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.
Widow's Weeds. "Weeds" signifies a garment, or a dress. The term is now almost obsolete, save in its retention to describe the mourning dress of a widow. The custom for widows to wear a peculiar style of cap is of Roman origin, and the wearing of some sort of weeds was compulsory for ten months. The term "weeds" first began to be used during the middle ages to signify an entire dress.