FUSTIAN, a term which includes a variety of heavy woven cotton fabrics, chiefly prepared for men's wear. It embraces plain twilled cloth called jean, and cut fabrics similar to velvet, known as velveteen, moleskin, corduroy, &c. The term was once applied to a coarse cloth made of cotton and flax; now, fustians are usually of cotton and dyed various colours. In the reign of Edward III. the name was given to a woollen fabric. The name is said to be derived from El-Fustat, a suburb of Cairo, where it was first made; and certainly a kind of cloth has long been known under that name. In a petition to parliament, temp. Philip and Mary, "fustian of Naples" is mentioned. In the 13th and 14th centuries priests' robes and women's dresses were made of fustian, but though dresses are still made from some kinds the chief use is for labourers' clothes.
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