There are a number of references to "bliant" in The Mabinogion, but I cannot track the word down using my trusty Webster's Unabridged or Google (I get baby names, etc). Can anyone help? For example, in The Lady of the Fountain we have "...cushions a-plenty with covers of red bliant...", "...and of bliant was the table napery...", "...an ensign of pure black bliant...". Bliant always appears i the company of silk, so I assume it was an expensive but durable fabric.

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    A quick google turns up a couple of references (but not particularly authoritative) that suggest "bliant" means linen.
    – Steve Bird
    Mar 19, 2022 at 19:49
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    For example, "Fine linen, as cambric or lawn", according to google.com/books/edition/Archaeologia_Cambrensis/… Mar 19, 2022 at 19:56
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    Patricia Williams, "Dress and Dignity in the Mabinogion". In: Robin Netherton and Gale R. Owen-Crocker (eds.), Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Volume 8, Boydell Press 2012, pp. 83-114. On page 95: "None of the citations in which these items occur actually distinguishes precisely what fibre bliant was. The towels and tablecloth suggest linen, but the other items could have been silk or even fine wool."
    – njuffa
    Mar 19, 2022 at 20:04
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    "bliant" is not listed in the full OED.
    – user55099
    Mar 19, 2022 at 21:27
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    professional historian girlfriend suggests you check alternate spellings - bileaux or something like that -
    – MCW
    Mar 20, 2022 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


A Pocket Dictionary Welsh to English by William Richards published in 1861 lists Bliant as "fine linen, cambric".

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