Pedro • Link
“Another early material that lasted into our grandmothers' time is tabby. This was originally a striped silk taffeta, but the word was later used as a general term for waved or watered cloth, like moiré silk. The name is taken from the Attabiy quarter of Baghdad where the cloth was made, as a 12th-century writer attests: "Here are made the stuffs called Attabiya, which are silks and cottons made of various colours." An early reference to this material occurs in the London Gazette: "Lost,...a child's Mantle, of Sky-colour Tabby."
“Because of the irregular striped pattern of tabby cloth, the word also came to be applied to a new breed of cat that began to make its appearance in England at the end of the 17th century...”