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.
Henrietta. [Named in honor of the gay and brilliant Henrietta Maria, queen of England in 1624] A dress fabric, which, notwithstanding the revival of its popularity during the last few years, dates its origin well back into the 17th century; though the prominent position fashion has at present given it among fine dress goods would lead many to imagine it a new-comer. Formerly, Henrietta cloth was a superior black dress fabric of silk warp and the finest of worsted weft, but at present it is to a large extent made of all wool. It is woven with a twilled face and a plain back, and is like cashmere dress fabric in all other respects except the finish -being more lustrous. This lustre is due to the elaborate process of "finishing" which Henrietta undergoes after leaving the loom, consisting first of scouring with hot soap suds, and stretching it on a frame to dry; then the whole web is carefully examined for burrs and knots, which are carefully removed by hand. Next the cloth is sheared or cropped, to remove the tips of projecting fibres which were unavoidably raised in weaving and scouring. To produce the lustre, it is now wound tightly around a huge drum and boiled for three hours in water, heated at a temperature of 180 degeees F. It is then unwound and the ends reversed, and again boiled for three hours. Finally it is pressed in a hydraulic press, in which the cloth is heated by inserting iron plates between the folds or by forcing steam through it while in the press; the last process adding to the smoothness and developing the lustre characteristic of well finished Henrietta cloth. The fabric is known to the trade as "silk-warp" and "all wool" Henriettas. The cotton-and-wool twills with a "sheen" finish cannot be called Henriettas or cashmeres in the full meaning of these terms. They are properly coburgs. [See Coburg]