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Fibre: True alpaca is a hair fibre from the Alpaca animal, a member of the Ilama family of the South American Andes Mountains. Also imitated in wool, wool and alpaca, rayon, mohair and rayon or cotton and a cotton warp and alpaca filling also synthetics - e.g. orlon.
: Various weaves, knits, and weights.
Characteristics: Fine, silk-like, soft, light weight and warm. Has much luster and resembles mohair. If guard hairs are used it is inclined to be boardy. It is strong and durable. True alpaca is expensive so often combined with other fibres or imitated by other fibres - e.g. orlon.
Uses: Men's and Women's suits, coats and sportswear, linings and sweaters. Some fine alpaca used for women's dresses. Also in pile or napped fabric for coating.


One yard and nine inches of warp thread


Fibre: Hair from the angora rabbit. Often blended and mixed with wool to lower the price of the finished article or to obtain fancy or novelty effects.
Weave: Various weave and knitted.
Characteristics: Very fine, light weight, extremely warm and fluffy. Has a tendency to shed and mat with time. Must be designated as angora rabbit's hair.
Uses: Used mostly in knitwear - gloves, scarves, sweaters, etc. for children and women. Also blended with wool in dress goods and suits to give a softer feel.


Green peach tree branch with a string fastened from end to end to form a bow, used to remove small particles of dirt and debris from cotton and to unravel matted cotton to a soft fiber; an Osage orange branch bow used as an alternative to a green peach tree branch for the same purpose; bow, arch


Fibre: Cotton, silk, wool, rayon, synthetics, and blends.
Weave: Plain, twill, or rib, background often has a small design either jacquard or dobby made with warp floats on surface giving a raised effect.
Characteristics: Design is often in two colours and raised. The name was derived from original fabric, which was woven with a small interlaced design of chain armor and used for military equipment during the Crusades.
Uses: a rich looking dress fabric, draperies, or upholstery

Art Linen

Fibre :Linen.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: It is woven with even threads that are especially good for embroidery. It is very easy to "draw" the yarns for drawn thread work. Comes bleached, or coloured. Has a soft finish.
Uses: All kinds of needlework, lunch cloths, serviettes, etc.


Fibre: Wool. Sometimes made with a mohair warp to add lustre and curl to the surface. Poor grades often have cotton warp or back.
Fur: Luxuriant fur, curly and wavy. Most popular shade is brown. It is a caraculs lambskin forms the Astrakhan section of Russia.
Weave: Good grades woven with a pile weave and cut. Cheap grades are knitted.
Characteristics: Resembles astrakhan fur. Deep pile with curled loops. Durable and warm.
Uses: Coats, cloaks, trimmings and accessories.


One yard and nine inches of warp thread


Fibre: Worsted, silk, rayon or silk or rayon warp combined with cotton or wool.
Weave: An indistinct twill, plain or novelty. Usually a twilled hopsack weave.
Characteristics: Fine textured, slightly pebbled surface. Appears to be cut off-grain. Very hard wearing. English in origin and originally made as a mourning cloth. It is still often dyed black.
Uses: Women's suits and coats, men's evening wear, dress goods in light fibres. Also used in silk for cravat cloth and after five wear.


Fibre: Cotton, also rayon and wool.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Named after Jean Baptiste, a French linen weaver. Light weight, soft, semi-sheer fabric which resembles nainsook, but finer. It belongs to the lawn family; almost transparent. It is made of tightly twisted, combed yarns and mercerized finish. Sometimes it is printed or embroidered. In a heavier weight, it is used for foundation garments and linings in a plain, figured, striped, or flowered design. Considered similar to nainsook but finer and lighter in weight. Now usually made of 100% polyester distinguished by slubs in filling direction.


An implement used in the washing of clothing, wedge-shaped with a handle extending from the larger side of the wedge, carved from a single piece of wood


Fibre: Silk.
Weave: Crosswise rib (plain or twill weave).
Characteristics: Has brightly coloured stripes in the filling direction. Often black warp. The colour effects are usually startling or bizarre. Mostly produced in India . Name derived from the Bajadere dancing girl of India , dedicated from birth to a dancing life. The Bayadere costume includes the striped garment, a flimsy scarf or shawl, jeweled trousers, spangles, sequins, anklets.
Uses: Blouses, dresses, after 5 wear.

Beaver Cloth

Fibre: Wool. Also sotton and napped on both sides - double faced.
Weave: Twill and very heavily napped, and fulled.
Characteristics: Originally English. Made to simulate beaver fur. Thick, gives excellent wear and very warm - resembles kersey. Length of nap varies with the cloth and its uses. Has a luxurious look. Has the longest nap of all the napped fabrics and usually somewhat silky. Often light coloured fibres added to nap to increase shine.
Uses: Mostly used for warm coats. Cotton beaver is used for caps, shoe linings, work cloths, Maritime clothes and sports clothes where work is required.

Bedford Cord

Fibre: Wool or worsted but worsted is more popular. Also made in cotton, silk and rayon.
Weave: Lengthwise rib. Sometimes stuffing emphasizes the ribs.
Characteristics: Both Bedford , England and New Bedford , Mass. claim the name. Very pronounced rib. Very firm construction. Takes much hard wear. Have various qualities and weights.
Uses: Suiting, coatings, riding breeches, uniforms and upholstery.


Fibre: Silk, wool, rayon, synthetics, cotton.
Weave: Crosswise rib, warp faced.
Characteristics: First made of silk in Bengal , India . Ribs are round and raised. Often has wool or cotton dilling in the ribs, which doesn't show. Difficult to make bound buttonholes in it. Has a tendency to slip at the seams if too tightly fitted. Grosgrain and Petersham is bengaline cut to ribbon widths. The cloth is usually 40" wide.
Uses: Coats, suits, millinery, trims, bouffant dresses with a tailored look, mourning cloth, draperies. A French term for bengaline made from a silk or rayon warp and worsted filling which is given a hard twist.


Fibre: In cotton and Linen or blend of rayon staple and cotton.
Weave: Usually dobby
Characteristics: Very soft, lightweight, and absorbent. Woven with a loosely twisted filling to increase absorbency. Launders very well. No starch is applied because the absorption properties must be of the best. Material must be free from any foreign matter. It is also called "diaper cloth" and is used for that purpose as well as very good towelling. Also "novelty" birdseye effects used as summer dress fabrics.

Blanket Cloth

Fibre: Wool, worsted, cotton, blends, synthetics.
Weave: Plain or twill.
Characteristics: Soft, raised finish, "nap" obtained by passing the fabric over a series of rollers covered with fine wire or teasels. Heavily napped and fulled on both sides. Nap lose and may pill in laundering. Named in honor of Thomas Blanket (Blanquette), a Flemish weaver who lived in Bristol , England in the XIV century, and was the first to use this material for sleeping to keep warm.
Uses: Bed covering, overcoats, robes.


a warp box


A bobbin; a bobbin, spool, reel; a bobbin, spool


Box, case; box, chest, can

Bôite à ourdir

a standing cypress or oak rack with horizontal iron rods that hold up to twenty corn cobs wound with thread; a warping

Bolivia (Elysian)

Fiber: Wool. Sometimes contains alpaca or mohair.
Weave: Twill- usually 3 up and 3 down. A pile weave (cut) with a diagonal pattern.
Characteristics: Pile face, which varies in depth. Soft and has a velvety feel. Usually piece dyed. Usually has lines or ridges in the warp or in a diagonal direction on one side. Comes in light, medium and heavy weights.
Uses: Cloakings and coatings and some suits.


Fibre: Usually have silk or rayon warp and worsted filling. Imitations are made in cotton.
Weave: Plain or twill.
Characteristics: Very fine English fabric. Name comes from Latin "bombycinum" which means a silk in texture. It is one of the oldest materials known and was originally all-silk.
Uses: Infants wear. When dyed black it is used in the mourning cloth trade


Fibre: Wool, also in rayon, silk, cotton, linen, blends, hair fibres.
Weave: Any weave, knit.
Characteristics: From the French for "buckled" or "ringed". A drawn out or ringed, looped yarn is used to give it a kinky appearance at intervals. Made in a variety of weights. Boucle yarns are usually in both the filling and the warp. Fabrics are usually springy to handle on account of the highly twisted yarns used to achieve the boucle effect. Often ravels easily.
Uses: Coats, suits, dresses, sportswear.


A skein of yarn


A projecting nub or "button," achieved through hand-manipulation of the weft thread usually placed on coverlets at the intersection of warp and weft cordons; button


a type of fabric used for coverlets, incorporating boutons,usually all white, often with netted, fringed edging


Fibre: Cotton and silk, and rayon. Very different than wool broadcloth.
Weave: Plain weave and in most cotton broadcloths made with a very fine crosswise rib weave.
Characteristics: Originally indicated a cloth woven on a wide loom. Very closely woven and in cotton, made from either carded or combed yarns. The filling is heavier and has less twist. It is finer than poplin when made with a crosswise rib and it is lustrous and soft with a good texture. Thread count ranges from high quality 144 x 6 count down to 80 x 60. Has a smooth finish. May be bleached, dyed, or printed; also is often mercerized. Wears very well. If not of a high quality or treated it wrinkles very badly. Finest quality made from Egyptian or combed pima cotton - also sea island.
Uses: Shirts, dresses, particularly the tailored type in plain colours, blouses, summer wear of all kinds.

Broadcloth, Habotai

Same as China Silk except heavier; wrinkles less; good for shirts weight: medium (10 mm) up


Fibre: Cotton brocade often has the ground of cotton and the pattern of rayon and silk. Pattern is in low relief.
Weave: Jacquard and dobby
Characteristics: Rich, heavy, elaborate design effect. Sometimes with coloured or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. The figures in brocade are rather loose, while in damask the figure threads are actually bound into the material. The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or other designs. The price range is wide. Generally reputed to have been developed from the Latin name "brocade" which means to figure.
Uses: All types of after 5 wear, church vestments, interior furnishings, and state robes.


Fibre: Silk, rayon, cotton, and synthetics.
Weave: Jacquard - double or backed cloth.
Characteristics: Originally supposed to be an imitation of Italian tooled leather - satin or twill pattern on plain or satin ground. It is recognized by a smooth raised figure of warp-effect, usually in a satin weave construction, on a filling effect background. True brocatelle is a double weave made of silk and linen warp and a silk and linen filling. Present-day materials may have changed from the XIIIth and XIVth Century fabrics, but they still have the embossed figure in the tight, compact woven warp-effect. While brocatelle is sometimes classed as a flat fabric, it shows patterns, which stand out in "high relief" in a sort of blistered effect.
Uses: Draperies, furniture, coverings and general decorating purposes as well as all kinds of after 5 wear.


a spike spindle used for spinning thicker yarns; a spit or stringer (for fish) in the form of a forked branch.


- a spike spindle used for spinning thicker yarns; a spit or stringer (for fish) in the form of a forked branch


Fibre: Cotton, some in linen, synthetics.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Cheap, low-textured, loose weave, very heavily sized and stiff. Also, 2 fabrics are glued together; one is open weave and the other much finer. Some is also made in linen in a single fabric. Also called crinoline book muslin or bookbinding. Name from Bokhara in Southern Russia , where it was first made.
Uses: Used for interlinings and all kinds of stiffening in clothes, book binding, and for millinery (because it can be moistened and shaped). Used to give stiffness to leather garments not as stiff and often coloured is called "tarlatan". Softens with heat. Can be shaped while warm.


A large hollow gourd used to hold cotton fiber during seeding and carding; a utility bowl for fibers; a gourd


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain - usually a low count.
Characteristics: Originated in Calcutta , India , and is one of the oldest cottons. Rather coarse and light in weight. Pattern is printed on one side by discharge or resist printing. It is not always fast in colour. Sized for crispness but washes out and requires starch each time. Designs are often geometric in shape, but originally elaborate designs of birds, trees, and flowers. Inexpensive. Similar to percale. Very little on the market to-day, but the designs are still in use on other fabrics and sold as "calico print".
Uses: Housedresses, aprons, patchwork quilts.


Fibre: Cotton, also linen.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Soft, closely woven, light. Either bleached or piece dyed. Highly mercerized, lint free. Calendered on the right side with a slight gloss. Lower qualities have a smooth bright finish. Similar to batiste but is stiffer and fewer slubs. Launders very well. Has good body, sews and finishes well. Originally made in Cambria , France of linen and used for Church embroidery and table linens.
Uses: Handkerchiefs, underwear, slips, nightgowns, children's dresses, aprons, shirts and blouses.

Camel Hair

Fibre: Hair from the camel. Sometimes blended with wool or imitated in wool.
Weave: Twill or plain.
Characteristics: Underhair is best. It is lightweight, lustrous and soft. It ranges from a light tan to a brownish-black colour. Usually left its natural tones but can be dyed-usually navy and some red. It has quite a long nap and is warm. Better grades are expensive. Sometimes blended with wool to reduce the cost and increase the wear. All wool camel hair is not as lustrous and is spongy. Can have either a rich nap or a flat finish. Wears fairly well, particularly if blended.
Uses: Coats, women's suits, sports coats, sweaters, some blankets and put in some very expensive oriental rugs.

Candlewick Fabric

Fibre: Cotton - also wool.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: An unbleached muslin bed sheeting (also called Kraft muslin) used as a base fabric on which a chenille effect is formed by application of candlewick (heavy plied yarn) loops, which are then cut to give the fuzzy effect and cut yarn appearance of true chenille yarn. May be uncut also. (True chenille is a cotton, wool, silk, or rayon yarn which has a pile protruding all around at slight angles and stimulates a caterpillar. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar).
Uses: Bedspreads, drapes, housecoats, beachwear.


A spool

Canton Flannel

Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Four-harness warp-faced twill weaves.
Characteristics: The filling yarn is a very loosely twisted and soft and later brushed to produce a soft nap on the back, the warp is medium in size. The face is twill. Heavy, warm, strong and absorbent. Named for Canton , China where it was first made. Comes bleached, unbleached, dyed, and some is printed.
Uses: Interlinings, sleeping garments, linings, coverings, work gloves.


Fibre Linen, cotton.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: Mostly rugged, heavy material made from plyed yarns. Has body and strength. It is usually manufactured in the grey state but some is dyed for different uses. Almost the same as duck in heavier weights. Has an even weave. Ada or Java canvas used for yarn, needlework, almost like mesh.
Uses: Tents, sails, mailbags, sacks, covers, etc. Finer types used for embroidery and paintings. Hair canvas is an interfacing material in various weights.


Cards, used for carding, aligning, fibers; a tool purchased from commercial producers; a carding brush; a card, a tool used to comb wool, cotton, etc.

Cashmere ( Kashmir )

Fibre: From the Kashmir goat, a hair fibre found in Kashmir India , Tibet , Iran , Iraq , and South west China . Often mixed with wool or synthetics to cut costs and improve the wear.
Weave: All weaves but mostly plain or twill. All knits.
Characteristics: Fibre is cylindrical, soft and silken. More like wool than any other hair fibre. Has a very soft silky finish very light in weight. Doesn't stand up to hard wear on account of extremely soft downy finish. True colour is brownish, but can be dyed any shade. Comes in different weights.
Uses: Knitted into sweaters for men and women, also women's dresses.

Cavalry Twill

Fibre: Woolen or worsted.
Weave: 63 twill weave - right hand twill.
Characteristics: Pronounced narrow and wide wale, in groups of 2. Strong rugged cloth. Quite elastic. Similar to U.S. elastic but elastic is smoother in rib, feel and effect, - (made of worsted yarn and a firmer weave). Also resembles tricotine but tricotine is much finer with a double diagonal.
Uses: Riding habits, ski wear, sportswear, and uniform fabrics.


weaving warp threads; a term denoting all of the warp ends in a textile; a chain

Challis (Chalys)

Fibre: From the Kashmir goat, a hair fibre found in Kashmir India , Tibet , Iran , Iraq , and South west China . Often mixed with wool or synthetics to cut costs and improve the wear.
Weave: All weaves but mostly plain or twill. All knits.
Characteristics: Fibre is cylindrical, soft and silken. More like wool than any othe hair fibre. Has a very soft silky finish; very light in weight. Doesn't stand up to hard wear on account of extremely soft downy finish. True colour is brownish, but can be dyed any shade. Comes in different weights.
Uses: Knitted into sweaters for men and women, also women's dresses and children's dresses and blouses, comforters, kimonos, neckties, and sportswear. In slacks or shorts it would have to be lined.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain weave or dobby designs on a plain-weave ground.
Characteristics: Made with a dyed warp and a white or unbleached filling. Both carded and combed yarns used. Has a white selvedge. Some woven with alternating white and coloured warp. "Faded" look. Has very soft colouring. Some made with stripes, checks or embroidered. Smooth, strong, closely woven, soft and has a slight lustre. Wears very well, easy to sew, and launders well. If not crease resistant, it wrinkles easily. Originated in Cobrai , France , where it was first made for sunbonnets.
Uses: Children's wear, dresses, shirts and blouses, aprons, all kinds of sportswear.

Chamois Cloth

Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain
Characteristics Fabric is napped, sheared, and dyed to simulate chamois leather. It is stiffer than kasha and thicker, softer and more durable than flannelette. Must be designated as "cotton chamoise-colour cloth".
Uses: Dusters, interlining, storage bags for articles to prevent scratching.


Fibre: Cotton, alos rayon and nylon.
Weave: Knitted, double knit construction.
Characteristics: A fine, firmly knit fabric. Has a very short soft nap. Wears well. Nylon chamoisette is more often called "glove silk".
Uses: Gloves.


backed satin; rich luster; drapes beautifully Weight:- medium; 16 or higher


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Originally used as a wrapping material for pressing cheese. Loosely woven, thin, light in weight, open in construction, and soft. Carded yarns are always used. It is also called gauze weave. When woven in 36" widths it is called tobacco cloth. When an applied finish is added, it is called buckram, crinoline, or bunting.
Uses: In the gray cloth, it is used for covering tobacco plants, tea bags and wiping cloths.
Finished cloth is used for curtains, bandages, dust cloths, cheap bunting, hat lining, surgical gauze, fly nets, food wrapping, e.g. meat and cheese, costumes and basket tops.

Chenille Fabric

Fibre: Cotton and any of the main textile fibres.
Weave: Mostly plain weave.
Characteristics: Warp yarn of any major textile fibre. Filling of chenille yarns (has a pile protruding all around at right angles). The word is French for caterpillar and fabric looks hairy. Do not confuse with tufted effects obtained without the use of true Chenille filling.
Uses: Millinery, rugs, decorative fabrics, trimmings, upholstery.


Fibre: Wool originally and mostly made from wool from the Cheviot sheep but today also made of blends, spun synthetics, crossbred and reused wools.
Weave: Twill (modern version sometimes plain).
Very rugged, harsh, uneven surface that does not hold a crese and sags with wear. Resembles serge but is much more rugged and coarse and will not shine because of the rough surface. Often sold as a homespun but true homespun has a plain weave and very heavy. Also sold as a tweed.
Coats, suits, sportswear, sport's coats.

Chiffon (French for "rag")

Fibre: Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Lightweight, sheer, transparent. Made with very fine, tightly twisted yarns. The tightly twisted yarns could be either in the filling or the warp or both. It is very strong, despite filmy look. Wears very well. It is very difficult to handle when sewing and it is best to baste the pieces over tissue to make it easier. It has slightly bumpy look. It is best suited to shirring, draping, gathering, tucking, etc., because it is so limp. If made in a straight sheath style, it should be underlined with very firm fabric. e.g. faille taffeta.
Uses: After 5 wear, blouses, scarves.

China Silk

Fibre: Silk.
Weave: Originally hand woven in China of silk from the Bonabyx mori. Very soft and extremely lightweight but fairly strong. Irregularities of threads caused by the extreme lightness and softness are characteristic of the fabric.
Uses: Mostly for linings and underlinings and could be used for blouses.


Fibre: Cotton or wool, and some manmade and synthetics.
Weave: Sateen or twill construction with extra fillings for long floats.
Characteristics: Does not resemble true chinchilla fur. Has small nubs on the surface of the fabric which are made by the chincilla machine. It attacks the face and causes the long floats to be worked into nubs and balls. Cotton warp is often used because it cannot show from either side. Made in medium and heavy weights. Very warm and cozy fabrics. Takes its name from Chinchilla Spain where it was invented.
Uses: In cotton, used for baby's blankets and bunting bags. In wool, for coats. Dark shades in wool are most popular, particularly navy and black.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Twill (left hand)
Characteristics: Combined two-ply warp and filling. Has a sheen that remains. Fabric was purchased in China (thus the name) by the U.S. Army for uniforms. Originally used for army cloth in England many years before and dyed olive-drab. Fabric is mercerized and sanforized. Washs and wears extremely well with a minimum of care.
Uses: Army uniforms, summer suits and dresses, sportswear.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Has bright gay figures, large flower designs, birds and other designs. Also comes in plain colours. Several types of glaze. The wax and starch glaze produced by friction or glazing calendars will wash out. The resin glaze finish will not wash out and withstand drycleaning. Also comes semi-glazed. Unglazed chintz is called cretonne. Named from the Indian word "Chint" meaning "broad, gaudily printed fabric".
Uses: Draperies, slipcovers, dresses, sportswear.

Cisele Velvet

A velvet with a pattern formed by contrast in 

cut and uncut loops.


Fibre: Cotton, rayon, and other textile fibres.
Weave: Filling Pile with both plain and twill back.
Characteristics: Made with an extra filling 

yarn. In the velvet family of fabrics. Has narrow medium and wide wales, also thick n'thin or checkerboard patterns. Wales have different widths and depths. Has to be cut all one way with pile running up. Most of it is ashable and wears very well. Has a soft lustre.
Uses: Children's clothes of all kinds, dresses, jackets, skirts, suits, slacks, sportswear, men's trousers, jackets, bedspreads, draperies, and upholstery.


Fibre: Woolen or worsted, also cotton and spun rayon.
Characteristics: Made with two shades of colour e.g. (Medium and light brown). The warp is 2 ply (1 light; 1 dark) adn filling 1 ply (dark or same as warp). Very rugged and closely woven. Has a mottled or speckled effect. First used as a hunting fabric. Has a clear finish and hard texture. Wears exceptionally well and has a smart appearance. Light in weight.
Uses: For overcoating for both men and women. It is also made waterproof and used a great deal in rain water.


Fibre Linen.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: It is very rugged and substantial in feel. Come in white or natural shades or could be dyed, printed, striped, or checked. The yarn is sstrong, irregular in diametre but smooth. Has a fairly good texture.
Uses: Towelling, suitings, dresses, coats.


Fibre: Worsted cotton, wool, silk, man-made synthetics.
Weave: Mostly plain, but various weaves.
Characteristics: Has a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness. Dull with a harch dry feel. Woolen crepes are softer than worsted. If it is fine, it drapes well. Has very good wearing qualities. Has a very slimming effect.
Uses: Depending on weight, it is used for dresses of all types, including long dinner dresses, suits, and coats.

Crepe de Chine

Silk warp and crepe twist silk filling 25 x 22. More ends than picks per inch. Has a soft hand and considerable lustre. Made of raw silk or rayon. It is easy to manipulate and handle. Very long wearing. Most of it launders well. It is fairly sheer. Could be piece dyed or printed. Has a slight rippled texture. Heavy crepe de chine is called "Canton crepe" which is slightly ribbed and now mostly made in rayon.  

Weight:- 14 mm popular but inferior; 16 mm is good blouse weight, heavier available


Crepe effect appears in direction of the warp and achieved by alternate S and Z, or slack, tension, or different degrees of twist. Originally a wool crepe but now made of silk and rayon. It is much stouter and more rugged than the average crepe. Has a wavy texture with the "waves" running in a lengthwise direction. Mostly used for prints.
Uses: Dresses and ensembles.


Fibre: Cotton, linen, rayon.
Weave: Plain or twill.
Characteristics: Finished in widths from 30 to 50 inches. Quality and price vary a great deal. The warp counts are finer than the filling counts which are spun rather loose. Strong substantial and gives good wear. Printed cretonne often has very bright colours and patterns. The fabric has no lustre (when glazed, it is called chintz). Some are warp printed and if they are, they are usually completely reversible. Designs run from the conservative to very wild and often completely cover the surface.
Uses: Bedspreads, chairs, draperies, pillows, slipcovers, coverings of all kinds, beach wear, sportswear.


Fibre Linen, silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, wool, worsteds.
Figured on Jacquard loom.
Characteristics: Originally made of silk, that came to us from China via Damascus . In the XIII Century, Marco Polo gave an interesting tale about it. It is one of the oldest and most popular cloths to be found today. Very elaborate designs are possible. Cloth is beetled, calendared and the better qualities are gross-bleached. Very durable. reversible fabric. Sheds dirt. The firmer the texture, the better the quality. Launders well and holds a high lustre - particularly in linen.
- Price range varies a great deal. There are two types of damask table cloths:
1) Single damask table cloths: construction. Thread count is usually around 200.
2) Double damask has an 8 shaft satin construction with usually twice as many filling yarns as warp yarns. This gives a much greater distinctness to the pattern. Thread count ranges from 165 to 400.
- The quality of both depends on the yarn used and the thread count. - If the same quality and thread count are used, single is better than double because the shorter floats are more serviceable and the yarns hold more firmly. Double damask with less than 180 thread count is no good for home use


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Twill - right hand - may be L2/1 or L3/1.
Characteristics: Name derived from French "serge de Nimes ". Originally had dark blue, brown or dark grey warp with a white or gray filling giving a mottled look and used only for work clothes. now woven in bright and pastel colours with stripes as well as plain. Long wearing, it resists snags and tears. Comes in heavy and lighter weights.
Uses: Work clothes, overalls, caps, uniforms, bedspreads, slipcovers, draperies, upholstery, sportswear, of all kinds, dresses and has even been used for evening wear.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain weave with a crosswise or lengthwise spaced rib or crossbar effect.
Characteristics: A thin sheer with corded spaced stripes that could be single, double or triple grouping. Made of combed yarn adn is 36" wide. Has a crisp texture which remains fairly well after washing. Resembles lawn in the white state. It is easy to sew and manipulate and launders well. Creases unless crease-resistant. May be bleached, dyed, or printed and often printed with a small rose-bud design. It is mercerized and has a soft lustre.
Uses: Children's dresses, women's dresses, and blouses, infant's wear, collar and cuff sets, basinettes, bedspreads, curtains, underwear. Has a very young look.


Made with a special loon that crates small, geometric figures Weight: - usually expensive fabric


Fibre: Wool and also rayon.
Weave: A 5 or 8 harness satin weave.
Rayon: Twill weave and napped on one side, or a small satin weave.
Very smooth, lustrous surface made with a slight short nap very close and compact weave to look like fine leather. Weave not visible because of napping. Very high quality wool used. Needs care in handling. Medium weight.
Uses: Women's suits and coats, and also in a lighter weight for dresses. Sportswear and riding habits for both men and women. Trousers and waistcoats for men.

Domett Flannel

Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain and twill
Characteristics: Also spelled domet. Generally made in white. Has a longer nap than on flannelette. Soft filling yarns of medium or lightweight are used to obtain the nap. The term domett is interchangeable with "outing flannel" but it is only made in a plain weave. Both are soft and fleecy and won't irritate the skin. Any sizing or starching must be removed before using. Outing flannel is also piece-dyed and some printed and produced in a spun rayon also.
Uses: Mostly used for infants wear, interlinings, polished cloths.


Fibre: Wool - also in rayons and cottons.
Weave: Mostly plain but some in twill.
Characteristics: Originally a homespun woven by the peasants in Donegal , Ireland . A rough adn ready fabric that stands much hard wear. Yarns are coarse with thick slubs and coloured nubs. Now made in other places as well - particularly England .
Uses: Coats, heavy suits, sportswear. Has a tailored, sporty look

Dotted Swiss

Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain weave for ground with a swivel, lappet or flocked dot.
Characteristics: Dots could be a single colour or multicoloured. Placed regularly or irregularly on a semi-sheer usually crisp fabric which may or may not be permanent. First made on hand looms in Switzerland and some still is. It is made in 32" widths. The lappet is the most permanent. When hand woven with a swivel attachment the dots are tied in by hand on the back of the cloth. The ground fabric is usually a voil or a lawn.
Uses: Children's and women's summer dresses and blouses, aprons, curtains, bedspreads. It is a young looking fabric.

Double-face Satin

Yarn woven with two warps and one filling, to simulate a double satin construction. Has satin on both sides. Cotton filling is often used in cheaper qualities.


Fibre: Cotton, wool, worsted, silk, rayon, and synthetics
Weave: Circular or flat-needle bar type
Characteristics: A two faced cloth, either face may be utilized as the rigth side. The fabric originated in Milan and Florence . Can be stabilized for shrinkage control and dry cleans satisfactorily.

Doupion, Douppioni

Silk yarns made from the cocoon of two ilk worms that have nested toghether. In spinning, teh double strand is not separated so the yarn is uneven and irregular with a large diametre in places.
Fabric is of silk made in a plain weave. The fabric is very irregular and shows many slubs - seems to be made in a hit and miss manner. It is imitated in rayon and some synthetics, and one such fabtic is called "Cupioni". Dupion yarns also used in shantung, pongee. Tailors very well.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Twill. Left-hand twill. From top left to lower right. L2/1 or L3/1.
Characteristics Closer, flatter wales that ganardine. Medium weight and course yarns are used. Also made in some other weights. Some left in the grey but can be bleached or dyed. When dyed a khaki colour it is known by that name.
Uses: Uniforms, work clothes, slip covers, sportswear, and many industrial uses.


An 8-12 shaft satin. It is a dress fabric. Very fine yarns are used, particularly in the warp with more ends/inch than picks. The material is string, has a high lustre, and texture, and it is firm. Usually 36" wide. Characterized by grainy twill on back.


Fibre: Cotton. Originally made in linen.
Weave: Plain, but also crosswise rib.
Characteristics: Also called canvas. Name originated in 18th Century when canvas sails from Britain bare the trademark symbol - a duck. Very closely woven and heavy. it is the most durable fabric made. There are many kinds of duck but the heavier weighs are called canvas. It may be unbleached, white, dyed, printed or painted. Washable, many are waterproof and wind proof. Made in various weights.
Uses: Utility clothing in lighter weights, such as trousers, jackets, aprons. Also for awnings, sails, slipcovers, draperies, sportswear, tents, and many industrial uses


other related terms: dupion, douppioni, shantung; fabric containing slubs, uneven; forms when two silk worms make their cocoons at the same time thus joining together.


Fibre: Good quality wool. If made in cotton, is usually called suede cloth.
Weave: Satin, 7 or 8 shaft.
Characteristics: Close weave, brushed, singed, and sheared to conceal the weave. Has a smooth plush appearance resembleing a compact velvet. Similar to wool broadcloth but heavier and thicker. Has a good draping quality, soft and wears well if looked after. Spots easily and care must be taken when handling it. Back is often slightly napped also. Name derived from the French word "duvet" meaning "down".
Uses: Women's coats, suits, and dresses, depending on the weight. Used a great deal in the millinery trade.

Eponge (Souffle)

Fibre: Wool, also rayon and silk.
Weave: any weave - usually a novelty - plain warp, novelty filling or reverse.
Characteristics: Derived from the French term eponge for "spongy". Very soft and spongelike in a variety of novelty effects with loose weave of about 20 x 20. Also known as ratine in cotton. Rayon and silk is soft, loose, and spongy, something like terry cloth. Does not have surface loops. Many stores now call eponge "boucle".
Uses: Suits, dresses, coats, sportswear, and summer suits

Fabric Terms

There are many types of silks. Listed below are a few of the more popular ones found in the US . To assess a silk one needs to consider three factors. They are: Silk Type, Silk Weight, and Silk Weave. Silks of the same type might have different characteristics because of different weights or weaves. For example, Crepe de Chine, one of the most popular fabrics for women's blouses, come in a variety of weights. Generally speaking, we feel that a Crepe de Chine of a 14 momme weight is inferior and will not show off all the best characteristics of the fabric. Thus, we only carry a weight of 16 momme or higher in our ready-to-wear line. However, many department stores and especially discount stores will carry Crepe de Chine blouses of 14 momme. These blouses may be advertised as 100% silk (which they are) but will not perform satisfactory as a garment. Likewise, with the so-called washable silks. If they are made from an 8 or 10 momme weight fabric (usually China Silk), they will wrinkle easily and generally wear out rapidly. Silks are naturally strong and wrinkle resistant. If your silk garment does not have these characteristics check their weight or weave.

Fabric Weaves

Silks are woven fabrics. Fabric weave helps determine such characteristics as strength and durability or the fabric as well as beauty. Since silk is so strong naturally, less durable weaves may be used to achieve a particular look not capable in other fabrics.


Fibre: Silk or rayon.
Weave: Figured weave or "burnt-out" finish.
Characteristics: Faconne in French, means fancy weave. Has small designs all over the fabric. Fairly light in weight, and could be slightly creped. Background is much more sheer than teh designs, therefore the designs seem to stand out. Very effective when worn over a different colour. Drapes, handle, and wears well.
Uses: Dresses, blouses, scarves, after 5, dressy afternoon and bridal wear.

Faconne Velvet

Patterned velvet made by burnt-out print process. The design is of velvet with background plain.


Fibre: Silk, rayon.
Weave: Crosswise rib.
Characteristics: Has a definite crosswise rib effect. Very soft material that drapes well. Finer than gros grain but in that family - ribs are also flatter than in grosgrain. Some belongs to the crepe family. It is rather difficult to launder. Will give good wear if handled properly. Has a lustrous finish.
Uses: Dresses, blouses, soft evening purses, some dressy coats

Faille Taffeta

Made with a crosswise rib weave. Has a distinct rib effect and is usually quite heavy and firm.


Fibre: Wool, reprocessed wool, reused wool, scrap fibre, can be mixed with other fibres, cotton, rayon.
Weave: Not woven but felted.
Characteristics: A very compact fabric in various weights and thicknesses. Has grain so can be cut any way. Needs no hemming or finishing, because it does not fray. Uses: Many industrial uses, such as: piano hammers and in the printing industry. Many novelties, such as: pennants, slippers, lining of many kinds, insoles, and toys. Hats and felt skirts


thread or yarn


Fibre: Wool, worsted, cotton, rayon.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain and twill.
Characteristics: A heavy, soft material with a napped finish, usually only on one side. In cheaper qualities the nap comes off. Launders well, easy to manipulate and is warm to wear. There are many types on the market. It may be bleached, dyed, printed, or woven in coloured stripes.
Uses: Infants and children’s wear, men's, women's and children's sleeping wear, pocket linings, quilts, shirtings.

Flat Crepe

Also called French Crepe or Lingerie Crepe but not exactly the same. It is the flattest of all the crepes with only a very slight pebbled or crepe effect hard twist alternating 25 x 22 in filling; warp has ordinary twist. It is very soft and pliable, which makes it good for draping. It is very light weight - 2 times as many ends as picks. It may be white, coloured, or printed. Most of it launders well.
Uses: Accessories, blouses, dress goods, negligees, pyjamas and other pieces of lingerie and linings


Fibre: Wool specialty hair fibres, cotton.
Weave: Plain, twill, pile or knitted.
Characteristics: Has a deep, soft nap or pile, obtained by heavily napping with wire brushes or with a pile weave. This provides air space giving good insulating properties without too much weight. The interlacings are will covered by the nap. The nap wears out in time, but good quality cloth gives good wear. Range from cheap to expensive clothes. Material is often cumbersome and bulky, therefore it may be difficult to manipulate. Also, the name for the entire coat of wool taken from a sheep at shearing time.
Uses: Mostly used for coats for men, women, and children.


Fibre: Silk, rayon, very fine cotton, very fine worsted.
Weave: Twill, 2 up 2 down.
Characteristics: Very soft, light fabric. Noted for its soft finish and feel. It is usually printed with small figures on a dark or light background. Similar to Surah and Tie Silk, but finer. Was originally imported from India .
Uses: Dresses, robes, scarves, and neckwear of all kinds. First made for the handkerchief trade




Fibre: Rayon most popular, also mohair and silk and synthetics. The ground or backing yarns are usually made of cotton. Sometimes jute or hemp are combined with the cotton.
Weave: Pile (looped).
Characteristics: Made usually with uncut loops in all-over pattern. It is sometimes patterned by shearing the loops at different lengths. Some made with both cut and uncut loops in the form of a pattern.
Upholstery, also used widely as transporation fabric by railroads, buses, and airplanes. Frise is also spelled Frieze but frieze really refers to a rough, fuzzy, rizzy, boardy woolen overcoating fabric which originated in Friesland Holland. Often used for overcoating material for soldiers. Much adulteration is given the cloth. Irish frieze is quite popular adn more reliable and is called "cotha more".


Fibre: Worsted cotton, rayon, or mixtures.
Weave: Steep twill (63 degrees).
Characteristics: Clear finish, tightly woven, firm, durable, rather lustrous. Can be given a dull finish. Has single diagonal lines on the face, raised twil. Wears extremely well. Also comes in various weights. Inclined to shine with wear. Hard to press properly.
Uses: Men's and women's tailored suits, coats, raincoats, uniforms, and men's shirts

Georgette Crepe

Lightweight, heavy, sheer fabric. Has quite a bit of stiffness and body. gives excellent wear. Has a dull, crinkled surface. Achieved by alternating S and Z yarns in a high twist in both warp and filling directions. Georgette has a harser, duller, more crinkled feel and appearance than crepe de chine.
Uses: After 5 wear and dressy afternoon and weddings, lingerie, scarves, etc. Same uses as crepe de chine.


Fibre: Cotton, man-made, and synthtics.
Weave: Plain-Word derived from Italy "Ging-gang" meaning "striped".
Characteristics: Medium or fine yarns of varying quality are used to obtain the checks, plaids, stripes, and plain effects. The cloth is yarn dyed or printed. The warp and the filling are usually balanced and if checks of two colours, usually same sequence in both the warp and the filling. It is strong, substantial, and serviceable. It launders will but low textured, cheap fabric may shrink considerably unless preshrunk. Has a soft, dull lustre surface. Wrinkles unless wrinkle-resistant. Tissue or zephyr ginghams are sheer being woven with finer yarns and a higher thread count.
Uses: Dresses, blouses, for both women and children, trimmings, kerchiefs, aprons, beach wear, curtains, bedspreads, pyjamas.

Glove Silk

Fibre: Silk, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Knit - two bar doubleknit tricot.
Characteristics: Made on a warp knitted frame. Very finely knit but very strong. Now called nylon Simplex.
Uses: Gloves and underwear. Similar to chamoisette (cotton).


Fibre: Silk.
Weave: Plain.
Very light weight and soft. A little heavier than China Silk, but similar. Sold by weight measure known "momme" (1 momme = 3.75 g). Made from waste silk that can be twisted. It is piece dyed or printed and sized. Has many defects in the cloth which has a "shot-about" appearance but this does not effect the cloth. Comes from Japan - originally woven in teh gum on Japanese hand looms. Lighter than shantung but heavier than silk.
Uses: Dresses, coats, shirting, lampshades, lingerie, curtains.


Manipulation of the weft thread usually placed on coverlets at the intersection of warp and weft cordons; button

Harris Tweed

All are hand woven on the islands off the Northern coast of Scotland (outer Hebrides). There are two types of Harris Tweed:
1) Fabric woven from hand-spun yarn.
2) Fabric woven from machine-spun yarn.
Now very few are woven from hand spun yarns as it takes too much time and labor. It is always stamped to that effect in addition to the label, which any Harris Tweed always bears. Much is woven in 27" and 28" widths, but also in 54". When damp, it smells mossy and smokey.


Hemp is a bast fibre that was probably used first in Asia . The fibre is dark tan or brown and is difficult to bleach, but it can be dyed bright and dark colours. The hemp fibres vary widely in length, depending upon their ultimate use. Industrial fibres may be several inches long, while fibres used for domestic textiles are about 3/4 inch to 1 inch (1.9 to 2.54 cm) long. The elongation (1 to 6 percent) is low and its elasticity poor. The thermal reactions of hemp and the effect of sunlight are the same as for cotton. Hemp is moth resistant, but it is not impervious to mildew. Coarse hemp fibres and yarns are woven into cordage, rope, sacking and heavy-duty tarpaulins. In Italy , fine hemp fibres are used for interior design and apparel fabrics.


Most durable; diagonal rib switch back and forth creating rows of parallel lines which slope in opposite directions Weight:- often seen in noil silk suiting


Fibre: Cotton or wool
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Coarse, rugged yarn is used. Originally an un dyed woolen cloth spun into yarn and woven in th ehome, by peasants and country folk the world over. Has substantial appearance and serviceable qualities. Made with irregular, slightly twisted uneven yarns. Has a spongy feel with a hand-loomed tweedy appearance. Genuine homespun is produced in a very limited quantity and much powerloom cloth is sold as genuine homespun. Many qualities made - the best is an ideal rough-and-ready type of cloth.
Uses: Coats, suits, seperates and sportswear.


Fibre: Wool.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: Coarse, rugged yarn is used. Originally an undyed woolen cloth spun into yarn and woven in the home, by peasants and country folk the world over. Has a substantial appearance and serviceable qualities. Made with irregular, slightly twisted uneven yarns. Has a spongy feel with a hand-loomed tweedy appearance. Geniune homespun is produced in a very limited quantity and much powerloom cloth is sold as genuine homespun. Many qualities made - the best is an ideal rough-and-ready type of cloth.
Uses: Coats, suits, seperates, and sportswear.


Fibre: Silk, also from man-made synthetics.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: The best grade of wild silk. Very similar to "pongee" but finer. Made from wild silkworms raised in the Honan area of China . The only wild type that gives even dyeing results. Do not fit too tightly.
Uses: Dresses, ensembles, blouses, lingerie.


Fibre: Cotton, man-made, and synthtics.
Weave: Plain-Word derived from Italy "Ging-gang" meaning "striped".
Characteristics: Medium or fine yarns of varying quality are used to obtain the checks, plaids, stripes, and plain effects. The cloth is yarn dyed or printed. The warp and the filling are usually balanced and if checks of two colours, usually same sequence in both the warp and the filling. It is strong, substantial, and serviceable. It launders will but low textured, cheap fabric may shrink considerably unless preshrunk. Has a soft, dull lustre surface. Wrinkles unless wrinkle-resistant. Tissue or zephyr ginghams are sheer being woven with finer yarns and a higher thread count.
Uses: Dresses, blouses, for both women and children, trimmings, kerchiefs, aprons, beach wear, curtains, bedspreads, pyjamas.


Fibre Linen, cotton.
Weave: Dobby or basket.
Characteristics: It is strong. Rough in the surface finish but finer, shinier than cotton huckaback. Has variation in weaves but most have small squares on the surface that stand out from the background. Comes in white, colours, or coloured borders. Also stripes. The motif is made from a series of floats, some of them rather long, which gives a loose effect in certain areas. This, if well spaced, acts as a good absorbing agency.
Uses: Mostly used for towelling.


Fibre: Silk.
Weave: Gauze or made on bobbinet machine or knotted.
Characteristics: A very fine, all-silk tulle which originated in France . It has a cobweb appearance. Hexagonal open mesh. Made in 52 inch and 72 inch widths.
Uses: Veilings, particularly for weddings, trimmings.


Intricate weaving creating complex designs in the fabric Weight: - popular


Fibre: Wool, worsted, silk, cotton, rayon, and synthetics.
Weave: Knitted on circular, flat-bed or warp knitted methods (later popular as a tricot-knit).
Right side has lenghtwise ribs (wales) and wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Very elastec with good draping qualities. Has special crease-resistant qualities due to its construction. Is knitted plain or has many elaborate tweed designs and fancy motifs as well as printed designs. Can look very much like woven fabric. Wears very well and if washable, it washes very well. First made on the Island on Jersey off the English coast and used for fisherman's clothing. Stretch as you sew.
Uses: Dress goods, sportswear, suits, underwear, coats, gloves, sweaters, hats.

Wool Jersey

Wool Jersey
Wool, worsted, silk, cotton, rayon, and synthetics.
Weave: Knitted on circular, flat-bed or warp knitted methods (later popular as a tricot-knit).
Characteristics: Right side has lenghtwise ribs (wales) and wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Very elastec with good draping qualities. Has special crease-resistant qualities due to its construction. Is knitted plain or has many elaborate tweed designs and fancy motifs as well as printed designs. Can look very much like woven fabric. Wears very well and if washable, it washes very well. First made on the Island on Jersey off the English coast and used for fisherman's clothing. Stretch as you sew.
Uses: Dress goods, sportswear, suits, underwear, coats, gloves, sweaters, hats.

Jute and Burlap

Jute is used in textiles for interiors, especially for wall hangings and a group of bright, homespun-effect draperies and wall coverings. Natural jute has a yellow to brown or gray colour, with a silky luster. It consists of bundles of fibre held together by gummy substances that are pectinaceous in character. It is difficult to bleach completely, so many fabrics are bright, dark, or natural brown in colour. Jute reacts to chemicals in the same way as do cotton and flax. It has a good resistance to microorganisms and insects. Moisture increases the speed of deterioration but dry jute will last for a very long time. Jute works well for bagging, because it does not extend and is somewhat rough and coarse. This tends to keep stacks of bags in positin and resist slippage. It is widely used in the manufacture of linoleum and carpets for backing or base fabric.


Fibre: Wool - poor quality, can also be made of re-used or remanufactured wool.
Weave: Double cloth.
Characteristics: Medium to heavy weight, similar to melton and beaver. Well fulled in the finishing with a rather lustrous nap caused by the use of lustrous crossbred wools. Nap often has direction. Gives good wear and is dressy looking. Blues, browns and blacks are the most popular colours. Originatedd in Kersey , England in 11th century. Very similar to beaver but it is fulled more, has a shorter nap and a much higher lustre.
Uses: Men's overcoating, uniforms, women's coats, and skirts.


French for "trimmed with leaves of gold or silver").
Fibre: Silk or any textile fibre in which metallic threads are used in the warp or the filling. Lame is also a trademark for metallic yarns.
Weave: Usually a figured weave but could be any.
Characteristics: Often has pattern all over the surface. The shine and glitter of this fabric makes it suitable for dressy wear. The term comes from the French for "worked with gold and silver wire".
Uses: Principally for evening wear.


Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Word derived from Laon, a city in France , where linen lawn was manufactured extensively. Light weight, sheer, soft, washable. It is crispier than voile but not as crisp as organdy. Made with fine high count yarns, silky feel. Made with either carded or combed yarns. Comes in white or may be dyed or printed. When made with combed yarns with a soft feel and slight luster it is called nainsook.
Underwear, dresses, blouses, night wear, curtains, lingerie, collars, cuffs, infant wear, shirtings, handkerchiefs.


Open weave using twisted fibers Weight: - weak weave

Lyons Velvet

A stiff, thick pile velvet. Used for hats, coat collars, also for suits, coats and dresses, when thick velvets are fashionable


Fibre: Wool. Ordinary grade of wool and often has shoddy re-used or remanufactured wool mixed in. Sometimes a cotton warp is used.
Weave: Twill or double cloth. Weave is concealed.
Characteristics: Very heavily fulled or felted and napped on both sides to conceal the weave. Much of the fabric is in a plaid or large check design or brightly coloured, or different colours on each side. Heavy and thick, very similar to melton. Named for MacKinac Island , Michigan . Also called ski cloth or snow cloth.
Uses: Miners, lumbermen, hunters, trappers, fishermen, and cowboys use much of the fabric for jackets, mackinaws and coats. Also used for blankets, shirts, and some heavy sportswear, windbreakers.


Fibre: Cotton - some in rayon and silk.
Weave: Plain, also dobby or jacquard for designs.
Characteristics: Originated in Madras , india and it is a very old cloth. Much of it has a plain coloured background with stripes, plaid, checks, or designs on it. Has a high thread count adn fine. Made with combed or carded yarns depending on the quality. Some is mercerized to make it lustrous and durable. Often the dyes are not fast and with each washing, colour changes take place.
Uses: Men's and women's sportswear of all kinds, dresses, separates, shirts.


Silk, cotton, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Gauze or lino.
Characteristics: Very lightweight, open, sheer, mesh fabric. Wears very well and launders very well. Comes in white, solid colours and novelty effect. Sometimes with a swivel dot or clip spot (marquisette).
Uses: Window curtains, dressy dress wear, such as bridal parties or after 5 wear.


French for "cushioned or padded".
Fibre: Figured made on jacquard or dobby loom, in double cloth weave.
Characteristics: The pattern stands out and gives a "pouch" or "quilted" effect to the goods. Crepe yarn in double weave shrinks during finishing causing a blistering effect. in upholstery, coarse yarns cause blistering. Comes in colours, novelty effects, and some with metallic yarns. Gives good wear and drapes well. If washable, it must be laundered with care. It is very attractive and suits quite plain styles.
Uses: Some cotton matelasse used for bedspreads, dresses, suits, ensembles.


Wool, sometimes combined with synthetics.
Weave: Twill or satin weave.
Characteristics: Thick well fulled or felted wool with a smooth surface. Napped and very closely sheared. Coarse meltons are similar to makinaws but made of finer yarns and finished with a smoother, more lustrous surface - used for "under collar cloth" in lighter weights. Very solid cloth due to the finishing processes that completely conceal the weave. It wears very well. Wind resistant. if made in tan or buff colour in a coarse quality, it is called "Box cloth". It is classed with kersey, beaver, and broadcloth. Originated in Melton, Mowbray , England , which is a fox hunting report in england . It was first made as a hunting cloth. Looks like wool felt - pressed flat.
Uses: Mostly used for men in overcoating, uniform cloth of all kinds (army, navy, etc., as well as polie and firemen), pea jackets, regal liverly. Used for heavy outer sports garments and coats for women


From the angora goat. Some has cotton warp and mohair filling (sometimes called brilliantine). Imitation mohair made from wool or a blend.
Weave: Plain or twill or knitted.
Characteristics: Angora goat is one of the oldest animals known to man. It is 2 1/2 times as strong as wool. Goats are raised in S.Africa, Western Asia , turkey, and neighbouring countries. Some are in the U.S.A. Fabric is smooth, glossy, and wiry. Has long wavy hair. Also made in a pile fabric of cut and uncut loops similar to frieze with a cotton and wool back and mohair pattern. - Similar to alpaca.
Uses: Linings, pile fabrics, suitings, upholstery fabrics, braids, dress materials, felt hats, and sweaters.


Fibre: Silk, rayon, cotton.
Weave: Plain or crosswise rib.
Characteristics: Has a watermarked finish. Fairly stiff with body in most cases. It is produced by passing the fabric between engraved cylinders which press the design into the material, causing the crushed and uncrushed parts to reflect the light differently. The pattern is not permanent, except on acetate rayon.
Uses: After 5 wear, formals, dresses and coats, draperies, bedspreads


silk weight; a silk of 6 momme (mm) is very light; a silk of 22 mm is very heavy (suit weight);

Monk's Cloth

Monk's Cloth
Wool, cotton, linen, silk, rayon, or synthetics.
Weave: 4 x 4 basket weave.
Characteristics: Quite heavy, due to construction. It is difficult to sew or manipulate as the yarns have a tendency to slide, stretch and fray. May sag in time depending on the compactness of the weave. It can also be made in other basket weaves. Quite rough in texture.
Uses: Draperies, all types of upholstery and house furnishings. Also used for coats and suits for women and sports coats for men.

Moss Crepe

Moss Crepe
Mossy Crepe or Sand Crepe (trade mark). Has a fine moss effect created by plain weave or small Dobby. Made with a spun-rayon warp adn a filament rayon filling. The two-ply warp yarn is very coarse and bulkier than the filling. Mostly made in rayon and synthetics but some in silk.

Mousseline de Soie

Fibre: Silk.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: It is silk muslin. Sheer, open, and lightweight. It is something like chiffon but with a crisp finish produced by sizing. It does not wear well and it does not launder.
Uses: Evening wear, and bridal wear. Trimmings. Also used in millinery as a backing.

Nacre Velvet

Nacre Velvet
The back is of one colour and the pile of another, so that it gives a changeable, pearly appearance.


Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Produced in the finishing processes from the same grey goods as used for batiste, cambric, lawn. Fine and lightweight. Soft and has a slight lustre in the better qualities (mercerization). Slightly heavier than batiste. Like lawn but not as crisp. Soft, lacks body. Usually found in white but also comes in pastel colours and some printed.
Uses: tucked or embroidered, blouses, night wear, lingerie, and infnant's wear.


Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, particularly nylon.
Weave: Knotted, made on a lace machine or gauze or leno weaves.
Characteristics: A mesh fabric made in a variety of geometric-shaped meshes of different sizes and weights. It is very open and light.
Uses: It forms the foundation for a great variety of laces, curtains, millinery, fancy pillows, trims, evening and bridal wear. In cotton, some is used for mosquito netting and screening.


Rayon. Synthetics.
Weave: Plain, open mesh.
Characteristics: A sheer, fairly crisp fabric, heavier than chiffon. Much like voile, but more body. The warp yarns are often grouped in pairs. Washes well, particularly in the synthetics.
Uses: Mostly used for curtains, and some for evening or bridal wear.

Noil (raw silk)

spun silk with nubby texture; appearance of soft cotton or wool; easy care, wrinkle resistant; travel well Weight:- medium to heavy


Weave: Plain. Some has lappet, swivel, or flocked designs.
Characteristics: Made with tightly twisted yarns. Crispness is due to a finish with starch and calendering which washes out, or a permanent crispness obtained with cemicals (Heberlein process). Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish (bellmanizing). May be bleached, dyed, printed, frosted, flocked, embroidered, or plisse.
Fussy children's wear, trims, collars and cuffs, baby's wear, bonnets, artificial flowers, dolls clothes, millinery, summer formals, blouses, curtains, bedspreads, aprons.


plain weave; sheer silk made of tightly twisted, fine yarns; use for interfacing, veils, under gownsWeight:- Crisp, Sheer


Silk, rayon.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: Fine, sheer, lightweight, crisp fabric. It has a very wiry feel. It crushes or musses fairly easily, but it is easily pressed. Dressy type of fabric, sometimes has a silvery sheen.
Uses: All types of after 5 dresses, trimming, neckwear, millinery, and underlinings for delicate, sheer materials, as well as an underlining for other fabrics that require a bit of stiffness without weight.


Silk, rayon, wool or synthetics.
Weave: Crosswise rib.
Characteristics: Heavy in weight - larger rib than both faille and bengaline. Very pronounced flat ribs in the filling direction. Ribs are made by a cotton, worsted, silk, or rayon filling which does not show on either the face or the back, because the warp covers the filling entirely. Is called Ottoman Cord or Ottoman rib when a warp rib is employed. Fabric is stiff and connot be gathered or shirred. Like othe ribbed fabrics, it has a tendency to slip at the seams and crack, so it cannot be fitted too tightly.
Uses: Evening wraps, formal coats, dressy suits, dressy afternoon wear, and after 5 wear.


ourdir - to warp, to hatch, to weave


ourdissoir - a warp beam, carrying fifty andes of thread; bobbin holder; warping frame; a device called a warping frame or mill with pegs on which threads of equal length can be stretched and laid parallel in the preparing of a warp for the loom


Cotton - some in rayon.
Weave: Plain variations - usually basket 2 x 1.
Characteristics: Warp has two fine yarns which travel as one and one heavier softly-spun bulky filling which gives it a basket-weave look. Better qualities are mercerized. rather heavy. Usually is all white but some has a spaced stripe in the warp direction. Launders very well but soils easily. When made with yarn dyed warp and white weft, it is called oxford chambray. The one remaining commercial shirting material made originally by a Scotch mill which bore the names of four Universities - Oxford , Cambridge , Harvard, and Yale.
Uses: Men's shirts mostly. Also used for summer jackets, shirts, skirts, dresses, and sportswear.


paillasse - mattress covers; straw mattress; straw mattress (usually made of teased corn shuck)


panier - a basket used for textile processing acquired by bartering with Coushatta or Chitimacha Indians for cotton blankets or other goods; basket, hamper

Panne Velvet

Panne Velvet
Has a longer or higher pile than velvet, but shorter than plush. It is pressed flat and has a high lustre made possible by a tremendous roller-press treatment given the material in finishing. Now often made as knit fabric.

Paper Taffeta

Paper Taffeta
Plain weave, very light in weight and treated to give a crisp, paper-like finish.  

Peau de Soie

Peau de Soie
Soft, satin-face, good quality cloth. It has a dull lustre. Has a grainy appearance, and is a characteristic in teh cloth which may have a single or double face construction. Fine close ribs are seen in the filling direction. With the best grades, the fabric can be used on either side. Lower qualities are finished on one side only. Name means "skin of silk". Some cloth sold as peau de soie is really a delustered satin. It doesn't have the grainy appearance. Because of crosswise rib, fabric difficult to ease. Also sold as "delustered satin".


Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Medium weight, firm, smooth, with no gloss. Warps and washes very well. Made from both carded and combed yarns. Comes white or can be printed. Percale sheeting is the finest sheeting available, made of combed yarns and has a count of 200 - carded percale sheeting has a count of 180. It has a soft, silk-like feel. The thread count ranges usually from 180-100. First made by Wamsutta Mills.
Uses: Dresses, women's and children's, sportswear, aprons, and sheets.

Pin Check, Pinhead, Pick and Pick

Pin Check, Pinhead, Pick and Pick
Worsted, also made in cotton and rayon.
Weave: Twill.
Characteristics: A minute check effect caused by a combination of weave and colour. It has the appearnce of tiny white dots appeating in rows, vertically, and horizontally. Holds a sharp crease, tailors and wears exceptionally well. In time, it is inclined to shine with wear.
Uses: Men's suits, women's tailored suits and skirts. In cotton, it usually has a white dot on a blue ground and it is used for work clothes.


Cotton, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Lengthwise rib, English crosswise rib or cord weave.
Characteristics: Originally was a crosswise ri but now mostly a lenghtwise rib and the same as bedford cord. Ribs are often filled to give a more pronounced wale (cord weave). Comes in medium to heavy weights. It is generally made of combed face yarns and carded stuffer yarns. It is durable and launders well. Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish. Various prices. Also comes in different patterns besides wales. The small figured mtifs are called cloque. Some of the patterns are birdseye (small diamond), waffle (small squares), honeycomb (like the design on honeycomb honey). When the fabric begins to wear out it wears at the corded areas first.
Uses: Trims, collars, cuffs, millinery, infants wear, aprticularly coats, and bonnets, women's and children's summer dresses, skirts and blouses, shirts, playclothes, and evening gowns.


yarns runs alternately over and under one another; most common weave Weight:- appearance is changed by looseness of weave


Cotton, rayon, and others.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Could be made from any fine material, e.g. organdy, lawn, etc. Treated with a caustic soda solution which shrinks parts of the goods either all over or in stripes giving a blistered effect. Similar to seersucker in appearance. This crinkle may or may not be removed after washing. This depends on the quality of the fabric. It does not need to be ironed, but if a double thickness, such as a hem, needs a little, it should be done after the fabric is thoroughly dry.
Uses: Sleepwear, housecoats, dresses, blouses for women and children, curtains, bedspreads, and bassinettes. Often it is called wrinkle crepe and may be made with a wax/shrink process (the waxed parts remain free of shrinkage and cause the ripples).


Velvet or velveteen where the pile is 1/8" thick or more. e.g. Cotton velour, hat velour, plush "fake furs".

Point d'esprit

Point d'esprit
Cotton - some in silk.
Weave: Leno, gauze, knotted, or mesh.
Characteristics: First made in France in 1834. Dull surfaced net with various sized holes. Has white or coloured dots individually spaced or in groups.
Uses: Curtains, bassinettes, evening gowns.


Silk, cotton, rayon.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: Originally from China and originally woven on hand looms in the home. Light or medium weight. Tan or ecru in colour. Woven "in the gum". Some is dyed, but colour is not quite uniform. Some printed. warp is finer and more even than filling. Nubs or irregular cross ribsl produced by uneven yarns. It is woven from wild tussah silk and it is a "raw silk". a variation of tussah; slight rib and texture; inexpensive Weight:- light weight; traditional summer fabric
Uses: Dresses, ensembles, blouses, summer suits, in a medium weight. It used to be a great deal for drapery linings. Pongee cotton is made of combed yarns and given a variety of finishes.


Cotton, wool, and other textile fibres.
Weave: Crosswise rib. The filling is cylindrical. Two or three times as many warp as weft per inch.
Characteristics: Has a more pronounced filling effect than broadcloth. It is mercerized and has quite a high lustre. It may be bleached, or dyed (usually vat dyes are used) or printed. Heavy poplin is gien a water-repellent finish for outdoor use. Originally made with silk warp and a heavier wool filling. Some also mildew-proof, fire-retardant, and some given a suede finish. American cotton broadcloth shirting is known as poplin in Great Britain .
Uses: Sportswear of all kinds, shirts, boy's suits, uniforms, draperies, blouses, dresses


porte – carried

Porte filsa

porte filsa - warping paddle; carry thread


portières - draperies; door curtain

Rajah (trade name)

Rajah (trade name)
Silk, rayon.
Weave: Plain - warp yarn is 4 thread organzine - filling is heavier.
Characteristics: Made from a tussah silk or certain silk wastes. It belongs to the pongee family of silks. Made from irregular yarns, so has slubs and irregularities but thicker than shantung. it is rather compact and strong. Has a pebble-like feel and appearance. Comes in all colours as well as natural ecru shades, but often warp and filling are different colours (irridescent effect).


Ramie is a natural woody fibre resembling flax. Also know as rhea and China grass, it is obtained from a tall shrub grown in South-east Asia . China , Japan , and southern Europe . The fibre is stiff, more brittle than linen, and highly lustrous. It can be bleached to extreme whiteness. Ramie fibres are long and very fine. They are white and lustrous and almost silklike in appearance. The strength of ramie is excellent and varies from 5.3 to 7.4 grams per denier. Elastic recovery is low and elongation is poor. Ramie lends itsef to general processing for textile yarns, but its retting operation is difficult and costly, making the fibre unprofitable for general use. When combed, ramie is half the density of linen, but much stronger, coarser, and more absorbent. It has permanent luster and good affinity for dyes; it is affected little by moisture. Ramie is used as filling yarn in mixed woolen fabrics, as adulteration with silk fibres, and as a substitute for flax. The China-grass cloth use by the Chinese is made of Ramie. This fibre is also useful for rope, twine, and nets.

Raw Silk

refers to spun silk that has been brushed to give a cotton effect; popular; easy care; inexpensive

Repp or Rep

Repp or Rep
: Wool, worsted, silk, rayon, wool ottoman, cotton or a blend.
Weave: Crosswise rib.
Characteristics: Has a pronounced narrow cylindrical rib in the filling direction - less distinct than bengaline; more distinct than poplin. Sometimes a very distinct rib is alternated with a small rib. It is similar to poplin but heavier in cotton. Can be dyed, printed, or white. Frays badly. Difficult to press (may flatten rib).
Uses: Heavy suits, and coats for men's and boy's wear, and also for some women. Also used for upholstery and drapery.


variation of plain weave in which the yarns in one direction are heavier than the other creating a rib effect Weight:- a strong fabric weave


roueta - "low" or "treadle" wheel used for spinning by the Acadians; spinning wheel


roulée - a long hollow tube of cotton, prepared for spinning, rolled from thin veils of parallel fibers produced from carding


Cotton, linen, nylon.
Weave: Plain, some made with a crosswise rib.
Characteristics: A strong canvas or duck. The weights vary, but most often the count is around 148 x 60. Able to withstand the elements (rain, wind and snow). Sailcloth for clothing is sold frequently and is much lighter weight than used for sails.
Sails, awnings, and all kinds of sportswear for men, women, and children.


Cotton, some also made in rayon.
Weave: Sateen, 5-harness, filling-face weave.
Characteristics: Lustrous and smooth with the sheen in a filling direction. Carded or combed yarns are used. Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears with sashing and is not considered genuine sateen. May be bleached, dyed, or printed. Difficult to make good bound buttonholes on it as it has a tendency to slip at the seams.
Uses: Dresses, sportswear, louses, robes, pyjamas, linings for draperies, bedspreads, slip covers


Silk, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Satin.
Characteristics: Originated in China ( Zaytoun , China - now Canton - a port from which satins were exported during the Middle Ages). Became known in Europe during the XIIth, and XIIIth Centuries in Italy . Became known in England by the XIVth Century. It became a favourite ofall court life because of its exquisite qualities and feel. Usually has a lustrous surface and a dull back. The lustre is produced by running it between hot cylinders. Made in many colours, weights, varieties, qualities, and degrees of stiffness. A low grade silk or a cotton filling is often used in cheaper cloths. uses floating yarns to create the luster of a pearl; imitations and copies: shine; beautiful!.
Uses: Slips, after 5 dresses, coats, capes, and jackets, lining fabrics, millinery, drapes, covers, and pillows, trimmings, etc.  

Satin Faconne

Satin Faconne
jacquard figured fabric with an all-satin weave background. Various types of striping effects are obtained. Jacquard figure on a satin ground.


Satin on one side and anything on the other. e.g. very good velvet ribbon has velvet on one side and satin on the other.

Satin-back Crepe

Satin-back Crepe
A reversible cloth with satin on one side and crepe on the other.


Fibre: Cotton, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Plain, slack tension weave.
Characteristics: Term derived from the Persian "shirushaker", a kind of cloth, literally "milk and sugar". Crepe-stripe effect. Coloured stripes are often used. Dull surface. Comes in medium to heavy weights. The woven crinkle is produced by alternating slack and tight yarns in the warp. This is permanent. Some may be produced by pressing or chemicals, which is not likely to be permanent - called plisse. Durable, gives good service and wear. May be lalundered without ironing. Can be bleached, yarn dyed, or printed. Some comes in a check effect.
Uses: Summer suits for men, women, and children, coats, uniforms, trims, nightwear, all kinds of sportswear, dresses, blouses, children's wear of all kinds, curtains, bedspreads, slipcovers.


Worsted - also unfinished worsted, wool, cotton, silk, rayon, and synthetics.
Weave: A very distinct twill (2 up/2 down) which shows on both sides of the fabric.
Characteristics: On the face, the distinct diagonal runs from the lower left to the upper right - piece dyed. Has a smooth, hard finish that wears exceptionally well but will shine with use. The shine cannot ne removed permanently. It is a good cloth in tailoring as it drapes and clings very well. Made in various weights. Unfinished worsted and wool are not quite as clear on the surface. French Sere is made of very fine soft yarns and has a very fine twill. It is used for dresses or very soft suits.
Uses: Coats, suits and sportswear.


the gum that protects the fiber in its natural state


Cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: It is a raw silk made from Tussah silk or silk waste, depending on the quality. It is quite similar to pongee, but has a more irregular surface, heavier, and rougher. Most of the slubs are in the filling direction. Wrinkles quite a bit. Underlining helps to prevent this as well as slipping at the seams. Do not fit too tightly, if long wear is expected. Comes in various weights, colours and also printed.
Uses: Dresses, suits, and coats.


Worsted. Some wool. Also made in rayons and synthetics (particularly Arnel) but they are quite different.
Weave: 2 x 2 twill weave (1 white, 1 black up and same down).
Characteristics: The yarns in both the warp and filling are alternately white (or very light yarns) and coloured. The combination of weave and colour results in coloured lines running diagonally to the left opposite to the twill lines in a "step" effect. Has a very sleek, smooth, feel and appearance. Although it is fairly lightin weight, it has a very substantial feel. Gives excellent wear and sheds dirt readily. Has many variations. : Has a heavy, semi-crisp texture. It is very smooth and slippery. Has a flat look. It is mostly made in white but some also comes coloured. It wears well and launders well particularly in Arnel. Has a tendency to turn yellow with age, but the Arnel remains pure white
Uses: Used for men's and women's suits, lightweight coats and sportswear


Any fibre.
Weave: Mostly plain but could be various weaves.
Characteristics: Any very light-weight fabric (e.g. chiffon, georgette, voile, sheer crepe). Usually has an open weave. They mostly feel cool


Wool from Shetland sheep in Scotland . Sheep have a coarse outer coat and a very fine undercoat which gives added warmth. The best is the undergrowth. It is not shorn but pulled out by hand in the spring. Other wools sometimes called shetland if they have a similar appearance.
Weave: Twill, plain, or knitted.
Characteristics: Has a very soft hand and a shaggey finish of protruding fibres. - a pulled wool; the soft undergrowth of the shetland sheep. Very lightweight and warm. Much is made by hand and comes in distinctive soft colouring. Often the natural colours ranging from off-white, various greys to almost black and brown are used and not dyed. Real Shetland wools are expensive, high quality products. - In the same family group as homespun, tweed and cheviot.
Uses: Coats, suits, and sportswear for both men and women. Fine shetlands are made into fine shawls, underwearm crochet, work and hosiery.

Shot Taffeta

Shot Taffeta
Usually plain weave, woven with one colour in the warp and another colour in the filling, which gives the fabric an iridescent look. If fabric is moved in the light this colour changes. Silk version of chambray.

Simulated Linen Fabrics

Simulated Linen Fabrics
Various rayons, cottons, synthetics, and blends are woven with threads of uneven thickness to simulate linen. They lack the cool, firm, yet soft feel of linen. Their irregularities are too even when seen beside real linen.


Sisal is one of a group of fibres obtained from the leaves of plants. It is obtained from a plant that belongs to the Agave family and is raised in Mexico , especially in the Yucatan peninsula. The fibre is also cultivated in Africa , Jva, and some areas of South America . Sisal can be dyed bright colours, by means of both cotton dyes and acid dyes normally used for wool. It is important in the manufacture of such items as matting, rough handbags, ropes and cordage and carpeting.


skein-winder, with holes through their length, threaded on to iron rods, with the iron rods inserted in bôte à ourdir; web, weft, woof

Slipper Satin

Slipper Satin
Strong, compactly woven with quite a bit of body. It is used chiefly for footwear. Textures are high and the material comes coloured, black or white, or richly brocaded efects. - Shiniest satin.

Spun Rayon

Spun Rayon
Weave: Plain.
Characteristics: Simulated cotton or wool made with staple fibers in a continous strand to give this effect. Wears well and is washable. Made in different weights. Comes in plain colours and prints. Has soft, fuzzy surface. Blends well with cotton.
Uses: Dresses, suits, sportswear, men's shirts.

Spun Silk

short silk threads that are spun together to form a longer filament; a lower quality silk


Wool, cotton, rayon, synthetics and blends.
Weave: Plain, twill, or knitted.
Characteristics: Napped on one side to resemble suede leather. Short, close nap gives a soft, smooth hand. When made in cotton, it resembles duvetyne, but heavier.
Uses: Cleaning cloths, gloves, linings, sports coats.


Silk, rayon, and synthetics.
Weave: Twill (2 up and 2 down).
Characteristics: soft and flexible. Lightweight and lustrous. Has a decided twill on the fabric. Wrinkles fiarly easily. Underlining helps to prevent this, as well as to prevent slipping at the seams. Some have a endency to water spot. Very similar to "foulard", but heavier.
Uses: Dresses, suits, ensembles, dresses and coats, cravats, ties, scarves, blouses, jacket and coat linings.


SIlk, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Usu ally plain with a fine cross rib.
Characteristics: A cloth supposed to have originated in Iran ( Persia ) ad was called "taftah" (a fine silk fabric) - (in 16th century, became a luxury for women's wear). It is made in plain colours, fancy prints, watered designs, and changeable effects. It is smooth with a sheen on its surface. The textures vary considerably. They have a crispness and stiffness. Taffeta in silk will not wear, as long as other high quality silks, since weighting is given the fabric to make it stiff. If it is overweighted, the goods will split or crack.
Uses: All kinds of after 5 wear, dressy evening wear: suits and coats, slips, ribbons, blouses, umbrella fabric. It is quite a dressy fabric

Terry cloth

Terry cloth
Cotton and some linen.
Weave: Pile, also jacquard and dobby combined with pile.
Characteristics: Either all over loops on both sides of the fabric or patterned loops on both sides. Formed with an extra warp yarn. Long wearing, easy to launder and requires no ironing. May be bleached, dyed, or printed. Better qualities have a close, firm, underweave, with very close loops. Very absorbent, and the longer the loop, the greater the absorbency. When the pile is only on one side, it is called "Turkish towelling".
Uses: Towels, beachwear, bathrobes, all kinds of sportswear, children's wear, slip covers, and draperies.


Weave: Usually twill (L2/1 or L3/1), some jacquard, satin, and dobby.
Characteristics: Very tightly woven with more warp than filling yarns. Very sturdy and strong, smooth and lustrous. Usually has white and coloured stripes, but some patterned (floral). Can be made water-repellent, germ resestant, and feather-proof.
Uses: Pillow covers, mattress coverings, upholstering and some sportswear. "Bohemian ticking" has a plain weave, a very high texture, and is featherproof. Lighter weight than regular ticking. Patterned with narrow coloured striped on a white background or may have a chambray effect by using a white or unbleached warp with a blue or red filling.

Tissue Taffeta

Tissue Taffeta
Plain weave, very light weight and transparent. 

Transparent Velvet (Chiffon Velvet)

Transparent Velvet (Chiffon Velvet)
Lightweight, very soft, draping velvet made with a silk or rayon back and a rayon pile.

traversin à bolster

traversin à bolster - a bolster; a bolster with a cover frequently edged in netting and tassels


Silk, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Knit, warp knitted. Vertical wales on surface and more or less crosswise ribs on the back.
Characteristics: Has a thin texture, made from very fine or single yarns. Glove silk is a double bar tricot (very run-resistant).
Uses: Underwear, sportswear, bathing suits, gloves


Fibre: Worsted, wool, rayon, blends with synthetics.
Weave: 63 twill, left to right (double).
Characteristics: Has a double twill rib on the face of the cloth. Has a very clear finish. It drapes well, and tailors easily. Medium in weight. Has exceptional wearing qualities. Very much like cavalry twill, but finer. In the same family as whipcords, coverts, and gabardines.
Uses: Men's and women's suits and coats. It is also used for ski slacks in a stretch fabric

trier le cotton

trier le coton - the process of selecting cotton, and taking out all dried leaves, large pieces of vines, and dried grass   trier -to pick o

Triple Sheers

Triple Sheers
Heavier and flatter than sheers. Almost opaque. Many are made from "Bemberg", which wears, drapes, and washes well. Sheers are used extensively for after 5 wear, as well as afternoon dresses in heavier weights, and some coats, lingerie, curtains, trims, etc.

Tropical Worsteds

Tropical Worsteds
100% worsted. If just called tropical, it can be made up in any fibre or blends of wool and a synthetic.

Weave: Plain and rather open weaves.
Characteristics: The yarns are very tightly twisted adn woven to permit a free circulation of air. It is lightweight ad is ideal for summer and tropical wear. It has a clear finish. Wears and tailors very well.
Uses: Both men's and women's suits and coats.


Silk, nylon, cotton.
Weave: Guaze, knotted, leno, made on a lace machine.
Characteristics: derived name from Tulle , France . First made by Machine in 1768. Has a hexagonal mesh and is stiff. It is difficult to launder. Comes is white and colours, and is very cool, dressy, and delicate.
Uses: It is a stately type of fabric when used for formal wear, and weddings. It is also used for ballet costumes and wedding veils.


Weave: Usually plain but also in twill.
Characteristics: Made from wild or uncultivated silkworms. It is coarse, strong, and uneven. Dull lustre and rather stiff. Has a rough texture with many slubs, knots, and bumps. It is ecru or tan in colour and it is difficult to bleach. It usually doesn't take an even dye colour. Wears well and becomes more rough looking with wear. It wrinkles a little, but not as much as some. Various weights. Appears in filament and staple form.
Uses: In lighter weights, dresses. In heavier weights, coats and suits and ensembles.

Tussah (wild silk)

wild silk, generally from India , loosely woven Weight:- heavy


Wool, also cotton, rayon, silk, linen, and synthetics.
Weave: Twill, novelty variations, or plain.
Characteristics: It is the Scotch name for twill and originated along the banks of the Tweed river, which separates England from Scotland . Sometimes known as "tweel". Sistercloth of homespun cheviot and shetland. They are the same in texture, yarn, weight, feel, and use. Originally only made from different coloured stock-dyed fibres, producing various colour effects. There are a wide range of rough surfaced, sturdy fabrics. There are also some closely woven smoother, softer yarn fabrics, and many monotone tweeds. May also be plaid, checked, striped, or other patterns. Does not hold a crease very well.
Uses: Wide range of suits, coats, and sportswear for men, women and children. Lighter weight, used for dresses


an expensive weave Weight:- an expensive weave


: Cotton, wool, or spun rayon.
Weave: Thick, plush pile, with a plain or satin ground, or sometimes knitted.
Characteristics: The pile is characterized by uneven lengths (usually two) which gives it a rough look. The two lengths of pile create light and shaded areas on the surface. A rather pebbled effect. This type of velour was invented and made in Lyons , France , in 1844. "Velours" is the French term for velvet. "Cotton velour" is simply cotton velvet.
Uses: Hats, dressing gowns, dresses, waist-coats, upholstery. Now most commonly sold as knit velour.


Silk, rayon, cotton, synthetics, and a little wool and worsted.
Weave: Pile, made with an extra warp yarn.
Characteristics: Mostly made with a plain back but some with a twill. Some are made with a silk pile and a rayon or cotton back. Terms comes from the Latin "vellus", meaning a fleece or tufted hair. Comes in many types, qualities, and weights. Good velvet wears fairly well adn is inexpensive. The cheaper cloths give little service and look well only a few times before beginning to deteriorate. Better velvet may be crush resistant, water resistant, adn drapes well. Has to be handled with care, and pressed on a velvet board. Cut all one way. For the maximum amount of depth in the colour, cut with the pile running up. it also wears better when cut this way. Velvet should be cut with very simple lines in the garment, so not to destroy the beauty of the fabric. It has the tendency to add weight to the figure.
Uses: All types of after 5 wear, at home wear, draperies, upholstering.


pile fabric often containing some rayon; gorgeous drapeWeight:- medium to heavy

Velvet Satin

Velvet Satin
A satin weave is used as the base for this luxurious figured silk, made with a cut pile effect.


Cotton, sometimes rayon.
Weave: Filling pile, very short.
Characteristics: Woven with a extra filling yarn with either a plain or a twill back (twill back is the best). Warp yarns 80/inch - weft ranges from 175 to 600 depending on the desired density of the pile. Mercerized with a durable finish. Strong and takes hard wear. Poor quality rubs off. Some of it can be laundered. It is warm. Comes in all colours, gradually piece dyed or may be printed. Has to be cut all one way. Press carefully, preferabley on a velvet board, or tumble dry after laundering (no pressing needed).
Uses: Children's wear, dresses, coats, draperies, lounge wear, seperates.


Worsted, wool worsted and wool, cotton.
Weave: 5 shaft satin, some in small repeat twill weaves, in cotton, 8 shaft satin (warp face). 2 ply warp and single filling.
Characteristics: Clear finish. Has a very good lustre finish which resembles satin. Some has a slight nap. Wears well - similar cloth has worsted warp and woolen filling.
Uses: In a good quality used for expensive suits for women and sports jackets for men. Also used for fine coatings for both men and women. In cotton, it resembles very heavy sateen and is used mostly for lining


A blend of 55% wool and 45% cotton.
Weave: Twill.
Characteristics: Has the appearance of very fine flannel. It is soft, fine, and warm. Holds a good pleat. Washable by machine. If made up in a slim skirt for women, should be underlined, as it has not much body.
Uses: Excellent for all kinds of children's and baby's wear, sportswear, men's and women's tailored shirts and dresses.


Cotton - also wool and called "Voile de laine".
Weave: Plain, loosely woven.
Characteristics: Sheer and very light weight. Usually made with cylindrical combed yarns. To obtian a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are aused. Voile drapes and gathers very well. The clear surface is obtained by singeing away any fuzzy yarns. Has a hard finish and crisp, sometimes wiry hand. "Voile de Laine" is wool voile. Uses: Dresses, blouses, curtains.

Warp-print Taffeta

Warp-print Taffeta
Usually a plain weave, the warp yarns are printed before the filling is inserted. The fabric has a very fuzzy design when design is distorted as fabric is woven.


Cotton, rayon, worsted or woolen.
Weave: Twill
Characteristics: Very much like gabardine, but the yarn is bulkier and much more pronounced. The twill is steep 63 degrees and goes from left to right (except for cotton). It is very durable, rugged and stands hard usage and wear. In time, it shines a bit with wear. Some times back is napped for warmth. So named because it stimulates the lash of a whip.
Uses: Topcoats, uniform cloths, suitings, sportswear, riding habits. In cotton, it is also used for automobile seat covers and little boys play suits.


Worsted or woolen, also cotton and rayon.
Weave: Twill
Characteristics: Very much like gabardine, but the yarn is bulkier and much more pronounced. The twill is steep 63 degrees and goes from left to right (except for cotton). It is very durable, rugged and stands hard usage and wear. In time, it shines a bit with wear. Some times back is napped for warmth. So named because it stimulates the lash of a whip.
Uses: Topcoats, uniform cloths, suitings, sportswear, riding habits. In cotton, it is also used for automobile seat covers and little boys play suits.

Wool Flannel

Wool Flannel
Usually twill, some plain.
Characteristics: Originated in Wales . Soft, with a napped surface that partially cancels the weave. Dull finish. Made in a variety of weights. More loosely woven than worsted flannel with a higher nap and bulkier hand. Shrinks if not pre-shrunk. Sags with wear, unless underlined. Does not shine or hold a crease. Watch pressing - if pressed too hard, it flattens in the nap. Comes in many colours, weights, and fancy effects. Sometimes has a prickly feel when worn.
Uses: Blazers, dresses, skirts, suits and coats. Boys suits, jackets, and shirts. Shirts and sportswear.

Worsted Flannel

Worsted Flannel
Characteristics: Made in a variety of weights. More closely woven and harder than wool flannel. Can have a very slight nap on one side. tailors very well. Presses well and holds a hard crease.
Uses: Men's suits, jacksets and trousers. Women's coats, suits, skirts, and tailored dresses


Wool from cross-bred yarns.
Weave: Satin.
Characteristics: The fabric is napped then steamed and pressed. The nap is long and lies in one direction. It is very lustrous and sleek. It may or may not be given a soft finish and feel. It is usually strong colored and sometimes stripings (removal of color) is noted in the cloth. Named for the "zibeline" a small animal found in Siberia . It belongs to the sable family and has fine black fur.
Uses: Coats, cloaks, capes and winter suits for women.

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