Checked cloths for trousers, etc. The origin of this name is supposed to have been a blunder for “tweels,” somewhat blotted and badly written in 1829. The Scotch manufacturer sent a consignment of these goods to James Locke, of London, who misread the word, and as they were made on the banks of the Tweed, the name was appropriated and accordingly adopted.
However, the Anglo-Saxon twaed (duplex), which gave rise to tweddlin (cloth that is tweeled), and twedden sheets, is more likely to have given rise to the word. In fact, tweels and tweddles both mean cloth in which the woof crosses the warp vertically.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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