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.
Dowlas (Dow' Las). Like the names of many other cloths, dowlas is from a town-name, said to be from Doullens, a town in the department of Somme, France. Until the introduction of machine-woven cotton cloth, dowlas was a strong and coarse linen fabric, used for purposes not requiring fine linen, principally common shirting, ladies' skirts and chemises; it was a species of what was known at that time as holland (which see). The name is still perpetuated in a strong calico made in imitation of the linen fabric.