Why is plain weave called tabby?

plain weave

Margaret asked me a great question in a comment to my post about rigid heddle weaving. The question — why is plain weave called tabby?

I had no idea, so decided to do some googling.

Here’s what wikipedia has to say: “According to the 12th-century geographer al-IdrÄ«sÄ«, the city of Almería in Andalusia manufactured imitations of Iraqi and Persian silks called ‘attābÄ«, which David Jacoby identifies[4] as “a taffeta fabric made of silk and cotton originally produced in Attabiya, a district of Baghdad.”

I have no idea if this is true, or if there’s another answer, perhaps a better or more accurate one.

So all you weavers, lexicographers, and people who have high speed and like to do searches out there: what do YOU know or can find about why plain weave is called tabby?

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