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.
Check. In textile fabrics a pattern of squares of alternate colors. Properly, a check should have no divisions between the squares more than a thin boundary line; that is, it should resemble the ordinary chess-board. [See Plaid] The word check is derived from a custom practiced by the courts of Europe of settling accounts and computing money by means of counters or tallies on a table covered with a square checkered cloth; the word having been originally derived from French echequier - a chess-board.