AskDefine | Define cambric

Dictionary Definition

cambric n : a finely woven white linen

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A finely-woven fabric made originally from linen but often now from cotton.



See: batiste


  • 1851 George Dodd, Charles Knight - Knight's Cyclopædia of the industry of all nations, 1851
    Scotch cambric, now largely manufactured, is a kind of imitation cambric, made from fine hard-twisted cotton.

Extensive Definition

Cambric or chambray is a lightweight cotton cloth used as fabric for lace and needlework. Cambric, also known as batiste in a large part of the world, was was first used in Cambrai, France as early as 1595. It is possibly named after Baptiste of Cambrai. It is a closely woven, firm fabric with a slight glossy surface produced by calendering. Modern cambric is made from Egyptian or American cotton and sometimes flax, but also polymer fibres can be added. Cambric is also used as a coating for professional playing cards, to protect them for longer and make them easier to handle.
Cambric is mentioned in the song Scarborough Fair, with the lyrics "tell her to make me a cambric shirt".
The early David Bowie song "Come and buy my toys" (1967) also mentions a cambric shirt, possibly as a tip of the hat to "Scarborough Fair".
cambric in German: Batist
cambric in Spanish: Batista (tejido)
cambric in French: Batiste
cambric in Italian: Batista (tessuto)
cambric in Japanese: カンブリック
cambric in Polish: Batyst
cambric in Russian: Батист
cambric in Slovenian: Batist
cambric in Finnish: Batisti
cambric in Swedish: Batist
cambric in Turkish: Patiska
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