One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A light linen-like cloth originally made in China and plain woven from ramie; = "grass-cloth". Also (more loosely): a variety of linen cloth produced in China or with Chinese designs.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Atlas. From French toile de Chine any of several cloths produced in China, grass-cloth (although this is apparently first attested slightly later than in English: 1846 or earlier) from toile cloth + de + Chine.
toile de Chine/twɑːl də ˈʃiːn/
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