One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A heavy, rich corded or embossed silk fabric, popular in the 18th century.
- ‘In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets, when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta, there lived a tailor in Gloucester.’
- ‘The boy's thoughts drift to the tired old tailor sewing the Mayor's Christmas coat while Simpkin the cat captures mice dressed in waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta and hides the last spool of cherry-coloured twist.’
- ‘How many of today's children know what a periwig is, let alone a waistcoat made of paduasoy?’
Late 16th century (as poudesoy), from French pou-de-soie, of unknown origin; altered by association with Padua say, denoting a cloth resembling serge.
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