from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Articles made of the blades or fiber of the Lygeum Spartum and Stipa tenacissima (syn. Macrochloa tenacissima), kinds of grass used in Spain and other countries for making ropes, mats, baskets, nets, and mattresses.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In com., a collective name for articles manufactured from esparto and its fiber, as mats, nets, cordage, and ropes.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It is stated in the Farmer's Encyclopædia that by splitting the wood of the white poplar into thin shavings like tape or braid, the stuff called sparterie, used for hats, is manufactured.
Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Economical, and Agricultural. Being also a Medical Botany of the Confederate States; with Practical Information on the Useful Properties of the Trees, Plants, and Shrubs