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Glossary

Ever wondered what certain fabrics are? Here is a quick and easy guide to help you with fabric terms used on this site.

 

Acetate

Acetate is an early man made reconstituted fibre. It has a great shine, drape and takes colour very well. It is often blended into many other fabrics.

Acetate is best hand washed or dry cleaned and use a low iron, can bruise.

Bark Cloth

A woven fabric with a nubby or textured weave most commonly found in furnishing fabrics with amazing prints from the late 1940s to early 1960s.

Commonly cotton but can also be blended with rayon for a slight sheen. Highly sought after and collectable.

Chintz

A glazed plain weave fabric. It has a high shine surface.

This shine will stay if you lauder in cold water and allow to drip dry. Do not wring. Iron on the wrong side.

Corduroy

A cut pile fabric, usually in cotton with a ribbed pile. Can be machine washed, take care when ironing that you don't crush the pile.

Cotton

Everyones favourite. A fibre taken from the cotton plant that is spun then woven into fabrics of many types.

Hand or Machine wash. Hot Iron.

Crepe

A fabric with a pebbly looking surface. Can be made from any fibre. Popular ones are wool and cotton. Can be heavy or light or blended.

Care determined by fibre content.

Cretonne

A medium to heavy weight upholstery fabric. Usually cotton but sometimes a blend with Linen. Has a pebbly textured surface. Very hard wearing. 

Damask

A two sided jacquard weave of patterns. Can be made from many fibres but cotton, linen and silk are the most common. Found most often in napery.

Dobby

A type of weave that has a raised added dimension. Dobby weaves are textured, ridged or self striped.

Double Faced

A fabric with two right sides. Can be a double cloth, bonded cloth or one that is printed both sides.

Drill

Strong hard wearing tightly woven twill. Most commonly cotton.

Duck Cloth

A medium to heavy plain weave fabric. Usually cotton or linen. Found most commonly in furnishings.

Embossed

Raised or depressed patterning on the fabric surface created with heat and metal rollers. Care needs to be taken to maintain the emboss. Cold hand wash, do not wring, drip dry. 

Flannelette

Soft plain weave cotton with a brushed nap on one side.

Gingham

A yarn dyed simple even woven check. Great utility fabric. 100% cotton is preferred.

High Thread Count

A fabric woven with many warp and weft threads. The fabric is more dense and tightly woven.

Jersey

A plain knit fabric with a right and wrong side.

Lawn

A sheer thin cotton, usually mercerised to give a crisp finish.

Linen

Made from the flax plant. A lovely strong fabric. Wonderful to wear and great for furnishings.

Mercerised

A treatment done to cotton fibres to make them longer and stronger, shinier and dye better. Mercerised cotton fabrics are better quality and easier to work with and care for. 

Novelty Weave

A woven fabric with many different weave designs in the one design.

Percale

A fine woven cotton with an even weave. Has the same count of warp and weft threads. The most common fabric weave for cotton.

Pima

A strong long staple cotton. Exceptional quality.

Rayon

A fiber created by reconstituting cellulose fibers. Usually has great drape and a slight sheen. The name comes from the blending of 'Ray' for sun Rays and 'On' from Cotton as it was a bright fabric when it entered the market place.

Sateen

A cotton fabric with a three over one under weave that gives a lustre.

Seersucker

A fabric with a permanent pucker created by setting some warp yarns tighter during weaving.

Selvage

The narrow edge of the fabric. Should be woven with a stronger thread to create support to the fabric during weaving. Often contains information of the maker, designer or type of fabric. 

Silk

A protein fiber produced by the silk worm. Lovely, luxe and highly sought after. Hand wash or dry clean recommended.

Swiss

A fine sheer cotton fabric that can be plain like a Lawn or with a dotted raised weave - Dotted Swiss. Originated from the Swiss fabric industry.

Ticking

Strong twill weave cotton with characteristic blue or red stripe. 

Twill

Simple diagonal weave that is strong and durable. Denim is a twill weave.

Velvet and Velveteen

A warp pile fabric that is cut to create a pile. Velvet is commonly made from silk, rayon or acetate. Velveteen is made from cotton.

Viyella

A 50% cotton 50% wool twill fabric

Voile

A light sheer and crisp cotton in a plain weave

Wool

Protein fiber from Sheep. Warm, durable and lovely to work with. 

 

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