Damask, by the way, takes its name from the city of Damascus where the fabric was first made, and is simply "linen so woven that a pattern is produced by the different directions of the thread," plain damask being the same fabric, but unfigured. The expression "double damask" need occasion no alarm; it does not imply double cost, a double cloth, or double anything except a double, or duplicate, design, produced by the introduction of an extra thread so woven in that the figure appears exactly the same on both sides of the cloth, making it reversible.
The next thing will be to decide between buying by the yard and buying a pattern cloth in which the border continues without a break all the way around, adding about ten per cent to the price. The designs in both cloths are the same in corresponding qualities. We are knights and ladies of the round table these days, and cloths woven specially for use thereon, with an all-round center design, come only in patterns. Cloths of this description are used also on square tables, as the wreath effect is very decorative. As to the quality of damask, it depends not so much upon weight - for the finest cloths are by no means the heaviest - as upon the size of the threads and the closeness and firmness with which they are woven. Avoid the loosely woven fabric; it will neither wear nor look so well as the one in which the threads are more compact. In the better damasks the threads are smoother and finer in finish.