1) Initially a colour which is described as ‘brown, with a preponderance of yellow or orange’ (OED). It came to be used frequently of cloth which had that colour.
1341 lego Agneti … tunicam meam de tawne, York
1395 ‘10 ells of Tawne’, York
1493-4 Item sol. pro xij virgis panni coloris de tawne pro vestura choristarum, Ripon
1517 meam nigram togam duplicatam cum le tawne sarcynet, Rudby. The modern form of the word may date from the early sixteenth century: 1504 oon tawney gowne, Ripon
1526 a tawney jackett, Halifax
c.1537 certen remanents of tawny … a pece of tawny chamlett, Halifax.