Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Satinet - A Nineteenth Century Fabric

While at the Textile Society of America Biennial I attended a presentation by Peggy Hart, a weaver and author of Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovations, 2017.

The subject of her paper was a fabric manufactured in the early industrial period in the mills of 18 cities in New England, called satinet. Production began in 1820 in the Capron Mill located in Uxbridge,  MA.  According to Hart, the fabric was woven commercially from 1820 to the 1860's with a cotton warp and woolen weft.  Initially woven on hand looms and then on modified cotton power looms in  NE mills with production spreading westward .  Production was usually locally marketed as fabric for whaling and sea-going outer wear and later for water-proof military uniforms and workingmen and women's clothing.  Suddenly available machine spun cotton for warp and the introduction of Merino wool in 1820 for the wool weft increased the availability.  However the invention of woolen looms that could produce all wool fabrics, said Hart, gradually replaced satinet with flannel, kersey and other woolen fabrics.

Constructed in a satin weave with a smooth, somewhat luxurious hand, but unlike satin with its cotton warp and wool weft.  The weft or filling threads form the face of the fabric.  It is finished as a wool and undergoes a fulling process.

One of the benefits of attending this large symposium is the opportunity to acquire information on a huge variety of subjects on which one might not be familiar.  Thank you Peggy.