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.
Beige (Bazh). [from It. bigio -gray] In France in the early part of the present century there was a sort of twilled dress fabric woven with a gray cotton warp and an unbleached and undyed woolen weft, called Beige. At present in this country it is one of the few dress fabrics which has not departed from the original manufacture. Although it is now dyed to some extent, it still remains a twilled serge-like material woven with cotton warp and worsted weft, dyed in shades of gray, drab and slate; sometimes called debeige. There are several other definitions to "beige" besides the beige proper as a fabric. It may be coarse, unbleached serge, or it may be wool in its natural state. Beige damasse is a loose, light, woolen tissue, woven in patterns like Damask cloth, while beige de laine is a soft "woolen" beige used for ladies dresses. [See Damasse. ]