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Glossary of Fabrics

A

Absorbency
The ability of a fabric to take in moisture.

AcetateA manufactured fiber formed by compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or wood pulp, and acedic acid that has been extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.

AcrylicA manufactured fiber, its major properties include a soft, wool-like hand, machine washable and dryable and excellent color retention.

AlpacaA natural hair fiber obtained from the Alpaca sheep, a domesticated member of the llama family.

AngoraThe hair of the Angora goat. Also known as Angora mohair. Angora may also apply to the fur of the Angora rabbit.

Antique SatinA reversible satin-weave fabric with satin floats on the technical face and surface slubs on the technical back created by using slub-filling yarns. It is usually used with the technical back as the right side for drapery fabrics and often made of a blend of fibers.

ArgyleA pattern designed with different color diamond shapes knit into a fabric.

B

Bamboo FabricBamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. Bamboo fabric has been growing in popularity because it has many unique properties and is more sustainable than most textile fibers. Bamboo fabric is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties, and is to some extent antibacterial.

BarkclothA textured woven, usually printed cotton fabric that was popular in the 30s-40s and 50s as an interiors fabric. The prints were often large vines, leaves and florals.

Basket WeaveA distinctive technique of weaving that creates a fabric resembling basket work with interwoven fibers. Basketweave fabric is most common in home decor fabrics.

BatikA method of dyeing fabric where some areas are covered with wax or pastes made of glues or starches to make designs by keeping dyes from penetrating in pattern areas. Multicolored and blended effects are obtained by repeating the dyeing process several times, with the initial pattern of wax boiled off and another design applied before dyeing again in a new color.

BatisteA lightweight, plain weave fabric, semi-sheer and usually made of cotton or cotton blends. Appropriate for heirloom sewing, baby clothes and lingerie.

Bedford CordA cord cotton-like fabric with raised ridges in the lengthwise direction. Since the fabric has a high strength and a high durability, it is often used for upholstery and work clothes.

BembergCommonly used for lining suits and coats, bemberg is a type of rayon fabric often used as a cost-effective substitute to silk.

BengalineA fabric with a crosswise rib made from textile fibers (as rayon, nylon, cotton, or wool) often in combination.

Boiled WoolFelted knitted wool, it offers the flexibility of a knit with great warmth. Create your own by washing double the needed amount of 100% wool jersey in hot water and drying in a hot dryer. Expect 50% shrinkage. Appropriate for jackets, vests and stuffed animals.

BlackoutA type of fabric that is commonly used for drapery, this fabric has the distinctive quality of blocking light, and comes in two forms: 2-pass and 3-pass. Two-pass has two "passes" of foam on a fabric, which means the black layer of foam will be visible. 3-pass has two layers of white and one layer of black foam. Three-pass can also be used as an upholstery fabric, as the black layer is not visible. Blackout fabrics can also be insulating and noise-dampening.

BoucleA knit or woven fabric with small curls or loops that create a nubby surface. The fabric has a looped, knotted surface and is often used in sweater looks, vests and coats.

BroadclothA plain weave tightly woven fabric that is usually made from 100% cotton or a cotton blend. Most common uses are quilting and shirt-making.

BrocadeA heavy jacquard-type fabric with an all-over raised pattern or floral design. Appropriate for upholstery, draperies, handbags and eveningwear.

BuckramA very stiff cotton fabric that is been soaked in a substance to fill in the gaps between the fibers. The fiber is usually cotton and is finished with starch and resin. Buckram fabric is most commonly used as the supporting material inside of baseball caps. It is also used in lady's hats, costumes, belts, and handbags.

BurlapA loosely constructed, heavy weight, plain weave fabric. It has a rough hand. Appropriate for draperies and decorative items.

Burn-out VelvetCreated from two different fibers, the velvet is removed with chemicals in a pattern leaving the backing fabric intact. Appropriate for more unconstructed and loosely fit garments.

C

Camel's HairA natural fiber obtained from the under-hair of the camel. It is relatively close to cashmere. Appropriate for coats and jackets. Very soft hand.

CalicoA tightly-woven cotton type fabric with an all-over print, usually a small floral pattern on a contrasting background color. Common end-uses include dresses, aprons, and quilts.

CambricA fine thin white linen fabric.

CanvasA strong, durable, closely woven cotton fabric.

CashmereA natural fiber obtained from the soft fleecy undergrowth of the Kashmir goat. Most commonly used in sweaters, shawls, suits, coats, and dresses. A luxury fiber with a very soft hand.

Chalk ClothA pliable fabric that can be used like a chalk board. Commonly used for tablecloths, posters, and projects, prime the fabric with chalk before using. To remove the chalk, wipe with a damp sponge.

ChallisA lightweight, soft plain weave fabric with a slightly brushed surface. The fabric is often printed, usually in a floral pattern. Challis is most often seen in fabrics made of cotton, wool, or rayon.

ChambrayA plain woven fabric that can be made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers, but is most commonly cotton. It incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and white filling yarns.

ChenilleThe French word for caterpillar, this soft fabric is created by placing short pieces of yarns between core yarns and twisting the yarn together to make a fabric. This fabric is commonly used for baby items and in home decor fabrics.

Chantilly laceThis lace has a net background, and the pattern is created by embroidering with thread and ribbon to create floral designs. The pattern has areas of design that are very dense, and the pattern is often outlined with heavier cords or threads.

Charm QuiltA quilt made of many, many small patches (traditionally 2" or so) where each piece is a different fabric. The pattern is usually a one-patch design and often involves swaps and trades with friends to gather many fabrics.

CharmueseA luxurious, supple silky fabric with a shiny satin face and a dull back. Generally either silk, rayon ,or polyester. Suitable for blouses, fuller pants and lingerie.

Cheese ClothA lightweight, sheer, plain-woven fabric with a very soft texture. It may be natural colored, bleached, or dyed. It usually has a very low count. If dyed, it may be called bunting and could be used for flags or banners.

ChevronLightweight, extremely sheer and airy fabric, containing highly twisted fibers. Suitable for full pants, loose tops or dresses.

ChiffonLightweight, extremely sheer and airy fabric, containing highly twisted fibers. Suitable for full pants, loose tops or dresses.

ChintzA plain-weave fabric, which has been glazed to produce a polished look. Fabric must be dry-cleaned as the glazing will wash off with machine laundering. Suitable for drapes and lining.

ChitePainted linens that originated in Chitta (India) in the 17th century.

CorduroyA fabric, usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, utilizing a cut-pile weave construction. The ''wale'' indicates the number of cords in one inch. Suitable for jackets, pants and skirts.

Cottona white vegetable fiber grown in warmer climates in many parts of the world, has been used to produce many types of fabric for hundreds of years. Cotton fabric feels good against the skin regardless of the temperature or the humidity and is therefore in great demand by the consumer.

CrepeUsed to describe all kinds of fabrics--wool, cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics and blends-that have a crinkle, crimped or grained surface.

Crepe CharmeuseA smooth, soft luster fabric of grenadine silk warp and filling, with latter given crepe twist. It has the body and drape of satin and is used for dresses and eveningwear.

Crepe de ChineSilk crepe de chine has a slightly crinkly surface create with highly twisted fibers. It comes in three weights: 2 ply, appropriate for blouses and lingerie; 3 ply, appropriate for dresses, fuller pants and dresses; and 4 ply, most luxurious and best for trousers and jackets.

Crepe-back SatinA satin fabric in which highly twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twist and may be of either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin-back crepe.

CrewelA true crewel fabric is embroidered with crewel yarn (a loosely twisted, two-ply wool) on a plain weave fabric. Traditional crewel fabrics are hand-woven and embroidered in India. The design motif for crewel work is typically outlines of flowers, vines, and leaves, in one or many colors. Modern weaving technology and inventive designers create traditional "crewel" looks with weave effects alone, without the use of embroidery.

CrochetedLoose, open knit made by looping thread with a hooked needle. Used for light, summer sweaters.

D

DamaskA glossy jacquard-type fabric, the patterns are flat and reversible. Unlike jacquards, the fabric is all one color. Suitable for draperies, curtains bed and table linens.

DenimA twill weave cotton fabric made with different colored yarns in the warp and the weft. Due to the twill construction, one color predominates on the fabric surface. Suitable for pants, jackets and skirts. Pre-wash and dry 100% cotton denim at least twice to eliminate shrinkage and color bleeding.

DimityA lightweight and sheer cotton fabric that features a raised texture. Usually seen in light colors, but occasionally printed as well. Dimity fabric is commonly used in window treatments, draperies, and heirloom projects.

DobbyA decorative weave, characterized by small figures, usually geometric, that are woven into the fabric structure.

DoeskinGenerally applied to fabric with a low nap that is brushed in one direction to create a soft suede-like hand on the fabric front. Great for tops, pants and fuller skirts.

Dotted SwissA lightweight, sheer cotton or cotton blend fabric with a small dot flock-like pattern either printed on the surface of the fabric, or woven into the fabric. End-uses for this fabric include blouses, dresses, baby clothes, and curtains.

Double ClothA fabric construction, in which two fabrics are woven on the loom at the same time, one on top of the other. In the weaving process, the two layers of woven fabric are held together using binder threads. The woven patterns in each layer of fabric can be similar or completely different.

Double KnitA weft knit fabric in which two layers of loops are formed that cannot be separated. A double knit machine, which has two complete sets of needles, is required for this construction.

Double RubDouble rubs measure a fabric's abrasion resistance, determined by the Wyzenbeek test. Each "rub" is one back and forth pass over a stretched piece of fabric by a mechanical arm. The test is run until the fabric shows noticeable wear. Consider the double rub count when purchasing upholstery fabric for a high-traffic area in your home.

DrillStrong, medium- to heavyweight, warp-faced, twill-weave fabric. It is usually a 2/1 left-handed twill and piece dyed.

DuckA tightly woven, heavy, plain-weave, bottom-weight fabric with a hard, durable finish. The fabric is usually made of cotton, and is widely used in men's and women's slacks, and children's playclothes.

DupioniA crisp fabric with irregular slubs. It is perfect for tailored slimmer silhouettes like flat-front trousers, jackets and fitted blouses and dresses. Silk Dupioni can be machine washed in the gentle cycle and drip-dried.

E

EyeletFabric with patterned cut-outs, around which stitching or embroidery may be applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling.

ElasticityThe ability of a fiber or fabric to return to its original length, shape, or size immediately after the removal of stress.

EmbossingA calendering process in which fabrics are engraved with the use of heated rollers under pressure to produce a raised design on the fabric surface.

EmbroideryAn embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

F

FailleA glossy, soft, finely-ribbed, silk-like woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers.

Fat QuarterA cut piece of fabric which is made by cutting a half yard in half again vertically. The piece is therefore approximately 18" x 22". This allows for cutting larger blocks than a standard quarter yard which is 9" x 44".

Faux FurArtificial fur made from synthetic material.

FeltA non-woven fabric made from wool, hair, or fur, and sometimes in combination with certain manufactured fibers, where the fibers are locked together in a process utilizing heat, moisture, and pressure to form a compact material. Ideal for most craft projects.

FlannelUsually a 100% cotton fabric that has been brushed on one or both sides for softness. Typically used for shirts and sleepwear.

FlaxThe plant from which cellulosic linen fiber is obtained. Linen is used in apparel, accessories, draperies, upholstery, tablecloths, and towels.

FleeceSynthetic knit fabric that stretches across the grain. Suitable for vests, jackets and tops.

FlockedA raised, often velveteen design added onto the surface of a fabric. Flocking adds interest and texture to fabric, and is most often featured on apparel and home decor fabrics.

French Terry KnitA thin piece of material put under another material to add color or brilliance.

FoulardA lightweight twill-weave fabric, made from filament yarns like silk, acetate, polyester, with a small all-over print pattern on a solid background. The fabric is often used in men's ties.

French Terry KnitA soft knit fabric that features a smooth face and loped back. French terry knit fabric is typically used in loungewear, tops, and baby items.

FriezeA strong, durable, heavy-warp yarn pile fabric. The pile is made by the over-wire method to create a closed-loop pile.

G

GabardineA worsted twill weave that is wrinkle resistant. Wool gabardine is the most common and is considered year-round fabric for suits.

GauzeA sheer, open-weave fabric usually cotton or silk. It is suitable for blouses, dresses and curtains.

GeorgetteA drapey woven fabric created from highly twisted yarns creating a pebbly texture. It is semi-sheer and suitable for blouses, full pants and flowing dresses.

GinghamA medium weight, plain weave fabric with a plaid or check pattern. End-uses include dresses, shirts, and curtains.

GossamerVery soft, gauzelike veiling originally of silk.

Grois PointA fabric which features large points of yarn on the surface of the fabric.

GrosgrainA tightly woven, firm, warp-faced fabric with heavy, round filling ribs created by a high-warp count and coarse filling yarns. Grosgrain can be woven as a narrow-ribbon or a fullwidth fabric.

H

HabotaiA soft, lightweight silk fabric, is heavier than China silk.

HatchiA lightweight sweater knit fabric that features a moderately loose weave and is most commonly used to create sweaters, cardigans, and tops.

HeatherA yarn that is spun using pre-dyed fibers. These fibers are blended together to give a particular look. (For example, black and white may be blended together to create a grey heathered yarn.) The term, heather, may also be used to describe the fabric made from heathered yarns.

HerringboneA variation on the twill weave construction in which the twill is reversed, or broken, at regular intervals, producing a zig-zag effect.

HomespunRefers to a coarse, plain weave fabric with a hand-woven look.

HoundstoothA variation on the twill weave construction in which a broken check effect is produced by a variation in the pattern of interlacing yarns, utilizing at least two different colored yarns.

I

IkatA fabric, usually handwoven which has been tie-dyed in the yarns prior to weaving. The pattern can range from simple little dots to intricate double ikats.

InterliningAn insulation, padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric. The interlining is used primarily to provide warmth in coats, jackets, and outerwear.

Interlock KnitAlso known as T-shirt knit. It usually has stretch across the grain. Great for tops, skirts and lightweight pants.

Irish PoplinThere are two types of Irish poplin: (1) Originally a fabric constructed with silk warp and wool filling in plain weave with fine rib. (2) Fine linen or cotton shirting also made in Ireland. Sometimes used for neckwear.

ITY KnitITY stands for Interlock Twist Yarn and is a soft, lightweight, slinky knit fabric often used to create tops, skirts, dresses, and dancewear. This fabric is tightly woven and does not wrinkle easily.

J

JacquardWoven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.

Jersey KnitUsually thinner or lighter-weight than Interlock knit with less stretch. It's appropriate for tops and fuller dresses.

JuteA bast fiber, chiefly from India, used primarily for gunny sacks, bags, cordage, and binding threads in carpets and rugs.

K

KapokA short, lightweight, cotton-like, vegetable fiber found in the seed pods of the Bombocaceae tree. Because of its brittle quality, it is generally not spun. However, its buoyancy and moisture resistance makes it ideal for use in cushions, mattresses, and life jackets.

KhakiA tan or dusty colored warp face twill, softer and finer than drill. Name derived from East India word meaning "earth color." Fabric made of cotton, linen, wool, worsted, or manmade fibers and blends.

Knit FabricFabrics made from only one set of yarns, all running in the same direction. Some knits have their yarns running along the length of the fabric, while others have their yarns running across the width of the fabric. Knit fabrics are held together by looping the yarns around each other. Knitting creates ridges in the resulting fabric. Wales are the ridges that run lengthwise in the fabric; courses run crosswise.

Knit-de-knitA type of yarn texturizing in which a crimped yarn is made by knitting the yarn into a fabric, and then heat-setting the fabric. The yarn is then unraveled from the fabric and used in this permanently crinkled form.

KoshiboA medium weight, woven, polyester fabric known for being colorfast, koshibo is suited for different types of apparel projects such as skirts, dresses, and blouses.

L

La CosteA double-knit fabric made with a combination of knit and tuck stitches to create a mesh-like appearance. It is often a cotton or cotton/polyester blend.

LaceAn openwork fabric with yarns that are twisted around each other to form complex patterns or figures. Lace may be hand or machine made by a variety of fabrication methods including weaving, knitting, crocheting, and knotting.

LameA woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric.

LaminateThis fabric is created by bonding a thin polymer film to cotton fabric. Laminated fabric is perfect for creating rainwear, linings, and table coverings.

LeatherAnimal skin dressed for use in clothing.

Faux LeatherA Simulated leather.

LinenA natural plant fiber, linen fibers are stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Depending on the weight, it's appropriate for anything from heirloom sewing and blouses to slacks and jackets.

LawnA light, fine cloth made using carded or combed, linen or cotton yarns. The fabric has a crease-resistant, crisp finish. Linen lawn is synonymous with handkerchief linen. Cotton lawn is a similar type of fabric, which can be white, solid colored, or printed.

Loden ClothA heavily fulled or felted fabric originating in Austrian Tyrol. Wool may be blended with camel hair or alpaca. Thick, soft, waterproof without chemical treatment. Sometimes given fine nap. Used for coats, sportswear.

LurexA fabric created from a yarn formed from synthetic film and includes a metallic layer that adds metallic features to fabrics.

LycraA DuPont trademark for its spandex fiber. Any time you see this fiber listed on a label, expect comfort, movement, and shape retention that won't wash away.

M

MadrasA lightweight plain weave cotton fabric with a striped, plaid, or checked pattern. A true madras will bleed when washed. This type of fabric is usually imported from India. End-uses are men's and women's shirts and dresses.

MarabouA thrown silk usually dyed in the gum or a fabric made of this silk.

MatelasseA medium to heavyweight luxury fabric made in a double cloth construction to create a blistered or quilted surface. Common end-uses are upholstery, draperies, and evening dresses.

MeltonA heavyweight, dense, compacted, and tightly woven wool or wool blend fabric used mainly for coats.

MerinoA type of wool that originates from pure-bred Merino sheep. The best Merino wool comes from Italy.

MeshA type of fabric characterized by its net-like open appearance, and the spaces between the yarns. Mesh is available in a variety of constructions including wovens, knits, laces, or crocheted fabrics.

MicrofibersAn extremely fine synthetic fiber that can be woven into textiles with the texture and drape of natural-fiber cloth but with enhanced washability, breathability, and water repellancy.

MinkyA soft and fuzzy polyester fabric created to imitate the look of mink, Minky fabric is available in a variety of colors and prints, and is used for creating luxurious blankets and soft baby accessories.

ModalA type of rayon created with reconstituted cellulose. Modal fabrics are commonly used in creating towels, pajamas, robes, and sheets.

MohairHair fibers from the Angora goat. End-uses include sweaters, coats, suits, and scarves.

MoireeA corded fabric, usually made from silk or one of the manufactured fibers, which has a distinctive water-marked wavy pattern on the face of the fabric.

MoleskinIt resists wrinkling and has a beautiful sueded look on the face. The reverse has a satiny look and feel. Generally, will contain 2-4% spandex. Great for pants, jackets and heavy shirts.

Monk's ClothA heavy weight cotton fabric utilizing the basket weave variation of the plain weave. Used for draperies and slip covers, monk's cloth is an example of 4 x 4 basket weave. It has poor dimensional stability and tends to snag.

MuslinAn inexpensive, medium weight, plain weave, low count (less than 160 threads per square inch) cotton sheeting fabric. In its unfinished form, it is commonly used in fashion design to make trial garments for preliminary fit.

N

NappedNapped fabric has a surface texture with an added visual appeal, and is frequently featured in flannel, corduroy, velvet, and satin. The napped texture creates soft, heavy, and warm qualities, making it perfect for shirting, sleepwear, and baby blankets. Double napped fabrics are brushed on both sides, while single-napped is only brushed on one side. When sewing with fabrics with a distinct nap, be sure to allow for extra fabric, and lay all of your pattern pieces going in the same direction.

NettingRefers to any open-construction fabric whether it is created by weaving, knitting, knotting, or another method.

NoilNoil is a short fiber that is left over when combing longer fibers during textile production. Silk noil fabric is created from taking the leftover noils from spinning silk to create an overall raw silk fabric that features a gentle drape, slightly nubby, uneven texture, and dull surface. Noil fabric is perfect for creating loose-fitting jackets, skirts, dresses, and home decor accents.

NylonProduced in 1938, the first completely synthetic fiber developed. Known for its high strength and excellent resilience, nylon has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility.

O

OilclothSheetings or printcloth that are printed, bleached, or dyed, and given a special linseed oil and pigment preparation. Used for table coverings, waterproof outerwear; now largely replaced by plastic-coated and vinyl materials.

OilskinA Cotton linen, silk, or manmade material treated with linseed oil varnish for waterproofing. Used for rainwear.

Onion SkinA lightweight knit fabric that has a subtle pattern on the backing that resembles the appearance of an onion skin.

OlefinA synthetic fiber made from polyolefin. This fabric is usually strong and colorfast, with a resistance to staining, mildew, abrasion, and sunlight.

OrgandyA stiffened, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, usually cotton or polyester.

OrganicA crisp, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count, made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester.

OrganzaA crisp, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count, made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester.

OsnaburgA crisp, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count, made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester.

OttomanA heavy, plain weave fabric with wide, flat crosswise ribs that are larger and higher than in faille. It sometimes comes with alternating narrow and wide ribs. When made of narrow ribs only, it is called soleil. Warp may be silk or manmade fiber; filling may be cotton, silk, wool, or manmade fiber. Used for dress coats, suits, and trimmings.

OutdoorOutdoor fabric is used to recover cushions, pillows, create awnings, and more for spaces exposed to nature's elements like the sun and rain. Created with polyester or acrylic fibers, outdoor fabric is durable, soil and stain resistant, and can be cleaned by wiping with a damp rag.

OxfordA fine, soft, lightweight woven cotton or blended with manufactured fibers in a 2 x 1 basket weave variation of the plain weave construction. The fabric is used primarily in shirtings.

P

Pack ClothA tear-drop shaped, fancy printed pattern, used in dresses, blouses, and men's ties.

PaisleyA tear-drop shaped, fancy printed pattern, used in dresses, blouses, and men's ties.

PanelA panel is a cotton print that can be used for anything from quilt projects to aprons, doll clothes, or soft books. Most commonly used in quilting, panels feature a large design that is often featured in the center of a quilt, making it perfect for themed projects. Some panels also feature instructions and cut-outs for projects like an apron or book.

Panne SatinLightweight silk or manmade fiber satin fabric with very high luster achieved with aid of heavy roll pressure. Crushes easily. Used for eveningwear.

Panne VelvetA lustrous, lightweight velvet fabric, in which the pile has been flattened in one direction. Has good stretch across the grain. Appropriate for tops and dresses.

PFDA fabric that is not sized or finished. PFD stand for "Prepared for Dyeing," and is perfect apparel and quilting projects.

PincordA fabric similar in texture and appearance to corduroy with very fine raised stripes. Pincord fabric is most common in home decor and apparel projects.

PeachskinA soft fabric with a brushed texture similar to the skin of a peach on one side, with a good amount of drape. Peachskin is often used to create blouses, skirts, and dresses with a lining.

Peau de SoieA heavy twill weave drapeable satin fabric, made of silk or a manufactured fiber, and used for bridal gowns and eveningwear.Pima Cotton A type of cotton plant developed in the Southwestern USA from a cross between Egyptian and Uplands cotton which is longer in fiber length and more lustrous than most American cottons. It is used to weave some of the popular quilting fabrics which have a silk-like hand.

PiqueA medium-weight cotton or cotton blend fabric with a pebbly weave that looks almost like a check. Suitable for vests, jackets and fitted blouses. Also used in children's clothes.

PlisseA lightweight, plain weave, fabric, made from cotton, rayon, or acetate, and characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is created through the application of a caustic soda solution, which shrinks the fabric in the areas of the fabric where it is applied. Plisse is similar in appearance to seersucker. End-uses include dresses, shirtings, pajamas, and bedspreads.

PlushA compactly woven fabric with warp pile higher than that of velvet. Made of cotton, wool, silk, or manmade fiber, often woven as double face fabric and then sheared apart. Higher pile gives bristly texture. Usually piece-dyed but may be printed. Used for coats, upholstery.

PointelleVery feminine, delicate-looking, rib-knit fabric made with a pattern of openings.

PolyesterA manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, and is second only to cotton in worldwide use. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency, and high abrasion resistance. Low absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly.

PoplinA fabric made using a rib variation of the plain weave. The construction is characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. Poplin used to be associated with casual clothing, but as the "world of work" has become more relaxed, this fabric has developed into a staple of men's wardrobes, being used frequently in casual trousers.

Q

QuatrefoilA fabric construction in which a layer of down or fiberfill is placed between two layers of fabric, and then held in place by stitching or sealing in a regular, consistent, all-over pattern on the goods.

Double Sided Quilted CottonA fabric construction in which a layer of down or fiberfill is placed between two layers of fabric, and then held in place by stitching or sealing in a regular, consistent, all-over pattern on the goods.

R

RamieA bast fiber, similar to flax, taken from the stalk of a plant grown in China.

Raschel KnitA warp knitted fabric in which the resulting knit fabric resembles hand crocheted fabrics, lace fabrics, and nettings. Raschel warp knits contain inlaid connecting yarns in addition to columns of knit stitches.

RayonA natural fiber created from wood pulp, it usually has good drape and a soft hand. It's appropriate for tops, shirts, skirts and dresses.

Rib KnitThis knit has tremendous stretch across the grain a 1 x 1 rib has one rib up and one down. A 2 x 1 rib has two ribs up and one down, similar to a Poor Boy Knit.

Rip-Stop NylonA lightweight, wind resistant, and water resistant fabric. Appropriate for outdoor wear and equipment as well as outdoor flags.

S

SailclothAny heavy, plain-weave canvas fabric, usually made of cotton, linen, polyester, jute, nylon, etc. that is used for sails and apparel.

SateenA fabric made from yarns with low luster, such as cotton or other staple length fibers. The fabric has a soft, smooth hand and a gentle, subtle luster. Sateen fabrics are often used for draperies and upholstery.

SatinWith a lustrous, shiny surface, drapability depends on fiber content. Silk and rayon satins have the best stitch results.

SeersuckerA fabric with a woven pucker, this fabric is traditionally cotton, but can be polyester. Suitable for shirts, casual slacks and children's clothing.

SequinedOrnamented with a small plate of shining metal or plastic.

ShantungA medium-weight, plain weave fabric, characterized by a ribbed effect, resulting from slubbed yarns used in the warp or filling direction. End-uses include dresses and suits.

SheerAny very light-weight fabric (e.g., chiffon, georgette, voile, sheer crepe). Usually has an open weave. Sheers mostly feel cool.

SilkA natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China.

ShantungSimilar to Dupioni silk, Shantung has a more refined appearance with smaller slubs. It's appropriate for tailored pants fuller skirts and gowns.

SisalA strong bast fiber that originates from the leaves of the Agave plant, which is found in the West Indies, Central America, and Africa. End-uses include cordage and twine.

Slinky KnitIt drapes well, never wrinkles and washes beautifully. It's the perfect travel fabric with four-way stretch for ultimate comfort. Suitable for almost any wardrobe item.

SlubAn irregular appearance in fabric caused by uneven thickness of the yarn.

SpandexA manufactured elastomeric fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking, and will still recover to its original length.

Faux SuedeLeather with a napped surface.

SurahA light weight, lustrous twill weave constructed fabric with a silk-like hand. Surah is the fabric of ties, dresses, and furnishings. It is available in silk, polyester, and rayon.

SuzaniA fabric pattern that originated in Central Asia and often features large, intricate medallions that were originally created through needlework. Fabrics that feature suzani prints usually include round floral designs.

T

TaffetaWith a crisp hand, taffeta is typically used for formal wear like gowns and fuller skirts. Underlining prevents some of the wrinkling it has a tendency to have.

TapestryA heavy, often hand-woven, ribbed fabric, featuring an elaborate design depicting a historical or current pictorial display. The weft-faced fabric design is made by using colored filling yarns, only in areas where needed, that are worked back and forth over spun warp yarns, which are visible on the back. End-uses include wall hangings and upholstery.

TarpaulinA waterproofed canvas sometimes made of nylon or other manmade fiber.

TencelCreated from wood pulp, Tencel is very soft with great drape. It's usually a medium weight fabric that suitable for pants, skirts and jackets.

Terry ClothUnclipped, looped pile, 100% cotton terry cloth is highly absorbent. French Terry has a looped reverse and a knit-like face.

TickingA variety of fabrics are known as "ticking." The main weave is a closely-woven, thick yarn twill. Spaced, colored, and natural or white yarns repeated in the warp, and all natural or white in the filling, forming a stripe. Several color combinations used, as blue and white, brown and white, red and white. Heavy warp-face sateens as well as heavy sheetings are printed and sold as ticking. Jacquard damask ticking woven in damask effects also sold for this purpose as well as other fabrics, such as drills.

ToileA type of decorating pattern consisting of a white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as (for example) a couple having a picnic by a lake. The pattern portion consists of a single colour, most often black, dark red, or blue. Greens and magenta toile patterns are less common but not unheard of.

TulleA lightweight, extremely fine, machine-made netting, it is softer to the touch than netting. Appropriate for veils and costumes.

TweedA medium to heavy weight, fluffy, woolen, twill weave fabric containing colored slubbed yarns. Common end-uses include coats and suits.

TwillA fabric that shows a distinct diagonal wale on the face (e.g., denim, gabardine, tricotine).

U

UltrasuedeAn imitation suede fabric composed of polyester microfibers combined with polyurethane foam in a non-woven structure. Hand and appearance resemble sheep suede.

V

VelourUsually with a knitted back, velour resembles velvet, but has some stretch. Appropriate for tops and sportswear like pants and jackets.

VelvetWith a longer pile, velvet is the most luxurious fabric. Stretch velvet has some lycra, It can be machine washed and will not create a shine in the seat or elbows. Appropriate for tops, skirts and fuller pants.

VelveteenA cotton or cotton blend fabric with a short, dense pile. It lacks the sheen and drape of velvet. It is perfect for drapes and home d?cor items as well as pants, jackets and skirts.

Venice laceThis lace often has a high profile, and is made using a needlepoint technique rather than embroidery. A heavier weight lace, the patterns vary from geometric to floral. Each pattern is attached to the others by bars made of thread.

VisocseThe most common type of rayon. It is produced in much greater quantity than cuprammonium rayon, the other commercial type.

VoileA crisp, lightweight, plain weave cotton-like fabric, similar in appearance to organdy and organza. It is appropriate for curtains as well as blouses and dresses.

W

Waffle ClothSimilar to piqu? in texture. Waffle cloth has a honeycomb weave made on dobby loom. Usually of cotton.

WoolWool is naturally stain and wrinkle resistant. It can absorb up to 40% of it's weight in moisture without feeling damp. Wool comes in many forms including crepe, challis, gabardine, merino, melton, jersey and worsted wool suitings.

Wool CrepeA lightweight worsted fabric with a more or less crinkly appearance, obtained by using warp yarns that are tightly twisted in alternate directions. The term is often applied to lightweight worsted fabrics for women's wear that have little or no crepe surface.

Woven FabricFabrics composed of two sets of yarns. One set of yarns, the warp, runs along the length of the fabric. The other set of yarns, the fill or weft, is perpendicular to the warp. Woven fabrics are held together by weaving the warp and the fill yarns over and under each other.

X

Y

YarnA continuous strand of textile fibers created when a cluster of individual fibers are twisted together. These long yarns are used to create fabrics, either by knitting or weaving.

Yarn-DyedA continuous strand of textile fibers created when a cluster of individual fibers are twisted together. These long yarns are used to create fabrics, either by knitting or weaving.

Z

ZariAn even thread that is usually gold or silver, commonly found in brocades that adds a metallic sheen to fabric.

ZephyrA thin kind of cashmere made in Belgium. The term also refers to a waterproof wool fabric.

ZibelineA thick, soft fabric with a long nap. It is usually made of wool, such as mohair or alpaca, but can also be made from the hair of other animals, such as camels. Zibeline can also refer to either the sable (Martes zibellina) or its pelt, which zibeline was originally made from. Zibeline can also refer to a heavy silk fabric with a twill weave, very similar to Mikado.

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