Dowlas was a strong coarse linen cloth of the 16th and 17th centuries, and initially, it was manufactured in Brittany.[1] Later the fabric was also produced at England and Scotland in the 18th century. Dowlas was identical to sailcloth.[2] The cloth was also imitated in cotton for same use.[3]


The word is spelled in many different ways, but the above is the common way of spelling adopted in factories, and it appears in the same form in Shakespeare's First Part of Henry IV, Act III scene 3. The dowlas of the early twentieth century was a good, strong and closely woven linen fabric.[4]


Dowlas was a plain cloth, similar to sheeting, but usually coarser. It was made in several qualities, from line warp and weft to two warp and weft, and is used chiefly for aprons, pocketing, soldiers' gaiters, linings and overalls. The finer makes were sometimes made into shirts for workmen, and occasionally used for heavy pillow-cases.[4]


  1. ^ Dow, George Francis (2012-08-09). Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Courier Corporation. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-486-15785-6.
  2. ^ Picken, Mary Brooks (2013-04-16). The Language of Fashion - Dictionary and Digest of Fabric, Sewing and Dress. Read Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4474-9361-7.
  3. ^ Tortora, Phyllis G.; Johnson, Ingrid (2013-09-17). The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles. A&C Black. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-60901-535-0.
  4. ^ a b One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dowlas". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 457.

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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
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