A bustle made from dimity, 1881.

Dimity was a collective term for figured cloths of harness loom decorated with designs and patterns. It was a strong cotton cloth with various stripes and illustrations. It was only bleached or washed after loom less often dyed after looming, unlike fustian, usually dyed.[1]

It was a lightweight, sheer cotton fabric, used historically, having at least two warp threads thrown into relief to form fine cords. It was a cloth commonly employed for bed upholstery and curtains, and usually white, though sometimes a pattern was printed on it in colors. It was stout in texture, and woven in raised patterns.[2] Originally dimity was made of silk or wool, but since the 18th century it has been woven almost exclusively of cotton.


Diaper was another kind of Dimity made of linen and sometimes cotton as well. It was a twill weave structure with diamond patterns.[1]

A palampore is a dimity made in India and used for bed coverings.[3]


Dimity is also a girls' name, which, while still uncommon, is most popular in Australia.

Article of clothing

A dimity was a bit of draping worn by performers of the Poses Plastiques, which was an early form of strip tease. Performers wore flesh colored silk body stockings and a dimity to give the illusion of modesty.

Theatrical references

  • In the Finale of Act I of The Pirates of Penzance, the Pirates sing, "Pray observe the magnanimity we display to lace and dimity".
  • At the conclusion of The Insect Play, by brothers Karel and Josef Čapek and translated by Paul Selver, a group of school children sing: "As I went down to Shrewsbury Town, / I saw my love in a dimity gown: / And all so gay I gave it away, / I gave it away—my silver crown."


  1. ^ a b Montgomery, Florence M. (1984). Textiles in America 1650-1870 : a dictionary based on original documents, prints and paintings, commercial records, American merchants' papers, shopkeepers' advertisements, and pattern books with original swatches of cloth. Internet Archive. New York ; London : Norton. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-393-01703-8.
  2. ^ One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dimity". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 273.
  3. ^ "palampore". Dictionary.com.

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