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Wool barathea evening waistcoat with silk collar and lining

Barathea, sometimes spelled barrathea,[1] is a soft fabric, with a broken twill weft rib, giving a surface that is lightly pebbled or ribbed, with the effect of a twill running both left and right. Original developed as a cloth for mourning clothes in the 1840s, it took several decades to become popular for other purposes, due to its association with bereavement.[2]

The yarns used cover various combinations of wool, silk and cotton. Worsted barathea (made with a smooth wool yarn) is often used for evening coats,[3] such as dress coats, dinner jackets, and military uniforms,[4] in black and midnight blue. Silk barathea, either all silk, or using cotton weft and silken warp, is widely used in the necktie industry.[1]


  1. ^ a b Frank P. Bennett (1914). A Cotton Fabrics Glossary. Guilford, Ct.: Frank P. Bennett & Co. pp. 684. Barathea.
  2. ^ MacLochlainn, Jason (2011). The Victorian Tailor: An Introduction to Period Tailoring. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 49. ISBN 9780312642334.
  3. ^ Flusser, Alan (2002). Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion. HarperCollins. p. 278. ISBN 0-06-019144-9.
  4. ^ "MIL-C-3727F, Military Specification for Cloth, Barathea, Wool". U.S. Department of Defense. 1987-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-04.