Probably from Doullens, a town of Picardy, in France, formerly celebrated for this manufacture.
dowlas (countable and uncountable, plural dowlases)
- (historical) A coarse linen cloth made in the north of England and in Scotland, later replaced by calico.
a. 1597, Shakespeare, William, Henry IV, Part 1, Act 3, Scene 3:
- Mistress Quickly: I bought you / a dozen of shirts to your back.
Falstaff: Dowlas, filthy dowlas. I have given them away / to bakers' wives. They have made bolters of them.