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Terms for Welsh cloth

Please note: there are lots of ways in Welsh and English to describe fabrics, but there are regional variations and inconsistency in naming.

Brethyn Cartref (home spun and woven cloth) is a general term used in Wales to describe the cloth produced initially by local tennant farmers and their families, but perhaps also later in 1700's by families renting weaver's cottages. 

Welsh Plains is the term found in written references by international merchants and traders. It appears to describe several sorts of cloth: loosely woven, felted etc 

Webs is the term used in Wales by for the fabric produced in 120 yard lengths in rural cottages for export - Webs could also be called Welsh Plains, but it often has specific widths and lenght mentioned for trade.

Flannel is a cloth which again has different qualities, from light well finished flannel for underwear to tough felted flannel for army jackets. This may be a result of lighter or heavier fulling. 

There are other terms for the cloth - to be included ....

From Caroline Skeel (1)

The cloth was known by various names: Welsh cloth, pannus Wallie, frieze, cotton, flannel:

Cotton was a coarse woollen material (cottoning meant raising the nap with teasels and then shearing it to a uniform length).         

Flannel was different from cotton (although sometimes thought to be the same).

‘White’ implies undyed.

‘Plain’ implies simple woven cloth without after dressing.

‘Frieze’ was a coarse cloth, very warm – for winter clothes.

Shearing cloth ie cutting off kemp fibres etc - this mainly took place in Shrewsbury.

Cloth for export was dyed in Shrewsbury, although some dying took place in Wales too for local use.

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