1) A cotton or linen fabric, decorated with a pattern composed of small geometric motifs, usually diamonds.
The earliest references link it with fabrics of Byzantine or Levantine origin, rather than from Ypres in Flanders, a speculative explanation which has not historical or etymological basis. It was used initially for towels, table-cloths and the like: 1437 cum duobus towels de diaper, York
1567 one Dosen of bordclothes whereof two of Dyap[er], Fixby
1640 a linen table cloth and a dyaper, Elmswell. Diaper napkins are noted from the early sixteenth century: 1532 vj napkyns of plane cloth and vj of diapar, Hawton, Nottinghamshire
1535 ij dosyn napkings of diaper, Stillingfleet
1582 iij dyper napkinges, Faxfleet. Note: 1669 3 diber table cloths, Selby.