purchased in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
MacLachlan hunting tartan (D. W. Stewart).svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
A representation of the Maclachlan hunting tartan. This tartan is the oldest tartan to bear the name MacLachlan. This tartan is referred to as the Old MacLachlan, MacLachlan, and Hunting MacLachlan. This sett was first published in Old & Rare Scottish Tartans by D. W. Stewart in 1893.
Thread count: Y6, W4, Bk32, G32, Y6, W4, R48.
Sources: MacLachlan Clan Tartan WR1710 MacLachlan Hunting Tartan
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0