1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Antimacassar

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ANTIMACASSAR, a separate covering for the back of a chair, or the head or cushions of a sofa, to prevent soiling of the permanent fabric. The name is attributable to the unguent for the hair commonly used in the early 19th century,—Byron calls it “thine incomparable oil, Macassar.” The original antimacassar was almost invariably made of white crochet-work, very stiff, hard, and uncomfortable, but in the third quarter of the 19th century it became simpler and less inartistic, and was made of soft coloured stuffs, usually worked with a simple pattern in tinted wools or silk.