Today I stumbled on an classic Swedish translation of Shakespeare: in Love's Labour's Lost, act V, sc II Biron says (in Shakespearean English):
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd
in russet yeas and honest kersey noes
In the most famous Swe translation, it comes out as "in tow(-yarn) yeas and vadmal noes"
Naturally, I looked up "russet" - here is a definition from Webster's universal college dictionary:
1. yellowish or reddish brown; 2. a coarse reddish brown or brownish homespun cloth formerly used for clothing [...]
Several 'net sources agree with the "coarse homespun" (and the colour, of course)
Now, my question to all you fibre people out there: is the tow of the Swe translation "just" a word, capturing the flavour, or does "russet" have anything to do with cloth woven of tow yarn?
Or: does anyone have a definition of russet, a bit more informative than "coarse homespun"?
(i can easily live with the kersey/vadmal parallell, even if they are not quite synonyms)