Eddie:8941 wrote:White COTTON jackets ?
Strong white COTTON trousers not nankeen?
Black LACQUERED gaiters?
What happened to white FLANNEL ?
What about linen trousers?
Tell me it isn't true - I think I got a headache coming on....
Dear Eddie and List-
An answer to the puzzle about "cotton" may be found in these few quotes from Florence Montgomery's Textiles in America, 1650 - 1870
Florence defines "cotton":
"A term used to designate certain woolen cloths from at least the fifteenth century, so one must be cautious in reading the term...the explanation of the use of the word cotton may lie in the fact that it had also the sense of nap or down, and the process of raising the nap of woollen cloths was called "cottoning" or "frizzing"...At the end of the sixteenth century, Manchester was "eminent for its woollen cloth or Manchester cottons"..."
One source suggested that it took until the mid-19th Century for "cotton" to come to refer exclusively to the fabric made from plant fiber.
Notice the line "2 pr of strong white cotton gun-mouthed trousers- not nankeen ". Nankeen is a durable brownish yellow fabric originally hand loomed in Nanking, China from the plant fiber cotton. Since the mid-18th Century trousers were commonly made from nankeen, so much so that nankeen became a name for trousers. Since the WO27/121 General Order 25th Jan 1814 specifically says "not nankeen", I figure that they were being extra sure that no one misunderstood and got plant fiber cotton trousers instead of wool fiber cotton trousers.
Cotton, having a nap, would be similar to flannel. The other references to "flannel jackets" paint a picture of soldiers in white woolen jackets and trousers - so no headache.