A very fine, tightly woven silk that was used for early parachutes. During the first half of the 20C across Europe the scale and quality of this fabric, a whole parachute, was prized and well used. Recycled into wedding dresses, lingerie, bridesmaid dresses, then bed linen, sheer curtains and bedroom furnishing, this at times being pretty much the only luxury cloth available, not a single scrap was wasted.
The great 20thC decorator John Fowler (of Colefax & Fowler) started his career on a make-do-and-mend basis (see ticking and country house), drawing attention and acclaim with his ability to turn basic cloths into stunning furnishings; yet even for him, parachute silk was a relative luxury.
When interior design includes a measure of this sort of home crafted, make-do-and-mend attitude that made the English Country House style so attainable and comfortable, and by this token enviable, the result is an easy, relaxed home, without pretension.