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Fabric Glossary



Acetate

Acetate, a synthetic manmade fabric, is manufactured from cellulose fibers and usually used in linings. It is an inexpensive fabric with poor washing abilities and should be dry-cleaned.
Acrylic

Acrylic is often used in place of wool as an inexpensive synthetic substitute. It is warm and lightweight, it washes well, and is less expensive than wool.
Alpaca

The lower grades of alpaca were originally used as linings, and the better grades for fine dress goods. True alpaca cloth of alpaca hair is soft and lightweight.
Antique satin

Antique satin is a 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.
Astrakhan

Rough fabric with closely curled face resembling Astrakhan lamb's pelt. Astrakhan is woven or knit, usually with base yarns of cotton and pile of wool, mohair, acrylic or modacrylic fibers.
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Barathea

Barathea is a smooth-faced worsted uniform fabric constructed of an indistinct twilled basket weave of fine two-ply yarns.
Bathrobe blanketing

Double-faced fabric woven with tightly twisted warp and two sets of soft spun filling yarns. Bathrobe blanketing is usually napped to produce soft, thick, warm material. Made of cotton, wool, polyester, acrylic, and blends of these fibers.
Batiste

Batiste is an opaque, lightweight, spun yarn plain-weave fabric with a smooth surface. When made of cotton or cotton/polyester, the yarns are usually combed. It can be made of all wool, silk, or rayon.
Bedford cord

Bedford cord is a heavy, warp-faced, unbalanced pique-weave fabric with wide warp cords created by extra filling yarns floating across the back to give a raised effect.
Bengaline

Bengaline is a lustrous, durable, warp-faced fabric with heavy filling cords completely covered by the warp.
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Blanket cloth

Blanket cloth can have plain or twill weaves. Thick, soft-filling yarns heavily napped both sides. Often yarndyed in plaids or stripes.
Bouclé

Bouclé, a fabric woven or knitted from curled or specially twisted yarn, has small loops on the surface, which gives it a kinky appearance. The curls do not cover the entire surface but occur at intervals, distinguishing it from astrakhan. Often made in coating weights but also in lighter weights for dress goods and sweaters.
Broadcloth

Broadcloth is a close plain-weave fabric made of cotton, rayon, or a blend of either cotton or rayon with polyester. It has a fine rib in the filling direction caused by slightly larger filling yarns, filling yarns with a lower twist, or a higher warp-yarn count. High-quality broadcloth is made with plied warp and filling yarns. The fabric may be mercerized. It has a soft, firm hand. The term broadcloth is also used to refer to a plain- or twill-weave lustrous wool or woo-blend fabric that is highly napped and then pressed flat.
Brocade

Brocade is a jacquard-woven fabric with a pattern that is created with different colors or with patterns in twill or satin weaves on a ground of plain, twill, or satin weave. It is available in a variety of fiber contents and qualities.
Buckram

Buckram is a heavy, very still, spun-yarn fabric converted from cheesecloth gray goods with adhesives and fillers. It is used as an interlining to stiffen pinch-pleated, window-treatment fabrics.
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Bunting

Bunting is a 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. Also called cheesecloth.
Burlap

Burlap is a coarse, heavy, loosely woven plain-weave fabric often made of single irregular yarns of jute. It is used in its natural color for carpet backing, bagging, and furniture webbing. It is also dyed and printed for home-furnishing uses. Also called hessian.
Calico

A low-count or medium-count cotton or cotton/manmade print-cloth with small early American designs. Calico is often used for aprons, dresses, curtains, and quilts.
Cambric

Cambric is a fine, firm, plain weave balanced fabric with starch, and has a slight luster on one side.
Camel hair

In undyed form, camel hair is light tan and with a soft nap. Fabrics that merely have this distinctive color cannot be correctly called camel hair. The best grade is very expensive, and even then, camel hair is sometimes mixed with sheep's wool or other fibers.
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Candlewick

Candlewick, a muslin-base fabric tufted with heavy plied yarns, provides fuzzy designs.
Canvas

Canvas, a heavy, firm, strong fabric often made of cotton or acrylic, is often used for awnings, slipcovers, and covers for boats. It is produced in many grades and qualities. Canvas is made in plain or basket weave.
Cashmere

Real cashmere fabric is woven only from the hair of the Cashmere goat. It is of fine close twill weave, napped, and extremely soft. The total amount of cashmere hair available is severely limited.
Cavalry twill

Calvary twill is a steep, pronounced, double-wale line, smooth-surfaced twill fabric.
Challis (shal'i)

Challis is a lightweight, spun yarn, plain weave, balanced fabric with a soft finish. It can be made of any staple fiber or blend of fibers.
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Chambray

Chambray is a plain-weave fabric usually of cotton, rayon, or a blend of these with polyester. Usually chambray has white yarns in the filling direction and yarn-dyed yarns in the warp direction. Iridescent chambray is made with one color in the warp and a second color in the filling. It can also be made in striped patterns.
Charmeuse

Silk, rayon, or cotton satin weave fabric with semi lustrous surface and dull back. Charmeuse is often used for dresses, gowns, and pajamas.
Charvet silk

Soft charvet silk has diagonal rib weaves with stripes. It drapes well and is often used for neckties.
Cheesecloth

Cheesecloth is a 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.
Chenille

Chenille is a fluff or fuzzy-faced fabric made with a chenille filling yarn that has a fuzzy pile protruding from all sides. Some imitations are made by tufting other materials while other versions are knit to imitate chenille yarn.
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Chiffon

Chiffon, a balanced, plain-woven fabric, is sheer and very lightweight. It includes fine crepe twist yarns of approximately the same size used in warp and filling.
China silk

China silk is a soft, lightweight, opaque, plain-weave fabric made from fine-filament yarns and used for apparel.
Chino

Chino is a steep-twill fabric with a slight sheen, often made in a bottom-weight fabric of cotton or cotton/polyester. It is often made of combed two-ply yarns in both warp and filling and vat-dyed in khaki.
Chintz

Chintz, cotton print cloth of high-count plain weave, typically features bright, attractive floral or geometric designs, both large and small. It is often used for draperies, slipcovers, and dresses. Glazed chintz has a permanent or semi-permanent glaze.
Cloque fabric

"Cloque fabric" refers to any fabric with a puckered or blistered effect.
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Corduroy

Corduroy is a filling-yarn pile fabric where the pile is created by long-filling floats that are cut and brushed in the finishing process. The ground weave may be either a plain or twill weave.
Cotton

Cotton, a 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.
Crash

Crash is a medium- to heavyweight plain-weave fabric made from slub or irregular yarns to create an irregular surface.
Crepe

Crepe has a pebbly or crinkled surface produced by use of special crepe yarns. Can be crepe, granite, or plain weave. Generally, mixed-twist crepe yarns used in both warp and filling; occasionally crepe yarns used only in the warp or the filling. Crepe effects can also be obtained by chemical treatment and embossing.
Crepe charmeuse

Crepe charmeuse is a 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.
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Crepe-back satin

Crepe-back satin is a satin weave of silk or manmade fiber with a crepe-twist filling. As the fabric is reversible, interesting effects can be obtained by contrasting the surfaces. Used for dresses, blouses, and linings. Also called satin crepe.
Damask

Damask is a reversible, flat, jacquard-woven fabric with a stain weaves in both the pattern and the plainweave ground. It can be one color or two. In two-color damasks, the color reverses on the opposite side. It is used in apparel and home furnishings.
Denim

Denim is a cotton or cotton/polyester blend, twill-weave, and yarn dyed fabric. Usually the warp is colored and the filling is white. It is usually left-hand twill that is commonly available with a blue warp and white filling for use in apparel. It is available in a variety of weights.
Doeskin

There are two different types of doeskin: (1) Fine quality, close compact wool fabric, satin weave, smooth face, light nap finish. Used for suits and coats. (2) Rayon twill or small satin with face nap. Used for suits, coats, and sportswear.
Double cloth

Double cloth is a fabric made by weaving two fabrics with five sets of yarns: two sets of warp, two sets of filling, and one set that connects the two fabrics.
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Double knit

"Double knit" refers to any filling-knit fabric made on two needle beds.
Double weave

Double weave is a fabric made by weaving two fabrics with four sets of yarns (two sets of warp and two sets of filling yarns) on the same loom. The two fabrics are connected by periodically reversing the positions of the two fabrics from top to bottom. Double weave is also known as pocket cloth or pocket weave.
Drill

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

Duck, a strong, heavy, plain or basket-weave fabric, comes in a variety of weights and qualities. It is similar to canvas, usually made from cotton.
Embossing

Embossing creates a design on fabrics using heated, engraved calendars. Often print cloths are embossed to imitate seersucker, crepe, or other structural-design fabrics.
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Faille

Faille is a medium- to heavyweight, unbalanced, plain-weave fabric with filament yarns and a light luster. It is warp-faced, flat ribs created by using heavier filling yarns.
Felt

Felt, a fiberweb fabric of at least 70 percent wool, is made by interlocking the scales of wool fibers using heat, moisture, and agitation.
Flannel

Light- to heavyweight, plain- or twill-weave flannel has a napped surface.
Flannelette

Flannelette is a light- to medium-weight, plain-weave cotton or cotton-blend fabric lightly napped on one side.
Fleece

Fleece has a deep, soft nap. The term "felt" can apply to flat woven or knit fabrics as well as to those woven on the pile principle. The long nap or pile provides many air spaces, resulting in a fabric with high insulative properties.
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Friezé

Friezé is a strong, durable, heavy-warp yarn pile fabric. The pile is made by the over-wire method to create a closed-loop pile.
Gabardine (gaberdine)

Gabardine is a tightly woven, medium- to heavyweight, steep- or regular-angle, twill-weave fabric with a pronounced wale. Gabardine can be wool, a wool-blend, or synthetic-fiber content designed to look like wool. Gabardine can also be 100 percent texturized polyester or a cotton/polyester blend.
Gauze

Gauze is a sheer, lightweight, low-count, plain- or leno-weave balanced fabric made up spun yarns. It is often cotton, rayon, or a blend of these fibers. Indian gauze has a crinkled look and is available in a variety of fabric weights.
Georgette

Georgette is a sheer, lightweight, plain weave fabric made with fine-crepe yarns. It is crepier and less lustrous than chiffon.
Gingham

Gingham, a yarn-dyed, plain weave fabric, is available in a variety of weights and qualities. It may be balanced or unbalanced and made of either combed or carded yarns. If two colors of yarn are used, the fabric is called a check or checked gingham. If three or more colors are used, the fabric is called plaid gingham.
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Gossamer

Gossamer is a very soft, gauzelike veiling originally of silk.
Granada

Granada is a fine, face-finished fabric with a granular surface. It's made of worsted yarn and often dyed black.
Gray goods (grey goods or greige goods)

Gray goods, also spelled grey goods and greige goods, is a general term used to describe any unfinished woven or knitted fabric.
Grosgrain (grow´grain)

Grosgrain is a 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.
Habutai

Habutai, a soft, lightweight silk fabric, is heavier than China silk.
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Handkerchief linen

Similar in luster and count to batiste, handkerchief linen is linen or linen-lile fabric with slub yarns and a little more body.
Herringbone

a broken twill-weave fabric created by changing the direction of the twill wale from right to left and back again. This creates a chevron pattern of stripes that may be or may not be equally prominent. Herringbone fabrics are made in a variety of weights, patterns, and fiber contents.
Hessian

Hessian is a coarse, heavy, loosely woven plain-weave fabric often made of single irregular yarns of jute. It is used in its natural color for carpet backing, bagging, and furniture webbing. It is also dyed and printed for home-furnishing uses. Also called hessian. Also called burlap.
Homespun

"Homespun" refers to a coarse, plain weave fabric with a hand-woven look.
Hopsacking

Hopsacking is a coarse, loosely woven suiting-or bottom-weight basket-weave fabric often made of lowgrade cotton.
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Houndstooth check

Houndstooth check is a medium- to heavyweight, yarn-dyed twill-weave fabric in which the interlacing and color pattern creates a unique pointed-check or houndstooth shape.
India silk

India silk is a very thin, soft, hand-loomed plain weave fabric made chiefly in India.
Interlock

"Interlock" refers to a firm, double filling knit where the two needle beds knit two-interlocked 1 x 1 rib fabrics. Both sides of the fabric look like the face side of jersey.
Irish poplin

There 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.
Khaki

Khaki is a 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.
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La Coste

La Coste uses a 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.
Lace

Lace is an 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.
Lamé

Lamé uses flat metal threads to form a pattern or background. Used chiefly for eveningwear.
Lawn

Lawn is a fine, opaque, lightweight, and plain weave fabric usually made of combed-cotton or cottonblend yarns. The fabric may be bleached, dyed, or printed.
Leno

"Leno" refers to any leno-weave fabric in which two warp yarns are crossed over each other and held in place by a filling yarn. Leno weaves require a doup attachment on the loom.
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Linen

Linen comes in various weights, from fine and lightweight linen used for fine shirts to heavier weight, more durable linen used for pants and jackets. Linen has the tendency to crease and often needs ironing.
Lining twill

Lining twill is an opaque, lightweight, warp-faced twill of filament yarns. It may be printed.
Loden clothe

Loden cloth is a 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.
Lycra®

Lycra® is Invista's trademark brand of spandex.
Madras

Cotton fabric of plain weave coarse yarns. Madras usually comes in stripes, checks, or plaids. Colors may bleed. Used for shirting.
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Marble silk

Marble silk is a lightweight silk fabric of warp-printed yarn or multicolored filling, which imparts mottled appearance. Used for dresses.
Marquisette

Marquisette is a sheer and lightweight leno-weave fabric usually made of filament yarns.
Matelassé

Matelassé a raised figured pattern in a blistered, quilted effect. Woven on a Jacquard or dobby loom. Double warp-face material stitched together in warp and filling. Face of cloth has a fine warp and filling, the back a fine warp and heavy filling. Comes in various weights and used for blouses, dresses, and upholstery.
Melton

Melton is a well-fulled or felted overcoating fabric with a smooth, hard finish and close-cropped nap. It is generally available in plain colors. Coarser meltons similar to mackinac cloth, but sometimes made of fine, soft wools to produce smooth coating fabric with finish like broadcloth. Also made with wool blends.
Microfiber

Shortened form of the term "microdenier fiber", with "denier" being a measure of fiber size. Microfiber is a synthetic fiber, which is extremely fine and can be spun from polyester, nylon, rayon, acetate, or a combination of these. It can be blended with natural fibers to produce a strong durable fabric that is soft and water-resistant.
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Milanese

Milanese is a warp knitted fabric with a distinctive diagonal. Made of any filament fiber. Used for gloves, lingerie.
Mohair

Mohair yarns and fabrics are bright and lustrous. Warp yarns of cotton or worsted generally used in flat mohair fabrics. Mohair pile fabrics used in automobiles and for upholstery usually have pile introduced as warp, but in such a fashion that the special system of threads is not subjected to severe tension.
Moiré

Moiré watermark designs are embossed on plain-weave fabrics that have crosswise ribs. Usually of silk, rayon, acetate, or nylon. Marking permanent on the thermoplastic fibers. Cotton moiré is made with compact plain weave and given finish that is permanent if washed with care in lukewarm water, mild soap, and no bleach.
Moleskin

Moleskin is a napped, heavy, strong fabric often made in a satin weave. The nap is suede-like.
Monk's (druid's) cloth

Monk's cloth is a basket weave, a variation of the plain weaves. Made with heavy rough yarns. Can be a 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 4 x 4, or 8 x 8 thread; the best known is the 4 x 4. These four threads in warp and filling are placed flat together and woven over and under in a plain weave; the resulting appearance is that of a basket. Used for drapery and upholstery.
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Mummy clothe

There are two different types of mummy clothe: (1) fine, closely woven linen fabric used in Egypt for wrapping mummies. (2) Dull crepe fabric of silk or cotton warp and wool filling.
Muslin

Muslin is a firm, medium- to heavyweight, plain weave cotton fabric made in a variety of qualities. Muslin made with low-grade cotton fiber with small pieces from the cotton plant is often used in apparel design.
Nacre velvet

Nacre velvet has pile of one color and back of another, giving a mother-of-pearl, changeable appearance.
Net

"Net" refers to any open-construction fabric whether it is created by weaving, knitting, knotting, or another method.
Nylon

Nylon is a lightweight manmade synthetic fabric with excellent strength and durability, suitable for many different uses. Often blended with natural fibers to give extra strength and better washing qualities.
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Oilcloth

Oilcloth sheetings 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.
Oilskin

Oilskin is cotton linen, silk, or manmade material treated with linseed oil varnish for waterproofing. Used for rainwear.
Organdy

Organdy is a transparent, crisp, lightweight; plain-weave fabric made of cotton-spun yarns. The fabric has been parchmentized to create the crisp, wiry hand.
Organza

Organza is a transparent, crisp, lightweight; plain-weave fabric made of filament yarns.
Ottoman

Ottoman is a 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.
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Oxford

Oxford is a plain basket weave of medium or heavy weight. Made with a variety of cotton, rayon, or polyester/cotton yarns. The majority of oxfords are of combed yarns, with heavier filling than warp yarns. Cheaper grades are mixed carded and combed yarns, and sometimes all carded yarns. Two warp yarns, placed flat next to each other, are woven over and under one heavier filling thread. Usually mercerized. A number of variations of this weave are on the market. For shirtings, dresses, and similar purposes.
Panama

Panama has a plain weave, usually with cotton warp and worsted filling. Lightweight summer suiting. Skein or piece-dyed.
Panne satin

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

A velvet with a special luster produced by pressing the pile in one direction.
Paper taffeta

Lightweight taffeta with crisp, paper-like finish.
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Percale

Percale is a plain weave, medium-weight, piece-dyed or printed fabric finished from print cloths of better quality. Percale is usually a firm, balanced fabric.
Pigment taffeta

Pigment taffeta is taffeta woven with pigmented yarns. Its surface has a dull appearance.
Piqué

There are two different types of piqué: (1) Medium- to heavyweight fabric that has a warp or filling wale or cord, usually warp. A heavy stuffer yarn is used in back of the cloth; this heavy yarn is caught at intervals by a filling thread. Groups of fine warp yarns are woven on the surface over the back stuffer yarn, forming a rib. Many of the cheaper or lighter versions are woven without this stuffer yarn. Other versions of piqué are irregular or novelty wales, woven dots, bird's-eye, diamond, square, and ladder effects. (2) Double-knit fabric usually with fine dots in the stitch pattern.
Plain weave

Plain weave fabric has a rib running across the fabric. The rib stands out more than in poplin. Usually given a high luster, although not always.
Plissé

Plissé is a fabric finished from cotton-print cloth by printing with a caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) paste. The paste causes the fabric to shrink, thus creating a three-dimensional effect. The strip that was printed usually is darker in piece-dyed goods because the sodium hydroxide increases the dye absorbency.
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Plush

Plush is a 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.
Polished cotton

Polished cotton is a medium-weight, plain weave fabric that has been given a glazed-calendar finish.
Polyester

Polyester is a medium weight man made fiber that is strong and can be found in many types of fabrics.
Pongee

Pongee is a medium-weight, balanced, plain weave fabric with a fine regular warp and an irregular filling. It was originally a tussah or wild-silk fabric, but now pongee is used to describe a fabric that has the general appearance of fine warp yarns and irregular filling yarns.
Poplin

Poplin is a medium- to heavyweight, unbalanced, plain weave, and spun-yarn fabric that is usually piece dyed. The filling yarns are coarser than the warp yarns. Poplin has a more pronounced rib than broadcloth.
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Power net

Power net is a Raschel-warp knit in which an inlaid spandex fiber or yarn is used to give high elongation and elasticity.
Print cloth

"Print cloth" is a general term used to describe unfinished, medium-weight, plain weave, and cotton for cotton-blend fabrics. These fabrics can be finished as percale, embossed, plissé, chintz, cretonne, or polished cotton.
Ramie

Ramie is a fabric similar to flax with a high natural luster. It has fine, absorbent, and quick drying fiber, used for apparel, some interior furnishings, rope, and other industrial uses.
Raschel knit

"Raschel knit" is a general term for patterned, warp-knit fabric made with coarser yarns than other warpknit fabrics.
Rayon

Rayon, the first synthetic fiber produced from mostly cellulose, greatly resembles cotton in its chemical properties. Rayon is weakened by water and often shrinks after washing. It can be woven and knitted into many types of fabrics and used for many purposes.
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Sailcloth

Sailcloth is a bottom-weight, half-basket-weave (2 x 1) unbalanced fabric. It may be made of spun- or textured-filament yarns. It can be piece dyed or printed.
Sateen

Sateen is a cotton fabric usually woven so that the surface is smooth and the finish lustrous, resembling satin. Can be either a strong, warp-face sateen or softer filling-face sateen. Often, though not always, filling sateens have a softer finish than warp sateens.
Satin

Satin was originally silk, but is now also made of filament manmade fibers with a highly lustrous surface and (usually) a dull back. Made in different weights according to its uses, which vary from lingerie and dress goods to drapery and upholstery fabrics. May be made with a cotton back. Sometimes double-faced for use as ribbon.
Satin crepe

Satin crepe is a satin weave of silk or manmade fiber with a crepe-twist filling. As the fabric is reversible, interesting effects can be obtained by contrasting the surfaces. Used for dresses, blouses, and linings. Also called crepe-back satin.
Scrim

Scrim has a durable plain weave. Generally play yarns and low thread count. Somewhat similar to voile but a much lower thread count. Cheesecloth with a stiffening finish is often referred to as scrim. Comes in many variations. Usually has a selvage. Generally carded, but a few combed varieties.
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Seersucker

Seersucker is a category of light-to medium-weight fabrics, of cotton or manmade fiber, of plain or crepe weave, with crinkled stripes in cloth made by alternating tight and slack twist warp yarns. Usually with dyed wrap yarn producing stripes. Imitations are chemically treated or embossed plissé. Used for summer suits, dresses, or bedspreads.
Serge

"Serge" refers to twill-weave fabrics with a flat, right-hand wale. The interlacing pattern is 2/2. The fabric is often wool or wool-like.
Shagbark

Shagbark is usually gingham with an occasional warp yarn under slack tension. During weaving, the slack-tension yarns create a loop at intervals giving the fabric a unique surface appearance.
Shantung

Shantung is a plain weave that has a rib effect formed by slub-filling yarns. Certain parts of the yarn are not given the usual number of twists. These places form the slub in the rib. Made of cotton, silk, rayon and other manmade fibers. Low in luster, heavier and rougher than pongee. Sometimes used to describe a heavy grade of pongee made in China. Also called: nankeen, rajah, and tussah.
Sharkskin

"Sharkskin" is a term descriptively applied to wool fabrics woven in two and two right-hand twill, with a one and one color arrangement of yarns in the warp and filling. This combination of weave and color results in color lines running diagonally to the left, opposed to the direction of the twill lines, and a distinctly sleek appearance and feel that suggests the texture of the skin of the shark. Also made of rayon, acetate, triacetate, other fibers, and blends. Used for suiting, sportswear.
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Sheers

Sheers are a class of thin, lightweight fabrics, with open weave constructions. May be made of any natural or manmade fiber.
Sheetings

Plain weave sheetings are mostly carded but occasionally combed yarns in all weights; light, medium, and heavy. Generally about the same number of yarns in warp as in filling, but often warp yarns are heavier than filling. Sheetings come in both wide and narrow widths. Yarn sizes range from 10s to 30s. Maybe made of cotton or any other major natural or manmade fiber.
Shetland

There are three different types of Shetland: (1) Originally a soft, napped fabric made of wool from the Shetland Islands. Herringbone twill is common. (2) Soft, knitted fabric of Shetland wool. (3) A woven or knitted fabric with a soft hand resembling that of Shetland but does not contain that wool.
Silesia

Silesia is generally a lightweight cotton twill lining with a calendered glaze.
Silk

Silk is a natural fiber produced from the silk worm. First made into beautiful exotic fabrics by the Chinese hundreds of years ago. There are many different types of silk fabrics produced from this fine natural fiber.
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Slipper satin

Slipper satin is a compactly woven, strong fabric originally used for women's evening shoes. Made of silk or manmade filament fibers in white, solid colors, and brocade designs.
Spandex

Spandex is the generic name for synthetic fibers of a segmented polyurethane composition. Spandex fiber threads are man-made elastic threads with properties better than natural rubber, which has been developed into many new stretch fabrics.
Sued cloth

"Sued cloth" is a general term for heavyweight fabrics. Suiting can be any fiber content or fabric construction that works well in men's or women's suits.
Surah

Surah was originally made of silk, but is now also made of manmade filament fibers. It is a soft, supple fabric of twill weave that may come in plaid or a printed pattern. It's used for neckwear, scarves, blouses, and dresses.
Taffeta

Taffeta, a smooth, closely woven fabric in a plain weave was originally made of silk and is now often made of manmade filament fibers. Taffeta is often weighted to produce its characteristic crispness. It can come in a solid color, have one color warp and another color filling to produce iridescence (taffeta with this changeable color effect is sometimes called "shot tafetta), plaid stripes, and may occasionally have a print or moiré pattern. It is used for dresses, suits, coats, and lingerie.
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Tapestry

Tapestry is a firm, heavy, stiff, jacquard-weave fabric made with several warp and filling yarn sets. Tapestry is also the term used for fabric made by hand in which the filling yarns are discontinuous. In handmade tapestries, the filling yarn is used only in areas where a color is desired.
Tarpaulin

Tarpaulin is waterproofed canvas sometimes made of nylon or other manmade fiber.
Terrycloth (terry)

Terrycloth is a slack-tension, warp-yarn pile fabric. Terrycloth may have loops on one or both sides of the fabric. Terrycloth may have a jacquard pattern and may be made with plied yarns for durability. There are also weft or filling-knit terrycloths.
Ticking

A 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.
Toile

There are three general types of toile: (1) Broad (French) refers to many plain or twill linen fabrics. (2) Sheer cotton or linen fabrics. (3) Design printed on fabric or woven in lace.
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Transparent velvet

Transparent velvet is a lightweight, soft, sheer velvet of silk or rayon pile and silk or rayon back. It drapes well and is often used for evening gowns and negligees.
Tricot

Tricot, a warp-knit fabric containing mostly manmade filament yarns, has fine vertical wales on its face and a slightly angled coursewise rib on its back. Tricot may have stripes, mesh, or patterns in structure. It is used for gloves, lingerie, and dresses.
Tropical weights

Tropical weights are lightweight, clear finish, plain weave fabrics of wool or wool/polyester 2/60s or better worsted yarns. It is used for men's and, less frequently, for women's summer suits. The weave should be firm but open because the fabric is designed for hot-weather wear.
Tsumugi silk

Tsumugi silk, made in central Honshu, Japan, is characterized by yarn-dyed striped or plaid patterns. It has a somewhat coarse, homespun quality and handsome appearance.
Tulle

Tulle is a fine, lightweight, stiff net of hexagonal mesh generally made of silk, rayon, or nylon. It's used for ballet costumes, bridal dresses, and veils.
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Tweed

"Tweed" is a term broadly applied to the sturdier types of fabrics made of the coarser grades of wool. Tweed fabrics originally derived their interest from the color effects obtained by mixing stock-dyed wools. More recently the term includes monotones, which derive their interest from weave effects. The most popular weaves for tweeds are plain, twill, and variations of the latter. Now also made of other fibers.
Ulster

Ulster is a heavy overcoat material, loosely woven with right-hand twist warp and left-handed twist filling. All types of fiber are used and quality varies accordingly. It is given a long nap that is pressed down.
Ultrasuede®

Ultrasuede® is a trademark of an imitation suede fabric composed of polyester microfibers combined with polyurethane foam in a non-woven structure. Hand and appearance resemble sheep suede.
Velour

Velour is a general term used to describe pile fabrics. Velours tend to have dense, long, or deep pile. Velours can be woven or knitted.
Velvet

Velvet is a compact short warp pile of silk or manmade fiber and usually a cotton or, perhaps, rayon back. Similar to plush, but has a shorter pile and feels softer.
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Velveteen

Velveteen is a filling-pile fabric made with long floats that are cut in the finishing process. The ground fabric can have a plain or twill weave. The pile in velveteen is short. Velveteen is usually a spunyarn fabric.
Vicuña

Vicuña is a short, soft, exceedingly fine hair fiber that is very valuable because of its limited supply. It is rarely used by itself, although a few vicuña coats are manufactured each year. It is sometimes mixed with wool to produce special soft coating fabrics. The term and certain derived and coined names have been much misused.
Viyella

Viyella is the trademark for lightweight British napped fabric usually of two-up and two-down twill of 55/45 blends of wool and cotton. Some variations in fiber content, qualities, and weights. Used for shirts, dresses.
Voile

Voile is a soft, yet firm sheer fabric of plain weave. It's generally made of combed hard-twisted single yarns, although ply yarns are also used. It has about the same number of yarns in warp as in filling, which produces a clinging effect. Occasionally dots are woven in, and a crisp finish given the fabric; then is sold as dotted Swiss. Used for children's wear, blouses, and dresses.
Waffle cloth

Similar to piqué in texture. Waffle cloth has a honeycomb weave made on dobby loom. Usually of cotton.
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Whipcord

Whipcord is a compact, medium-weight fabric of prominent right-hand 63° warp-faced twill. It may be made of cotton and may be mercerized. It's often made of good-quality woolen or worsted yarn. May be of rayon, nylon, other manmade, or blends. Very serviceable. Used for suits, coats, and uniforms.
Wigan

Wigan is usually made of printcloth or lightweight sheetings. It is dyed in dark colors and starched and calendered. It's used mostly for interlinings.
Wool

Wool is a natural fiber that is clipped from a sheep (fleece wool), which is then washed, combed, and spun into yarns of various qualities for a variety of different uses. Wool has been produced in many countries for hundreds of years and because of its warm, comfortable feel against the skin has many clothing uses.
Wool crepe

Wool crepe is a 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.
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