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.
Chinchilla. The Indian name for a squirrel-like animal found in the mountains of South America. The ancient Peruivans were accustomed to employ the wool of these animals in the manufacture of fine fabrics. The fur is beautifully fine and of a pearly-gray color, rolled into little tufts, much used for muffs and tippets, lining for cloaks, etc. Chinchilla overcoating is a thick, heavy, double-woven fabric, with a napped surface rolled into little tufts in imitation of Chinchilla fur; manufactured in all colors and qualities, used for men's overcoats and ladies' cloaks. Chinchilla is made both all wool and "union," usually with a slight nap raised on the wrong side for the procurement of warmth. The fabric differs from Frieze in not being so heavy nor so shaggy, and from Montenac and Fur-Beaver in having the nap rolled or curled into small tufts. [See Weaving, Teasling]