Parlez vous franais?

English is full of French words for cooking: sauté, fricassee, entree, bouillon, and many more. Many of our textile terms also come from France, where the Industrial Revolution in weaving began. Here are just a few:

` Cambric or Chambray, named after the town of Cambrai in Northern France, is a fine fabric made of white linen or cotton that is woven wet. It is used for linings and handkerchiefs.
` Chiné is fabric with Chinese designs dyed or printed on the warp before weaving, 
` Piqué is a stiff, durable, ribbed fabric used for collars, cuffs and shirt fronts. (In French, piqué means a state of vexation. Maybe a warning to those weaving or sewing with this fabric?)
` Voile (French for "veil") is light sheer cotton or wool fabric in a fine, open plain weave.

And finally, the word crêpe does double duty on the food and fabric fronts. It can appear as a thin, eggy pancake or as crêpe de chine, a light, fine, plainwoven dress fabric produced either with all-silk warp and weft or else with a silk warp and hard-spun worsted weft. Don't confuse the cloth with the pancake, and you'll be fine.

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