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Textiles Glossary

Compliments of Textiles Intelligence:

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a pattern constructed by applying one fabric on top of another.

Basket weave:
a textile weave consisting of double threads interlaced to produce a checkered pattern similar to that of a woven basket.

a traditional dyeing process in which portions of cloth are coated with wax and therefore resist the dye, enabling distinctive patterns to be created. Batik fabrics are characterised by a streaky or mottled appearance.

the direction diagonally across a piece of fabric at 45º to the warp and weft.

a plain weave usually made from cotton or linen.

hair with a mean diameter of 18.5 microns or less from the downy undercoat of Asiatic or selectively bred feral goats.
Last referenced in: Survey of the European Yarn Fairs for Autumn/Winter 2009/10 (Textile Outlook International Issue 136)

a cotton shirting fabric woven with a coloured warp and white weft.

a yarn consisting of a cut pile which may be one or more of a variety of fibres helically positioned around axial threads that secure it. Gives a thick, soft tufty silk or worsted velvet cord or yarn typically used in embroidery and for trimmings.

a very light, transparent fabric in a plain weave.

fabric designs which are derived from or which are imitations of Chinese motifs.

one of several different combinations of colours in which a given pattern is printed on items such as fabrics and wallpapers.

a cut weft pile fabric in which the cut fibres form a surface of cords or ribs in the warp direction.

A very soft, pervasive fabric made from vegetable fiber from the seed of the cotton plant. Cotton is all natural, renewable and the most popular choice for home products, clothing and thread.

Count of cloth:
The number of ends and picks per inch in a woven fabric.

Crêpe de chine:
a lightweight fabric, traditionally of silk, with a crinkly surface.

the loss of dye colour due to rubbing or abrasion.

a figured woven fabric in which the design is created by the use of satin and sateen weaves.

a 3/1 warp-faced twill fabric made from a yarn-dyed warp and an undyed weft yarn. Traditionally, the warp yarn was indigo-dyed.

a decorative pattern superimposed on an existing fabric by machine stitching or hand needlework.

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the matting together of fibres during processing. This is achieved on animal hair or wool by the application of moisture or heat, which causes the constituent fibres to mat together.

a material used to make textiles which is flexible, fine, and has a high ratio of length to thickness.

Flame resistant:
a term used to describe fibres, yarns or fabrics which resist burning.

Flame retardant:
a substance added or a treatment applied to a material in order to suppress, significantly reduce or delay the propagation of flame.

generally, a cotton or wool fabric, which has been napped on one or both sides (usually both) followed by a bleaching, dyeing or printing process and then brushed or rerun through the napping machine to revive the nap.

the fibre used to make linen textiles.

Fleece (fabric):
pile or napped fabric with a deep, soft, woolly-style surface.

A stylized three or four petal lily.

a plain-weave lightweight fabric, usually made of cotton, with small checks.

a plain-weave fabric with a rib in the weft direction, the rib being more pronounced than in a taffeta.

a broken twill weave giving a zigzag or herringbone effect.

a traditional technique resulting in a streaky effect, created by tying and dyeing lengths of yarn before weaving.

A popular design heralding from English embroidery with strong Asian influence. Common images are branches in color with fruit, flowers, and birds.

fine open-work fabric with a mesh ground upon which patterns are worked.

a double cloth with a quilted appearance.

The finest of all man-made fibers, at least 60 times finer than a human hair. Tightly woven to create an ultra light, silky fabric with an incredibly smooth and supple hand. Today's microfibers can be polyester, nylon, acrylic or a similar synthetic blend.

a soft or fuzzy surface on a fabric, usually achieved by brushing.

a term used to describe fabrics with a dyed, printed or woven design in which the colour is graduated from light to dark and often into stripes of varying shades.

An oriental pattern shaped like a tear drop with a curved point at the top. Often the paisley shape is decorated with interior abstract designs.

a woven cloth showing rounded cords in the weft direction with sunken lines between them.

a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many types of polyester, the term is used commonly to refer to polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

a plain-weave cotton-type fabric with weftways ribs and a high warp sett.

layers of padded cloth held together by stitching.

a term used to describe fibres made from regenerated cellulose (see also viscose, modal and acetate).

a fabric characterised by the presence of puckered areas contrasted by flat areas, usually in stripes along the length of the cloth.

Making puckers or gathers in a fabric, often by using elasticated thread in parallel rows.

a closely woven figured fabric with a compound structure in which a pattern is developed by the use of coloured yarns in the warp or in the weft or both. A fine binder warp and weft may be incorporated. The fabric is woven on jacquard looms and is normally used for upholstery.

a traditional dyeing process in which fabric is tied and dyed.

Toile de Jouy:
classic designs originally created in the 1760s for the French court by textile designers in the town of Jouy en Josas.

a figured structure based on the piqué weave, which is often associated with the appearance of a honeycomb.

yarns which run along the length of a fabric.

the process of producing fabric by interlacing warp and weft yarns.

yarns which run across the width of a fabric (also known as filling).

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