Roshanara is the trade name for a silk or silk-worsted wool blend fabric with a rough crepe texture. Roshanara was popular in the 20s and 30s, but was notorious for shrinking when wet. It is nearly impossible to find Roshanara, or a Roshanara equivalent, today.
Roshanara was first introduced into New Zealand in 1920, but appears in ads in the US from 1918. The name probably comes from the famous Roshanara Club in Delhi, which was in turn named after the Mughal princess Roshanara Begum.
While Roshanara was primarily made of silk (possibly with a small amount of wool), it was meant to replace wool fabrics, which were in short supply due to the use of wool in soldiers uniforms during WWI. This ad from an April 1918 El Paso Herald extolls the economic virtues of silk, and encourages women to buy it instead of wool. Note the inclusion of the very patriotic and military inspired ‘Khaki Kool’ fabric.
The exotic rough texture of Roshanara, and how closely its introduction co-oincided with the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, let to its popularity in Egyptianist fashions, like the two below. Isn’t the snake-basket hat on the first fabulously ridiculous?
Roshanara was never more than a novelty fabric, and the small niche it had filled as a wool-replacement in WWI was invalidated by the demand for silk parachutes due to the importance of air forces in WWII.