Jun 10, 2006

Rapid Rhetoric - PASSEMENTERIE

This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

passementerie - n. Ornamental trimming for a garment, as braid, lace, or metallic beads.

There was a French artisan guild of passementiers, and an apprenticeship of seven years was required before one became a master in one of the guild subdivisions. As class-based clothing distinctions became less pronounced, particularly after the French Revolution, there was less demand for the craftwork of passementiers.

The industry also suffered from the gradual switch toward more plain and functional military uniforms, as opposed to the ostentatious designs that dominated officer uniforms prior to World War I.

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