Textile Dictionary 
 
Cotton Fibres
 

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Armure
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: Elegant evening gowns, draperies, or upholstery.
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Batiste
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.
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Birdseye
Fibre: In cotton and Linen or blend of rayon staple and cotton.
Weave: Usually dobby
Characteristics: Very soft, light weight, 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 toweling. Also "novelty" birdseye effects used as summer dress fabrics.
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Broadcloth
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.
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Brocade
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.
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Buckram
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 book binding. Name from Bokhara in Southern Russia, where it was first made. Softens with heat. Can be shaped while warm.
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".
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Butcher Linen
Fibre:
Weave:Plain
Characteristics: It was originally made with linen but is now created with cotton or manufactured fibres. It launders well, sheds dirt, and is exceptionally durable.
Uses:
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Calico
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.
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Cambric
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.
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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, beach wear.
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Canton Flannel
Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Four harness warp-faced twill weave.
Characteristics The filling yarn is a very loosely twisted and soft and later brushed to produced a soft nap on the back, the warp is medium in size. The face is a 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.
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Canvas
see Duck
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Chambray
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.
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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.
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Chamoisette
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.
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Cheesecloth
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.
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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.
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Chinchilla
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 chinchilla 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.
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Chino
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. Washes and wears extremely well with a minimum of care.
Uses: Army uniforms, summer suits and dresses, sportswear.
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Chintz
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 dry cleaning. 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.
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Chite
Fibre:linen
Characteristics:Originally from Chitta (india), where the trend of painted linens was started in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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Corduroy
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 washable 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.
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Cotton
Fibre:
Weave:
Characteristics: It is one of the world's major textile fibres. It is obtained from bushy plants. There are four main types of cotton: American Upland, Egyptian, Sea Island and Asiatic. The flowers from which these different types of cotton are obtained vary in colour and texture, thus providing each type of cotton with varying characteristics. Cotton, in general, is very elastic. It can withstand high temperatures, has high washability and is very susceptible to dyes.
Uses: Clothing, households.
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Crepe
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 harsh 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.
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Crettone
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.
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Denim
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 gray 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.
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Dimity
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 and 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, bassinets, bedspreads, curtains, underwear. Has a very young look.
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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 light weight 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.
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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.
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Doubleknit
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 right side. The fabric originated in Milan and Florence. Can be stabilized for shrinkage control and dry cleans satisfactorily.
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Drill
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 gray 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.
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Duck
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 water-proof 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.
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Flannelette
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.
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Fustian
Fibre:cotton or cotton with linen or flax.
Weave:crosswoven when a mix.
Characteristics:Was used for undergarments and linings. Originally made in Fustat near Cairo, hence its name.
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Gabardine
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 twill. 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.
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Gingham
Fibre: Cotton, man-made, and synthetics.
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.
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Homespun
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 home, 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.
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Hopsacking
Fibre: Cotton, wool, linen, rayon, silk, hemp, jute.
Weave: Basket.
Characteristics: Made with coarse yarn. Has a rather rough texture and quite durable. Often quite bulky but various weights.
Uses: Men's and women's sportswear, coats, suits, draperies. If fine used for dresses.
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Jersey
Fibre: 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 lengthwise ribs (wales) and wrong side has crosswise ribs (courses). Very elastic 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.
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Lawn
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 lustre it is called nainsook.
Uses: Underwear, dresses, blouses, night wear, curtains, lingerie, collars, cuffs, infant wear, shirtings, handkerchiefs.
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Madras
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 and 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.
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Monk's Cloth
Fibre: 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.
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Nainsook
Fibre: Cotton
Weave: Plain
Characteristics: Produced in the finishing processes from the same gray 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 infant's wear.
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Organdy
Fibre: Cotton.
Weave: Plain. Some has lappet, swivel, or flocked designs.
Characteristics: Made with tightly twisted yarns. Crispness is due to a finish with starch and calendaring which washes out, or a permanent crispness obtained with chemicals (Heberlein process). Wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish (bellmanizing). May be bleached, dyed, printed, frosted, flocked, embroidered, or plisse.
Uses: Fussy children's wear, trims, collars and cuffs, baby's wear, bonnets, artificial flowers, dolls clothes, millinery, summer formals, blouses, curtains, bedspreads, aprons.
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Oxford
Fibre: 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.
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Percale
Fibre: Cotton
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.
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Pique
Fibre: Cotton, rayon, synthetics.
Weave: Lengthwise rib, English crosswise rib or cord weave.
Characteristics: Originally was a crosswise rib but now mostly a lengthwise 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. 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, coats, and bonnets, women's and children's summer dresses, skirts and blouses, shirts, play clothes, and evening gowns.
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Plisse
Fibre: 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 bassinets. 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).
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Point d'esprit
Fibre: 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, bassinets, evening gowns.
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Poplin
Fibre: 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 given 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.
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Provence
Fibre:Cotton.
Weave: Plain
Characteristics:This is a typed style of printing which characterizes Provence, a French country.
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Sailcloth
Fibre: 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.
Uses: Sails, awnings, and all kinds of sportswear for men, women, and children.
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Sateen
Fibre: 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.
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Seersucker
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 laundered 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.
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Shantung
Fibre: 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.
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Terry cloth
Fibre: 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 toweling".
Uses: Towels, beachwear, bathrobes, all kinds of sportswear, children's wear, slip covers, and draperies.
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Tiking
Fibre: Cotton
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 resistant, 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.
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Velveteen
Fibre: 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, preferably on a velvet board, or tumble dry after laundering (no pressing needed).
Uses: Children's wear, dresses, coats, draperies, lounge wear, seperates.
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Velour
Fibre: 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.
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Vichy
Fibre: Cotton
Weave:Plain
Characteristics:The weave of this fabric is formed of horizontal bands and vertical bands respectively in a light and strong varients of the same color.
Uses: Dress.
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Voile
Fibre: 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 obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. 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.
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Whipcord
Fibre: 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.
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