brocade


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brocade

(brōkād`), fabric, originally silk, generally reputed to have been developed to a high state of perfection in the 16th and 17th cent. in France, Italy, and Spain. In China the weaving of silk, which dates from the Shang dynasty, developed into complex patterns including moiré, damask, and brocade. Brocade is characterized by a compact warp-effect background with one or more fillings used in the construction to make the motif or figure. The filling threads, often of gold or silver in the original fabrics of this name, float in embossed or embroidered effects in the figures. Motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or other design. Its uses include curtaining, hangings, pillows, portieres, evening wraps, and church vestments. Similar techniques are used in the manufacture of brocades made of cotton and synthetic fibers.

Brocade

 

an elaborately patterned fabric with a silk warp. The weft or, less frequently, the warp contains metallic threads with gold, silver, or materials simulating them. In antiquity, only gold and silver threads were used in brocading. Subsequently, alloys containing only a small amount of precious metals replaced gold and silver. Brocading usually involves winding a thin metallic ribbon around a silk or cotton thread to impart to the fabric the necessary flexibility and, at the same time, to make the fabric sufficiently heavy and sparkling.

Brocades are known to have been made in China as early as the first years of the Common Era. Brocading spread from China to Asia Minor (Syria, Persia) and later to southern Europe (Sicily, Byzantium, Italy, Spain, and France). The first attempts to manufacture brocade in Russia date to the late 16th century, when an Italian master was invited to come to Moscow. Brocades were worn as formal dress by the upper classes and as vestments by the clergy. The fabric was also used to decorate interiors.

At present (1974), very little brocade is manufactured. It is used mainly for theatrical costumes and as decorative trimming. Brocades have been replaced by synthetic fabrics made from such materials as strips of film lined with foil.

REFERENCES

Klein, V. Inozemnye tkani, bytovavshie v Rossii do XVII veka i ikh terminologiia. Moscow, 1925.
Sobolev, N. N. Ocherkipo istorii ukrasheniia tkanei. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Miliavskaia, Z. V. “Dekorativnye tkani.” In Otdelochnye materialy dlia Dvortsa Sovetov. Moscow, 1945.
Rodon, Y., and C. Font. L’Historique du métier pour la fabrication des étoffes façonnées. Paris-Liège, 1934.

brocade

[brō′kād]
(textiles)
Fabric made in a jacquard weave, usually with raised designs, and having a luxurious appearance; made of silk, polyester, or blends.

brocade

a. a rich fabric woven with a raised design, often using gold or silver threads
b. (as modifier): brocade curtains
References in classic literature ?
She was formal in manner, and made calls in rustling, steel-grey brocades and a tall bonnet with bristling aigrettes.
Ada's sleeping-room was all flowers--in chintz and paper, in velvet, in needlework, in the brocade of two stiff courtly chairs which stood, each attended by a little page of a stool for greater state, on either side of the fire-place.
There were bits of old brocade on the walls, and the piano was covered with a piece of silk, beautiful and tarnished; in one corner was a copy of the Venus of Milo, and in another of the Venus of the Medici.
In the middle of the hall, opposite the great door, a platform of gold brocade, placed against the wall, a special entrance to which had been effected through a window in the corridor of the gold chamber, had been erected for the Flemish emissaries and the other great personages invited to the presentation of the mystery play.
In the middle of the room there is a big ottoman; and this, with the carpet, the Morris wall-papers, and the Morris chintz window curtains and brocade covers of the ottoman and its cushions, supply all the ornament, and are much too handsome to be hidden by odds and ends of useless things.
The old man, with his sleeves turned up, was gathering up in folds a piece of gold-flowered brocade, so as the better to exhibit its luster.
The furniture was framed in gold and upholstered in satin brocade and it consisted of easy chairs, divans and stools in great variety.
Cornelius saw nothing but the golden brocade cap, tipped with lace, such as the Frisian girls wore; he heard nothing but some one whispering into the ear of the turnkey.
On a stool, at the old lady's feet, sat Polly, looking up with intent face and eager eyes, quite absorbed in the history of a high-heeled brocade shoe which lay in her lap.
The walls are hung with gold and silver brocade tapestry.
Her wedding dress was to have been a gown of white brocade with purple violets in it.
Mary folks prefer plush brocade and sideboards with mirrors and ornamentations, I fancy.