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Attested since the end of the 18th century. Origin unknown.

In one of the earliest mentions, "The Statistical Account of Scotland", 1793, by John Sinclair, page 593, we read in a paragraph devoted to weavers: "Besides these, they are now much employed in working a thin kind of coarse linen called Silesias, vulgarly Scrims, whereof each piece is 27 or 30 inches broad ..".



scrim ‎(plural scrims)

  1. A kind of light cotton or linen fabric, often woven in openwork patterns, -- used for curtains, etc,.
  2. A large military scarf, usually camouflage coloured and used for concealment when not used as a scarf.
  3. A woven, nonwoven or knitted fabric composted of continuous strands of material used for reinforcing or strengthening membranes.
  4. (theater) A theater drop that appears opaque when a scene in front is lighted and transparent or translucent when a scene in back is lighted.
    • 2007 January 22, Steve Smith, “In Austin, Echoes of a Distant War in an Opera’s American Premiere”, New York Times:
      Mummified mannequins dangling above the set, illuminated from within, were a heavy-handed touch, but the designer George Tsypin’s translucent scrims and painted drops beautifully conveyed the passage of sun-blasted days and bone-chilling nights on the edge of civilization.
  5. Thin canvas glued on the inside of panels to prevent shrinking, checking, etc.