This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Altar Cloth. A general term, formerly designating the closed case of linen used for covering an altar, and which was never allowed to be removed except for washing ; later, temporary coverings, whether of white linen or of rich brocaded cloth or embroidery. Ordinarily at present altar cloths are not used by the Protestant churches except at communion services.