cloth of gold, fabric woven wholly or partly of gold threads. From remote times gold has been used as material for weaving either alone or with other fibers. In India tapestries were made from gold threads as fine as silk. Cloth of gold was woven on Byzantine looms from the 7th to the 9th cent. and on those of Sicily, Cyprus, Lucca, and Venice in the 10th cent. Some narrow webs were woven in England, as well as palls of gold and silver cloth. Cloths of estate were magnificent gold tissues used to canopy or cover thrones. Baldachin, or fine cloth with gold warp and silk weft, was used ceremonially and also for rich clothing. The use of gold textiles and embroideries in the Middle Ages is illustrated by the pageantry at the meeting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520). Gold thread for weaving and embroidery is still made in India, Delhi alone producing many miles per annum, working in the ancient manner. Gold or silver gilt wire is drawn through holes, successively smaller, in a specially devised metal plate, and is used either round or flattened. Modern metallic cloth, known as lamé, is commonly made of a core yarn wound with a thin metal thread, or lamé. Various artificial metallic cloths are also produced.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.