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  • Pongee

     Pongee.   Corruption of two Chinese words which signify
    "native color'' because applied to silks which were not supposed to take the dye easily.
    I. Fabric made of wild silk in the natural, tan color. Originated in China. Now made mostly in Shantung province on hand looms. Name Shantung applied loosely to a grade of pongee and to machine made cotton and silk combination and cotton imitations of pongee. Chinese pongee usually has rough yarns making an interesting texture. The practice of finishing with rice powder, which gives a dull effect, has been carried to excess resulting in adulteration of the silk; this fault of Chinese pongee has made it less salable than the1 Japanese product. Tussah, a Hindu word for a species of worm native to India, also refers to a variety of silk worms in China. Term is used loosely as a fabric name for a grade of pongee.
    Japanese pongee is rapidly replacing Chinese pongee in this country because of its standard quality and freedom from rice powder finish. The grade is indicated by momme weight. Bolts are 5° yards in length. Pongee is washable but loses much of its beauty after repeated washing which brings out a lustre. It should be dry when ironed to prevent stiffness which is not natural to the fabric. Pongee may be dyed certain colors but will fade in the sun.  Name incorrectly applied to many and varied materials. Uses: curtains, shirts, bloomers, slips, linings, dresses, art needlework and hand dyeing. Weave—-plain