Longcloth refers to a plain cotton cloth originally made in comparatively long pieces. The name was applied particularly to cloth made in India. Longcloth, which is now commonly bleached, comprehends a number of various qualities. It is heavier than cambric, and finer than medium or Mexican. As it was used principally for underclothing and shirts, most of the longcloth sold in Great Britain passes through the hands of the shirt and underclothing manufacturers, who sell to the shopkeepers, though there is still a considerable if decreasing retail trade in piece-goods. The lower kinds of longcloth, which are made from American cotton, correspond in quality to the better kinds of shirting made for the East, but the best longcloths are made from Egyptian cotton, and are fine and fairly costly goods.