halfwool [half-wool]

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Senior Member
I would be very grateful if you could help me with this sentence.I have some difficulty understanding this sentence (short story from Saki, "THE MOUSE").

Theodoric was goaded into the most audacious undertaking of his life. Crimsoning to the hue of a beetroot and keeping an agonised watch on his slumbering fellow-traveller, he swiftly and noiselessly secured the ends of his railway-rug to the racks on either side of the carriage, so that a substantial curtain hung athwart the compartment. In the narrow dressing-room that he had thus improvised he proceeded with violent haste to extricate himself partially and the mouse entirely from the surrounding casings of tweed and halfwool. As the unravelled mouse gave a wild leap to the floor, the rug, slipping its fastening at either end, also came down with a heart-curdling flop, and almost simultaneously the awakened sleeper opened her eyes.

What is the halfwool?
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It must mean fabric that is half-wool and half some other stuff, probably cotton in those days.
    Tweed is for outer garments like trousers and jackets, so presumably 'halfwool' means underwear and its smooth and lighter weight. The term doesn't seem to be used these days.
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