AskDefine | Define damask

Dictionary Definition

damask adj : having a woven pattern; "damask table linens"


1 a table linen made from linen damask
2 a fabric of linen or cotton or silk or wool with a reversible pattern woven into it

User Contributed Dictionary



From Damascus, where the fabric was originally made.


  1. An ornate silk fabric originating from Damascus.
    True damasks are pure silk.
  2. For the damask rose.
  3. The facial colour which is the colour of the damask rose.
  4. A grayish-pink color, like that of the damask rose.
    damask colour:   


for the damask rose
facial colour


* 1836: but what struck Tom's fancy most was a strange, grim-looking, high backed chair, carved in the most fantastic manner, with a flowered damask cushion, and the round knobs at the bottom of the legs carefully tied up in red cloth, as if it had got the gout in its toes. — Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
  • 1602: But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, / Feed on her damask cheek — William Shakespeare, Twlefth Night
  • 1849: Thursday. D. certainly improved. Better night. Slight tinge of damask revisiting cheek. — Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
  • 1849: They had a lurking suspicion even, that he died of secret love; though I must say there was a picture of him in the house with a damask nose, which concealment did not appear to have ever preyed upon. — Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
  • 1973: My cage has many rooms / Damask and dark / Nothing there sings, / Not even my lark. — Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd


  1. of a grayish-pink color, like that of the damask rose.






Extensive Definition

Damask () is a figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Made with one warp and one weft in which, generally, warp-satin and weft sateen weaves interchange. Twill or other binding weaves may sometimes be introduced. The term originally referred to ornamental silk fabrics, which were elaborately woven in colours, sometimes with the addition of gold and other metallic threads. Damask weaves are commonly produced today in silk, linen or linen-type fabrics which feature woven patterns featuring flowers, fruit, forms of animal life, and other types of ornament.
Damask was first produced in China, India, Persia, and Syria, then the Byzantine Empire followed. In the West, it was first known as diaspron or diaper, the term used in Constantinople. In the 12th century however, the city of Damascus, famous for its textiles, so far outstripped all other places for beauty of design that it gave the cloth its modern name.
Damask weaves in linen, cotton, synthetic or blended fibers are currently most commonly found in table linens. Damask cloths for table or bedding purposes are most commonly made of flax or tow yarns, but sometimes made partly of cotton or synthetic fibers. The finer damask textiles for these purposes are made of the best linen yarn, and although the latter is of a brownish, ecru color during the weaving processes, the ultimate fabric is pure white. The highlights in these cloths are obtained by long floats of warp and weft, and as these are set at right angles, they reflect the light differently according to the angle of the rays of light; the effect changes also with the position of the observer. Subdued effects are produced by shorter floats of yarn, and sometimes by special weaves. Any subject, however intricate, can be copied by this method of weaving, provided that expense is no object. The finest results are obtained when the so-called double damask weaves are used.
damask in Czech: Damašek (tkanina)
damask in German: Damast (Stoff)
damask in French: Damas (tissu)
damask in Italian: Damasco (tessuto)
damask in Macedonian: Дамаст
damask in Dutch: Damast (textiel)
damask in Polish: Adamaszek
damask in Slovenian: Damast
damask in Swedish: Damast
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