Definition of tarlatan in English:



  • [mass noun] A thin, open-weave muslin fabric, used for stiffening ball dresses.

    • ‘It took merely a few minutes for her to grow bored, and she stood, and with wobbling limbs made her way to the bag, produced a flowered sage tarlatan dress, put it on, and straightened her hair.’
    • ‘Get some of the starch out of the tarlatan by stretching, crinkling, and pulling it a bit at a time.’
    • ‘Lon's heart skipped a beat when he saw her, standing in her pink tarlatan dress, her hair done up in curls, and her hand clutching a dainty glass of champagne.’
    • ‘Balanchine famously declared that "ballet is a woman," but the aphorism was far truer in Degas's day, when the ballet was an almost exclusively feminine preserve of layered tarlatan skirts, pink satin slippers and ribbons.’
    • ‘For best results, use cheesecloth, or very soft tarlatan to wipe the surface of the plate.’


Early 18th century: from French tarlatane, probably of Indian origin.