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Old 08-13-2009, 04:19 AM   #1
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Translation help requested - 'turchino' (It.)

Not sure if the Lounge is technically the right forum for this request - but it has heaps of erudition, so thought I'd try here first.

Does 'turchino' have any other meaning than 'deep blue' in Italian?

A book I'm working on has :
"revealing not only the Italian bed with its crackling high-piled mattress of turchino"

I thought, from the context, it might be some sort of fabric - (it really may just mean the colour, altho that seems rather inconsequential).

I want to add a footnote explaining the word, so want to get it right.

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Old 08-13-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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My google skills turned no other meaning other than blue
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:59 PM   #3
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Maybe the bedding is piled as high as the Turchino Pass?

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passo_del_Turchino
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:09 PM   #4
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Patricia has a good thought on the Turchino Pass... although initially I would associate it with the color blue.

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Old 08-14-2009, 07:59 AM   #5
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for the replies.

Patricia's suggestion is an ingenious one, but I think it I'll go with the supposition that it just refers to the colour blue.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
Not sure if the Lounge is technically the right forum for this request - but it has heaps of erudition, so thought I'd try here first.

Does 'turchino' have any other meaning than 'deep blue' in Italian?

A book I'm working on has :
"revealing not only the Italian bed with its crackling high-piled mattress of turchino"

I thought, from the context, it might be some sort of fabric - (it really may just mean the colour, altho that seems rather inconsequential).

I want to add a footnote explaining the word, so want to get it right.

Hi what is exactly the Italian phrase/context? I think the "cerulean/deep blue" could be a good translation, but it could take various meanings ("made up by cerulean fabric", "cerulean-coloured" and so on).

And, for any translation help:

Cruscle, the historical Vocabolario della Crusca which isn't much of use for everyday Italian, but could help for old-fashioned works
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:53 AM   #7
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I wonder whether mattress ticking was traditionally made of blue fabric in Italy?
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
I wonder whether mattress ticking was traditionally made of blue fabric in Italy?
I rather think they were made out of undied, carded wool (XIX-XX century, there's a war song against officers who stay home and sleep with their wives on "beds made of wool") or, before, feathers and fibers like natural cotton or linen (flax is originally blue, before it's treated and freed from wooden parts). Poorer household or members of household would use straw, both in the form of beds of straw (like in Heidi!) and of sacks shaped like mattress, whose filling was changed from time to time with fresh straw.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliette View Post
I rather think they were made out of undied, carded wool (XIX-XX century, there's a war song against officers who stay home and sleep with their wives on "beds made of wool") or, before, feathers and fibers like natural cotton or linen (flax is originally blue, before it's treated and freed from wooden parts). Poorer household or members of household would use straw, both in the form of beds of straw (like in Heidi!) and of sacks shaped like mattress, whose filling was changed from time to time with fresh straw.
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.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliette View Post
Hi what is exactly the Italian phrase/context? I think the "cerulean/deep blue" could be a good translation, but it could take various meanings ("made up by cerulean fabric", "cerulean-coloured" and so on).
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"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
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.
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.

Last edited by Sparrow; 08-22-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:20 PM   #11
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Well, I've had a look in Therèse de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework, Mrs Beeton's Book of Needlework and Mesdames Caulfield and Saward's Dictionary of Needlework. These are THE 19th century manuals on the topic. And none of them mention turchino.
Nor does Weldons' encyclopedia.

Turchino is cognate with "turkish"; and some types of pillow ticking were made from Turkish striped fabric. But I can't find any mention of the actual word in the standard texts.

So, if it's not a fabric, then it might be a stuffing; probably not wool (which doesn't crackle).
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:32 PM   #12
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http://www3.telus.net/Quattrocento_F...lothgloss.html

is "a glossary of terms relating to clothing in Florence of the Quattrocento".

The entry for turchino is "a turquoise blue".

I guess they'd know if it had a specific fabric connotation - but it seems it doesn't.
(Turquoise also being related to 'Turkish'. )
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:40 PM   #13
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I asked my mom about turchino. It means little turk and is a special pattern (striped white and blue) normally used on linen bed covers.It's also the colour we call turquoise, of course (türkis in Germany) the blue in the pattern is turkish blue, that's why the name

Last edited by mtravellerh; 08-22-2009 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
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).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
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.
You're welcome

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
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:42 PM   #15
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I asked my mom about turchino. It means little turk and is a special pattern (striped white and blue) normally used on linen bed covers.
Perfect! Makes sense
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