Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford: Ch. 5 Annotation – “Paduasoy,” whatever that might be

Gaskell Blog © Katherine C.

She was quite clear about was her longing for a white “Paduasoy,” — whatever that might be; and six or seven letters were principally occupied in asking her lover to use his influence with her parents (who evidently kept her in good order) to obtain this or that article of dress, more especially the white “Paduasoy.”

Paduasoy is grosgrain weaved silk. The weave is far more delicate than the grosgrain we’re used to seeing today. Since it’s  a heavier material it draped beautifully and was often used in day wear clothing because it held up well and didn’t have the lustrous sheen of evening silk.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    I assumed it was the same thing as peau de soie, just mispronounced.

    1. Hello Amy, thank you for commenting!
      They are one and the same: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paduasoy 🙂

  2. I love all these Victorian tidbits. Thanks

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