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ANTIMACASSAR, a separate covering for the back of a chair, or the head or cushions of a sofa, to prevent soiling of the permanent fabric. The name is attributable to the unguent for the hair commonly used in the early 19th century, - Byron calls it "thine incomparable oil, Macassar." The original antimacassar was almost invariably made of white crochet-work, very stiff, hard, and uncomfortable, but in the third quarter of the 19th century it became simpler and less inartistic, and was made of soft coloured stuffs, usually worked with a simple pattern in tinted wools or silk.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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