1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cambric
CAMBRIC, a word derived from Kameryk or Kamerijk, the Flemish name of Cambrai, a town in the department of Nord, France, where the cloth of this name is said to have been first made. It was originally made of fine linen. There is a record of a privy purse expenditure in 1530 for cambric for Henry VIII.’s shirts. Cambric has been used for many years in the manufacture of handkerchiefs, collars, cuffs, and for fine underclothing; also for the best shrouds, and for fine baby linen. The yarns for this cloth are of very fine quality, and the number of threads and picks often reaches and sometimes exceeds 120 per inch. Embroidery cambric is a fine linen used for embroidery. Batiste, said to be called after Baptiste, a linen-weaver of Cambrai, is a kind of cambric frequently dyed or printed. All these fabrics are largely copied in cheaper materials, mixtures of tow and cotton, and in many cases cotton alone, taking the place of the original flax line yarns.