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Posted by on Jan 13, 2022 in TellMeWhy |

Where Did Doily Get Its Name?

Where Did Doily Get Its Name?

Where Did Doily Get Its Name? Let’s first discover what that amusing term doily means. A cloth merchant named Doiley, or Doyley, is the guy whose last name historians believe is the source of the word “doily.” He was a merchant and lived in the fifteenth century. His name eventually came to be associated with designer napkins, in the same way that we frequently refer to tissues as “Kleenex” or adhesive bandages as “Band-aid.” Originally, doilies were elegant napkins.

Let us now embark on a historical journey to Victorian England. Cotton thread is one of the many things that were manufactured by machines yet were formerly created by hand. To strengthen cotton thread even further, a unique method was created in 1844. Making things with this sturdy cotton thread quickly and easily became popular thanks to crocheting. Frequently, “openwork” textiles resembling lace were created with this thread. A piece of art having ornamental gaps or holes is called openwork.

These cotton “doilies” gained popularity both in their creation and use. Mostly, doilies were used to shield furniture. They served as coasters to shield wooden tables from moisture and heat. To maintain the furniture’s fresh appearance, they were also applied to the arms of couches and chairs. For the backs of chairs and couches, a particular type of doily known as an “antimacassar” was utilised. Many men used Macassar hair oil; the “antimacassar” kept oily stains off the furniture! In addition to being functional, daisies were also attractive. Dressers and other flat surfaces were covered with them. Doilies were used on dining tables in place of tablecloths. No matter how tiny the dish or glass, they might use a different size doily for each one!

Do doilies always seem to be white, have you noticed? This is because crocheted doilies were meant to be heavily worn and frequently cleaned. Since doilies were intended to absorb oils, grease, and perspiration from people’s hands and heads, stains would appear on them quickly. It was easier to bleach white cotton than coloured threads, which would have required more attention during laundry. Tea or other natural dyes may have been used to colour daisies that had stains that would not come out.

Some ladies had a business making crochet doilies. Others found it to be a fun diversion. Irish ladies were taught to crochet by groups of nuns during the Famine. They might make money and provide for their families by doing this. Later on, crochet gained popularity. Women’s periodicals provided their readers with patterns. To enhance and add even more decoration to their doilies, women turned to needlework and other fibre arts.

For a long time, doilies were very popular. By the late 1930s, they were starting to go out of style. Modernism replaced ornateness in architecture and design. The excess doily material started to seem unnatural. Crocheted doilies were replaced with paper doilies.

However, crocheted doilies never truly disappeared. A few feminists developed an interest in doilies in the 1970s. To them, doilies were a kind of art. Many forms of “domestic” art, they contended, have never been recognised as genuine works of art. They arranged doily art shows to refute that assertion. There, quilting, needlepoint, and other traditionally feminine arts and crafts were on show alongside doilies.

Many people these days love creating new uses for doilies. Doily frames are used as wall art, and they are sewn into pillows and comforters as well as lampshades. To create three-dimensional art, some people even dip them into glue, clay, or concrete. Of course, a lot of people still utilise them for what they were intended.

At formal events like weddings, paper doilies are frequently used to serve food to guests. Moreover, paper doilies are utilised in crafts, particularly around the Valentine’s Day season. There are designs for paper fans, snowflakes, lanterns, envelopes, and doily Christmas trees. Doilies were intended to be ornamental as well as functional. These days, paper and fabric doilies are utilised in a wide variety of innovative crafts and artwork.

Content for this question contributed by Enoch Ornstead, resident of Alta Loma, California, USA