buckram adj : rigidly formal; "a starchy manner"; "the letter was stiff and formal"; "his prose has a buckram quality" [syn: starchy, stiff] n : a coarse cotton fabric stiffened with glue; used in bookbinding and to stiffen clothing v : stiffen with or as with buckram; "buckram the skirt"
- A coarse cloth of
linen or hemp, stiffened with size or glue, used in garments to
keep them in the form intended, and for wrappers to cover
- 1882: Buckram was probably from the first a stiffened material employed for lining, often dyed. — James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 557.
- A plant, also called ramson or wild garlic.
- This article is about the cloth. For Buckrams (Allium ursinum), see Ramsons.
In the Middle Ages, "bokeram" was fine cotton cloth, not stiff. The etymology of the term is uncertain; the commonly mentioned derivation from Bokhara is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, uncertain.
Millinery buckram is different from bookbinding buckram. It is impregnated with a starch, which allows it to be softened in water, pulled over a hat block, and left to dry into a hard shape. White buckram is most commonly used in hatmaking, though black is available as well. Millinery buckram comes in three weights: baby buckram (often used for children's and dolls' hats), single-ply buckram, and double buckram (also known as "theatrical crown").