One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fine, soft cotton fabric, originally from South Asia.
- ‘This fabric dates back to seventeenth century India when it was sometimes called nansook, nyansook or nainsook and was thought to give ‘pleasure to the eye’.’
- ‘From cotton are made many qualities of unbleached, half-bleached, and bleached cloth, also calicoes, ginghams, muslins, nainsooks, cambrics, etc.’
- ‘For an undergarment of this style, nainsook, batiste, long-cloth and cambric are the best materials.’
- ‘Nainsook and lawn were made in extra fine, fine and regular cottons with the extra fine nainsook having a silk finish.’
- ‘This structure greatly increased their capabilities, allowing them to bleach, for the first time, such classes of cotton goods as wide sheetings and fancy lawns and nainsooks.’
Late 18th century: from Hindi nainsukh, from nain ‘eye’ + sukh ‘pleasure’.
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