Acetate A manufactured fiber formed by compound of cellulose - resists shrinkage, moths and mildew, but not a strong fabric as it breaks easily and has poor resistance to abrasion. It has a soft crisp feel and a lustrous face, which are its signature characteristics.
Acrylic A manufactured fiber that has a soft, wool-like feel, and uneven finish, and its fibers create a strong weave that is machine washable, dryable, and resists shrinkage.
Alencon Lace An ornate needle lace fabric with a floral design on a sheer net background, originating in the French town of Alencon in the 16th century.
Alpaca A natural hair fiber from the alpaca animal, a member of the llama family. It's rich, luxurious, soft, lightweight, and warm, with a luster similar to cashmere or mohair.
Angora One of the finest fur fibers made, angora comes from the natural hair of the angora rabbit. It is long, silky, fine, and fluffy, but sheds and mats over time.
Applique A cutout fabric decoration attached to a larger piece of material, in order to add depth, designs or contrasting colors.
Argyle A design featuring interlinking diamond shapes of varying colors, in a diagonal checkerboard pattern. Thought to have been derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell, og Argyll, Scotland.
Baize Baize is a loose woolen fabric, with a finely cut nap on both sides. This heavily felted material is traditionally dyed either red or green, and is used for simple clothing, as well as drawer linings and tablecloths. Derived from the French baie, the Spanish name for baize is bayetta.
Bamboo From the bamboo plant. Bamboo is a natural fiber which is bacteria and odor resistant, as well as absorbent and breathable. Bamboo's strength lends excellent durability to a fabric.
Bark Cloth A printed, textured cotton fabric, popular from the 1930s to 1950s, featuring floral and leaf designs.
Basket Weave A relatively simple weave involving two or more warp ends woven parallel to each other, resulting in a thatched texture.
Batik Batik is a fabric dyeing technique originating in Indonesia, which uses wax resist molds to create designs. The wax is poured on a fabric, typically cotton, and allowed to harden in the shape of the desired design. The cloth is then dyed and the wav removed, with the remaining design in the original cloth color. This process can be repeated for intricate design work, and the characteristic veined look of Batik is achieved when some dye leaks through cracks in the wax.
Batiste An extremely fine, semi-sheer, lightweight, plain weave fabric. It is almost transparent and is usually made of cotton or cotton blends.
Bengaline A fabric with a crosswise rib, traditionally made from silk, cotton or wool, but now predominantly made from acetate or polyester. Bengaline is similar to faille but heavier in weight.
Blend A combination of two or more fibers within the same yarn. Fabrics are often made from blended yarns to increase durability, stretch, stain resistance and cost efficiency.
Boucle From the French word meaning curled, boucle is a knit or woven fabric with loops that create an uneven, textured surface at intervals. Because of the fabric's looped, knotted surface, it has a very supple, bouncy hand.
Broadcloth A dense woolen cloth with a plain weave that is tightly woven and usually made from cotton or a cotton blend. It is heavier, lustrous, and soft, and made with a crosswise rib.
Brocade A thick, heavy fabric made with a Jacquard loom and a satin weave, most often featuring a raised pattern. Brocade is typically made from silk, rayon or nylon, and has a very Oriental look. It is often used in home decor, womens wear and accessories.
Buckram A plain weave fabric, usually made from cotton or linen, that is stiffened with starch during the manufacturing process. Buckram is typically used in bookbinding and millenary.
Burlap A densely constructed, heavy weight, plain weave fabric with a coarse texture. It is also called jute, as it is made from jute and vegetable fibers.
Burling The removal of excess knots, bumps, loose threads and slubs from a fabric before the finishing process, by means of a burling iron or tweezers. Burling does not damage the fabric and ensures a smooth texture.
Burn-out Velvet The burn-out look is created when fiber-eating chemicals are printed on the fabric instead of color. The desired pattern is left imprinted in the velvet leaving the backing untouched.
Calender A process to flatten fabric involving alternating smooth metal and cloth-wrapped rollers, similar to ironing. The process can also be used to apply different finishes to pre-treated textiles, as well as to coat fabrics with plastics or rubber.
Calico A plain weave cotton material that is unbleached and still retains some of the natural vegetable matter normally extracted in the manufacturing process. Named for the town of Calicut in India, calico fabric is typically used for making quilts.
Cambric A lightweight plain weave cotton or linen cloth, slightly heavier than muslin, that is closely woven and calendered to give a slight sheen on one side. The material was originally a linen fabric woven in Cambrai in northern France.
Camel Hair A premium luxury material, similar in look and feel to cashmere, made from the under wool of the camel. Extremely soft, camel hair is typically found in dressy jackets and overcoats.
Canvas An extremely heavy-duty, plain weave fabric. Made from plied yarns and has an even weave.
Carding The process of opening, disentangling, cleaning and then separating fibers to produce a continuous strand which is then spun into a yarn. Performed on a machine called a card.
Cashmere Made from the natural fibers of the soft undercoat of the cashmere goat. Extremely high-quality, lightweight, and luxurious fabric.
Chambray A plain woven fabric, typically made from cotton or synthetic fibers, that is often woven in checkered or striped patterns and has a frosted appearance. Usually made from blue and white yarns and used to make shirts, dresses and childrens clothing, the fabric originated in the town of Cambrai in northern France.
Chantilly Lace A lace featuring a netted background with ornate, often dense embroidered floral patterns with outlines made from heavier threads. Originated in Chantilly, France in the 17th century.
Charmeuse A luxurious, supple, silky fabric with an extremely shiny face and a dull back, similar to satin but lighter in weight. Usually made from rayon or cotton, but premium varieties are made from silk.
Cheesecloth A soft, sheer, woven cloth, often porous. Cheesecloth is often bleached white or naturally off-white, and can be used for cooking and straining liquids.
Chenille “Caterpillar” in French. Type of yarn that is spun and then teased to produce a napped surface when woven. Can be made of many different fibers: cotton, rayon, polyester, wool. Example: Handloom
Chiffon Made from tightly twisted crepe fibers, chiffon is lightweight, extremely sheer, almost transparent fabric that has a slightly bumpy texture.
Chintz Calico cloth printed with large flamboyant designs, typically with a floral print. This plain-weave fabric is often starched for stiffness and calendered with wax to produce a smooth shiny surface. Fabric must be dry-cleaned as the glazing will wash off with machine laundering.
Chintz Printed cotton fabric with a glazed finish.
Color Fastness How well the color holds up to moisture, washing, drying and dry-cleaning.
Color Way The number of colors, or color variations, in which a fabric can be purchased.
Combed Yarn The process following carding, combing straightens fibers into parallel strands and removed any remaining impurities or short pieces, in order to further soften cotton yarns.
Corduroy An exceptionally durable fabric, usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, composed of twisted fibers that, when woven, lie parallel to one another to form the cloth's distinct parallel ribbed pattern, a cord. The number of ribs, or wales, per inch of fabric indicates the type of corduroy, with values ranging from a very wide 3 wales to pincords with 21 wales per inch.
Cotton Made from the soft fibers that grow around the seeds of the cotton plant. The fibers are spun into yarns to create a comfortable, breathable, machine washable fabrics that are the most widely used natural-fiber materials in the world.
Crepe A fine, almost gauzelike fabric made of synthetic or natural fibers that are twisted to give a slightly crinkled texture. It can be found in a variety of different weights and levels of sheerness. Crepes are dull with a harsh dry feel.
Crepe de Chine Woven of hard spun silk yarn in the natural condition. The fabric has a somewhat crimpy or crinkled surface created by the highly twisted fibers.
Crepe-back Satin A satin fabric in which the wrong side has the crinkled texture of crepe, while the right side has a smooth, shiny satin finish.
Crewel Basket weave basecloth of cotton, linen or wool with hand or machine embroidery of worsted wool. Patterns are usually meandering vine and floral motifs based on the east Indian tree-of-life designs and their English interpretations.
Crimp The waviness or curvature of a fiber or yarn. Can be found naturally, as with wool, or can be mechanically produced.
Crochet From the French word meaning hook, crochet is the method of creating fabric from yarn using a crochet hook, a tool with a knobbed end used for pulling loops of yarn through other loops. Similar to knitting, although crochet only involves one active loop at a time.
Damask A heavy fabric made from cotton, silk, linen, wool or synthetic yarns, typically used for draperies and home decor. Typically made using a satin weave, this reversible fabric is named for a luxurious silk fabric introduced through Damascus, Syria.
Damask A jacquard woven fabric with flat designs of figures or flowers. Pattern is emphasized by contrasting weaves. Damask fabrics are usually reversible and of one or two colors.
Delaine A lightweight wool fabric featuring a print.
Denim A strong, durable twill weave cotton fabric, originating in Nimes, France, made with different colored yarns in the warp and the weft. The weft passes under two or more warp fibers, which produces a diagonal ribbing found on the reverse of the fabric. The twill construction causes one color (blue is most common) to dominate the fabric's surface.
Denim-Stretch The twill weave cotton is blended with spandex to give the denim elasticity.
Dobby A type of weave using for decorations, featuring woven geometric patterns.
Double Knit A heavier fabric in which two layers of looped fabric are woven together and cannot be separated. Manufactured using a double knit machine, which has two distinct sets of needles.
Duck Fabric Duck fabric, or duck cloth, is a heavy-duty plain weave fabric, resistant to the elements and used for outdoor coverings and tarps. The term is typically interchangeable with canvas.
Dupioni Silk The silk yarns are made from the cocoon of two silk worms that have nested together. In spinning, the double strand is not separated, creating uneven yarns with a knotty texture in some places that gives the fabric a crisp texture with irregular slubs. Also referred to as dupion or doupioni.
Dye Lot Each printing or dyeing of a fabric is slightly different in color due to the mixing of the dyes and can have slightly different color than other runs.
Elastic A stretchy yarn or fabric.
Elastique A soft, smooth, twill weave fabric with diagonal ribbing.
Embossing A calendering method of pressing designs or patterns onto a fabric using engraved rollers.
Embroidery A type of needlework that involves sewing thread into a base fabric to create designs. Embroidery can be done by hand or by machine, and can use threads of varying thicknesses.
Example: Chimps Multi
Eyelet Fabric with patterned cut-outs, edged with embroidered stitches as part of a design.
Faille Pronounced file, it is a soft, ribbed fabric, typically made from silk, cotton, or synthetic yarns, with a slight sheen. Similar to bengaline.
Faille Pronounced “file”. A soft closely woven fabric with a cross wise rib effect. Has good draping quality. Example: Cotton Faille
Felt A non-woven fabric where the fibers are pressed, matted, and condensed together to form a compact material. It comes in varying weights and thicknesses, and because of its grain, felt can be cut any direction, and does not fray.
First Quality Although first quality fabric is the best quality, it is not perfect. Mills are allowed between 4 – 8 flaws every 50 yards, depending on the type of fabric.
Flame Retardant A finish that is applied to a fabric that makes it flame retardant. Usually needed for commercial projects.
Flannel A soft twill weave, usually made from cotton or wool fabric that has been brushed or has a slightly napped surface.
Flax The natural fiber, grown chiefly in Western and Eastern Europe, that is used in the production of linen. Flax seeds are also used as a dietary supplement and are used to make linseed oil.
Fleece An all-wool or synthetic knit fabric with a deep soft pile. It provides good insulation without the too much weight or bulk. Also the term for the complete shaving of a sheep's wool at on time.
Foil Metal layering that adds shine, color or designs to the underlying fabric. often found on spandex and stretch fabrics.
Foulard A lightweight fabric, made from silk or synthetic fibers with a twill weave and featuring small patterns on a solid background. Often used in men's neckties.
Gabardine A tough, tight, twill weave that is wrinkle resistant and features diagonal ribbing. Worsted wool (woolen yarn) is the most common fiber used, but cotton, synthetic, or blended fibers are also popular.
Gauze A thin, sheer fabric with a loose open weave that is usually made from cotton or silk.
Georgette A woven fabric created from highly twisted yarns creating a pebbly texture. It is thin and semi-sheer and is characterized by its crispness and exceptional strength.
Gin A device invented by Eli Whitney that separates the cotton fiber from the cotton seed. Prior to this machine, the separation was done by hand.
Gingham A checkered pattern fabric featuring dyed and undyed fibers, most often made from cotton.
Gossamer An extremely lightweight, sheer, shiny fabric, typically made from silk, similar to gauze.
Grain The grain of the fabric is defined by the filling or horizontal yarns. This can be established by pressing a pin and running it down the fabric, or by measuring in from the selvage.
Greasy Wool Sheep's wool that has not been fully scoured, and still retains its natural grease and lanolin.
Greige Goods Pronounced “gray”. Fabric right from the loom with no finishing or dye applied.
Grosgrain A heavy, tightly woven ribbed fabric typically made from silk. Used in formal wear and for neckties.
Ground The field or background of a pattern.
Habotai From the Japanese for soft as down, habotai is a lightweight, plain weave silk fabric. Lighter than shantung, it is also referred to as habotai.
Herringbone A zig zag twill weave pattern, popular for dress shirts.
Houndstooth A two-toned pattern featuring broken checks or pointed shapes, originating in Scotland. Popular in 1960's style jackets, suits and hats. Also referred to as dog's tooth.
Ikat A manual weaving style that involves resist dyeing the warp or weft threads before the fabric is created. Originating in Southeast Asia, ikat fabrics can be extremely ornate and intricate, often featuring detailed designs or larger pictures. The more difficult method of double ikat involves the dyeing of both the warp and weft threads.
Interfacing & Interlining The fabric used between the inner and outer layers of a garment to enhance warmth, strength or shape. Interfacing fabrics come in fusible (pre-treated with glue and attached to the fabric with an iron) and sew-in varieties, in a wide array of weights.
Jacquard A weaving method invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard, which involves a machine attached to a loom that can electronically select and control individual warp threads. The Jacquard loom is used to create intricately woven fabrics, including brocade and damask. Silk, polyester and rayon are commonly used in the Jacquard process.
Jacquard A weaving process which produces intricate patterns in the fabric using two basic weaves in combination.
Jersey A general term for any knit garment or fabric, the material has length-wise ribs on the right side, and cross-wise ribs on the wrong side. It is crease-resistant, very resilient, and has the flexibility and stretch of knit. Usually made from wool, cotton or silk, but synthetics are often used as well.
Kapok A lightweight vegetable fiber found in the seed pods of the Bombocaceae tree, native to Central and South America. The fiber is water resistant and buoyant, and while difficult to spin and weave, is often found as filling in mattresses, pillows, life vests and upholstery.
Khaki The color of soil/dirt. Coare home spun cotton. The original khaki was a twilled fabric.
Knitting Any sort of fabric that has been knitted.
Lace A decorative open fabric made through knitting or looping yarns together. Lace also refers to design work on top of a base fabric, resulting in a raised pattern.
Lambswool The first clippings of young sheep, about seven or eight months old, are mostly used in high grade fabrics. They are woven to create a warm, durable wool that is elastic, soft, and resilient.
Lamé Pronounced lamay, lame is a shiny evening wear fabric made from metallic yarns.
Lawn A fine, somewhat porous fabric made from cotton or linen, originating in Laon, France. Lawn is more crisp than voile, but less than organdy, and is often found in summery blouses and dresses.
Leather A material created through the tanning of animal hides, typically from cattle. Leather can feature course or smooth finishes, and takes dye well. Used for jackets, pants and upholstery.
Linen This fabric is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and when woven, this extremely cool and breathable material is stronger and more lustrous than cotton.
Loom A machine or frame used to weave cloth. The earliest looms featured vertical warp yarns affixes to two ends of the frame, while the horizontal weft yarns were manually woven through. Today there are many different types of looms, from the hand looms still in use in developing countries to computer-controlled Jacquard looms that are able to control minute movements in the weaving process with speed and efficiency.
Lurex A brand name of a type of metallic yarn, which is a polyester fiber with a vaporized layer of aluminum applied.
Lycra The trademark name for DuPont's brand of Spandex fiber.
Lyocell A manufactured fiber made from wood pulp cellulose, an environmentally-friendly material found in plants cells. It is classified as a sub-category of rayon, with a similar soft hand and drape, but slightly more durable. It has a subtle sheen and is very breathable.
Madras A handmade cotton fabric originating in Madras, India, featuring bright, bold striping and checked patterns.
Matelassé A stitching or weaving technique that results in a pattern that is padded or quilted - the fabric has actually no padding. French, meaning to cushion or pad. Hence, a thick textile in Jacquard weave. Surface appears puffy or cushioned. Example: Ready-made bedding made of Matlese.
Matka A coarse/rough handloom silk fabric. Irregular in nature and is considered unique.
Matte Jersey A rayon or silk blended fabric with elastic that is very lightweight with a soft feel and dull crepe texture.
Melton Made from wool fibers, sometimes combined with synthetics, in either a twill or satin weave. It is heavy, closely sheared, compacted, and tightly woven. First used as a hunting cloth, the fabric resembles wool felt.
Mercerize The process developed in 1844 by John Mercer to give a shiny, smooth finish to cotton fabric. First, the fabric is singed, then passed through a solution of caustic soda and finally rinsed. The process makes the fibers of the fabric swell, giving them increased strength and an increased ability to hold dye.
Merino Wool The wool from the Australian merino sheep, generally regarded as the finest wool fibers in the world.
Mesh A porous fabric with a net-like appearance.
Microfibers Made from extremely fine nylon or polyester filaments that when woven into textiles, makes them exceptionally soft while retaining their shape.
Modal Made from spun Beechwood cellulose, the bio-based fibers create textiles that do not fibrillate, or pill, and are resilient to shrinking and fading.
Mohair The long, lustrous hair from the Angora goat, renowned for its durability and strength.
Moire A finish which gives fabric bright and dim effects. Fabric is passed between rollers, which press the motif into the fabric causing the parts to reflect light differently. Example: Glenbrook Plaid. Prelude has a moire pattern which is woven into the fabric.
Moleskin The name refers to the short, silky fur of a mole, but is actually a heavy durable cotton fabric with a short, thick, velvety nap. The surface is smooth and dense, resembling suede.
Multi-Purpose Multi-purpose fabrics are suitable for upholstery as well as draperies, slipcovers, bedcoverings, etc.
Muslin A sheer, lightweight cotton fabric that is produced mainly in India. This plain-weave material can be used a thin blankets or as a backing for quilts.
Nap The nap of a fabric is the direction in which the sheared pile faces, and can be manipulated with combing or brushing.
Nap The direction in which the pile of a fabric is brushed, especially on velvets.
Net A very porous, open fabric similar to mesh and often made with synthetic fibers.
Noil Yarn or fabric made from short fibers (typically left over from the larger length fibers esp. silk)
Nylon Strong, elastic and quick-drying, this is abrasion-resistant thermoplastic material has good chemical resistance and blends with natural fibers for durability and stretch.
Oil Cloth A plain-weave cotton fabric which is treated with a solution of linseed oil (an extract of the flax plant) and a coloring, and then glazed to ensure water-resistance. Oil cloth has been mostly replaced with plastic coated cloth, and was popular for tablecloths and rainwear.
Olefin A hydrophobic fiber used in activewear, linings etc.
One Way A printed pattern that has one direction that is definitely up.
Organdy A stiffened, sheer, lightweight, transparent fabric, usually made from tightly twisted cotton or polyester yarns, with a crisp finish. Will withstand repeated launderings and still preserve the crisp texture.
Organza Tightly twisted silk yarns make an extremely crisp, sheer, lightweight fabric. Organza was traditionally the silk version of organdy, but is now made from other fibers as well.
Ottoman A fabric weave that produces a pronounced horizontal ribbed effect.
Paisley A swirled design named for the town of Paisley, Scotland, which was one of the major producers of the fabric in the early to mid-19th century. Often found on quilts, curtains and summery clothing.
Panné Velvet A highly lustrous, lightweight fabric, in which the pile is higher than velvet, but shorter than plush, and has been flattened. Has good stretch across the grain.
Pashmina Similar to cashmere, pashmina is the soft, fine underhair from a variety of goat found in Central Asia. From the Persian word for woolen.
Percale A soft, smooth plain weave fabric made from carded and combed cotton yarns. Often found in summer wear and light bedding.
Piece Dyed Fabric that is dyed after it is woven. The entire piece is dipped into a dye vat to color the fabric one solid color. A “piece” is approximately a fifty yard length of fabric. Example: Erin
Pile From the Latin word for hair, pile is the extra yarn that protrudes from the surface of a fabric. Pile can be shaved and shaped, as with velvet and corduroy, or can be left uncut as with terry cloth.
Pima Cotton Named after the Pima Indians who cultivated this plant in the Southwestern United States, Pima cotton is similar to Egyptian cotton, as it has exceptionally strong, long, combed fibers, dyes well and has a silky soft hand.
Piqué A medium-weight, tightly woven cotton or cotton blend fabric generally recognizable by its waffle weave texture.
Plaid Also referred to as tartan cloth, plaid originated in the Scottish Highlands as a way to differentiate the different clans. Once denoting the garment itself, plaid is now used to refer to the specific crisscross designs and can be applied to a wide array of fabrics and uses.
Plissé A plain weave cotton fabric with permanent creases and wrinkles that have been produced through the application of a caustic solution in order to shrink specific areas. Similar in appearance to seersucker, plisse fabric is often used for bedspreads and dresses.
Plush Velvet with a deep, soft pile, plush is easily found in childrens' stuffed animals. From the French word peluche meaning hairy, plush fabric can also be knitted for a bit of stretch.
Ply When two or more threads are twisted together before weaving, increasing yarn density and weight.
Polish or Glaze This is the finish that is applied to fabric to give it the glazed look and crisp feeling associated with chintz or polished cotton. Over time and with washing this glazed finish will go away but will not diminish the quality or durability of the fabric. Dry cleaning helps to preserve the finish but it may take the “shine” off the fabric.
Polyester Condensation polymers combine to develop synthetic fibers that make this strong, quick-drying textile that does not wrinkle and holds its shape well.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) A waterproof, rubbery textured man-made fabric often found in outdoor upholstery, costumes and specialty apparel.
Poplin Also called tabinet, this plain-woven fabric has a corded surface that runs selvage to selvage. Usually made from a silk warp with a weft of worsted yarn, but can also be made with wool, cotton, rayon, or any mixture.
Pre-Shrunk All our print fabrics are pre-shrunk to with-in 2% - 3%. The remaining shrinkage is called residual shrinkage and means that if you wash one of these fabrics, it can shrink up to 3% in the process. This is a small percentage but keep in mind that one yard of fabric will shrink over (1) inch. 2% shrinkage may make a table skirt or drapery panel too short after laundering. These fabrics are washable, but to insure there is no shrinkage and that your finished product look as good after cleaning as before, it is recommended that finished treatments be dry-cleaned. Items such as napkins, placemats, casual tablecloths, etc., may be washed as shrinkage is minimal and will not make a difference.
Quilting Fabric Generally made from 100% cotton and featuring novelty designs or specific images, used for making quilts.
Raschel Knit A warp-knitted fabric that resembles handmade lace, crochet or nettings. A connecting yarn is interwoven among the vertical knit of the fabric.
Rayon Made from the cellulose fiber viscose, it usually has good drape, soft hand and is highly absorbent.
Register The register marks are the colored dots or squares in the selvage edge of the fabrics. Each color screen is aligned during the printing process using these register marks to insure all elements of the printed fabric line up with each other.
Repeat The length of a printed or woven pattern, before it repeats itself.
Ribbon From the French word riban, a narrow fabric used for bows and wrapping.
Rip-Stop Nylon A lightweight, wind and water resistant textile. Double yarns create a box pattern to provide extra strength and resistance to tearing. Commonly used in outdoor clothing and equipment as well as outdoor flags because of its extreme durability.
Sailcloth An extremely heavyweight canvas fabric, resistant to the elements, that is used for ship's sails.
Sanforize A patented process to pre-shrink fabric, developed by Sanford Pruett in the 1930s. Fabrics treated with this process should never shrink more than 1%.
Sateen A silky, lustrous satin weave fabric predominantly made from cotton. Sateen often has an increased thread count for extra softness and durability. An all cotton or cotton blend fabric woven with a satin weave for a soft and luxurious fabric.
Satin A smooth lustrous, shiny fabric with a dull back that has a superb drape and sheen. It is characterized by a weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric. Satin differs from sateen in that it is woven using filament fibers such as silk or nylon whereas sateens are woven using short-staple fibers like cotton.
Screen Printed Screen printing is a process in which silk or nylon is spread over a frame which, according to the desired design, has portions of the screen covered by a coating. Covered areas will not take on the dye; open areas allow the color to pass through the screen onto the fabric upon which the screen is set. Machine screen printing is used to print the majority of our prints. Register marks printed on the selvage of the fabric show the number of different screens used in the printing of each fabric. A different screen is used for each color in the print.
Seconds Fabrics that are imperfect. The seconds in our fabrics generally occur in the printing or finishing of the fabric. The greige goods that are used are first quality.
Seersucker A fabric distinguishable by its crepe-like, crinkled stripes, which are made by weaving some of the warp threads slack and others tight. This fabric is traditionally cotton, but can be made from nylon, silk and other yarns, and is typically worn in the summer.
Selvage The tightly woven edge on a width of a fabric. This is where the fabric was attached to the loom. On a printed decorative fabric, this is where you often find the name of the company that created it, a color gamme indicating the number of screens used to print it, and arrows pointing out the up and down directions of its design.
Sequins Small metal or plastic discs that are sewn or otherwise affixed to a fabric to add depth, texture or decoration.
Shantung This medium-weight, refined, plain-weave fabric is characterized by a slubbed effect, similar to Dupioni silk, but with a more sophisticated and polished appearance.
Sharkskin A smooth, crisp, non-pattern fabric where the yarns in both the warp and filling are alternately light and colored creating a subtle two-tone appearance.
Sheer Fabric A semi-transparent fabric that can be treated to have varying levels of crispness or body. Sheer fabrics are often used as volumizers underneath other fabrics, as draperies, or as sleeves for evening wear.
Sheers Very light weight fabrics woven to allow light to pass through. Used for window treatments for privacy and light control.
Silk The fabric is woven using the natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Silk is a naturally strong, lustrous, and fine fiber that produces long-lasting, versatile, and high-quality multi-purpose fabrics.
Smocking A form of embroidery in which fabric is gathered and folded to provide increased stretch and comfort. Developed in the Middle Ages, smocking requires soft, lightweight, durable fabric, often batiste, voile or lawn, and is typically used for collars, cuffs and bodices. Smocking often reduces the fabric's original width by up to two thirds.
Spandex Made with elastic/polyurathane fibers that can be stretched up to five times its original length without damage. When blended with natural fibers, it creates a lightweight and flexible fabric with great shape retention.
Stain Repellant Treatments These finishes help to repel soil and stains but do not make the fabric water or stain proof. Fluids bead up on the surface of the fabric and can be removed easily by dabbing. The finish is odorless and colorless and cannot be felt. Test for this finish by dripping water on a sample. If it beads up, the fabric has a stain repellant finish. These finishes wear off with abrasion and it is recommended that the customer reapply Forcefield every 6 months on furniture that is used regularly. Stain repellant finishes must be reapplied after washing or dry cleaning as well. This finish is easily applied at home.
Stone Wash A method of creating a peached or distressed surface on a fabric by means of rubbing or grating with sand or pebbles. Often used on denim to create a worn look.
Suede Leather that has been brushed to give it a velvety nap.
Sun Fastness How well the color or fabric holds up to sunlight and direct sun without fading.
Synthetic A fiber which has been man-made through the use of chemical combinations. Synthetic fibers often have increased durability, strength and resistance to the elements.
Taffeta With a smooth feel, and a crisp hand, taffeta can be made from a variety of fibers including silk and rayon. It has a subtle horizontal ribbing effect and provides lots of body and an ultimate rustle.
Tapestry A heavy, often ornately designed textile typically used for wall-hangings and large draperies. From the French tapis meaning carpet.
Tartan The traditional name for Scottish plaid cloth, originally made from wool with a twill weave. From the French tiretaine meaning linsey-woolsey. The sett, or number of threads of each color in each warp and weft stripe, of each style of tartan cloth is recorded and maintained by The Scottish Tartan Society.
Tencel A fabric made from the cellulose of wood pulp, then processed into a silk-like fabric that is very soft with great drape. It's usually a medium weight fabric that can be easily dyed and cared for.
Terry Cloth Usually made from cotton, but sometimes made from linen, this fabric has a moisture-absorbing loop pile that covers surface on one or both sides.
Tie-Dye A process of resist dyeing, where parts of a cloth are tied, knotted or folded as to avoid penetration of a particular dye.
Toile A monotone print with an intricate, engraved quality, often of a historical, pictorial subjects.
Tulle This lightweight, extremely fine, machine-made hexagonal shape netting, is usually made from nylon, silk, or rayon.
Tusser Tussah A coarse/rough handloom silk fabric. Irregular in nature and is considered unique.
Tweed A medium to heavy weight, roughly textured wool fabric, often featuring a twill weave, houndstooth or herringbone design. A classically English look accompanies this durable fabric, which is popular in sport coats, jackets and hats.
Twill An incredibly versatile fabric distinguishable by diagonal ribs on its face, and a soft, smooth finish. Gabardine, serge, and denim are all examples of till fabrics.
Ultrasuede A synthetic fabric similar to suede, with a micro-fiber structure, that is stain resistant and durable.
Upholstery The practice of covering furniture with fabric. Upholstery fabric need to be durable and resistant to stains and wear, and are often made from heavy cotton, leather or synthetic fabrics.
Vat Dyes Vat dyes are the most colorfast dyes made. They are soluble in water and are the most resistant of any dyes to sunlight, dry cleaning and washing. Vat dyes are used to color bed linens, towels, clothing and decorative fabrics.
Velour Typically produced with a knitted back, velour resembles velvet, but has some stretch and an uneven pile giving it a slightly rougher look. Velour is French for velvet, and it is made from fibers such as cotton, wool, or spun rayon.
Velvet Velvet is one of the most luxurious fabrics because of its evenly cut, thick, soft pile. Traditionally made from silk, velvet comes in a variety of blends like rayon/silk, cotton, or nylon, and some velvets, such as stretch velvet, has some lycra blended in as well.
Velveteen A lightweight fabric made from cotton with a very short, dense pile. Developed in Manchester, England in the 18th century, velveteen lacks the sheen and drape of velvet, is woven with an extra filling yarn, and can have a plain or a twill back.
Vinyl A synthetic fabric made from PVC which resembles leather.
Viscose A man made synthetic fiber, typically referred to as rayon. Viscose has a silken, smooth feel and a terrific drape, and is often used for linings and bridal garments.
Voile Usually made with cylindrical combed yarns, this plain, loosely woven fabric has an extremely clear surface because the excess fuzzy yarns are singed away. It is thin, semi-transparent, and very lightweight, resembling an organdy or organza in appearance.
Warp The vertical threads in a fabric or on a loom.
Washable Many of our fabrics can be washed due to their fiber content; however, it is not usually advisable. Polished fabrics lose their polish, stain repellant finishes are lost, moire finishes are lost and the fabrics lose much of their body and wrinkle badly. For these reasons, finished items such as window treatments should be dry cleaned. The fiber content of all parts of a project must be considered before washing. If a polyester drapery fabric has a cotton lining and an acrylic trim, all parts will wash and shrink differently creating a very misshapen drapery. Dry cleaning will avert these problems.
Weave The manner in which a fabric is produced, utilizing methods of combining the warp and weft threads. The type of weave affects the strength, stretch, sheen and weight of a fabric. The basic types of weaves are plain, twill and satin.
Weft The horizontal threads in a fabric or on a loom.
Whipcord A heavier twill fabric, similar to gabardine or elastique, but more rugged and with a steeper ribbing.
Wool This textile is made using the fibers from the hair of animals, such as goats, sheep, camels, or llamas, and it comes in several different forms from crepe, to gabardine, to worsted. Wool is moisture absorbing and known for its warmth, and is also naturally stain and wrinkle resistant.
Wool-Double Crepe A finely woven wool crepe with two layers bonded together to generate lighter-weight wool fabric.
Wool-Merino A high quality, fine wool yarn produced from the short, strong, and durable fleece of the Merino sheep. It is extremely soft and versatile.
Worsted A wool fabric woven from firmly twisted yarns, which are spun from combed long-staple wool, creating a solid smooth surface with no nap.
Yarn Also referred to as thread, yarn is the basic component of all fabrics. Yarn can be composed of twisted natural or synthetic fibers, or a longer single fiber.
Yarn Dyed The individual yarns used in a fabric are dyed before the fabric is woven creating a multi-colored pattern.
Zibeline Named after the zibeline animal of Siberia, this textile is a satin weave faric made from the wool of cross-bred worsted yarns. Zibeline is napped, then steamed and pressed. It has a long, one-directional nape and is very sleek and shiny. Also known as zibaline.