I have my guesses on this antique veil very sheer material but thought I'd seek thoughts from others here too. The closeup of the Victorian fabric shows long, coarse stiffened fibers. So I am guestimating it has to be a horsehair or hemp type fiber.
I know is is NOT cotton, silk, wool, synthetic.
It's hard to ID early fabrics - and ideas?
Are there any bumps or nubs in the fibres?
When you rub it briskly along your wrist, does the material heat up or remain cool?
OK..."lazy bones here" got to digging in my own reference library.... (How many times have I commented on the importance of books at hand????)
Years ago a friend bequested to me, the ownership of an amazing book: The Encyclopedia of Textiles by the Editors of American Fabrics Magazine., ©1960.
I focused on silk as that I am sure M.ATB is correct! I was surprised to read about a type of silk known as Tussah Silk. It is a "product of the uncultivated silkworm, which feeds on leaves of the oak tree, castor oil plant, cherry tree and uncultivated mulberry tree." The worms product is a "sturdy and rather tough silk filber". It is not as soft as true silk (meaning cultivated silk worms)
Another reference I found was to Nun's Veiling - "a substantial material and has the tendency to shine"
As I hold my cloth in different light angles, there is definitely a sheen. I think I am comfortable thinking this is made from silk. And just for your continued curiousity - there are over 80 terms referring to silk and weaves in this book! I value this treasure. Anytime someone has a terminology question - shoot me a note and I"ll look it up.
Thanks for helping me come to a better conslusion on this antique fabric!