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 Fabric Glossary  

Fashion expert Frances Harder describes every type of textile so you can peg down which type of fabric you really want to buy.

Acetate | Acrylic | Alpaca | Antique Satin | Astrakhan | Barathea | Bathrobe Blanketing | Batiste | Bedford cord | Bengaline | Blanket Cloth | Bouclé | Broadcloth | Brocade | Buckram | Bunting | Burlap

Calico | Cambric | Camel Hair | Candlewick | Canvas | Cashmere | Cavalry twill | Challis | Chambray | Charmeuse | Charvet Silk | Cheesecloth | Chenille | Chiffon | China silk | Chino | Chintz | Cloque fabric | Corduroy | Cotton | Crash | Crepe | Crepe-back Satin | Crepe Charmeuse | Crepe (Wool) | Damask | Denim | Doeskin | Double cloth | Double knit | Double weave | Drill | Duck

Embossing | Faille | Felt | Flannel | Flannelette | Fleece | Friezé | Gabardine | Gauze | Georgette | Gingham | Gossamer | Granada | Gray goods | Grosgrain | Habutai | Handkerchief linen | Herringbone | Hessian | Homespun | Hopsacking | Houndstooth

India Silk | Interlock | Irish Poplin | Khaki | Lace | La Coste | Lamé | Lawn | Leno | Linen | Lining twill | Loden Clothe | Lycra | Madras | Marble Silk | Marquisette | Matelassé | Melton | Microfiber | Milanese | Mohair | Moiré | Moleskin | Monk's Cloth | Mummy Cloth | Muslin

Nacre Velvet | Net | Nylon | Oilcloth | Oilskin | Organza | Ottoman | Outing flannel | Oxford | Panama | Panne Velvet | Paper Taffeta | Penne Satin | Percale | Pigment Taffeta | Pique | Plisse | Plush | Polished cotton | Polyester | Pongee | Poplin | Power net | Print cloth | Raschel knit | Ramie | Rep Plain weave

Sailcloth | Sateen | Satin | Scrim | Seersucker | Serge | Shagbark | Shantung | Sharkskin | Sheers | Sheetings | Shetland | Silesia | Silk | Slipper Satin | Spandex | Sued cloth | Suiting | Surah | Taffeta | Tapestry | Tarpaulin | Terrycloth | Ticking | Toile | Transp. Velvet | Tricot | Tropical Weights | Tsumugi Silk | Tulla | Tweed | Ulster | Ultrasuede | Velour | Velvet | Velveteen | Vicuña | Viyella | Voile | Waffle Cloth | Whipcord | Wigan | Wool

This synthetic man made 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.
Often used in place of wool as a cheap synthetic substitute. It is warm and lightweight, it washes well, and is less expensive than wool.
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
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.
Rough fabric with closely curled face resembling Astrakhan lamb's pelt. Woven or knitted usually with base yarns of cotton and pile of wool, mohair, acrylic or modacrylic fibers.
Smooth-faced worsted uniform fabric constructed of an indistinct twilled basket weave of fine two-ply yarns.
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 Bathrobe Blanketing
Double-faced fabric woven with tightly twisted warp and two sets of soft spun filling yarns. Usually napped to produce soft, thick, warm material. Made of cotton, wool, polyester, acrylic, and blends of these fibers.
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
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.
a lustrous, durable, warp-faced fabric with heavy filling cords completely covered by the warp.
 Blanket Cloth
Plain or twill weaves. Thick, soft-filling yarns heavily napped both sides. Often yarndyed in plaids or stripes.
A fabric woven or knitted from curled or specially twisted yarn, which has small loops on the surface, giving 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.
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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.
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.
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.
(See Cheesecloth)
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.
A low-count or medium-count cotton or cotton/manmade print-cloth with small early American designs. Used for aprons, dresses, curtains, and quilts.
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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.
Muslin base fabric tufted with heavy plied yarns providing fuzzy designs.
a heavy, firm; strong fabric often made of cotton or acrylic and used for awnings, slipcovers, and covers for boats. It is produced in many grades and qualities. It is made in plain or basket weave.
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
a steep, pronounced, double-wale line, smooth-surfaced twill fabric.
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 Challis (shal´i):
a lightweight, spun yarn; plain weave, balanced fabric with a soft finish. It can be made of any staple fiber or blend of fibers.
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.
Silk, rayon, or cotton satin weave fabric with semi lustrous surface and dull back. Used for dresses, gowns, and pajamas.
 Charvet Silk
Diagonal rib weaves with stripes. Soft, drapes well. Used for neckties.
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.
Fluff or fuzzy-faced fabric made with a chenille filling yarn that has a fuzzy pile protruding from all sides. Some imitations made by tufting, using no chenille yarn. Other versions are knitted with or to imitate chenille yarn.
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a sheer, very lightweight, plain-woven fabric with fine crepe twist yarns of approximately the same size and twist used in warp and filling. The fabric is balanced.
 China silk
a soft, lightweight, opaque, plain-weave fabric made from fine-filament yarns and used for apparel.
a steep-twill fabric with a slight sheen, often made in a bottom-weight fabric of cotton or cotton/polyester. Often it is made of combed two-ply yarns in both warp and filling and vat-dyed in khaki.
A cotton print cloth, of high-count plain weave, with bright, attractive floral or geometric designs, both large and small. Often given a permanent or semi-permanent glaze; then known as glazed chintz. For draperies, slipcovers, and dresses.
 Cloque fabric
a general term used to refer to any fabric with a puckered or blistered effect.
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.
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a white vegetable fiber grown in warmer climates in many parts of the world and which 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.
a medium- to heavyweight; plain-weave fabric made from slub or irregular yarns to create an irregular surface.
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-back Satin or Satin Crepe
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.
 Crepe Charmeuse
Smooth, soft luster fabric of grenadine silk warp and filling, with latter given crepe twist. Body and drape of satin. Used for dresses, and eveningwear.
 Crepe (Wool)
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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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.
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.
Two different types: (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
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.
 Double knit
a general term used to refer to any filling-knit fabric made on two needle beds.
 Double weave
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.
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a strong, medium- to heavyweight, warp-faced, twill-weave fabric. It is usually a 2/1 left-handed twill and piece dyed.
a strong, heavy, plain or basket weave fabric. Duck comes in a variety of weights and qualities. It is similar to canvas, usually made from cotton.
a fabric with a design with heated, engraved calendars creates embossed fabrics. Often print cloths are embossed to imitate seersucker, crepe, or other structural-design fabrics.
a medium- to heavyweight, unbalanced, plain weave fabric with filament yarns, warp-faced, flat ribs created by using heavier filling yarns. It has a light luster.
a fiberweb fabric of at least 70 percent wool made by interlocking the scales of the wool fibers through the use of heat, moisture, and agitation.
a light- to heavyweight, plain- or twill-weave fabric with a napped surface.
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a light- to medium-weight, plain-weave cotton or cotton-blend fabric lightly napped on one side.
Fabric with deep, soft nap. Term properly applied 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.
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)
a tightly woven, medium- to heavyweight, steep- or regular-angle, twill-weave fabric with a pronounced wale. The fabric 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.
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.
a sheer, lightweight, plain weave fabric made with fine-crepe yarns. It is crepier and less lustrous than chiffon.
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a yarn-dyed, plain weave fabric that is available in a variety of weights and qualities. It may be balanced or unbalanced. It may be made of 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 referred to as plaid gingham.
Very soft, gauzelike veiling originally of silk.
Fine, face-finished fabric with a granular surface. Made of worsted yarn. Often dyed black.
 Gray goods (grey goods or greige goods)
a general term used to describe any unfinished woven or knitted fabric.
(grow´grain) 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.
a soft, lightweight silk fabric. It is heavier than China silk.
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 Handkerchief linen
similar in luster and count to batiste, but it is linen or linen-look with slub yarns and a little more body.
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.
See Burlap.
a coarse, plain weave fabric with a hand-woven look.
a coarse, loosely woven suiting-or bottom-weight; basket-weave fabric often made of lowgrade cotton.
 Houndstooth check
a medium- to heavyweight, yarn-dyed twill-weave fabric in which the interlacing and color pattern creates a unique pointed-check or houndstooth shape.
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 India Silk
Very thin, soft, hand-loomed plain weave fabric made chiefly in India.
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
Two types: (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.
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.
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.
 La Coste
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.
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Fabric in which flat metal threads form the pattern or the background. Used chiefly for eveningwear.
a fine, opaque, lightweight, and plain weave fabric usually made of combed-cotton or cottonblend yarns. The fabric may be bleached, dyed, or printed.
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.
can be classified in a variety of classifications, from fine and lightweight used for fine shirts to a heavier more durable weight used for pants and jackets. Linen has the tendency to creasing and needs ironing often.
 Lining twill
an opaque, lightweight, warp-faced twill of filament yarns. It may be printed.
 Loden Clothe
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.
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(See Spandex)
Cotton fabric of plain weave of coarse yarns. Usually comes in stripes, checks, or plaids. Colors may bleed. Used for shirting.
 Marble Silk
Lightweight silk fabric of warp-printed yarn or multicolored filling, which imparts mottled appearance. Used for dresses.
a sheer, lightweight; leno-weave fabric usually made of filament yarns.
A fabric having 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, upholstery.
Well-fulled or felted overcoating fabric with smooth, hard finish and close-cropped nap. Generally 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.
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Shortened form of the term "microdenier fiber", with "denier" being a measure of fiber size. Synthetic fiber, which is extremely fine and can be spun from polyester, nylon, rayon, acetate, or a combination of these. Can be blended with natural fibers to produce a strong durable fabric that is soft and water-resistant.
Warp knitted fabric with distinctive diagonal. Made of any filament fiber. Used for gloves, lingerie.
Yarns and fabrics of mohair 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.
Watermark designs 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.
a napped, heavy, strong fabric often made in a satin weave. The nap is suede-like.
 Monk's (Druid's) Cloth
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
Two different types: (1) fine, closely woven linen fabric used in Egypt for wrapping mummies. (2) Dull crepe fabric of silk or cotton warp and wool filling.
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
Velvet with pile of one color and back of another, giving a mother-of-pearl, changeable appearance.
a general term used to refer to any open-construction fabric whether it is created by weaving, knitting, knotting, or another method.
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.
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.
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Cotton linen, silk, or manmade material treated with linseed oil, varnish for waterproofing. Used for rainwear.
a transparent, crisp, lightweight; plain-weave fabric made of cotton-spun yarns. The fabric has been parchmentized to create the crisp, wiry hand.
a transparent, crisp, lightweight; plain-weave fabric made of filament yarns.
Heavy, plain weave fabric with wide, flat crosswise ribs that are larger and higher than in faille. 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.
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 shirting's, dresses, and similar purposes
Lightweight summer suiting. Plain weave, usually with cotton warp and worsted filling. Skein or piece-dyed.
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 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.
 Penne Satin
Lightweight silk or manmade fiber satin fabric with very high luster achieved with aid of heavy roll pressure. Crushes easily. Used for eveningwear.
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
Taffeta woven with pigmented yarns. Surface has dull appearance.
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Two different types: (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.
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.
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
a medium-weight, plain weave fabric that has been given a glazed-calendar finish.
a medium weight man made fiber that is strong and can be found in many types of fabrics.
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.
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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.
 Power net
a Raschel-warp knit in which an inlaid spandex fiber or yarn is used to give high elongation and elasticity.
 Print cloth
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.
 Raschel knit
a general term for patterned, warp-knit fabric made with coarser yarns than other warpknit fabrics.
Similar to flax with a high natural luster. Fine, absorbent, and quick drying fiber, used for apparel, some interior furnishings, rope, and other industrial uses.
 Rep Plain weave
Has a rib running across the fabric. The rib stands out more than in poplin. Usually given a high luster, although not always.
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the first synthetic fiber produced from mostly cellulose, which greatly resembled 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.
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.
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.
Originally silk, now also 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.
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.
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.
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a general term used to refer to twill-weave fabrics with a flat, right-hand wale. The interlacing pattern is 2/2. The fabric is often wool or wool-like.
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.
Plain weave. 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 sometimes called: nankeen, rajah, and tussah.
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.
General classification for thin, lightweight fabric, of any one of several open weave constructions. May be made of any natural or manmade fiber.
Plain weave. 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.
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Three different types: (1) originally, 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.
Generally, lightweight cotton twill lining with a calendered glaze.
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.
 Slipper Satin
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.
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
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.
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Originally of silk, now also made of manmade filament fibers. Soft, supple fabric of twill weave. May come in plaid or printed pattern. Used for neckwear, scarves, blouses, and dresses.
A smooth, closely woven fabric in a plain weave. Originally of silk, now often of manmade filament fibers. Often weighted to produce its characteristic crispness. Solid colors, but sometimes of one color warp and another color filling to give iridescent, or changeable color effect, sometimes called "shot taffeta." May also be striped for plaid, occasionally printed. Sometimes has a moiré pattern. Used for dresses, suits, coats, and lingerie.
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 hand-made tapestries, the filling yarn is used only in those areas where that color is desired.
Waterproofed canvas. Sometimes of nylon or other manmade fiber.
 Terrycloth (terry)
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.
A variety of fabrics are known by this name. 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.
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Three general types: (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.
 Transparent Velvet
Lightweight, soft sheer velvet of silk or rayon pile and silk or rayon back. Drapes well. Used for evening gowns, negligees.
Warp-knit fabric with fine vertical wales on face and slightly angled coursewise rib on back. May have stripes, mesh, or patterns in structure. Mostly manmade filament yarns. Used for gloves, lingerie dresses.
 Tropical Weights
Lightweight, clear finish plain weave fabrics of wool or wool/polyester 2/60s or better worsted yarns, usually the latter, used for men's and, less frequently, for women's summer suits. The weave should be firm but open, because the fabric is especially designed for hot-weather wear.
 Tsumugi Silk
Made in central Honshu, Japan. Characterized by yarn-dyed striped or plaid patterns. Has somewhat coarse, homespun quality and handsome appearance.
Fine, lightweight, stiff net of hexagonal mesh. General made of silk, rayon, or nylon. Used for ballet costumes, bridal dresses, and veils.
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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 the plain, the twill, and variations of the latter. Now also made of other fibers.
Heavy, overcoat material, loosely woven with right-hand twist warp, and left-handed twist filling. All types of fiber used, quality varies accordingly. Given a long nap that is pressed down.
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.
a general term used to describe pile fabrics. Velours tend to have dense, long, or deep pile. Velours can be woven or knitted.
Compact short warp pile of silk or manmade fiber and usually a cotton or, perhaps, rayon back. Similar to plush but shorter pile and softer.
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.
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Short, soft, exceedingly fine hair fiber, very valuable because of the limited supply. It is rarely used by itself, although a few vicuña coats are manufactured each year. Sometimes mixed with wool to produce special soft coating fabrics. The term and certain derived and coined names have been much misused.
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.
A soft yet firm sheer fabric of plain weave. Generally made of combed hard-twisted single yarns, although ply yarns are also used. About the same number of yarns in warp as in filling. Has 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. Honeycomb weave made on dobby loom. Usually of cotton.
Compact, medium-weight fabric of prominent right-hand 63° warp-faced twill. May be made of cotton and may be mercerized. 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.
Usually made of printcloth or lightweight sheetings. Dyed in dark colors and starched and calendered. Used mostly for interlinings.
a natural fiber that is clipped from a sheep (fleece wool), which is then washed, combed, and spun into yarns of various qualities and used for a variety of different types of 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.
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