Originally Posted by Patricia
Yes, but the ticking is the fabic of the cover.
In the UK pillow and mattress ticking was traditionally a striped fabric, very closely woven (often with a twill weave), so that the stuffing did not escape.
As in Italy, there were a variety of fillings.
Now, that would depend on the period the text was written. 1850-onward it should have been white or cheaper stuff (coarse flax?); bed linen was brought with the bride's trousseau and was white for traditional connection with virginity (erk).
Originally Posted by Sparrow
The word 'turchino' appears on it's own in an English sentence:
"revealing not only the Italian bed with its crackling high-piled mattress of turchino"
What puzzled me was that 'turchino' appeared in an English novel - as though it was in common usage, and known to English readers on the nineteenth century.
If it was intended for 'blue' - why not just say 'blue', rather than assuming your readers would be familiar with the Italian?
If 'turchino' was the name of a fabric from that era, it would be more understandable why the word was used.
P.S. Thanks for the interest in my original query - it's much appreciated.
Maybe they used turchino to reinforce the reference to Italy? I have tried to check some dictionary compiled in the XIX century for the English language, but nothing- and nothing on the Italian side too, it's always an adjective, and never on its own.
As an adjective, I can say that it's a rather poetic version: turchino vs azzurro (used significantly by Dante in the Inferno, which is supposed to have lower register than the rest of the poem) vs cilestro (Dante again, Purgatory) vs zaffiro (Paradise). The other classical use of the "blue" colour was azzurro (in fact blu
comes late as a gallicism), which one can find in Manzoni's Bethroted
, a XIX century novel. Also, turchino occurs first in craftmanship manuals, but for glass, and not for textile unless it's out technical writings.
This is what I could gather... I hope I've been helpful