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Fabric Glossary

  • A
  • Absorbency - The ability of a fabric to take in moisture.

  • Acetate - A manufactured fiber formed by compound of cellulose, refined from cotton linters and/or wood pulp, and acedic acid that has been extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.

  • Acrylic - A manufactured fiber; its major properties include a soft, wool like hand, machine washable and dryable and excellent color retention.

  • Alpaca - A natural hair fiber obtained from the Alpaca sheep, a domesticated member of the llama family.

  • Angora - The hair of the Angora goat. Also known as Angora mohair. Angora may also apply to the fur of the Angora rabbit.

  • Antique Satin - A reversible satin-weave fabric with satin floats on the technical face and surface slubs on the technical back created by using slub filling yarns. It is usually used with the technical back as the right side for drapery fabrics and often made of a blend of fibers.

  • Argyle - A pattern designed with different color diamond shapes knit into a fabric.

  • Aubusson - Fine, hand woven tapestry used for wall hangings or carpets.

  • B
  • Bamboo Fabric - Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. Bamboo fabric has been growing in popularity because it has many unique properties and is more sustainable than most textile fibers. Bamboo fabric is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties, and is to some extent antibacterial.

  • Bark Cloth - A textured woven, usually printed cotton fabric that was popular in the 30’s40’s and 50’s as an interior fabric. The prints were often large vines, leaves and florals.

  • Basket Weave - Plain weave where two or more warp yarns interlace with the same balance of filler yarns so that the fabric surface resembles a basket.

  • Batik - A method of dyeing fabric where some areas are covered with wax or pastes made of glues or starches to make designs by keeping dyes from penetrating in pattern areas. Multicolored and blended effects are obtained by repeating the dying process several times, with the initial pattern of wax boiled off and another design applied before dyeing again in a new color.

  • Batiste - A lightweight, plain weave fabric, semi sheer and usually made of cotton or cotton blends.

  • Bedford Cord - A cord cottonlike fabric with raised ridges in the lengthwise direction. Since the fabric has a high strength and a high durability, it is often used for upholstery and work clothes.

  • Bengaline - A fabric with a crosswise rib made from textile fibers (as rayon, nylon, cotton, or wool) often in combination.

  • Bleeding - A printing imperfection where the dyestuff runs from the screen of one area onto the motif of another.

  • Block Printing - A hand printing process where the motifs have been carved on wooden blocks. The dye is applied to the fabric from these blocks in a procedure similar to the rubber stamp technique.

  • Blotch - A screen used in printing that fills in the ground (or white) remaining after the full design has been printed. This becomes the fabric's background color.

  • Boiled Wool - Felted knitted wool, it offers the flexibility of a knit with great warmth.  

  • Border - A border is a gimp, but wider. This trim is sometimes woven in plain patterns, such as stripes or chevrons.

  • Boucle - A knit or woven fabric with small curls or loops that create a nubby surface. The fabric has a looped, knotted surface.

  • Broadcloth - A plain weave tightly woven fabric that is usually made from 100% cotton or a cotton blend.

  • Brocade - A heavy jacquard type fabric with an all over raised pattern or floral design.

  • Brocatelle - A heavy fabric similar in appearance to a damask. The filler yarns (often linen) give it an embossed look.

  • Brush Fringe - A brush fringe is a cut fringe that has a flat skirt made of thin yarns.

  • Buckpress - Transfer machine used to produce small samples strictly used for the heat transfer process.

  • Buffalo Plaid - A plaid with large blocks formed by the intersection of two different colored yarns. Can be found in multipurpose or upholstery weight fabrics.

  • Bullion Fringe - Bullion Fringe is made of cords, rather than yarns. The heading can be plain or decorative.

  • Burlap - A loosely constructed, heavy weight, plain weave fabric. It has a rough hand.  

  • Burn Out or Etched Printing - The application of an acid solution to dissolve an opaque fiber from a translucent sheer of blended yarns. After this process, the desired motifs appear in silhouette on the surface of the fabric.

  • Burn Out Velvet - Created from two different fibers, the velvet is removed with chemicals in a pattern leaving the backing fabric intact.   

  • C
  • C.O.M. - Customer’s Own Material.

  • CAD Strike Off - Also referred to as a paper strike off. Generated in the Design Studio using in house equipment.

  • Calendering - The procedure of pressing fabric between heated and rotating cylinders to give a smooth glossy surface.

  • Calico - A lightly woven cotton type fabric with an all over print, usually a small floral pattern on a contrasting background color. 

  • Cambric - A fine thin white linen fabric.

  • Camel's Hair - A natural fiber obtained from the underhair of the camel. It is relatively close to cashmere. Very soft hand.

  • Canvas - A strong, durable, closely woven cotton fabric.

  • Casement Cloth - A light weight textile made in a combination of fibers usually dyed in light neutral colors.

  • Cashmere - A natural fiber obtained from the soft fleecy undergrowth of the Kashmir goat.  A luxury fiber with a very soft hand.

  • Challis - A lightweight, soft plain weave fabric with a slightly brushed surface. The fabric is often printed, usually in a floral pattern. Challis is most often seen in fabrics made of cotton, wool, or rayon.

  • Chambray - A plain woven fabric that can be made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers, but is most commonly cotton. It incorporates a colored warp (often blue) and white filling yarns.

  • Chantilly Lace - This lace has a net background, and the pattern is created by embroidering with thread and ribbon to create floral designs. The pattern has areas of design that are very dense, and the pattern if often outlined with heavier cords or threads.

  • Charm Quilt - A quilt made of many, many small patches (traditionally 2” or so) where each piece is a different fabric. The pattern is usually a one patch design and often involves swaps and trades with friends to gather many fabrics.

  • Charmuese - A luxurious, supple silky fabric with a shiny satin face and a dull back. Generally either silk, rayon, or polyester.

  • Check - A pattern consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colors in a woven cloth, can be found in upholstery, multipurpose or drapery weight fabrics.

  • Cheesecloth - A lightweight, sheer, plainwoven fabric with a very soft texture. It may be natural colored, bleached, or dyed.

  • Chenille - A fuzzy yarn whose pile resembles a caterpillar. Used mainly for decorative fabrics, embroidery, tassels and rugs. Sometimes used broadly to define a fabric woven from chenille yarns.

  • Chevron - Very similar to a flame stitch, but found mostly in multi-purpose weight prints. The chevron is not an embroidered flame stitch, but is composed of zigzag lines that are printed onto the fabric. Can be found in an array of colors and printed on different fabric grounds, ranging from cotton, linen, rayon and polyester.

  • Chiffon - Lightweight, extremely sheer and airy fabric, containing highly twisted fibers.

  • Chinoiserie - A Chinese decorative style that was extremely popular in France and exemplified by its vogue in England especially during the reign of Queen Anne.

  • Chintz - A plainweave fabric, which has been glazed to produce a polished look. Fabric must be dry cleaned as the glazing will wash off the machine laundering.  

  • Chite - Painted linens that originated in Chitta (India) in the 17th century.

  • Color Flag - A series of small swatches attached to a large full patterned sample which illustrates the complete color line or colorways.

  • Color Line - The range of available colors of a solid or printed fabric.

  • Contemporary - An upholstery, multipurpose or drapery weight fabric that has a modern look to the design and pattern. Often characterized by geometric or abstract shapes and designs. Can come in a magnitude of different color ways.

  • Contract - Heavy duty wearing material, made to certain specifications, for example, particular flammability codes or abrasion resistance. The end use is normally hospitality or public places. For contract use, a fabric must meet a minimum abrasion resistance of 30, 000 double rubs.

  • Cord - Cords consist of plied yarns (plies) that have been twisted together. Cords are frequently used in place of fabric welting.

  • Corduroy - A cloth made with cut pile ribs (or wales) running the length or width of the fabric. The ribs are produced by wefts yarns that are carried over the fabric face and then cut.  

  • Cotton - A white vegetable fiber grown in warmer climates in many parts of the world, has been used to produce many types of fabric for hundreds of years. Cotton fabric feels good against the skin regardless of the temperature or the humidity.

  • Crepe - Used to describe all kinds of fabrics; wool, cotton, silk, rayon, synthetics and blends that have a crinkle, crimped or grained surface.

  • Crepe Charmeuse - A smooth, soft luster fabric of grenadine silk warp and filling, with latter given crepe twist. It has the body and drape of satin.

  • Crepe de Chine - Silk crepe de Chine has a slightly crinkly surface created with highly twisted fibers.  

  • Crepe-back Satin - A satin fabric in which highly twisted yarns are used in the filling direction. The floating yarns are made with low twists and may be either high or low luster. If the crepe effect is the right side of the fabric, the fabric is called satin back crepe.

  • Crewel - A true crewel fabric is embroidered with crewel yam loosely twisted, two-ply wool on a plain weave fabric. Traditional crewel fabrics are hand woven and embroidered in India. The design motif for crewel work is typically outlines of flowers, vines, and leaves, in one or many colors. Modern weaving technology and inventive designers create traditional “crewel” looks with weave effects alone, without the use of embroidery.

  • Crocheted - Loose, open knit made by looping thread with a hooked needle.  

  • D
  • Denim - A twill weave cotton fabric made with different colored yarns in the warp and the weft. Due to the twill construction, one color predominates on the fabric surface.  

  • Digital Strike Off - A method to produce a computer generated fabric strike off of a new design without cutting screens.

  • Direct Dyes - A category of dyes that are used on cellulosics and need no fixatives to secure them to the fabric.

  • Dobby - A decorative weave, characterized by small figures, usually geometric, that are woven into the fabric structure.

  • Dobby Loom - A type of loom on which small geometric figures can be woven in as a regular pattern. Originally this type of loom needed a “dobby boy” who sat on the top of the loom and drew up warp threads to form a pattern. Now the weaving is done entirely by machine. This loom differs from a plain loom in that it may have up to thirty two harnesses and pattern chain. This is an expensive form of weaving.

  • Document - A term used to describe fabric reproductions of original textile and wallpaper patterns. These reproductions may be exact replicas, or adaptations incorporating current colors, proportions, or textures.

  • Doeskin - Generally applied to fabric with a low nap that is brushed in one direction to create a soft suede like hand on the fabric front.   

  • Dotted Swiss - A lightweight, sheer cotton or cotton blend fabric with a small dot flock like pattern either printed on the surface of the fabric, or woven into the fabric.

  • Double Cloth - A fabric construction, in which two fabrics are woven on the loom at the same time, one on top of the other. In the weaving process, the two layers of woven fabric are held together using binder threads. The woven patterns in each layer of fabric can be similar or completely different.

  • Double Knit - A weft knit fabric in which two layers of loops are formed that cannot be separated. A double knit machine, which has two complete sets of needles, is required for this construction.

  • Drill - Strong, medium to heavyweight, warp faced, twill weave fabric.

  • Duck - A tightly woven, heavy, plain weave, bottom weight fabric with a hard, durable finish. The fabric is usually made of cotton.

  • Dupioni Silk - A crisp fabric with irregular slubs.  

  • Duragard - Soil and stain repellent treatment. A chemical finish is applied on the surface of the fabric and create an invisible protection which prevents liquid or stain to penetrate the fiber which makes it much easier to remove the soil and stain.

  • E
  • Elasticity - The ability of a fiber to return to its original length, shape, or size immediately after the removal of stress.

  • Embossing - A calendering process in which fabrics are engraved with the use of heated rollers under pressure to produce a raised design on the fabric surface.

  • Embroidery - An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

  • Eyelet - Fabric with patterned cutouts, around which stitching or embroidery may be applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling.

  • F
  • Faille - A glossy, soft, finely ribbed, silk like woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers.

  • Faux Fur - Artificial fur made from synthetic material.

  • Felt - A nonwoven fabric made from wool, hair, or fur, and sometimes in combination with certain manufactured fibers, where the fibers are locked together in a process utilizing heat, moisture, and pressure to form a compact material.   

  • Flannel - Usually a 100% cotton fabric that has been brushed on one or both sides for softness.   

  • Flax - The plant from which cellulosic linen fiber is obtained.  

  • Fleece - Synthetic knit fabric that stretches across the grain.

  • Foil - A thin piece of material put under another material to add color or brilliance.

  • Foulard - A lightweight twillweave fabric, made from filament yarns like silk, acetate, polyester, with a small all over print pattern on a solid background.

  • Frieze - A strong, durable, heavy warp yarn pile fabric. The pile is made by the over wire method to create a closed loop pile.

  • G
  • Gabardine - A worsted twill weave that is wrinkle resistant.  

  • Gauze - A sheer, open weave fabric usually cotton or silk.

  • Georgette - A drapery woven fabric created from highly twisted yarns creating a pebbly texture.

  • Gimp - Gimps are flat, narrow, woven textiles made in many styles. One or both edges of a gimp can plain or cut or have scalloped loops.

  • Gingham - A medium weight, plain weave fabric with a plaid or check pattern.  

  • Gossamer - Very soft, gauze like veiling originally of silk.

  • Gravure Cylinder - A method of printing paper through the use of an engraved copper plate.

  • Grois Point - A fabric which features large points of yarn on the surface of the fabric.

  • Grosgrain - A tightly woven, firm, warp faced fabric with heavy, round filling ribs created by a high warp count and coarse filling yarns. Grosgrain can be woven as a narrow ribbon or a full width fabric.

  • H
  • Habutai - A soft, lightweight silk fabric, is heavier than China silk.

  • Hand - Literally, the feel of the goods in the hand, a qualitive term used to describe the tactile properties of a fabric.

  • Heather - A yarn that is spun using predyed fibers. These fibers are blended together to give a particular look. The term, heather, may also be used to describe the fabric made from heathered yarns.

  • Herringbone - A variation on the twill weave construction in which the twill is reversed, or broken, at regular intervals, producing a zig zag effect.

  • Homespun - Refers to a coarse, plain weave fabric with a hand woven look.

  • Houndstooth Check - A variation on the twill weaves construction in which a broken check effect is produced by a variation in the pattern of interlacing yams, utilizing at least two different colored yams.

  • I
  • Ikat - A method of printing woven fabric by tie dying warp yarns, the weft yarns or both before weaving. The Ikat pattern resembles a tribal pattern and is usually very bright and bold. Can be found in multi purpose or upholstery weight fabrics.

  • Imberline - An effect produced by laying a variety of colors in the warp which reveals a stripe running through the overall design of the fabric.  

  • Interlining - An insulation, padding, or stiffening fabric, either sewn to the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric.

  • Interlock Knit - Also known as Tshirt knit. It usually has stretch across the grain.  

  • Iridescent - A color effect created by weaving warp ends of one color and a weft of another color. The taffeta weave creates the best iridescent effects.

  • Irish Poplin - There are two types of Irish poplin: (1) Originally a fabric constructed with silk warp and wool filling in plain weave with fine rib. (2) Fine linen or cotton shirting also made in Ireland.

  • J
  • Jacquard - Intricate method of weaving invented by Joesph J.M. Jacquard in the years 1801-1804, in which a head motion at the top of the loom holds and operates a set of punched cards, according to the motif desired. The perforations in the cards, in connection with the rods and cords, regulate the raising of the stationary warp thread mechanisms. Jacquard knitting is a development of the Jacquard loom and its principles. Jacquard fabrics, simple or elaborate in design, include brocade, brocatelle, damask, neckwear, evening wear, formal attire, some shirting's, tapestries, etc.

  • Jersey Fabric - Usually thinner or lighter weight than interlock knit with less stretch.  

  • Jute - A base fiber, chiefly from India, used primarily for gunny sacks, bags, cordage, and binding threads in carpets and rugs.

  • K
  • Kapok - A short, lightweight, cotton like, vegetable fiber found in the seed pods of the Bombocaceae tree. Because of its brittle quality, it is generally not spun. However, its buoyancy and moisture resistance makes it ideal for use in cushions, mattresses, and life jackets.

  • Khaki - A tan or dusty colored warp face twill, softer and finer than drill. Name derived from East India word meaning “earth color”. Fabric made of cotton, linen, wool, worsted, or manmade fibers and blends.

  • Knit Fabrics - Fabrics made from only one set of yarns, all running in the same direction. Some knits have their yarns running along the length of the fabric, while others have their yarns running across the width of the fabric. Knit fabrics are held together by looping the yarns around each other. Knitting creates ridges in the resulting fabric. Wales are the ridges that run lengthwise in the fabric, courses run crosswise.

  • Knit-de-Knit - A type of yarn texturizing in which a crimped yarn is made by knitting the yarn into a fabric, and then heat setting the fabric. The yarn is then unraveled from the fabric and used in this permanently crinkled form.

  • L
  • La Coste - A double knit fabric made with a combination of knit and tuck stitches to create a mesh like appearance. It is often a cotton or cotton/polyester blend.

  • Lace - An openwork fabric with yarns that are twisted around each other to form complex patterns of figures. Lace may be hand or machine made by a variety of fabrication methods including weaving, knitting, crocheting, and knotting.

  • Lame - A woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric.

  • Lawn - A light, fine cloth made using carded or combed linen or cotton yarns. The fabric has a crease-resistant, crisp finish. Linen lawn is synonymous with handkerchief linen. Cotton lawn is a similar type of fabric, which can be white, solid colored, or printed.

  • Leather - Animal skin dressed for use in clothing.

  • Leatherette - A simulated leather.

  • Linen - A natural plant fiber, linen fibers are stronger and more lustrous than cotton.   

  • Lisere - The design is created by colored warp threads brought up on the face of the fabric, leaving loose yarns on the back woven vertically, which gives it a vertical stripe effect. Liseres are Victorian in appearance and have embroidered style patterns.

  • Loden Cloth - A heavily fulled or felted fabric originating in Austrian Tyrol. Wool may be blended with camel hair or alpaca. Thick, soft, waterproof without chemical treatment.  

  • Loomstate - Goods as they come off the loom before converting/finishing. Called gray or griege.

  • Lycra - A DuPont trademark for its spandex fiber. Any time you see this fiber listed on a label, expect comfort, movement, and shape retention that won't wash away.

  • M
  • Madras - A lightweight plain weave cotton fabric with a striped, plaid, or checked pattern. A true madras will bleed when washed. This type of fabric is usually imported from India.  

  • Marabou - A thrown silk usually dyed in the gum or a fabric made of this silk.

  • Matelasse - A medium to heavyweight luxury fabric made in a double cloth construction to create a blistered or quilted surface.  

  • Melton - A heavyweight, dense, compacted, and tightly woven wool or wool blend fabric used mainly for coats.

  • Merino - A type of wool that originates from pure bred Merino sheep. The best Merino wool comes from Italy.

  • Mesh - A type of fabric characterized by its net like open appearance and the spaces between the yarns. Mesh is available in a variety of constructions including wovens, knits, laces, or crocheted fabrics.

  • Microfibers - An extremely fine synthetic fiber that can be woven into textiles with the texture and drape of natural fiber cloth but with enhanced washability, breathability, and water repellancy.

  • Mohair - Hair fibers from the Angora goat.   

  • Moiree - A corded fabric, usually made from silk or one of the manufactured fibers, which has a distinctive water marked wavy pattern on the face of the fabric.

  • Moleskin - It resists wrinkling and has a beautiful sueded look on the face. The reverse has a satiny look and feel.

  • Monk's Cloth - A heavy weight cotton fabric utilizing the basket weave variation of the plain weave. Used for draperies and slip covers, monk's cloth is an example of 4 x 4 basket weave. It has poor dimensional stability and tends to snag.

  • Muslin - An inexpensive, medium weight, plain weave, low count (less than 160 threads per square inch) cotton sheeting fabric. In it's unfinished form, it is commonly used in fashion design to make trial garments for preliminary fit.

  • N
  • Nano-Tex - Nano-Tex protects your home textiles with soft, durable applications that provide the right balance of comfort and performance. Nano-Tex brings innovative solutions that resist spills, repel stains, and keep you static-free. For more information, please visit www.nanotex.com

  • Natural Fiber - Any textile fiber manufactured from an animal or vegetable source. Cotton, linen, silk and wool are the foremost examples.

  • Needlepoint - Hand embroidery in petit or gros point stitch on a canvas foundation.

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

  • Nylon - A synthetic fiber known for its resistance to abrasion, inherent elasticity and strength which makes it ideal for use in upholstery fabrics. Nylon fabrics have a tendency to pill easily and to attract surface soil.

  • O
  • Oilcloth - Sheetings or printcloth that are printed, bleached, or dyed, and given a special linseed oil and pigment preparation.    

  • Oilskin - A cotton linen, silk, or manmade material treated with linseed oil varnish for waterproofing.

  • Ombre - A fabric made by laying in wefts of yarn that are closely colored hues that after weaving created a shaded effect.   

  • Organdy - A stiffened, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, usually cotton or polyester.

  • Organza - A crisp, sheer, lightweight plain weave fabric, with a medium to high yarn count, made of silk, rayon, nylon, or polyester.

  • Ottoman - A heavy, plain weave fabric with wide, flat crosswise ribs that are larger and higher than in faille. It sometimes comes with alternating narrow and wide ribs. When made of narrow ribs only, it is called soleil. Warp may be silk or manmade fiber, filling may be cotton, silk, wool, or manmade fiber.

  • Outline Quilting - A hand guided quilting in which the stitching follows the motifs of the design in a printed fabric.

  • Oxford - A fine, soft, lightweight woven cotton or blended with manufactured fibers in a 2 x 1 basket weave variation of the plain weave construction.

  • P
  • Paisley - A tear drop shaped, fancy printed pattern. Paisley motifs have been described as a pine cone, mango, pear and teardrop.

  • Peau de Soie - A heavy twill weave drapeable satin fabric, made of silk or a manufactured fiber. It is used to weave some of the popular quilting fabrics which have a silk like hand.

  • Percale - A superior quality plain weave cloth of closely set combed and carded long staple cotton.

  • Petit Point - A needle point stitch made on canvas with one foundation thread in contrast to two or more threads of a gros point.

  • Pick - A filing thread or yarn that runs crosswise or horizontally in woven goods. The pick interlaces with the warp to form a woven cloth.

  • Piece Dyed - Cloth that is dyed in a vat by the bolt (full piece) after weaving.

  • Pill - A fuzzy ball caused by the rolling up of abraded surface fibers.

  • Pique - A medium weight cotton or cotton blend fabric with a pebbly weave that looks almost like a check.

  • Plisse - A lightweight, plain weave, fabric, made from cotton, rayon, or acetate, and characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is created through the application of a caustic soda solution, which shrinks the fabric in the areas of the fabric where it is applied. Plisse is similar in appearance to seersucker.

  • Plush - A compactly woven fabric with warp pile higher than that of velvet. Made of cotton, wool, silk, or manmade fiber, often woven as double face fabric and then sheared apart. Higher pile gives bristly texture. Usually piece dyed but may be printed.   

  • Ply - The number of yarns twisted together to make a composite yarn.

  • Pointelle - Very feminine, delicate looking, rib knit fabric made with a pattern of openings.

  • Polyester - A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, and is second only to cotton in worldwide use. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency, and high abrasion resistance. Low absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly.

  • Poplin - A fabric made using a rib variation of the plain weave. The construction is characterized by having a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling.  

  • Q
  • Quilting - A fabric construction in which a layer of down or fiberfill is placed between two layers of fabric, and then held in place by stitching or sealing in a regular, consistent, all over pattern on the goods.

  • R
  • Railroad - To turn a fabric in a direction where the selvages are in a horizontal postion. In a plain fabric or when the design is non directional, you can avoid making seams when the width of the goods will accommodate the height required. Some upholstery fabrics are designed in this manner to be used exclusively for furniture.

  • Ramie - A base fiber, similar to flax, taken from the stalk of a plant grown in China.

  • Rayon - A natural fiber created from wood pulp, it usually has good drape and a soft hand.  

  • Repeat - One complete pattern of the fabric measured vertically and/or horizontally.

  • Ripstop Nylon - A lightweight, wind resistant, and water resistant fabric.  

  • Roller Printing - A technique first developed in 1783 done with engraved metal cylinders. Each color of the design requires a separate cylinder. Sometimes referred to as cylinder or machine printing.

  • Rotary Screen Printing - A process where the cloth moves under a machine operated series of fast moving tubes. The dyes are exuded from the inside through the pattern which perforates the tube. Each color requires a separate tube.

  • S
  • Sateen Fabric - A fabric made from yarns with low luster, such as cotton or other staple length fibers. The fabric has a soft, smooth hand and a gentle, subtle luster.  

  • Satin - With a lustrous, shiny surface, drapability depends on fiber content. Silk and rayon satins have the best stitch results.

  • Satin Weave - A basic weave where the face of the fabric is almost entirely warp threads on the surface.

  • Screen - An open mesh area which has been stamped out to form a pattern.

  • Screen Printing - A hand or machine table printing process in which a stenciled screen held in a frame is positioned on the cloth and color is applied with a squeeze. Separate screens are required for each color of the pattern.

  • Seersucker - A fabric with a woven pucker, this fabric is traditionally cotton, but can be polyester.

  • Selvage - The edge on either side of a woven or flat knitted fabric, often of different threads and/or weave, so finished to prevent raveling.

  • Sequined - Ornamented with a small plate of shining metal or plastic.

  • Sheer - Any very light weight fabric (e.g. chiffon, georgette, voile, sheer crepe). Usually has an open weave.

  • Silk - A natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms, Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat.   

  • Silk Shantung - Similar to Dupioni silk, Shantung has a more refined appearance with smaller slubs.  

  • Sisal - A strong base fiber that originates from the leaves of the Agave plant, which is found in the West Indies, Central America, and Africa.

  • Solid - An upholstery, multipurpose or drapery weight fabric consisting of no pattern or repeat. The fabric is usually one colorway but can resemble a two tone in some cases.

  • Spandex - A manufactured elastomeric fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking, and will still recover to its original length.

  • Strie - A very fine irregular streaked effect made by a slight variance in the color of warp yarns.  

  • Strike - Off – A trial sample of printed fabric made to indicate and verify color and pattern before printing quantity.

  • Substrate - Refers to base cloth or ground cloth for printing.

  • Suede - Leather with a napped surface.

  • Surah - A light weight, lustrous twill weave constructed fabric with a silk like hand.  It is available in silk, polyester, and rayon.

  • Suzani - A heavy and soft upholstery weight textile in a jacquard weave. Surface appears puffy or cushioned. The pattern can vary in size or shape and can have multiple colorways.

  • Synthetic Fabric - Fabric made of man made fibers. Examples are polyester, Avora and nylon.

  • T
  • T.S.O. - Table strike off generated at mill.

  • Tabby - A plain weave construction in which one warp thread passes over and under a single weft thread. The threads of the warp and weft are of the same size and set with the same number per square inch thereby resulting in a balanced weave.

  • Table Printing - A form of screen printing in which the cloth is stretched and secured to the top of a table and the screens are moved down the table either by hand or machine, pattern repeat by pattern repeat.

  • Taffeta - With a crisp hand, taffeta is typically used for formal wear like gowns and fuller skirts.   

  • Tapestry - A heavy, often hand woven, ribbed fabric, featuring an elaborate design depicting a historical or current pictorial display. The weft-faced fabric design is made by using colored filling yarns, only in areas where needed, that are worked back and forth over spun warp yarns, which are visible on the back.

  • Tarpaulin - A waterproofed canvas sometimes made of nylon or other manmade fiber.

  • Tassel - Tassels come in all sizes, shapes and forms. A hanging ornament consisting of a head and a skirt of cut yarn, looped yarns, or bullion fringe.

  • Tassel Trim - A plain or decorative gimp with attached tassels.

  • Terry Cloth - Unclipped, looped pile, 100% cotton terry cloth is highly absorbent.  

  • Ticking - Originally hand woven of linen as covering for feather mattresses, the characteristic herringbone weave was intended to keep feathers in and ticks out. A closely woven cotton in a twill or satin weave, and usually with woven (sometimes printed) stripes.

  • Toile - A type of decorating pattern consisting of a white or off white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as ( for example) a couple having a picnic by a lake. The pattern portion consists of a single color, most often black, dark red, or blue.

  • Tweed - A medium to heavy weight, fluffy, woolen, twill weave fabric containing colored slubbed yarns.

  • Twill - A fabric that shows a distinct diagonal wale on the face (e.g. denim, gabardine, tricotine).

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  • Ultrasuede - An imitation suede fabric composed of polyester microfibers combined with polyurethane foam in a non woven structure. Hand and appearance resemble sheep suede.

  • Union Cloth - A cloth most often used for printing that is woven with blended yarns. The filler is usually twisted linen and cotton and the warp is generally cotton.

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  • Velour - Usually with a knitted back, velour resembles velvet, but has some stretch.  

  • Velvet - With a longer pile, velvet is the most luxurious fabric. Stretch velvet has some lycra, it can be machine washed and will not create a shine in the seat or elbows.

  • Velveteen - A cotton or cotton blend fabric with a short, dense pile. It lacks the sheen and drape of velvet.  

  • Venice Lace - This lace often has a high profile, and is made using a needlepoint technique rather than embroidery. A heavier weight lace, the patterns vary from geometric to floral. Each pattern is attached to the others by bars made of thread.

  • Viscose - The most common type of rayon. It is produced in much greater quantity than cuprammonium rayon, the other commercial type.

  • Voile - A crisp, lightweight, plain weave cotton like fabric, similar in appearance to organdy and organza.   

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  • Waffle Cloth - Similar to pique in texture. Waffle cloth has a honeycomb weave made on dobby loom. Usually made of cotton.

  • Warp or End - The threads of a textile that run vertically through the loom and are parallel to the selvage.

  • Warp Print - A fabric where the design has been printed on the warp before it has been woven. This results in a pattern with an indistinct image similar to the technique of impressionist painting.

  • Weft or Filling - The horizontal yarns in a cloth which run selvage to selvage across the fabric.

  • Wet Print/Direct Print - Colors are printed directly onto the fabric in the same manner as the printing of wallpaper or newspaper. There must be one screen for each color.

  • Wool - Wool is naturally stain and wrinkle resistant. It can absorb up to 40% of it's weight in moisture without feeling damp. Wool comes in many forms including crepe, challis, gabardine, merino, melton, jersey and worsted wool suitings.

  • Wool Crepe - A lightweight worsted fabric with a more or less crinkly appearance, obtained by using warp yarns that are tightly twisted in alternate directions.   

  • Woven - Woven fabrics are produced from virtually all types of textile fibers and threads. The fabric is produced by weaving the perpendicular threads, the warp and weft. The fabric is very durable and is most commonly found in upholstery weight goods.

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  • Yarn - A continuous strand of textile fibers created when a cluster of individual fibers are twisted together. These long yarns are used to create fabrics, either by knitting or weaving.

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